Tag Archives: Islam

Day 15: Ricardo Shares about an Afternoon at U of T

Ricardo has been faithfully partnering with us in the work of the Gospel every Thursday this summer. He has been a great encouragement to me. Below he shares about an afternoon he spent with Ewan, spreading the Gospel at U of T.

I started talking to a guy who seemed to be an x-Muslim. He had some issues with how unfair life seems to be. He didn’t let me talk much. He just kept telling me how bad life is and that, while trying to be good, his girlfriend cheated on him. He mentioned that when he was bad, all girls liked him. The conversation continued and I got to speak with him about God.

When I tried to explain the Gospel, he responded, “If I was going to believe in God, I would rather believe in Islam.” I told him that the god of Islam could not be both merciful and just. He kept cutting me off when I tried to speak. Eventually he left because he had to go to an exam. He said he was too upset to hear about God anyhow.

Ewan was busy talking to an Orthodox guy, so I started handing out million dollar bill tracts. When handing the bills to two young guys sitting on a bench, I asked them, “Why would you make it to heaven?” They seemed to know about Christianity. I can’t recall exactly how they answered, but I got to explain the Gospel thoroughly and they seemed to understand!

Afterwards, I approached two women near the subway and asked them the same question. At first, they said something like, “There is no God.” I said, “How else can you explain the harmony of the heavens under about 28 different forces that are so accurately set and necessary for life?” They said they’d rather believe in Buddhism. I questioned the Buddhist goal of achieving various levels of purification to achieve the reward of nothingness (Nirvana). They said that though it is nothing, at the same time, it is everything. Soon afterwards we parted ways. I came back to meet up with Ewan. We were drained, so we prayed and left.

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A Great Friday Morning with Luis: The Gospel Goes Forth

I was a blessed man this morning. I was delighted to have fellowship in the Gospel of Christ with my dear brother Luis.  Originally from Columbia, he is a member of Church Iglesia Bautista Castellana (Keele and Dundas). He is currently working four days a week and has Fridays off (so we could go out!). A relatively new Christian, he wanted me to go out with him to help him learn about street evangelism (not that I have all the answers . . . but, he is humble enough to learn from even me). His church has recently started an English ministry (basically a young English congregation within a Spanish church) and really wants this ministry (church) to faithfully spread the Gospel in the church neighbourhood. He passionately wants the Lord to save all kinds of peoples and to bring them into his fold to live for His glory. He wants to lead by example and set the tone, not only for a Gospel loving and Gospel believing church, but ALSO, for a Gospel spreading church (meaning orally speaking the Gospel to people). As the Word increased in Acts, may it increase in the Keele-Dundas region!

Rejection

We had great fellowship over the Word (2 Cor 2.12-6.13) and in prayer. Eventually, we hit the streets. We went to the corner and tried talking to a young man. But, he did not want to talk with us. He told us that he was a thief and that as God forgave that man on the cross, so he was forgiven. He told us that as long as you are sincerely sorry for the bad you have done, and ask God for forgiveness, you are forgiven. I wanted to reason with him and tell him what the Bible says about these things, but he wanted none of it.

Handing out a French Tract

We moved on and hit the bus stops at Keele and Dundas. We met a man who was French and did not speak English – I think he was a tourist in Toronto. Thank you to Nick Hill – I had a 2 Ways to Live tract in French. I was able to give him one. He was very thankful for it.

I Guess this is Why We are Not to Talk about Religion and Politics

We walked down Dundas and met a lady having a smoke outside of her workplace. We approached her giving her a penny with the 10 commandments. She gave it back, but we had a good little talk. She said she was Anglican but had not been to church in years.

I asked her about death, “What do you believe will happen to you?” She said, “I’ll go into the ground and that’s it.” I told her that God has spoken on what happens at death. I told her how Jesus came and taught very clearly on heaven and hell.

Referring to Matthew 25 I told her, “The righteous will go into eternal life but the unrighteous into everlasting punishment.” She responded, “We”ll very few people are righteous; basically your telling me that 95 % of the people are going downstairs?” I said, “Actually, no one is righteous.” She replied, “No, there are some good people, not many, but there are some.” I said, “Well, here, let me read to you a few verses from the Bible about this.” With a smile, she said, “Oh my goodness, I haven’t read the Bible in years.” I said, “Well, this will be good for you – it is just a couple of sentences – I will read from Romans 3:10.”

I read Romans 3:10-12. She was listening with curious attentiveness.  In response to the Word of God in 3.12a, she said, “people aren’t worthless.” I said, “Well, you are right, but you are must understand what the Scriptures say about man elsewhere. In other portions of the Bible we learn that man is precious, for he is created in the image of God.” She said, “So there are contradictions.” I said, “No, there are what are called apparent contradictions.” In the spirit of ‘that’s enough for me,’ she replied, “Oh, the differences and disagreements – I guess this is why we are not to talk about religion and politics. I better go back into work.”

I said, “I have one thing for you to consider before you go, please just think about this one thing: People could gossip about you and say different things, but if I want to know the truth, I will come to you. I can find out the truth. You can find out the truth about the way of life and how to be made acceptable to God for Judgment Day. Jesus came and spoke about these things. Do you have a Bible?” She said, “yes.” I continued, “I encourage you to read a Gospel, John is a good one to read. You can find out what Jesus said about these things. You do not know me. You just met me – what if I was lying to you. You need to read Jesus and find out for yourself. But thank you for taking the time to let us speak with you. Thank you.” “Your welcome” she replied. That was it. May the Lord work in her heart – may He cause her to care about her soul and may He breathe life into her.

