THE CHRISTIAN WALK
|Sunday, September 20, 2020|
Cameron, Texas, USA
UR LORD JESUS Christ said in John 15: 5-8: "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father,” (New Living Translation). Consequently, every Christian must witness among Muslims with a view to bringing them to the Light. Many Christians are in the vanguard of aggressive evangelism to Muslims in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world but a large majority of Christians are lukewarm for many reasons. First, the contention among many nominal Christians that Christians and Muslims pray to and worship the same God. If Allah is God so why bother to present the Gospel to Muslims after all, they too worship the True Lord God Almighty in a different language. Today many Christians have abandoned the Great Commission of our Savior (Mathews 28: 18-20) surmising that it is a lost war to bring many Muslims to the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Second, some Christians are genuinely and candidly desirous of witnessing to Muslims but are afraid. They are afraid because most Muslims that are witnessed to not only reject the Good News, but they can be violent. As a matter of fact, there are some Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and host of others that decree death penalty for Muslims that convert into Christianity and same for their proselytizers. Fear is one of the most potent weapons of Satan thus it is not surprising that Christians who have heard reports of violent activities of Muslims especially in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are afraid of their lives. And for a good measure, this fear is legitimate but our Lord Jesus Christ told us He would not abandon us (Isaiah 45:1-25, John 14:1-4). Equally, the few "born-again" Christians who are making headway in predominantly Islamic countries seem to be losing those Muslims who once embraced Christianity but are reverting back to their "old vomit.” Why are Christians, genuinely concerned about the fate of over one billion souls who are Muslims not making much success in reaching out to most Muslims? Why are former Muslims converted to Christianity sooner than later give up the Christian "hard" way to eternal life and go back to Islam again? In short, why are evangelizing works in Muslim nations not bearing much fruit as expected? As a former Muslim, I-Moshood- want to itemize some salient guides which I am sure will be of great importance to Christians desirous of having breakthrough among Muslims. First is the power of prayer. Christians on mission need to re-double their prayer efforts in witnessing among Muslims. The Holy Bible identified our enemies in Ephesians 6: 12 as spiritual not human or physical enemies. Thus, those we need to confront are the demons using these people to be impervious to the Gospel. Our warfare should be spiritual not carnal. We must pray against mountains, hills, obstacles and hindrances that Satan and his agents have erected, and still erecting and will erect against evangelizing activities in these demon-infested enclave areas of the world. We must use the power invested in us as redeemed souls and exercise our rights to break those walls and spiritual mountains in these Muslim countries. These powers of prayers must have been responsible for the spiritual breakthrough that great evangelists like Marilyn and Sarah Hickey, Reinhard Bonnke, and others have had in many Muslim nations across the world. As children of God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, we should employ the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God in our mouths (Ephesians 6: 17) to rain fire, thunder, lightning, brimstone and sulphur on the heads of these demons thus paving the way for these spiritually-blind and ignorant souls shackled by the demon of this false religion known as Islam to hear the Good News. As James 5: 16 & 18 aptly pointed out: “…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” We do not all have to be on mission field before we need to pray for all Christian evangelists and missionaries who are risking their lives in the villages of Africa, the demon-infested areas in Latin America, the jungle of the Amazon, predominantly-Muslim populated areas of Asia and the Middle East and other parts of the world to bring the Light of our Lord Jesus Christ to ignorant and unsaved souls. Our churches should take it upon themselves to intercede for these unsaved souls and enter into aggressive intercessory prayers claiming every land the feet of these Christian missionaries and evangelists shall touch for God Almighty. Dr. Michael Youseff, founder and president of Leading the Way Church, Atlanta Georgia is one of the most popular evangelists who was a former Muslim and being used by the Holy Spirit to bring many Muslim converts to the Way.
