Stay in Crete

Stay-in-CreteSTAY IN CRETE
by: Dr. Jack Hyles (1926–2001) 

Titus 1:4-5
“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.”

Titus 2:2-8
“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”

Paul is writing a letter to his young preacher boy, Titus. He was on an island called Crete, and he was discouraged. There are many preachers who understand a little about Titus. All of us have been there. Titus got discouraged. The offering was down. The Sunday school wasn’t going very well. The deacons were giving a little trouble. The people were complaining. The ladies were gossiping. The prayer meeting crowd was off. Folks were calling Titus a nut and a fool. It was a difficult situation. Titus had a desire to leave. These conditions caused Titus to write a letter to Paul and say, “Now, Brother Paul, I would like for you to find me another place.”

I have some preacher boys, and I get many letters from them saying, “I believe my ministry has ended here. I think God is through with me here. I have been here two months now, and I think I have about finished my work. I have preached up all my sermons. Would you recommend me somewhere else?” Usually such letters are written on Monday morning or late Sunday night!

I think Titus was like that. He was writing Paul and saying, “Dear Brother Paul: I appreciate your recommending me down here at Crete. This was a good situation. The salary was good, but I am having it a little rough now, and if you don’t mind, I wish you would recommend me somewhere else.”

So Paul is writing back to Titus to explain that he cannot recommend him somewhere else, that he ought to stay in Crete in spite of the fact that Crete is a difficult place, a hard place in which to stay. Paul is writing to tell him that he ought to stay there and fight the battle for God.

I was in the paratroopers in World War II. The very thought of ever getting up in a plane and jumping scares the daylights out of me. When I get up in a plane at 34,000 feet and look down, I say, “Man alive! How did I ever jump out of one of these things!” But I did – well, I was pushed out nineteen times! Do you know why I could jump? Because there were seventeen other fellows on the plane about to jump too. And if they were in the same shape I was in, it wasn’t too bad.

So, it is good to go aside and find fellows who have it rough too. I am sure that many, many of you are in rough situations. You are having it difficult. You have cried many tears lately. The burdens have been heavy; the problems, many.

That is the way it was with Titus. He was in Crete. He wanted to come back. So, Paul wrote Titus a letter. “Titus, I left you in Crete for this cause, ‘that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city.’

Actually Paul is trying to explain why he wanted Titus left in Crete. I think the key phrase, the key sentence, in Titus is, “For this cause left I thee in Crete.” He goes on to explain what to do in Crete, what to preach to the old ladies and to the old men, and to the young ladies and young men. He explains why he should stay there.

Notice, Paul said, “Titus, you need Crete. Now I know the going gets rough.” We come to a meeting of preachers, and we laugh and play, but there are many heartaches and burdens; there are tears and broken hearts; there are nights of weeping and nights of loneliness. There are times when nobody understands. I mean there are going to be times (if there are not already times) when you are not right with God, but there are going to be other times when nobody understands.

Even your own best people won’t understand. They are for you, but they say to you, “Now, Preacher, we think you are fine, but why do you do like you do? We get out of one mess, then in another. Why do you do like you do?”

You go home and your wife says, “Honey, I don’t want to see folks against you. Can’t you preach the same thing and not be quite so tough?”

And your mother sometimes says, “Son, Mama loves you and she hates to see you unhappy. Mama hates to see you suffer. Son, isn’t there some way you could preach the same thing without making so many folks mad at you? I don’t want folks to get mad at you. You are not as mean as everybody says you are. Now, Son, couldn’t you just ease up a little bit?”

Your wife doesn’t understand; the kids can’t figure you out; the dog won’t wag his tail at you. There is nobody at all who approves, and you wonder if it is worth it. So you write Dr. Rice a letter and say, “Dr. Rice, I think my ministry here is over. Would you pray about recommending me somewhere else?” Dr. Rice writes back, “Now you behave yourself, and you stay in Crete.” Brother, you don’t think so, but you need to stay in Crete because it is the best thing for you.  You need it.

I have noticed that all great men have had times of brokenness. In Dr. Rice’s biography we read where he had some critical times when it seemed like his ministry was gone. There were times of discouragement.

Dr. George W. Truett had a time when his heart was broken. On a hunting trip he shot one of his best friends accidentally. It almost broke his heart, but that was the thing that mellowed him and made his ministry, brought God’s breath upon him. 

