Islam is spreading all over the world. Last week, we talked about reasons it is spreading and this week, I want to talk how we can stop the spread of Islam. But this article is not about what you think. It is about radically thinking to stop the spread of Islam. You cannot stop Islam with legislation, war, arguments or fighting. The only way is through the love of Christ! The way to stop the advance of Islam is through world evangelism! We must take the gospel to the Muslim world and as they hear the gospel and Christ works in their hearts and lives, they will come to Christ and their lives will be changed. So what can we as Christians do to evangelize the Muslim world?
We must be willing to leave behind everything and take the gospel to their countries! It is our duties as Christians to take the gospel to the whole world. We have been commanded to take the good news all around the world. We must give our lives to take the gospel to the Muslim world!
We must live among them! That means we must raise support, go to the foreign field and live among them. We must learn their language and culture in order to preach the gospel to them. Many are coming here and living among us so we can learn from them here, but we must go and take the gospel to their countries and live among them!
We must reach out to them! We must not be afraid of them. We must realize they are people just like us and are in need of the gospel. We must take the good news to them and show them the love of Christ! If we are not willing to love them, show them the love of Christ and preach the gospel to them, how will we ever reach them?
We must be willing to give up all for God! We must be willing to give our lives and everything we have to Him. We are bought with a price and He paid for our salvation on the cross. We should be willing to give up our own lives and take the gospel to the Muslim world. Everything we have is from God and we owe everything to Him. Our “reasonable service” is to give our lives and serve Him with our lives! If we want to see the Muslim world reached with the gospel we must realize it is not our life, but Christ’s and take the gospel to them.
The only way to stop the spread of Islam is through the spread of the gospel! We must take the gospel to the Muslim world! Will you consider giving up your dreams and life and take the gospel to Muslims who are lost and on their way to hell? Will you help stop the spread of Islam by spreading the gospel all around the world?
Why Islam is Growing and Christianity is Shrinking
Christianity, in a broad sense, was once the largest religion in the world. Now it has been beaten out by Islam. Islam is now the largest religious group in the world. The reality is the true number of Christians is relatively small compared to other religions and definitely Islam. But why has Islam spread but Christianity has not spread? Today, I want to look at some ways Islam has spread and ways that if we as Christians took it seriously, we could see Christianity spread.
They are willing to leave behind everything to take Islam to a new area—Muslims leave behind their countries and move to new countries in order to help spread Islam. They go because they want Islam to spread and if no one goes then it will not spread. So they move and then more move into an area until it becomes predominantly Muslim.
They live among the people—Muslims live their lives among the people. They learn the culture, the language and adapt while holding on to their religious practices. This helps them to know how to communicate to people and share their religious beliefs.
They reach out to the outcasts and downtrodden— They look for hurting people and invite them into their religion. They target prisons and are allowed to go in and give Qurans to prisoners. They then reach out to these prisoners and help them when they are hurting. They also help to teach them how to live a better lifestyle in order to help them leave behind their past lives. They go to people who, sadly, we as Christians many times reject because of the way they look or color of their skin. They go into poor areas and give to them and help them out and then people flock to them and their religion because they have gone to help those that are in need.
They are willing to give up all for Allah— They want Islam to be spread all around the world. They are willing to give up the lives they lead and their homes and families for the “great good” of Allah. They believe no sacrifice is to small or big for Allah.
These are just a few of the reasons that Islam is growing and why Christianity is shrinking. We as Christians have missed so many opportunities to serve and spread the Gospel. We have become comfortable, Americanized Christians who just want the American dream, but God did not call us to the American dream. He called us to take the gospel all around the world. The truth is Christianity should be growing by leaps and bounds but it is not, and we can only blame ourselves for being selfish Christians. Next week, I want to look at how Christianity can grow and how we can reach into the Muslim world!
Recently I was reading a quote from secular author James Clear which said, “Some of the major drivers of human behavior…
Safety: Does it provide peace of mind or reduce risk?
Sex: Does it help them find love or make love?
Convenience: Does it save time or energy?
Social norms: Does it help them get along with others?
