Friday, September 21, 2012

An Example of How to be a Christian Witness to a Muslim

By Paul Ernst

As you know, sharing the Gospel with Muslims is no easy matter. Their concept of God is a distortion of what is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. And although the followers of Mohammed accept Jesus as a virgin-born prophet, they reject Him as the Redeemer and Son of God. 

More than thirty years ago in Muslim Turkey, I asked the Lord to give me an illustration that would help my Turkish friends understand why the atonement of Christ is necessary for man’s salvation. What follows came to me shortly after as I was reading the Matthew 25 account of Christ judging the nations.

Since that day, I have had the joy of personally leading Muslim friends and others to faith in Jesus through the use of this simple illustration. I write this with the hope that it will be useful to others in sharing the Gospel.

I never give this as a "canned" presentation. Instead, I ask God to bring ideas to my mind tailored for the individual I’m sharing with. I often quote scriptures and may even refer to Muslim beliefs that support what I’m saying. So, I’ve never followed the exact words given below. I’m merely trying to share the basic thoughts with you.

With my Muslim friends, I generally use terms that are familiar to them. Also, I avoid speaking of Jesus as the Son of God until His role as Savior is understood.


In the Holy Bible, two sides of the Almighty’s character are shown to us. He is perfect and unchanging in both. In symbol, these are presented as "the two hands of God".

The left hand of the Most High is pictured as a fist and represents His justice and anger. (While speaking of this, I hold up my left hand as a fist.) Because God is perfect and holy, He must judge and punish all evil – even wrong things done in ignorance.

The Holy Word tells us that Adam, the first man and the father of all mankind, disobeyed God. In doing so, he brought the curse of death upon himself, his descendants, and all the creation the Almighty had placed under him.

The Holy Scriptures say that, like our father Adam, all of us have done wrong and fallen short of God’s glory. And it is sad but true that none of our own deeds can erase the evils we have done. God tells us our own efforts to earn His forgiveness and acceptance are like filthy rags.

The writings of the prophets reveal that death and separation from God’s mercy are the just penalty for our corrupt ways. So, the fist is a picture of the terror, shame and rejection belonging to all of us who have earned God’s anger.

The right hand of God is very different. (As I speak of this, I hold out my open right hand.) It is open and inviting, because it is the hand of His mercy and forgiveness. It represents the Almighty’s love, acceptance and protection. It is the hand of favor and eternal life.

It is important for us to know that God is perfect in mercy, just as He is perfect in justice. And He yearns to show His kindness to us. The New Testament tells us that God is full of love for mankind. But, this poses a dilemma. If all of us have done wrong and offended our Creator, how can He shower us with mercy and still be perfect in justice? His perfect and unchanging character requires that all of our misdeeds be judged and punished. And He has already revealed that the punishment is disgrace, torment and death.

The wonderful thing is that God’s mercy has made a provision for another person to take our punishment for us. But, to take our place this person must be one of us. To bear our curse, he himself must be free from the curse. He must also be pure and holy, totally sinless.

But how can this be? To be one of us, our sin-bearer must be a descendant of Adam. Yet, because God commanded that the curse of death pass from father to child this seems impossible. How can any person fulfill these requirements?

There is only one way. In the Book of Genesis, God reveals the coming of a man called the ”seed of woman“ (Gen. 3:15). In the writings of the prophets, we learn that this unique person must be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). Since the curse of death passes from father to child, only a virgin-born man can be a descendant of Adam without Adam’s curse. And only such a man can bear the judgment of God for us.

Is there such a man? And, if so, is he sinless? Is it possible He would be willing to die for us?

The amazing answer to all of these questions is, Yes!

Consider Jesus Christ. Unlike other prophets, he alone has been born of a virgin. (This is believed by Muslims as well as Christians.) The New Testament records his sinless life and calls him the Lamb of God. God sent him into the world to be a holy sacrifice in place of all that put their trust in Him.

The fact is, he has already taken the fist of God’s judgment for us. (I emphasize this with a brief hammering motion of the clenched fist.) Two thousand years ago, he suffered disgrace, torment and death at the hand of evildoers. This was in the very manner the great prophet King David had foretold ten centuries before.

Satan and corrupt religious and political leaders thought the death of Jesus was entirely their doing. But, it was the Almighty who allowed it. He chose the time and place of Jesus’ death. The New Testament tells us Jesus gave his life willingly, knowing he could have called thousands of angels to intervene.

The Word of God tells us that, three days following his great sacrifice for us, God raised Jesus from the dead. His early followers met with Him and witnessed this fact. He was then received into Heaven, where He lives today. This sets Him apart from all other prophets. And although He is a prophet, He is much more. At God’s appointed time, He will return to judge and rule the world.

Jesus has become the Bridge between the two hands of God. (As I say this, I draw a bridge from the clenched fist with a motion of my right hand, which I then turn upward as an open palm.) No one else has the right to say, ”I am the way.“ Because of His death in our place, God’s justice has been fulfilled. This means the shame of our wrong-doings can be removed and the gift of forgiveness and eternal life can be ours.

But, such mercy can never be purchased through our own efforts. To think our own deeds can make us worthy is an insult to God and His Holy Sacrifice.

How, then, do we receive this wonderful gift from God?

The Bridge from death to life is of no benefit to us unless we choose to pass from one side to the other. For this living Savior to be our own, we must place our trust in him and what he has done for us. We must then confess our faith in Jesus to God and ask Him to forgive our sins because of Jesus’ death in our place.

When we do this with our whole heart, God begins to change us from within. We are then able to accept His help in turning from any immorality or wrong-doing in our lives. After we have come to God in this way, Jesus tells us to complete our commitment by being baptized.

(At this point I ask questions that help me see if the listener understands, and if he wants to be led into a personal relationship with the Lord.)

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Note: Since Muslims regard Moses as one of the prophets, the Ten Commandments can be used to further illustrate the depravity of mankind by showing them who they are in the mirror of God's law. The law stops the mouth and shows that no one can be justified through works. (Romans 3:19-24)

Forgiveness requires a blood sacrifice and Christ has provided that blood sacrifice, presented it to the Father, and has sat down at the Father's right hand because His work is now complete and all who place their faith in Him will enter into His perfect rest.

May God bless you as you witness to others, obeying the command to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Please pray for me as I have two Muslims I am witnessing to right now. Pray that they will have ears to hear and eyes to see. Thank you so much!

For His Honor & Glory,

The Princess Warrior 

For more info on witnessing to Muslims:

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