It is regrettable that many of our churches are at ease on Mt. Zion forgetting we are in the Last Days. Christians on foreign missions need your money quite alright but they need your prayers back-up more than any other thing, because prayers are more important than money to penetrate the souls of Muslims so their hearts can be opened and the Holy Spirit will convict them to give their lives to the Only Savior of the world; Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Now to those who are on the spiritual arena where the action is, you should be conscious that you are on the battle field and each nation you go to for missionary and evangelizing activities is a battleground between the forces of God and Satan. Every Christian should know by now that Christianity is a call to arms, call to do battle with Satan and his demons but not like that of the demon-God Allah who had commanded his worshippers to kill fellow human beings. Muslims are not the enemies of Christians; Christians have only one enemy: Satan. According to Apostle Peter; “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” (1 Peter 5: 8). As a Christian in the mission field, the moment you step foot into a Muslim territory, you are invading the enemy’s territory in order to unchain souls from the stranglehold of Satan. Of course, Satan and his vile creatures using their human agents would fight to withstand, resist and if possible stop you.
There will be attacks, assaults, threats but you must forge ahead as a true soldier of our Lord Jesus Christ. Equally important is the need to support your prayer life with occasional fasting. It will help you to unlock closed doors, alter situations and circumstances thereby glorifying our Heavenly Father. The Book of Life is replete with the enormous powers of prayer combined with fast can have on spiritual warfare. Esther, Daniel, Jeremiah and other mighty men and women of God employed prayers and fasting to change situations and alter them from the Throne of Mercy on High. And this is very important; Christians in mission fields and preaching to the unsaved including Muslims should endeavor to go in twos or more. Never in the history of Christian evangelism has any single missionary been sent to the mission field. Moses had to work with Brother Aaron, and after the latter's death, Joshua took over. God chose an understudy for Elijah (Elisha), Baruch was Jeremiah’s secretary. And our Savior dispatched his disciples out into the mission field two by two. According to Mark 6: 6-7: “…Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village( and) Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.” When two missionaries go out back-to-back, there would be collaborations and back-up capabilities combined with the intercessory prayers of the saints and the Christian community. In the words of the Teacher in Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”.
The Holy Spirit should be allowed to guard and guide Christians on missionary activities, because He guarded the early missionaries in all their itineraries. No wonder they had huge success and turned the whole world upside down for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. No spiritual work be it sermon, deliverance sessions, crusades, preaching, prayers and praying or evangelism can succeed and yield dividends and eternal fruits for God's Glory if the Holy Spirit is not the Initiator and Director. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and always does the Will of God. Anything outside the Will of the Supreme Lord God of the heavens and the universe will not Glorify God and whatever that does not glorify God can never bear spiritual fruit even though it may be a “success” by human standards. According to the Gentile medical doctor Luke who chronicled the journals of the early missionaries in Acts 13: 1-3: “In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” Can you see the chronological order the Holy Spirit scheduled the itineraries of the early missionaries after Pentecost? Before Pentecost, the apostles cast lots but as soon as the Holy Spirit came “officially” on Pentecost, He became the Guide and Guard. In setting out for missionary activities, they followed three basic steps: they gathered together-church-they prayed and then fasted thus setting the stage for the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. Once they received the go-ahead from the Holy Spirit, they laid hands on the apostles chosen by the Holy Spirit for particular tasks and sent them off.
The Spirit of Jesus is also the Holy Spirit. He stopped Paul and Barnabas from preaching the Good News in Bithynia because it was not ripe for the Gospel in God’s reckoning and schedule (Genesis 15: 16), but it was time to evangelize Macedonia, hence the Holy Spirit quickly showed His schedule to Paul in a vision. By the way, have you received God’s revelation or vision to embark on that missionary journey? Please seek His face and let the Holy Spirit guard, guide and direct you on how to go about the Lord’s work and allow Him through the Holy Spirit to plan and approve your itinerary. You see, most of us think we can impress the Lord God by our zeal, enthusiasm and false humility all in our desire to win souls for the Lord. But as earlier indicated in this column, the fact of the matter scripturally is that we do not win souls for the Lord, but it is the Holy Spirit that wins souls. We were commanded to preach the Good News, make known to the unbelievers of the world the Saving and Redeeming Hands of our Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. According to John 6: 43-44: "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Again, in John 6: 65, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him." And how does the Father draw unsaved souls to Himself? Of course, through the Holy Spirit according to our Lord Jesus Christ in John 16: 7-8: “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” Another tool that missionaries and evangelists should tap into when ministering to Muslims is persuasion, and through persuasion comes conviction. Muslims are hard-hearted souls because of vicious and pernicious grips of Satan and his demons on their lives so no amount of quotations and scriptures from the Holy Bible that can convince a practicing Muslim that our Lord Jesus Christ is the True Lord God in the flesh. Their belief in Mr Muhammad Abdullah is ingrained and their commitment to him is, in most cases monomaniacal. That is why they kill, maim and destroy in his name. When you quote the scripture to Muslims, they either quote their own upside down or tell you the present Holy Bible has been falsified. When I was a Muslim, I hated Christians with uncanny passion and fervently believed that I was doing God a favor and indeed any Muslim who kills a Christian is doing God a favor. Didn’t our Lord Jesus Christ give us a head up on this when He warned in John 16: 2: “…a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God?” The idea that the Sovereign Lord of the heavens and earth became One with us sinful humanity as our Lord Jesus Christ took on the flesh of humans (Immanuel) in order to demonstrate His love and Saving Grace is repugnant to human reasoning not to talk of prejudiced, brain-washed and lobotomized brains who have already made up their minds on what to believe and refuse to examine the facts. According to President John Adams, 2nd president of the United States (1735-1826); “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” But how do you persuade someone who refuses to examine all the facts in making informed decision on the weighty issue of where to spend eternity? You will dissipate your energy on meaningless and stupid arguments by trying to convince a Muslim to read or have belief in the Holy Bible. Remember, spiritual matters defy physical and natural laws; often times, rational thinking. When you tell a Muslim that the Holy Spirit is the Third in Trinity and He is equal to the God Head, that He was the One our Lord Jesus Christ promised us, His disciples in John 14:15-16, the average Muslim will argue with you hoarse that it was Mr Muhammad Abdullah that our Lord Jesus Christ was referring to and so Mr. Muhammad Abdullah is the seal of all prophets. So a Christian missionary/evangelist cannot depend on his or her level of theological knowledge, intellectual prowess ,argumentative ability. You may end up provoking s major crisis. You may succeed in your argument but you may fail in sharing the Good News so that the Holy Spirit can move to perform His task of conviction. So what is the best tool in this instance? Zechariah 4: 6 provided the answer: “…Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.” Persuasions come in when you want to preach the word to the average Muslim. Don’t start unnecessary controversy. Don't antagonize. Tell the Muslim we are all sinners and let him/her know it is by God’s Grace, we can be saved. Don’t say Allah is a demon-god, that all the rituals of five daily prayers, "Hajj", "Ramadan,” “Alms-giving,” “Zakat,” and the rest are vain before God. You are courting trouble. Define spiritually and what God’s Grace means. Then narrow it down to eternal destination and ask him or her whether paradise is a cinch in his/her journey of life. As you are witnessing with your mouth, also be using the mind and heart to be praying at the same time. One other effective weapon that keeps Muslims sober and gives them reason to re-examine their faith and what they have been taught is through books and publications. Books are very important spiritual tools that the Holy Spirit can and does use in bringing die -hard Muslims to the Glorious Light of our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not mean Christian books, tracts, and leaflets etc. They already know what such books are saying so they clearly ignore them. At times when they are overwhelmed by the aggressions of young Christian that pester them with tracts and leaflets especially in colleges and universities, public libraries and so on, they grudgingly accept those tracts, especially the good-mannered ones and go their ways only to trash such tracts. They don’t bother to read them and if they read such tracts at all, only few bother to read them. But publications like the series in this column and books written by former Muslims now brought out of satanic stronghold to the Marvelous Light of the Kingdom of the True Lord God by the Holy Spirit can work wonders. When a practicing Muslim who is very deep in the Islamic faith receives this type of book, he/she will publicly condemn the author. You will hear such statements like: “Don’t take the author seriously, he/she doesn’t know anything about Islam,” or “Don’t take what the author has written as true, because he/she wasn’t a real practicing Muslim.” You will also hear statements like: “This is Christian propaganda,” and other condemnations. Those statements are mere face-saving devices but privately when such a Muslim is by him/herself, they take such controversial books and enter their study to read what exactly has been written about Islam. First, such a Muslim is curious to know the Islamic background of the author and how knowledgeable he/she is about the religion.