Status: Does it improve their standing or help them gain approval?
…which all fit into the larger category of self-interest: How does it serve the person?”
That quote got me to thinking that this perfectly illustrates why people don’t understand why us “crazy missionaries” would want to go to the mission field. It flies in the face of self-interest; therefore, it flies in the face of human behavior, and it’s drivers. I want to accomplish and spell out three things in this writing:
1.) Why these drivers won’t work for missions
2.) Why we as Christians are against self-interest
3.) What is the driver of world evangelism in the heart of a Christian
1. WHY THE MAJOR DRIVERS OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR WON’T WORK FOR MISSIONS
Missions isn’t a safe business! Especially as we as posh American millennial and Gen Zer’s see it, we’ve been condition to experience life from iPhones and Macs as opposed to outside in the wild so much of missions just sounds downright dangerous. People we don’t know may hurt our feelings. Learning a language may make us look stupid. New sickness and disease may hospitalize us, or even worse, bring us to mortality. And who knows, terrorists and criminals may even martyr us. I mean, it really could happen!
The problem is that safety as it is related to “feeling safe” is perceptive and based upon feeling that the people and environment around us won’t hurt us. The reality is that most mission fields are completely safe. Moving to another country in today’s society is no more dangerous than moving to another state. But once again, “feeling safe” is all in our head. And in our fear-laden society, safety has become a God. Let’s see how God views safety!
“He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” Ecclesiastes 11:4–6
If we sit around waiting for the sky to be perfect, we will never reap. If we wait around to see how safe other countries are, filled with lost souls barrelling into a godless eternity in a literal Hell, never giving glory to our Lord Jesus Christ, we will NEVER SEE THE WORLD EVANGELIZED!!!
Look at the words in Mark 8:34-35
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
Jesus commanded us to deny ourselves. This means to deny our safety, refuse to live in fear, and do what God has commanded us to do! We will not save our lives through safety. We will save our lives by losing it for Christ’s sake!
Safety cannot be a motivator for world evangelism, and it must not be a deterrent either. As believers, we must decide not to sit in safety but to run to the nations for Christ, no matter the danger, real or perceived.
Missions isn’t sexy! That’s a real tweetable quote right there, isn’t it? In his description of sex as a motivator, Clear describes it as, “Does it help you find love or make love?” I want to address both as not being a motivator for missions.
First, let’s look at finding love. The reality is being a missionary might cost an unmarried young person their girlfriend or boyfriend because going to the nations isn’t appealing to some. And by some, I mean all that are not sold out to Christ. Missions isn’t sexy! No girl panders to her friend over how attractive the young, single missionary student is who wants to travel the world for the cause of Christ! And no young man panders to his friends about the girl who is sold out to Jesus and wants to raise a family on the mission field UNLESS that young man or young woman is dedicated to Christ and His commission. Young missionary men find their wives in the churches with girls who are wholly dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ and his cause. Though missions may make your prospects for marriage limited, it may just limit you to God’s will for your life. Let’s look at what the Bible says on if world evangelism limits your dating pool:
“But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” 1 Corinthians 7:6–9
The Apostle Paul is saying here that his preference would be for the unmarried to stay unmarried. His purpose for this is given in 1 Corinthians 7:32,
“But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:”
Therefore, Paul would be fine with unmarried young men who could serve Jesus with all their vigor, saying they could remain unmarried and pure (which Paul gave as one of the primary reasons for marriage; to keep you for fornication and sin). Paul’s thinking on this shows that the Bible isn’t that concerned with the dating pool. Now, this isn’t to say that the Bible is anti-marriage or for singleness. A young person shouldn’t be obsessed with finding a mate but rather obsessed with following Christ. When they follow Christ wholeheartedly, they will find the mate of God’s choosing! Looking for love cannot be a motivator for missions and should not deter a young person from going to the nations for Christ.
Now let us look at “making love” as a motivator for going to the mission field. This one should be an easy one because it appeals to God’s view of marriage and sexuality for all believers, not just Christians.