An Elderly Muslim Man

Later on we met another man out on the street. He was sitting on the ledge of a huge flower pot. He was an elderly Muslim who was friendly to Christians. He had strong and impassioned opinions about many things, some that I fully agree with . . . others that I do not (for they were contrary to Scripture). We talked for a very very long time – it was a great chat (more listening on my side, but that is great . . . listening is very important). We were able to share some Scripture with him (Mark 14.60-64, for he does not think Jesus is the Son of God or equal with God; and Ephesians 2.8-9, for he thought salvation is by works). Furthermore, we were able to clearly explain the Gospel to him – our sin and guilt, the substitutionary life and death on our behalf and his resurrection! He told us to come back and see him again (right there – where he works). May the Lord cause His Word to stay in his heart and work in conjunction with the Spirit to make him born again.

A message for those who read this post:

What a great Friday morning! If you read this post, first I say, “thank you.” Now I say this: “Believe the Gospel afresh today and in due time Preach it!” May the Lord help you. If you are a Christian, remember this: you do not justify yourself in your evangelism (nor are you less acceptable due to faithlessness in evangelism). The Father accepts you. Your standing with God has been sealed by the work of Christ, and by God’s grace, your corresponding faith in Christ. Thus, in light of that FREE GOSPEL what great reason to spread it!!!!! What a Gospel! Behold your God! What Glory! What a Gospel! What good reason do we have to be silent? Lord help us.

Islam and the Forgiveness of Sins

John C. and I met a kind Sunni Muslim lady from Somalia at a bus stop yesterday. She did not want the 1o commandment coin which I hand out. She told me that she is Muslim. “Oh, Muslim, I enjoy to Muslims and I know they often like talking about religion” I replied. I told her about how I have read 81 of the 114 surahs in the Koran. I shared with her how like her –  I too believe that Jesus was a prophet, and that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, and that Jesus performed miracles. These three items are areas of agreement between Islam and Biblical Christianity.

Then I proceeded to tell her, “But there a great difference between Islam and Christianity that I would like for you to consider; well, let me ask you this: if you were to die today, do you believe that God would accept you or reject you?” She said, “He will forgive me.” I responded, “Now I am not trying to be smart with you; I just sincerely want you to think about this question, why do you believe that God will forgive you? Surely, he will not forgive everyone, for even the Koran teaches that many will be punished. Also, think of Hitler; surely Hitler will not receive the forgiveness of sins. Thus, how do you be confident that God will forgive you?”

She said, “I do not know.” Then the bus came. She kindly declined from receiving a copy of the NT. If I had more time with her I would have tried to help her see that God is holy and just and that even though he is forgiving and merciful, he must punish sin. I would have tried to preach the Gospel of Christ’s substitutionary death on this note. I am fully aware of the length of time it often takes Muslims to convert upon first hearing the Gospel. Even so, you never know the way the Lord will use conversations like these. May the Lord have mercy on whom he will have mercy.

Encountering Islam

This morning Medo and I met a young Muslim man who was from Afghanistan. He was a Sunni Muslim. He was cold to us at first, but then warmed up after we conversed about Islam. He told us that he does not like it when people approach him and try to win him to their religion, but that he was ok with us. Possibly he did not understand that my desire was that he turn to Christ. Thus, I proceeded to tell him that I have no problem with the principle of proselytizing, granted no one is called to convert by force. 

A side note: Neglecting to talk about God, sin and death, heaven and hell helps solidify the eternal punishment of millions. Many do not want to talk for fear of debate and disagreement. They love peace more than truth. Unfortunately, their lack of love for truth inhibits them from knowing what true peace really is (peace with God). This makes me think of the famous phrase: “Ignorance is bliss.” Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance has not taken the time to ponder what true bliss really is.  One may say “Not talking about religion is peace.” I say, ” The principle of “not-talking-about-religion” (more precisely, Jesus Christ) for the purpose of peace, fails to find out where true peace is truly found.   

Back to our talk with the young Muslim man: After giving a mini defense for proselytization, I sought to help him think through a serious problem with Islamic doctrine, namely, how to have your sins washed away.  We talked about the law of God given to Moses. He confessed to breaking the law. We then talked about God’s justice and his righteous judgment. Naturally, we were led to talk about one massive difference between Islam and Biblical Christianity – how to recieve the forgiveness of sins.

We tried to help him see that if someone were to kill his parents, there is no place for pardon apart from punishment. He agreed. If a man killed his parents, the murderer must be punished. Then we tried to apply the illustration to Islam to help him see that confession of sin and banking on God’s mercy do not adequately satisfy the just demands of a just and holy God. He did not seem to understand my argument (I think). Possibly I was unclear (or maybe he understood me, it was hard to tell). Whatever the case, I thank God for the opportunity to tell him about the holiness and justice of God and that Christ came to suffer for our sins in order to satisfy the just demands of our just God, who must execute judgment on all sin (either on the sinner OR on own his Son, Jesus Christ).

He works in the area, so I am confident I will see him again.