My objective in Muslim evangelism is always to bring the Muslims to a place where they can listen to the Word of God.
Many times people ask me to visit their Muslim friends with them. They think I can convince them more than they can just because I come from a Muslim background. But that conception is wrong! As far as I am concerned, only one person can convict man of his sin, whether Muslim, Hindu, Jew, or atheist. This is the person of the Holy Spirit.
I do not possess a greater influence upon Muslims because I come from a Muslim background. I may approach them differently, but their faith cannot be based on my experience. Their faith must be grounded on the Word of God.
If you are involved in Muslim evangelism, it is vital that you understand the effect and power of the Word of God on a Muslim.. It is the Word of God which can pierce all the way to the very depths of man's heart. A divine energy is stored in the Word of God which can create faith. If the Word sinks down in the heart of a person and remains, then that Word will eventually bring forth life, regardless of that person's race, religion or background. It is like a seed planted and settled in the ground. It will undoubtedly bring forth its kind. Likewise, the Word of God which takes root in a Muslim heart will bring forth fruit.
The Word of God is like a seed. The seed has a potential for life and growth. You can reap tons of fruits from a small bag of seeds. A huge watermelon is hidden in every watermelon seed, and within that watermelon are hundreds of other seeds. Where did they all come from? From one little seed. Isn't this a miracle?
In the same manner the potential for faith, healing, restoration, forgiveness and life are in God's Word. One may not see the impact of the Word at once, but if that Word is planted on good ground, it will surely bear fruit. It must, because it has life and energy stored in it. Jesus said that His words were life and spirit (John 6:63).
When I started to read the Bible in my native language, doubts about Islam arose in my heart. Why? "The entrance of Your words gives light" (Ps. 119:130). The more I read the Bible, the more faith arose in my heart toward Jesus. I was convicted that Jesus was the truth, that I was a sinner and that I needed forgiveness and cleansing.
Years after I became a Christian, I preached in Sodermalm Church in Stockholm. After the service an Iranian Muslim man came to me. He acted very hostile and wanted to argue with me. I told him that I did not have the time to argue. But the man was very persistent.
But a few months later when I returned to that church to preach, this fellow showed up again after my preaching. He asked me very kindly if he could help me in any matter.
"Do I know you?" I asked. I did not recognize him.
"I am the one who wanted to argue with you, but you told me to read the Bible first," he explained. "I have read the Bible, and I want you to know that I accepted Jesus as my Lord and have been baptized by the pastor here in the church."
Then I remembered him. What a difference in his countenance! No wonder I did not recognize him. You see, faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).
People say that Muslims are hard to convert. Why? It is because a Muslim is like ground that has never been plowed, worked at and turned over. Have you ever tried to grow a vegetable in sandy or stony ground? I have, and I know it is not easy! My wife, who was raised on a farm, tried to tell me, a city boy, that it wouldn't work. I didn't listen to her, but I soon discovered that she was right.
The Muslim world has not been yielding to the gospel because the church has not been working on that kind of ground. The church hasn't plowed, tilled and sowed on the Muslim fields. The only recorded history that we have of church activity in the Muslim world is the Crusades, which certainly didn't introduce people to the love of Christ.
You have to realize that man is in the sasme state spiritually all over this planet. Human nature is the same the world over. I have traveled and preached in over 30 countries around the world. I have met people from all kinds of cultures living in many different conditions. I have learned that the human heart is the same everywhere. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9)
As a matter of fact, it is easier to witness to a Muslim than to an indifferent atheist. Many Muslims love God and have a respect for Jesus, whom they believe is one of the prophets. However, an atheist arrogantly rejects the existence of God and thus disregards faith in God.