I hope you will agree with me that nothing happens by chance in this world. I think that is also true at nothing takes God by surprise. I believe that God is in active control of this world in the same way that God guided the men who responded to Him by faith in the Old Testament.
It is no accident that the largest group of Japanese out side of Japan is in South America. It is not an accident of history that North America is gaining a huge influx of Latinos. Islam is moving westward and this fact is also an opportunity for the Church and thinking Christians.
Jesus Christ died on a cross because of His perceived blasphemy and treason. These men who did this deed were actually fulfilling the will of God. It was actually "according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2.23), who purposed that this event should become the means of salvation for all who believe in him.
Another example is from the Old Testament. Consider the fact that Joseph's brothers sold him into Egypt with evil in their hearts. What they meant for evil, God meant for good. This band of brothers wanted and felt they needed to bring his life to and end. In the end they accomplished exactly the opposite. Their action actually brought salvation to many. God encounters man and works in history. It has been rightly said that this is an example of Salvation History.
There is a migration westward of Muslims. This migration has been going on for the last 50 years. Could this be another chapter in Salvation History? If God is in control, these must be a rempdentive reason behind this influx, especially at this time in our history. But is about to change. For ages these two worlds have lived in almost complete isolation from one another, divided purely by an expanse of water that is too small to be called an ocean. The Church is about the witness the power of God in History, again!
The world of Islam has been brought to the doorstep of the Christian world. For the first time Muslims in considerable numbers have become neighbors, friends, co-workers and fellow- citizens with their national Western Christian counterparts. God is going to use this history to His advantage. Or did God all along cause this migration?
The Christian Church today has a far greater opportunity to evangelize westernized Muslims. After living in a Muslim contry I found this one fact to be true and common. Muslims recognize true love being put into practice in the every day lives of people. Nothing gains the love and respect of anyone when true love is put into practice in interpersonal relationships.
People are not stupid. People recognize selfless love from the heart. Christians must act out of selfless love toward these people, everyone for that matter, if they are truly doing the will of God. We must act towards them charitably, unselfishly, and with a caring spirit. Look what God did in history.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion, to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61.1-3.
In the beginning Jesus used these words to outline His purpose. Jesus came, filled of the Spirit, to act in their history by performing the mercies He had just read. His purpose was to preach, teach, liberate those who were in bondage, heal the sick, comfort the downcast, uplift the depressed, and give to all the hope of the coming day of redemption.
"He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10.38).
These Muslims are coming to us, living among us. Our first objective must be:
"to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge" (Ephesians 3.19).
We must share Gods’ love in the same way it was shared with us. This will result in their salvation. We must share Gods’ love in the same way it was shared with us. This will result in their salvation. This is a hard lesson. As an aside, let me share something with you. I work retail electronics and have good interactions with customers. One day a customer came in and told me he was in mission work. He needed certain equipment to use in his mission work. I related to him I too was a Christian and I was happy to help him. I worked harder than I ever had for anyone to get him the proper equipment. At he last, I found out that this man was not in a Christian organization, rather a cult. I felt bad that I helped him. My pastor told me that I had shown him love and shown him how Christians work. This would affect him very much and it was no accident that he was brought to me.
Charles Marsh was a missionary among Muslims in Algeria for many decades and his whole life was devoted to caring for the sick, helping the poor, lifting up the oppressed, and declaring God's grace in Jesus Christ. He speaks from rich personal experience when he says:
The next most important point to keep in mind is that the Muslim responds to love. He must feel that we really care for him as a man, that we love him and have a genuine concern for him, and not only for his soul. In nearly every case of conversion of a Muslim, he has first been influenced by genuine love. (Marsh, Share your Faith with a Muslim, p. 13).
Looking at Jesus and His example, notice that He proclaimed the kingdom of God and healed diseases. He had a two-part effect on men. He preached to them, (not at them) and showed them love in practical ways. Christian evangelism must include both.
Jesus gave us a summary of this ministry saying:
"Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offence at me". Matthew 11.4-6.
Here he was defining two basic characteristics of his ministry - the preaching of the Gospel and a practical ministry aimed at building up those who were needy and meeting them directly in their needs.
We must keep this in mind with dealing with any none Christian person, not only Muslims Another example of this is found here:
And Jesus went on from there and passed along the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain, and sat down there. And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the dumb, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the throng wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. Matthew 15. 29-31.
. On the Day of Judgment Jesus said that he would say certain things to those who were truly his disciples by which the genuineness of their devotion to him would be recognized. He stated that he would know his own by this test:
"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me". Matthew 25. 35-36.
This is the heart of Christian witness to all men need to experience the love of Christ and see His grace at work in our lives.