Charles Spurgeon left the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland. The group voted to censure him, and only seven folks voted for him. He had heartbreak. Not only that, but in Surrey Music Hall, packed with thousands, someone cried, “Fire!” and in the stampede seven folks were killed. That too broke Spurgeon’s heart. This matter of Crete, the difficult place, the hard place, the rough going, was one of the things God used to make Spurgeon what he was.

Charles G. Finney had his Crete. His pastor who ordained him was Dr. Gale. Later Dr. Gale said, “I am ashamed I laid my hands on Charles Finney, ashamed he is my son in the ministry.” It broke Finney’s heart. It was his Crete, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Jonathan Edwards was pastor of a thriving church. When he preached against dancing and unconverted church membership, the leaders in the church got together and voted him out. It broke his heart. It seemed as if his Crete was more than he could stand, yet it was one of the things that made Jonathan Edwards.

Now, dear friend, if John Rice and Charles Spurgeon and George Truett and Billy Sunday and Dwight Moody and Charles Finney and Jonathan Edwards needed their Cretes, I think Jack Hyles needs his. We ought to do as my mama used to say, “Son, quit your crying and open your mouth and take your Black Draught like a big boy.” Black Draught medicine, it was claimed, would cure everything – anything from falling hair to ingrown toenails to ptomaine poisoning to lumbago. It was all I ever took. It was the most awful-tasting stuff.

I would say, “Mama, I have a headache.”

“Okay, open your mouth, Son.”

“Mama, I don’t want to.”

“Stand up and take your medicine like a big boy.”

I sat there with my lips puckered and my eyes rolling with tears and opened my mouth. I learned to take my Black Draught like a big boy. Now we are going to have to do the same thing today.

Some of you preachers will go home and whine and complain and yelp and cry and moan and groan because the deacons are trying to chase you off. Now you just sit up and take your medicine like a big boy. Behave yourself. Stay in Crete. You need to stay there. It will do more for you than all the good times, all the happy times, all the big times. You will pray more, care more, cry more, grow more, get more and bless more in those times of sorrow, heartache, bereavement and seeming defeat than at any other time in your life. So if you are facing some tough times today, you stay in Crete.

Difficult times will make you if you will just stand up and fight. You need Crete. In my life the biggest things that ever happened to me, happened in times of sorrow.

One Saturday night, Mama and I waited for Daddy to come home, but he didn’t come. Finally about four o’clock in the morning we heard a noise down the street. Daddy hit a tree and ruined the car. He had a flat and didn’t even know it he was so drunk. Daddy came in, and Mama talked and cried. She tiptoed out in the backyard and got a bottle of whiskey out of the car; I saw her break it on a rock in the backyard so Daddy wouldn’t have any more.

I began to cry – a little kid of about ten or eleven, and I said, “Mama, why can’t Daddy go to Sunday school like other daddies?” My heart was crushed and broken. It seemed that Mama and I just didn’t know what in the world to do. But in a few hours God spoke to me about getting saved. Through that little experience I came to Christ.

One day when I was a teenager, Mother called me in the room and said, “Son, I have something to tell you.”

“What, Mother?”

“Daddy is leaving this morning.”

Daddy was sitting on the bed, and I said, “Daddy, you are not going to leave.”

“Yes, Son, it has got to be this way.”

It was Sunday. I went to church that night brokenhearted. In that time God spoke to my heart about being a preacher.

God uses those sorrowful times; God uses the tears; God uses the Crete experiences; God uses the difficult times to work on you and get you right.

I thought the world had ended when I buried my father. I thought the sun would never rise. I thought that life was over. I complained to God. Yet whatever little success God has given me in the ministry and whatever blessing in soul winning are because of what happened on the grave of my daddy.

Quit giving up. I get tired of preachers’ giving up every time they have it rough. I get sick of some old backslidden, skinflint of a deacon coming to the preacher and saying, “We are going to try to chase you off.” The preacher, too sweet for his own good, gets up and says, “Well, I guess I had better leave. I don’t want to cause any trouble.”

What do you mean – you don’t want to cause any trouble? You cause him all the trouble you can. You chase that fellow so far they won’t ever know who he was. But you say, “Well, I don’t want to cause any trouble. My wife is having heart trouble, the kids are getting complications, and I am getting a little ulcer myself. I just believe it would be better if I moved on so the church could have peace.”

