Notes On Reaching Muslims
By David K. Bernard
Over the years, l have used the following approach with Muslims, with some success.
1. We appeal to what is the best and most important in the Muslim tradition, namely: (a) There is one God. (b) Our duty is to submit to the one God. (c) Submission to God includes practical lifestyle commitments such as modesty of dress, abstention from alcohol, and so on. As Oneness Pentecostals, we teach similar principles. We do not ask Muslims to renounce the best in their tradition but to build upon it.
2. One key difference is that we believe all have sinned and need a Savior, and God was manifested in the flesh as Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Muslims teach that to be saved our good actions must outweigh our bad actions. However, because of human sinfulness, this means there is no assurance of salvation. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can receive assurance of salvation, forgiveness of sins, and power to live a holy life. God loves us so much that He has provided a sure means of salvation through Jesus Christ. In Jesus we see not only the holiness of God but also the love of God. We need to recognize that the one true God has come into our world to save us. Even the Quran provides indications and hints of the true identity of Jesus that we can build upon.
3. The second key difference is that we believe God personally intervenes in our lives today by His Spirit. Ultimately, we cannot live a holy life and be saved by our own efforts, but we must be filled by the Holy Spirit and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. God loves us so much that not only does He provide salvation through Jesus Christ but He also comes to dwell in our lives today. Through prayer and attending an Apostolic church, Muslims can encounter the Holy Spirit personally, and this experience will convince them that there is something more to God than what they know.
In our church in Austin, I personally baptized Muslims from Iran, Albania, and Pakistan and saw them receive the Holy Ghost.