The Quran is fierce in its condemnation of apostasy (ridda) and of the apostate (murtadd). Theirs, according to the Quran, will be a dreadful penalty (adhbun azmun). This sentiment, which occurs in Sura 16:106, is expressed again in other ways in other suras (chapters of the Quran). The interesting point to note is that the various threats of judgment and punishment seem to relate to the next world or to life after this
Why is it so difficult to share Christ with Muslims? When I try to tell them that Jesus is the Son of God, they accuse me of believing that God had a wife. When I try to explain to them that Jesus is God, they accuse me of believing in two separate deities. Worse still, when I speak of Jesus as the third person of the Trinity, they accuse me of believing in three separate gods — God the Father, God the Mother, and God the Son! I can't seem to make any headway. What's the problem? Have you encountered similar moments of frustration? Before we give up on Muslims, let's see if there is another way to present Christ to them.
The Arab Spring dates back to Ishmael, Abraham's son, a boy that had a father he loved, then lost that father. Ishmael develops an orphan mentality, a spirit handed down. The Arabs descend from Ishmael, and in A.D. 570 Muhammad was born, who as a young boy lost his father. One missiologist calls Islam an orphan religion, started by an orphan. It has no father figure, physically or spiritually. Muhammad inserts himself as the father figure of Islam and virtually deifies himself. The disavowal towards God as a father figure in Islam stems from this orphan mentality.
Many Christians seem paralyzed and unable to go to Muslims with the gospel. Others focus on Islamic extremism and believe Muslims cannot, or should not, be reached. We are often like Jonah, unwilling or afraid to preach salvation or even express the love of Jesus to people we perceive as dangerous or our enemies. A Greek gentleman succinctly described this form of spiritual paralysis when he said, “We hate people we don't even know, and we don't get to know them because we hate them.”
Cairo traffic is terrible. Noisy, loud, crammed, crazy drivers and traffic jams from eight in the morning until eight at night. Cairo taxi drivers are entertaining and varied: some are out-of-work professors, some are toothless peasants, some are gentlemen, some are creepers. Almost all of them are Muslims. We have found that taxis are incredible places to talk about Jesus.
Muslim women comprise a tenth of the world's population. Whether we live in Houston, Havana, Hyderabad or Hong Kong, they are our neighbors. That makes them ours to invite to Heaven. But we hesitate — not because we deliberately ignore the fact that God commissions them to us for Heaven's glory (Acts 17: 26) — but because we don't know how to invite them. For very legitimate reasons, our perspective of who they are hinders us from initiating and nurturing redemptive friendships that are most likely their only hope for Heaven.