Yes, they will have peace. When the next preacher comes, that fellow will run it just like he ran it while you were there, and he will kill somebody else’s wife and somebody else’s kids and ruin somebody else’s family and ruin somebody else’s health. Don’t you leave that fellow to ruin some other good man. You stay there and fight the battle and don’t leave until the battle is won. I mean, stay in your Crete and fight and do the job for God when it is hard; stay when it is tough; stay when it is rough; stay when they try to chase you off. You need Crete. You need those experiences. You need it tough.

I wonder sometimes what we think Christianity is. Let me picture it for you a minute. Go to the city of Ephesus in the first century to the big arena where the big athletic contests were held. See the great crowds and activity as fifty or sixty thousand or more people gather. See them as they get off their chariots and walk down toward the great stands of the great arena. See the men of the concession stands try to sell their refreshments. Great crowds are coming in.

See them as the mayor of the city and the city councilmen gather in the press box high above the stadium. Someone throws the javelin, and the great javelin contest gets under way.

There are a few races and a discus throw, but after a few preliminaries, you come to the main event. The crowd screams, “Bring on all the Christians! Bring on the Christians!”

Over in the corner is a little huddle of God’s people, redeemed by Calvary’s blood, saved by His marvelous grace, who love not their lives unto death. On the other end of the arena is a cage. In that cage there are several big, ravenous lions who have not had a bite of food for an entire week. The crowd begins to chant just like you would chant, “We want a touchdown!” or “Block that kick!” or “We want a home run!” But they are chanting, “Bring on the Christians! Bring on the Christians! Bring on the Christians!”

Among that little huddle of Christians is a tottering, gray-haired man, a dear grandmotherly saint, a young man, a young lady expecting a baby, a few little children – not very important looking people, not very well dressed, not very stately, not very influential, not very wealthy. They come into the arena, and as they look at the great crowd, they realize what is going to happen. Somebody pulls a rope, and the lions, who have been starved for seven days, are turned loose. The lions come toward the Christians and have their breakfast. In a little huddle the Christians begin to pray and sing something like:

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

’Tis grace hath bro’t me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

Those Christians in Ephesus in the first century bowed together in a little circle on their knees in prayer as the lions came and as people roared with delight and joy, “Kill the Christians! Kill the Christians!” Death came as the lions ripped their bodies to pieces and broke their bones into powder. Those few Christians died for Jesus Christ.

That is where Christianity started, dear friends – it was a religion of martyrs. Yet, we groan today. We think the preacher has to be chaplain of the local Masonic lodge; he has to be the blesser of the civic clubs, the trigger-puller every time there is a turtle race in town. He is somewhat of a cross between Grandmother, Santa Claus and Old Mother Hubbard. He is a holy water blesser. He walks down the street with his sweet little smile all week long and blesses the people, and folks say, “There goes the reverend, boys and girls. Grow up and be like him. He is a sweet, kindly man who never says anything negative. He never raises his voice or lets his temper go.”

Yes, but he lets the whole world go to Hell. He doesn’t tell anybody about sin. He lets the nightclubs run rampant. He lets the boys and girls go into adultery. He lets the skid rowers go on their mad plunge toward Hell. He lets homes continue to break up, and broken lives and broken hearts and broken futures and broken dreams go down the cesspool of his own indifference and cowardly preaching. “Let them go to Hell,” he says. “I am saved.”

Somewhere between the first century and now we have definitely lost the thing that made Christianity what it was, and the thing that Jesus intended it to be. God help us to realize we have not been called to a Sunday school picnic, but to fight a battle for God. You need to stay in Crete and fight the battle.

You are not going to see any Red Seas parted until the Pharaohs get after you. Everybody wants to see the Red Sea parted, but nobody wants the Pharaoh chasing him.

Everybody wants to see the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God, but nobody wants to get stoned as Stephen was.

Everybody wants to go to the third Heaven, but nobody wants to get chased out of Lystra as Paul did.

Everybody wants to see Leo the Lion get lockjaw, but nobody wants to bow and pray with the windows open and go with Daniel into the lions’ den.

Everybody wants to see Jesus standing in the fiery furnace, but nobody wants to refuse to bow down and worship the golden image and get put in the fiery furnace.