“Drink waters out of thine own cistern, And running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, And rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, And not strangers’ with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: And rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; And be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, And embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And he pondereth all his goings.” Proverbs 5:15–21
God simply puts it that a man is to only enjoy making love with one woman, that one woman being his wife. Men are to run from sexual immorality, which includes any sexual act outsides of the bonds of this relationship. A man doesn’t go to the mission field looking to make love or find a lover. He goes to show the love of Christ to lost sinners! Making love cannot be a motivator for missions, nor should it be a deterrent. Some would say, “I’d serve Jesus, but I’d have to live a Holy and separated lifestyle, giving up sexual sins like sleeping around and pornography.” Oh, but Christ is worthy of us being Holy as He is Holy and living our lives away from sin and unto Him!
Missions isn’t easy; therefore, it is not convenient! Going to the mission field is not an exercise in the easiest way of life but rather an exercise in obedience to Christ! We will not retread covered ground in an attempt to brief on these subjects, but we cannot use convenience as a motivator for the same reason we cannot use safety. We are not to look for safe or easy but rather for obedience to Christ. Missions isn’t easy; it doesn’t save time or energy. As a matter of fact, it exerts much time and energy, but it is still worthy of doing. Though convenience isn’t a motivator for missions, it should not deter us either.
Missions is normal! Sadly enough, it should be at least amongst the church, but it’s not. Think about it like this. The world population is thought to be 7.8 billion people currently. Amongst that number, think about how few are truly born again believers. Past that, think of how few born again believers are sold out and willing to be in ministry period. Zero that down to how few in ministry are going to the foreign mission field. You will see that missionaries aren’t considered socially normal by any group of people, including the church. Missionaries are honestly thought to be weird people! People don’t get it! But this is what the Bible says about fitting in:
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:19
As Christians, we aren’t made to fit in, so when our life choice to go to the mission field isn’t normal, we should have learned to be okay with that by now. We must understand that social norm is not a motivator for missions, and it also can’t be a deterrent.
Missions won’t make you a big shot! Most missionaries are not known – most are not touted. Just like with social norms, missionaries don’t fit in enough to raise to status. For the reason that we have already tread this ground, we will not restate this point. We will just say that status is not a motivator for missions but should not be a deterrent for it either.
2. WHY WE AS CHRISTIANS ARE AGAINST SELF-INTEREST!
We as Christians can’t use this world’s motivators for missions because the heart of all these motivators is self-interest. So often, we try to pick what we do because of what is best for us, and that is not the Christian way. The Bible says for us to deny ourselves and to be willing to give our life for Christ. This call of denying ourselves is our call to kill self-interest in our hearts.
We need to quit pandering to our own wants and whims because we are believers! Our call is obedience and Christ. We cannot wait for the interest of self-motivators of self-interest to rib us into Christian service but look into the scripture and the heart of God and hear the call to follow Christ and obey Him to reach the lost masses.
3. WHAT IS THE DRIVER OF CHRISTIANS FOR WORLD EVANGELISM?
Here I don’t plan to give a great explanation but rather a list and the scriptures to prove it. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use these thoughts and text to motivate you to give your life for World Evangelism!
The reality of God and the desire for the world to know He is real. (“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1)
The glory of God and recruiting others to bring Him glory. (1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”)
The reality of Hell and love for sinners headed there. (Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”)
The command of Christ (Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”)
The desire to hear Christ named in all nations. (Revelation 7:9, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;”)
I hope that here at the end, you realize that the world’s motivators won’t motivate you to the mission field, so quit looking at them. Understand that self-denial as Christ commands pushes us away from self-interest and that the motivators for us are found in Scriptures and not in our self or society. I hope you look at those five verses and let the Holy Spirit answer this question, “SHOULD I GO?”
In today’s society, we are facing fearful times, downright weird times, and wild times. You would have to go back some time to see the things we are seeing today. Pandemic has spread across the world with Covid-19, Japanese hornets now nicknamed “murder hornets” in America, and the murder of a young African American man in Georgia that has roused the conversations of racism, gun rights, self-defense, and civil law. But where do we as Christians fall on these issues, and how much should we be focusing on the happenings of our day? With that, I would like to give you a few observations on why we, as Christians, need to quiet down our social media and conversation on these subjects and pipe up about more important ones!
