Tag Archives: Muslim

Day 14: Jesus Rose from the Dead?

Have you ever met someone who never heard of the resurrection? Yes, I’m talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m talking about someone who has never even heard that Christians believe such a thing! I met one. I met him about 3 weeks ago. He’s a young Muslim man from Turkmenistan. Jack and I met him near the bus stops. What follows is a very abbreviated summary of our discussion, for we talked for quite some time. P stands for Paul and Y for the other man.

(At first we introduced ourselves, the church we go to and what we were doing).

P: So, what religious background do you have?

Y: Muslim.

P: What kind? Are you Shiite or Sunni?

Y: Sunni.

P: We’ll I’ve talked to many Muslims and I’ve read most of the Koran so I know that you guys believe that Jesus was a prophet (he nodded), and that he performed miracles (he nodded again), and that he was born of the virgin, Mary (he nodded again).

Y: You read the Koran?

P: I read 81 out of 114 Surahs. I took a class on Islam in school and learned quite a bit about it.  But I’m a Christian. How about you? Have you ever read parts of the Bible?

Y: No.

P: Do you know what the Bible teaches about Jesus?

Y: Yes, you guys believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

P: Yes, Jesus himself taught that He was the Son of God. Now, that doesn’t mean that he is any less than God. In fact, he is fully God and equal with God.

Y: Well, how can Jesus be God if God sent him?

P: That’s a good question. But let me be clear, the Bible teaches that God is One. But what that means is that He is one in essence. But the Bible also teaches that God is three persons. Jesus is the radiance of God, that is, he is the exact representation of what God is like and the reason He came to the world was to save sinners.

Y: You guys make a big deal about Jesus. Why? He was just a prophet like the rest of the prophets.

P: Well, Jesus was a prophet, but let me read to you what Jesus said (I opened my Bible) in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus is saying that the whole Old Testament, that is the first 39 books of the Bible, were primarily foreshadowing his coming. You know what foreshadowing is? (He nodded). So, all the prophets who came before Jesus actually wrote about him and anticipated his coming.

Y: Okay

P: For example, in Isaiah 53, (I turned to Isaiah 53 and began to read selected verses) the prophet Isaiah says, “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows … as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not … we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our [sins]; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the [punishment] that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed … and the LORD has laid on him the [sin] of us all.” You see he’s talking about a man who would come and suffer for the sins of God’s people. He’s pointing to Jesus.

Y: Okay, but every prophet died.

P: Yes, but Jesus never sinned. He came to suffer of behalf of sinners. What the Bible teaches about Jesus is very different from Islam. Islam teaches that your works get weighed in the balance, and hopefully your good works outweigh the bad. But the Bible teaches that we are all sinners and therefore guilty before God with no way of removing our guilt. But God, because he is loving, sent Jesus to save us from our sins. It was through his death that God punished the sin that we deserve. But it’s only those who follow Jesus that benefit from his death. And furthermore, Jesus rose from the dead.

Y: You believe that he rose from the dead?

P: Yes, the Bible clearly teaches that. You never heard that?

Y: No, you believe he rose from the dead?

P: Yes, that is what I believe. It’s what the Bible clearly teaches. In Isaiah 53, Isaiah goes on (reading from the Bible), “they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, it was the will of the LORD to crush him … the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied.”  Did you hear that? He will overcome death.

Y: Well, maybe it’s just a spiritual resurrection?

P: Look, even if you think it’s a spiritual resurrection, who is this passage talking about? It’s hard to deny that this is a passage about someone who God will send to suffer for the sins of his people.

Y: Look, I need to get back into religion and brush up on the Koran.

P: Well, here (handing him a Two Ways to Live booklet), please read this too.

That was it. Off we went. May the risen Lord save him. And may our risen Saviour send us out into the harvest fields of our city! We now have neighbours who have never heard of the resurrection of Jesus.

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Day 11: Danielle Talks with a Muslim at Timmy’s

I love hearing from those who hit the streets with me! In this post, Danielle shares about our experience at Tim Horton’s last Thursday. She’s a faithful woman who loves Christ and is zealous to reach out to others with His love. Check out what happened!

Last Thursday, Paul and I had the opportunity to talk to the people of Don Mills about the gospel of Jesus. Our conversation with a young Muslim woman named Nadia really struck me.

Paul and I had gone in to Tim Horton’s because he needed to use the washroom. While waiting for him, I noticed a young woman playing with her phone. I went up to her, introduced myself and explained that we were going around talking to people about Jesus, and asked if I could sit down. She smiled a little bit and agreed.

Before long, I found out that Nadia was a Sunni Muslim and was eager to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan the following day. She explained that for Muslims, Ramadan was a month of fasting and doing more good deeds than usual: donating to charity, for example. We got into a discussion about the role of doing good works and the difference between salvation by works and salvation by grace through faith. At first she was insistent that Muslims and Christians believe the same things, just that “the name for God is Allah and the name for Jesus is Mohammed.” Paul gently but firmly explained to her that Mohammed lived after Jesus had died and risen, and that they weren’t the same person. Mohammed was a prophet. Jesus is the Son of God, God incarnate, who came to dwell with humans, eventually dying for us so that our sins may be forgiven.