Everybody wants to see God’s blessing and power. Everybody wants to see revival. “Lord, send a Pentecost revival.” If God did send a Pentecost revival, you would be put in jail as were Peter and John; they would stone you as they did Stephen; they would laugh at you as they did Peter. They would mock you and persecute you and haunt you. I am saying that there’s not a single person who does not need a good old tough, scrapping battle such as Crete to make a man out of you. You need Crete!

Dr. Jack Hyles
First Baptist Church
Hammond, IN

The Hypocrisy of Gun Control

The-Hypocrisy-of-Gun-ControlTHE HYPOCRISY OF GUN CONTROL
by: Jason Williams 

The gun control issue is becoming more and more a controversial topic. As sides are drawn and verbal shots are fired back and forth, the nation suffers the consequences of the battle that is raging on Capitol Hill. On one side you have the liberal left who insists that guns are wicked, evil things that must be removed from society. They claim that our forefathers could not have possibly seen a rapid firing assault weapon and the destruction a psychotic killer could do with such a weapon (somehow they overlook the fact that inventors have been developing rapid firing weapons since the first time a weapon was put to use), but nonetheless they insist that they should be able to pick and choose who gets to keep what weapon and why.

Now many people think that this is an attack on guns, but I believe it is an attack on people. I believe the issue of gun control is not about guns but about control. You see, a gun is incapable of thinking, it’s simply a tool that does what it is told. The real issue is whether or not people are just tools who are no longer capable of making choices for themselves. The truth is that by saying we are not allowed to have certain guns, the liberals are in essence saying we are nothing but a machine who is incapable of choosing right or wrong, and therefore they must decide for us. They disagree with the Bible when it says that God created us in His image, and that He created us to be able to think and make choices for ourselves. Now liberals may claim that they believe that, but their stance of gun control says otherwise. The problem with gun control is that it flies in the face of everything that liberals believe. You see liberals hold two basic beliefs.

1. They believe that freedom of choice is the key to a happy society.

2. They believe that education is key to solving everything.

Lets look at the first belief, freedom of choice. Let’s start by seeing what Vice President Biden has to say about the matter.

“I believe all Americans are born with certain inalienable rights. As a child of God, I believe my rights are not derived from the constitution. My rights are not derived from any government. My rights are not denied by any majority. My rights are because I exist. They were given to me and each of my fellow citizens by our creator, and they represent the essence of human dignity.” ~ Joe Biden

In almost every other area liberals believe that people should be free to choose for themselves. Abortion? Freedom of choice. Sex? Freedom of choice. Gender? Freedom of choice? Marijuana? Freedom of choice. They say that these choices are okay because they don’t harm others, but nothing could be further from the truth. All of these key issues endanger others either mentally, emotionally, and even physically, yet no one seems to want to control any of them. How is it okay to control one but not the other? Think about it, your neighbor is free to choose whether or not they want to be a citizen of our country, they are free to choose whether or not they want to inhale something that potentially makes them a hazard to you and I, they are free to choose to raise their family in a unhealthy environment, they are free to choose not to work to support that family, but we are not free to choose which weapon is best to protect our family? Gun control is not about guns at all, it is all about people control.

Now how about education? What does our President say about the importance of education?

“In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity – it is a prerequisite.” ~ Barack Obama

So, according to our President education is a prerequisite. Our current regime pushes the importance of education in every area, and education is important, vital even, to the future of America. But, consider this. What if we approached the idea of guns like we approach sex in America? In America we continually force sex education earlier and earlier, we tax everyone to pay for that education and even fine those who refuse to do so. Now imagine if you tried that same approach with guns, imagine if you suggest that instead of banning assault rifles we taught first graders how to properly fire them. Imagine if you asked congress to tax everyone to pay for this education. You would be laughed out of the building. Why? I thought education solved everything? The truth is that the gun education does help the problem, but the liberals in the White House will not allow you to say that. They are too busy trying to tell you that you are nothing more than a machine who is incapable of choosing right or wrong and what you are allowed to have, to listen to an educated discussion on freedom of choice. To some that may sound like hope and change. To me that just sounds like hypocrisy.

Jason Williams
Assistant Pastor
High Street Baptist Church
Columbus, OH

You Shouldn’t Be An “Independent” Baptist

by: Rick Walter


Revelation 2:6, “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”

Revelation 2:15, “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”

I pastor an independent Baptist church. The sign in front of our building warns everyone before they come into the building.  I am a Baptist by doctrine.  I pastor an independent Baptist church because God hates anything that tries to control the church from the outside.

God hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The Nicolaitans were they who tried to conquer the laity of the church. They took control of the church rather than allowing the pastor to be the leader. God hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans. He is against anything that would try to conquer the church. God wants the church to be a self-governing body without any outside control. I am happy that I get to pastor an independent Baptist church, but I have a fear that some of us have taken that philosophy and transferred it to our personal lives. Biblically, I should attend an independent Baptist church, but personally I am not supposed to be an independent Baptist.

John 15:1-5, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches:  He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

The church is to be independent, but I am not supposed to be. I am to be dependent upon Christ. I fear that many of God’s children who attend independent Baptist churches have transferred that independence to their personal lives. They believe that they, like the church, are a self-governing body without any outside control. They believe that they are not accountable to anyone or anything. Just because God set the church up as an independent body does not mean our personal lives are to be that way. You are not a self-governing body and neither am I. John 15:5 says, “…without me ye can do nothing.”

 1. I am to be dependent upon Christ.

Too many people have forgotten that. We live our lives as though we are the church. As a pastor, I guard the church against anything that might try to control it from the outside. Many of God’s people do the very same thing in their lives. They guard their lives against anything or anyone who might try to influence them from the outside, including God.

They decide what is best. They decide what is right and wrong. They decide what God’s will is for their lives. They never ask God for His advice because they are independent Baptists. I go to an independent Baptist church, but I am not supposed to be an independent Baptist.

 2. Independence brings death.

The opposite is true of the church. Once a church becomes dependent upon the help of a denomination or other outside control it begins to die. Individually, a person begins to die when they become independent.

John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches…”

My very existence depends upon the vine. A branch cannot live on its own. The branch gets the nourishment it needs from the vine. The life is found in the vine, not in the branch. To make myself independent of the vine is to commit spiritual suicide. I go to an independent Baptist church, but my question is, are you an independent Baptist individually? Have you separated yourself from the One Who gives you life? Are you living outside of His control? Does He have any influence in your life? Do you do what you want to do or what He wants you to do?

 3. Death comes slowly.

Go out into the woods in the summer and cut a branch off a tree. The branch has now been severed. It has been liberated from the vine. It is now independent. The branch is still green. It still has leaves on it. It still looks like it is alive, but after just a few days the truth becomes evident. The branch is dead.

Death did not come instantly. It took some time, but death began when the branch became independent of the vine. This is the state of many good people. They have liberated themselves from the Vine, and now death is preying on them. They have liberated themselves from the vine. They are independent Baptists. They are now free to do what they want. They will soon realize that they have sealed their fate. It is just a matter of time and the green branch will be dead. The beautiful leaves will wither and die. The fruit will no longer be produced. The branch has died because it has become independent of the vine. Jesus said that He is the vine and that we are the branches. Some seem to think that they are the vine and that He is the branch. Such is not the case.

 4. Death is needless.

There is no need for the branch to die. As long as the vine is alive and transferring nutrients for the branch, the branch can live. The only reason for a branch to die is that it no longer receives the nutrition provided by the vine. As long as a child of God continues to receive the nutrients from the Lord, that person has no reason to spiritually die. The reason that they die is because they have become independent Baptists. They have severed themselves from the Life giver.

Are you dying from a lack of nutrition? Are you cold toward the ministry? Do the things of God pale in comparison to the things of the world? Have you drawn away from the vine? Have you dried up? Are you committing spiritual suicide? Are you not seeing any fruit? Are you seeing no results in soul winning? Have you lost your joy? The branch cannot produce fruit without the vine. We need independent Baptist churches that are full of dependent Baptists. We need the Vine. Without Him we can do nothing.

By the way, He needs us also. Have you ever seen a tree trunk produce fruit? No, the fruit is on the branches. We need Him because without Him we cannot live. He needs us because without the branches there can be no fruit. God has limited Himself to need us. He needs us to be dependent upon Him because He depends upon us to bear fruit. An apple tree without any branches will never produce an apple. A pile of branches on the ground will never produce any either. They need each other. I need Him, and He needs me. I am to be a dependent Baptist and so are you. Are you an independent Baptist? If so – you can change that!