We aren’t citizens here anymore.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” Philippians 3:20
I was recently asked about my family in North Carolina and the lockdown there because of the coronavirus. My response was honest and candid, “I don’t really know whats going on there. I have not lived there in almost ten years.” I can’t speak to what’s going on in NC because my citizenship isn’t there any longer. To the same token, I can’t speak really well to the issues of this world because I’m not a citizen here any longer. I’m not saying to stick your head under a rock and never watch the news again. I’m not saying you aren’t entitled to your opinion. However, I am saying that this earth doesn’t hold our citizenship, so given the rare occasion to pipe up, do it for issues that pertain to your home and not this world.
2. Because brothers and sisters in Christ amongst the local church may hold an opinion contrary to yours, it’s best to speak in areas of truth to agree rather than to cause division because of opinions
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Cor. 1:10
So go ahead, give your opinion based on race, culture, circumstance, opinion, and upbringing and remember that this opinion is your cultural outlook, not the outlook of Heaven. Now when it is given, you may blame it on God taking scripture and spiritual values out of context and read them into your cultural view, but honestly, the events of this world are clearly that – the events of this world! They are the concern and burden of the lost. They disturb us, they sadden us, but really our opinions on them should not enrage us to the point that we feel the need to give the opinion that might cause division in the body of Christ. Honestly, we are to be speaking, thinking, and dwelling on issues that we as the church can be in harmony about. Issues such as the word of God, the worship of the Saviour, and the evangelization of the lost, but we would rather start cultural, opinionated arguments about issues that we hold opinions on as opposed to Bible truth. Maybe the worst is when we cause division and try to pull God on our side, blaming Him our opinion spewing by saying, “I felt lead to say…” when truly we can only say we are 100% lead when we can give a verse! The bottom line is this: don’t speak opinions that divide the church. Speak the truth that unites the church because this is our culture and upbringing. Remember, when we got saved, we shed the old culture and mindset and put on a new one, which is Christ. This is not to say that culture is bad and to be completely neglected but rather that it is not to be argued over or made an issue in the church. Honestly, the culture of Heaven allows us more liberty with culture than restriction. Why make an issue in an area of liberty?
3. Our chief concern is the evangelization of the lost, and this takes such a priority it gives no time and place for this world’s issues.
“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Cor. 4:5
Our message is Jesus. Our chief priority is the preaching of that message. With that in mind, we should be so passionate about world evangelism that we have no time and passion for the issues of our day. Now, I know that the issues of our day remind us to have compassion for the lost, for instance, when I hear of Covid-19 I think the sad reality of how many people died with this virus that went to Hell. When I hear of Ahmead Aubrey dying, I ask myself, “Was he saved?” and if not, then, “Why did no one get him the Gospel before it was too late?” But if I get stuck on how lockdowns should be handled or playing amateur detective about this murder, am I focusing my heart and mind on getting the Gospel to the world? The issues of today should only stem as a way for us to be reminded of our priority, not a distraction from it in the land of opinions. Have your opinion. That is ok, but be too busy about Heaven’s business to argue and speak it! Have your thoughts but have your mind so full of Christ and His word that it overflows instead of opinions of the day. Let the injustices and saddening reality of todays event drive us to action in Christ! Let it drive us to love and not argue. Arguing isn’t productive but loving action with the power of Christ and the use of the Word of God can shake this sin cursed world.
The bottom line is that we have bigger problems than the fleeting headlines of today! We have billions barreling into godless existence and torment in Hell, and we are to stand in the highway waving a lantern that is the Gospel light, telling sinners to turn back before it is eternally too late. Let us live, breathe, sleep, and bleed this message that is Christ! Let us be so busy doing our part in getting the Gospel to all the world that the issues of this world seem small in light of eternity. Let us live for Heaven! Let us put aside the opinion that divides and pick up the Gospel that unites to and in Christ! Let’s get on fire for reaching people and not for stocking the embers of selfish pride and opinion. Let us decide that the events of today are hurting real people and instead of arguing lets love those hurting people with the Gospel.