Second, they would look at the various references and quotations from the Quran used by the author whether they are incontrovertible or have been embellished. Although such a Muslim may not be satisfied at face value by the overwhelming facts and evidence, but serious doubts about all he/she has been taught and read about Islam would have begun and the Holy Spirit will go to work in the life of such a Muslim. As Jeremiah 30: 1-2 disclosed: “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.” Friend, Holy Spirit-anointed books can open the spiritual eyes of the most stubborn mind. Testimony is also another tool that Christians can use to break the wall of resistance in the heart of a Muslim. When testimonies are given in gatherings where Muslims are opportune to hear and if possible investigate and ascertain its authenticity, the Holy Spirit can also use this method to draw them to the Path of Life. Closely allied to Testimony is the power of Miracles, Christians are miracles-personified. Our Lord Jesus Christ performed many miracles to assert His Personality and Divinity as the controller of ALL things. He opened the eyes of the blind (Luke 18:42-43) to demonstrate His power over diseases, raised the dead (John II: I-57) to show to His disciples and those of us who believe in Him that even though we die, He will resurrect us on the Last day. He calmed a raging squall to let us know He created it; He fed thousands with just morsel of food and two fishes to make us know He controls nature etc. When miracles that cannot be disputed occur, unbelievers in most cases put their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. According to John 2:23: “ Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.” What can you point to in your life that is so miraculous that unbelievers can see and marvel that surely this is a miracle? Things that defy ordinary human understanding, occurrences that happen beyond the physical and natural law are called miracles, Many unbelievers have come to crusade before with steel hearts only to be sobered and eventually give their lives to our Savior when they see miracles that take place which are beyond human comprehension. The power of Love to unbelievers, especially Muslims to remove the impression that Christian missionaries and evangelists are in Islamic nations for only one motive: to bring the Good News of our Lord and Savior. Many Muslims in predominantly Islamic nations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa suspect Christian missionaries and evangelists and refer to them as CIA agents and spies for the United State government as soon as they know you are an American. Show love to the unbelievers even at the point they are still undecided whether to accept Christ or not. Some can be rude like me –Moshood-when I was in the university as a Muslim way back in Africa. As a Christian missionary and evangelist, do not give up, press on supported with prayer and fasting. Muslims do not enjoy the real love demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ and practiced by Christians. The Agape Love of the Holy Bible is uniquely Christian; no religion invented by man can practice it even though they present it to their followers. God is Love and in our evangelizing mission to Muslims, this unique attribute should be evident to all and sundry. We do not hate sinners but loathe their sins. As Jude 23-24 admonished: “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear - hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” The need for fellowship is also important when Muslims embrace the Good News. As infants or baby Christians, these converted souls need to be monitored and supported by older matured Christians. We should remember that newly-converted Muslims will face persecution, rejection and threats from their former Muslims, especially among family members, relatives and neighbors. For example, in Turkey, there is an institutionalized discrimination against Muslims that convert into Christianity in public employment and other economic oppression they face, even though there is no law in Turkey that outlaws or bans missionary activities in the country. During the period of conversion, newly-converted Muslims need our company, understanding and fellowship so they won’t relapse to their old ways of life like drug addicts. We should shower them genuine love and assign mature Christians to visit them constantly. Many lose all their means of livelihood and material possessions as soon as news are abroad that they have converted. Young Muslims who converted into Christianity are ostracized and at times thrown out of the house into the streets by their parents. It is indeed a rough road to eternal life for these our brothers and sisters. We should remember them in our prayers and for many of us who are materially comfortable and well-off especially in the West, we should assist these precious brethren. We do not know the gestation period a converted Muslim needs to grow in the Christian faith before he or she can be left to stand on his or her own, but as long as they remain in the Christian faith, it is our duty to minister, protect and shield them.
Lastly, Christian missionaries should imbibe the fruit of the Holy Spirit of patience. At times wet get frustrated with unbelievers who are so rebellious, stubborn, and hard-hearted and we want to call it quits. We must realize that we are at war, spiritual warfare of course and our weapons are spiritual rather than carnal. There is the need to press on, remain patient and allow the Holy Spirit to work out everything in accordance with God's will for His Glory to Show,
OH! COME LORD JESUS OUR SAVIOR, AMEN