Unreached but Reachable

"Now to him who is able to establish...the proclamation of Jesus Christ" Romans 16:25

Islamic people groups know a lot about biblical truth and Jesus the Prophet, but they have distanced themselves from accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. Without faith in Jesus, they are spiritually lost and will spend eternity in hell. Jesus himself made this clear in Mark 16:16: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Believers recognize the need to reach Muslims with the good news of the gospel, but the two questions that constantly arise are: "Are they reachable? Are they open to an adequate witness of the gospel?"

Islam continues to expand across Africa and become more radicalized. It appears that on every front, Islam is growing rapidly. Its followers are anti-Christian and usually very resistant to an overt presentation of the gospel. Can they be reached with an adequate, contextualized introduction to Jesus the Savior? The apostle Paul assures us that they can. He wrote: "Now to him (God) who is able to establish...the proclamation of Jesus Christ...so that all nations might believe and obey him" (Romans 16:25:26). Islamic people groups are unreached but reachable!

Total Dependency on God

Jesus’ disciples were constantly amazed by the miracles He performed: healing the sick, casting out demons, feeding vast crowds, and raising the dead. But His teaching concerning who could enter His kingdom was even more astounding.

The rich young ruler came to Jesus in Mark 10:17-27. Kneeling in honor and respect, he asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" He explained that he had kept the commandments since he was a boy.

Jesus instructed him to sell his material goods and give the money to the poor. Such a drastic action was too much for him and he sadly walked away. Jesus then said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

Jesus' disciples were amazed at His words. When Jesus responded, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," they were even more amazed. If one faithfully kept all of God's commandments and was blessed with financial prosperity, surely this would indicate the Lord's approval and acceptance.

But Jesus answered, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." A rich man can be saved and inherit eternal life. However, it is not by his works, nor does God's material blessing always indicate His approval. Our persuasion is inadequate, but God can bring him to a place of full surrender and lead him into the Kingdom.

Reaching Muslims

Can Muslims be saved and brought to faith in Christ? Our works of showing compassion, teaching and building relationships are not enough. Muslim theology—integration with culture, strong family bonds, submission to Imams and the Quran—makes their salvation seem almost impossible. And in our own strength and wisdom, it is. But with God all things are possible. We are totally dependent on Him in reaching Muslims with the gospel.

While working in Malawi I was privileged to contextualize the presentation of the gospel to a Muslim people group. I learned the language and built a place of worship that looked much like one of their village homes. The congregation took their shoes off at the door and sat on the floor, the women on one side and the men on the other. Music and prayer and preaching were in the local language. And yet, Muslims were not drawn to our services.

One Sunday morning following the service, I was standing outside the building visiting with a few of the members. A man approached me and without any greeting said, "If you can guarantee me that when I die I will not go to hell, I want to be a Christian."

"I cannot make that guarantee,” I responded, “but the Bible does."

I shared a few verses with him and asked if he would like to accept Jesus as his Savior. He said he did and knelt on the ground. I led him in a sinner's prayer, and Jesus transformed his life. He became a faithful follower of Christ.

Our best efforts will fail to penetrate the Muslim mind. Reaching them seems like an impossible task. But God is able, and as we partner with Him, unreached Muslims will be reached with the gospel.