There is a great need in the Muslim world. Many people think that it is a need for reform. It is a need for new policies and procedures. They think new governments will fix the problem. But honestly, none of that will work to fix the problems. The need in the Muslim world is the need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They spend their whole lives serving and working and trying to earn honor and favor with Allah. They are doing what they have been taught and their parents and relatives have been taught for centuries. They do not know any thing else, just that trying to do the five pillars of Islam will help get them to paradise. But all this is in vain. It will never get them to paradise, rather it is leading them towards hell. They go faster and faster to hell because there are so few willing to go and take the Gospel to the Muslim world.
Why not give your life to take the Gospel to the Muslim world? Why not go and preach the Gospel to men and women who have been blinded their whole life by Islam! There are two needs in the Muslim world. Number one, there is the need of the Gospel to be preached. They need to see Christ and in so doing, their lives and lifestyles will change! God wants the Muslim world to come to Him. But this brings us to the second need. This is the need of people to go! The Muslim world will never hear the Gospel if no one ever goes! Why not give your life to take the Gospel to the Muslim world and to many people who have never heard of the love of Christ and the love of God! Will you consider the great need in the Muslim world and actually do something about it? Will you give your life to go to those who have never heard?
The simple answer would be anyone and everyone that can! As Christians, we have been tasked with getting the Gospel to the whole world, yet many Muslim nations sit void of church planters and Gospel preachers. This should not be so. They need the Gospel of Jesus Christ just as much as the rest of the world! But today, I want to look at the specifics of what it takes for someone to take the gospel to a Muslim country.
They must be completely sold out to Christ— They must realize that the life they lead is not their own. That Christ paid for it on the cross and it is His. If they are completely sold out to Christ they will follow Him anywhere and everywhere He leads them! If one is not completely sold out to Christ, they will have a hard time taking the Gospel to the Muslim world.
They must realize the great need— There is such a need in the Muslim world for the Gospel to be preached. They must realize that Christ died for every single person in the world and He wants them to come to Him! This should motivate them to take the Gospel to the billions of Muslims who have never heard! There is a great need to take the Gospel to the Muslim world.
They must realize the road ahead will not be easy— Working in the Muslim world will not be easy. There will be challenges and difficulties. There will be risk involved. But if you remember that Christ is going with you everywhere you go, he will help you as you face adversity and help you to overcome these difficulties.
They be willing to give their life— Although a small possibility, there is a chance that someone going to the Muslim world would be called upon to give their life for the cause of Christ. There is no greater joy or thought than to serve your God with all your life and lay your life down for the sake of the Gospel. But if you realize that you are not alive anyway, rather, Christ lives in you, being willing to give up your life becomes even easier.
They need to be willing to step out in faith and see God “show Himself strong” in their lives— It is a big step of faith wanting to step out and take the Gospel to the Muslim world, but remember with any step of faith comes the truth that if God is asking you to take the step of faith, He will go with you and will show Himself strong in your life! We must be willing to take that step of faith and then see what great things God can do with your life!
They must know that they go because of the love of Christ— It is the love of Christ that constrains us to go. If there is any other reason you want to take the Gospel to the Muslim world then you will stop short and come back quickly. But if the love of Christ has a hold of you then serving Him and taking the Gospel to the Muslim world is a worthy endeavor.
They must be prepared—They are about to go into the enemy’s territory. Satan long has held the Muslim world in his grasp, but we can claim victory through Christ! One must be prepared for the spiritual warfare he will face. He must be prepared to learn the language and the culture. He must be prepared or else he will end up leaving before any work has begun. He must be prepared and be properly trained. I highly recommend the Our Generation Training Center for that training. They will equip and help you prepare to take the Gospel to the Muslim world!
There is such a need for people to go take the Gospel to the Muslim world. But one must count the cost before he rushes into anything. But remember no matter the cost Christ paid the ultimate price that we might have salvation. Why don’t we give our lives to take the Gospel to the billions who have never heard. Why not consider taking the Gospel to the Muslim world?