THE NECESSITY OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO MUSLIMS: AN EXAMPLE FROM FRANCE
We live in a globalized world. The Internet has made it possible to communicate across international boundaries rapidly and inexpensively. Another new phenomenon is the growing migration of people from Africa and Asia to Europe. While some migrants assimilate, linguistically and culturally, Muslims in general, don’t. They live in enclaves around big cities attempting to live as if they were in Daru’l Islam.
I would like to acquaint my readers with the work of a French Roman Catholic organization that is involved in Proclaiming the Good News of the Messiah to Muslims. The following is the link to their website: Jésus Le Messie - Le forum (jesus-messie.org)
Here are excerpts that I have translated from the Introduction, using the English Standard Version for Bible verses.
“For a long time, to proclaim the Gospel to Muslims, missionaries had to cross the seas, as Saint Francis did, who went to Egypt and witnessed to its Sultan.
“Nowadays, Christians who want to share the Good News with Muslims, all they must do, is cross a street to meet Muslims. Several of them are thirsty for the truth about God.”
The Biblical Foundations for Missions to Muslims
“To be involved in Missions to Muslims is a measure of the health and seriousness of our faith. As Saint Paul wrote: ‘For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!’” I Corinthians 9:6
The Christian testimony (Al-Shahadah)
“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans: 10:9,10
The Holy Spirit works through the Proclamation of the Good News
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” I Corinthians 2: 1-4
The Core of the Message is Jesus and Jesus crucified
“Since in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Corinthians 1: 21-25
Pitfalls in Missions to Muslims
“Having laid down the foundation of Missions, Jesus Christ crucified, we are warned against pitfalls we face as we seek a point of contact with Muslims. Avoid false claims such as these:
- ‘We worship the same God.’
- 'God isn’t concerned about points of doctrine.’
- 'Islam, when properly interpreted, is opposed to violence.’
- 'Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have Abraham have as father.’”
The necessity of Apologetics and Polemics: Christian Missions defends Truth and condemns Error
“For the love of Christ controls us because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. That we might become the righteousness of God.” II Corinthians 5:14,19
“While our primary goal is evangelizing Muslims, we should be concerned about future Muslims who potentially are our children, all those who face the danger of being Islamized. What a tragedy for European parents to see their children convert to Islam! Our children need to be immunized against Islamization. Thus, we must not shy away from polemics, as some insist on simply proclaiming the faith, and not denouncing the error.”
“In Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, he denounced the errors that had crept into their churches in the strongest language: ‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one, we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.’” Galatians 1:6-10
“Muslims are afraid of going to Hell (Jahannam) and want to enter Heaven (Al-Jannah.) The only way to enter Heaven is to believe in Christ as Lord and Savior. This was made clear by the Lord Jesus Christ to Nicodemus, a Jewish theologian: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.’” John 3:16-18
It is very encouraging to learn about this French website of an organization in the Roman Catholic Church. It shows its concern for the large Muslim presence (5 million) in France. The are several oral testimonies of converts in French.