“Forgiveness of sins, I love that thought,” reflected Nabeel as we sat across from each other over some delicious Middle Eastern cuisine. We were hosting a meal for our ESL class, and I had the privilege of sitting next to this inquisitive man who was brimming with questions about the Christian faith.
That evening, we covered topics such as the inspiration of Scripture, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and a host of other deep theological issues. With every answer I gave, more questions came. But this was not an interrogation meant to trip me up, as if I were a goalie, diving to the right and then to the left to block an onslaught of shots coming my way. These questions were born out of a genuine curiosity, and I felt more like a wide receiver who was catching some great passes and running in for a touchdown. In other words, it was like we were working together, and the Holy Spirit was calling the plays.
The climax of the conversation occurred when I mustered the courage to ask Nabeel a question. While others had chattered around us, it was as if we had been off in a corner of our own world. Having answered his questions, I asked him, “Nabeel, what would happen to you if you decided to become a Christian?”
My Muslim friend pondered that question for a moment. Then, predictably, he said, “Well, my family would disown me and maybe even kill me.” I expected that answer, but I was not prepared for what came next. “But,” Nabeel continued, “if I was convinced, I would do it anyway.”
I sat stunned for a moment at his candor and openness. Finally, I replied, “I will be praying for you, Nabeel, that God would show you the way.” Since then, I’ve been able to interact with Nabeel several times and have given him a Bible.
For many Muslims that we’ve interacted with here in America, there is a great curiosity about the Christian faith. Before coming here, our Middle Eastern friends had never met a Christian and had never been inside a church. Now, they are experiencing both. Nabeel’s attraction to the notion of being forgiven of sins typifies the thinking of many Muslims, for in their faith, there is no assurance that their sins have been forgiven. As one Muslim friend from South Asia told me, “If I ask Allah to forgive me, maybe he will, maybe he won’t.”
As Christians in America, we have a great open door to have spiritual conversations with our Muslim friends. Many are curious about Christianity, and the Holy Spirit is leading believers to share great truths with the people of Islam. This is of vital importance, because every Muslim deserves to hear the Truth about Jesus.
Global Initiative: Reaching Muslim Peoples has several free easy-read booklets that provide foundational information to help prepare you to have spiritual conversations with Muslims in your context -- at work, your neighborhood, or at your school.
Be bold. Share Jesus! You may be the only person who ever shares Jesus with that person. Don't miss your opportunity!