Rick Walter
Victory Baptist Church
Winthrop, ME

Building a Bridge to Mecca

Buidling-a-Bridge-to-MeccaHOW TO WITNESS TO A MUSLIM
by: John Johnson

When I go soul winning and someone tells me they are a Muslim, usually I get stuck with what to say next. This article is not intended to lead Muslims to Christ. This article is to help soul winners smoothly get the Gospel to Muslims. I suggest using a plan of salvation that is familiar to you, but your lead into the Gospel will be slightly different.

As soon as the conversation reveals that they are Islamic, use a compliment, something like, “I wish all Muslims were like you” to remove fears they might have. Then ask, “Do you believe in Shariah (Islamic law) that states that thieves must have their hands cut off, apostates must be killed and men can beat disobedient wives?” Shariah has several brutal laws that will separate the moderate Muslim from their core beliefs. Other brutal laws in Shariah would include:

Rebellion against Muslim leader – Death
Adultery – Death
Fornication – 100 lashes
Drinking alcohol – 80 lashes

Your object is not to berate Islam, but you must cause the Muslim to admit he doesn’t follow the brutal laws. Because Shariah is based on Muhammad’s words and actions, to deny Shariah is to deny Muhammad. You have separated the Muslim from Muhammad without berating him.  Again, assure him that you wish all Muslims were like him.

Next, ask him, “Do you believe that Jihad is a struggle within yourself?” If he replies yes, tell him, “God’s Word (God’s Word is a term that is recognized by the Muslim, and therefore will speak to their heart) speaks of jihad and how I can have victory.  Would you let me show you what God’s Word says about jihad and how to win this struggle?” When he replies in the affirmative, you open your Bible to Romans 7:15, 19, 24 and show him Paul’s description of the “inner struggle.” Then go to Romans 8:1, and show him the solution to the struggle while emphasizing the “in Christ.”

The next question you would ask is, “Would you like me to show you how you can be ‘in Christ’ and win the ‘Jihad’ between your flesh and spirit?” Now go right into the plan of salvation that you regularly use.

At some point, you must emphasize the deity of Christ. When dealing with followers of false religions, I usually put the deity of Christ at Romans 5:8. When witnessing to a Muslim, begin this stage with, “I know you’ve been taught that I am a ‘polytheist’, but I want to assure you I am not.” A polytheist is a term used in Islam to describe those who believe in many gods (poly—many; Theo—God). It is vital to cause the prospect to grasp the truth of the Trinity. Without the acceptance of the Trinity, you have denied the deity of Christ, and this will not allow salvation (John 8:24). There are many illustrations of the Trinity: water, sunlight, egg, apple and others, but an effective illustration that can be used at this time is the human. When I explain the Trinity with a human illustration, I tell the prospect, “God showed us the trinity in every human being. Did you know that you were created in the image of God? (Genesis 1:26) Just like God is a 3-part being, you also are a 3-part being. First you have a body that communicates with nature. You taste, see, hear, feel and smell things. Second you have a mind that communicates with other men. You think of ideas and express them. Third, you have a spirit that communicates with God in prayer and Bible reading. Your body, mind and spirit are all 3 separate, yet are all 3 in 1. Do not proceed if they reject the deity of Christ (John 8:24). You can show them passages that teach this truth (1 John 5:7; John 1:1; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:16 with Genesis 1:1; John 20:27-28; Revelation 1:8; Isaiah 9:6 and many others, but they must accept the fact of the Trinity before you continue.

If they reject the deity of Christ, challenge them to study the passages above, along with the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, and 7), and let the Holy Spirit work with them. Those that acknowledge the fact that Jesus is God can be helped as you would any other prospect.

Another illustration that can be very useful in winning the Muslim is to remind them that according to Mohammed’s teaching, the most sure way for a Muslim to enter Paradise (Paradise is a term that is familiar to the Muslim, and is a Bible term, Luke 23:43) is to die in jihad (Sura 61:10-12). In other words, Allah wants his followers to die for him. Then show the prospect in Romans 5:8 how God has died for His followers so they could come to Paradise with Him.

When witnessing to Muslims, as with all unsaved people, you cannot humanly reach them. They must be reached by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32).  Seek His guidance before, during, and after your presentation, and realize that a “scratch” lovingly placed in the Muslim’s heart may later be used by another soul winner to bring a harvest (1 Corinthians 3:6).

John Johnson
River Lake Baptist Church
Waverly, TN