Paul and I had the opportunity to share the gospel with her, pointing to the Bible as our authority and using our lives as a testimony. Nadia explained that although some Muslims treat Ramadan as only a one-month gimmick before going back to their normal lives, she tried to live a lifestyle of doing good works. I explained that although I had grown up with a similar mentality of trying my best to be good to make God happy and to earn His forgiveness, God is so holy in His righteousness that even my best attempts don’t meet His standard. I know myself, and if I had to be honest with myself, I know that I am a sinner and in need of God’s mercy.

I was really encouraged that Nadia was spending her break talking to us about Jesus. She was insistent that people are “born into” their faiths or religions. Paul and I gave examples of people we know who didn’t grow up in Christian homes but, by the grace of God, became aware of their sin and are now reconciled to God through Jesus. The conversation took a turn for me, however, when, instead of questioning or challenging us, Nadia simply said, “Well, how would you like it if someone in your home converted from Christianity to another religion?” She then explained that her family was very religious and that her branch of Islam is the strictest.

Paul urged Nadia to make an informed decision when making choices, not just because of familial pressures or fears. We offered her a copy of the gospel of Luke, which she accepted, and gave her my contact information. I pray that she would contact me and ask more questions or ask to check out church with me.

Our conversation with Nadia reminded me of the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, specifically the seed that was sown among the thorns: “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22). It seemed like Nadia was beginning to understand the gospel and was showing a lot of interest in Jesus, but she was worried about the cares of the world: what her family may say, perhaps.

Our conversation with Nadia was also a strong reminder to me that we are to fear God and not man. We must remember that God is the holy, uncreated, Creator God, and man is sinful creation. Jesus Himself said, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33).”

To the praise of His glorious grace!

Day 10: Talking to a Muslim Lady from Albania

I was greatly encouraged to have 6 co-labourers this past Saturday! Two brothers and also two married couples from our church! Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon with your spouse!

Though we had many good conversations, I was especially encouraged by one that I had with a Muslim lady from Albania (her teenage daughter was there too).

I approached the bus stop, introduced myself and why I was out talking to people on the streets. What follows is an abbreviated summary of our conversation. P stands for me; and M for the Muslim lady.

P: Do you have a religious background?

M: Yes, we’re Muslim.

P: Oh, what kind?

M: Sunni.

P: And where are you from?

M: Albania.

P: Ah, yes, I’ve been to Bosnia; I know that Bosnia and Albania are predominately Muslim nations. So, how long have you been here?

M: 12 years.

P:  Well, let me ask you, what do you think of Jesus?

M: Well, I don’t know. I’m not really into religion much.

P: Oh, so do you not go to mosque?

M: No, we don’t really do that. Were not really practising.

P: Well, I’m not sure what you’ve heard about Christianity, but I’d like to share a bit about Jesus.

M: Okay, but the religions are all similar.

P: Well, actually the Bible teaches something very different about how to receive the forgiveness of sins. In the Bible, there is a letter written to a group of Christians in what is now called Turkey.

M: Oh yes, we know Turkey. It is because of Turkey that Albania is Muslim.

P: Well, there were Christians living there 2000 years ago, and Paul, who was one of Jesus’s followers wrote: “It is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” So, the way to be saved from the punishment for our sins is not by trying to be good or going to church.

(She looked very interested and somewhat surprised).

P: It is a free gift. That is why God sent Jesus to die on the cross. He was being punished in the place of sinners so that we could receive forgiveness by trusting in Jesus and in what he did for us. The way to receive forgiveness is not what we do, but trusting in what Jesus has already done.

M: Then you can just go on and live however you like!

(At this point in the conversation, I couldn’t help thinking of Romans 6:1 as I spoke to her).

P: No, we always seek to please those we love. For those who really believe in Jesus and love him, they will truly seek to live for him. There are false Christians who say they believe in Jesus, but they are fake; they really don’t follow him.

M: They would be like us! (she chuckled, admitting that she is not really a true Muslim, but merely one culturally).

P: Have you ever heard this before? Or did you know that the Bible teaches that people receive forgiveness not because of what they do, but because of trusting in the work that Jesus has done?

M: No.

P: This is true Christianity. And it shows God’s love for us, sending His own Son to die for us.

M: You say that Jesus is God’s Son; that’s not right.

P: Well, I know it may sound crazy to you, but have you never had this experience before – where you thought something sounded crazy, but later you found out it was true? (She looked contemplative). Look, please consider these things. And thank you so much for taking the time to let me speak with you. Here, please have this little booklet that explains what the Bible is about and why Jesus came (Two Ways to Live booklet).

M: Okay. Thank you.

That ended our conversation. I pray that she took me seriously and did take time to consider the things we spoke about.