Last year around this time (from summer 2017 – Feb. 2018) I had a series of 13 lunch meetings with a Muslim friend of mine from work. We were meeting at Starbucks and he wasn’t actually eating, but just having coffee. These were great meetings and I’ve documented everyone of them – what we talked about. But in preparation for the 9th meeting, I really felt a conviction in my heart that I had to warn my friend about his predicament – about his eternal destiny. So, I wrote him the following short letter and gave it to him and he read it during our meeting. Here is the text of that letter:
During our talks we are talking about a lot of “secondary matters”, like whether certain verses in the Qur’an or the Bible reveal scientific truth. These are important matters, but secondary. What really is important is your eternal destination. What really is important is that one day when your heart stops beating and you are no longer breathing, you will stand before Almighty God and will have to give an account for your life and all your sins will be laid out before you and before God and you will have to answer for them by yourself because you rejected the only provision given by God to forgive your sins – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I say all of this because I care about you and your eternal destination – not because of arrogance or hate. The loving thing to do is to warn you about this reality. Listen to all these things Jesus spoke:
- There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day (John 12:48)
- I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6)
- If you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins. (John 8:24)
- He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. (Matt 12:30)
- Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law — a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matt 10:32-39)
- For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)
- If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:26)
- He who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me (Luke 10:16)
You need to consider this and know that on this day you were warned and you will be accountable to God for this knowledge. I consider you a friend and not an enemy. I care about you and pray and hope that God will open your eyes to see that sin is your disease, and that Jesus is the only cure you need. If Jesus does not pay for your sins, if you don’t acknowledge that He did and accept that, you’ll have to pay for your own sins forever being eternally punished in hell. And I don’t want that for you. Please consider this today I don’t want you to be lost forever!
He read it in front of me kind of whispering and in there I had inserted a number of verses where Jesus talks about himself being the only way and so forth. He said that he really appreciated that but that he is not convinced that you have to believe in Jesus in order to be forgiven. He said that that’s putting limits on God and that God is unlimited and his Mercy is unlimited. So why should there be limits on it? We had talked about this before. I said that that’s simply because God would be a liar if that was not true, because he said in his word that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. He restated the fact that he thinks that I’m misinterpreting that, and each of those verses that I listed in that document he said that he would see those through a different context. Through a Muslim context.
So when Jesus says if anyone rejects me and my words that will be condemned on the last day, what he would read that as if anyone rejects me (Jesus) as a prophet in my (Jesus’) words as a prophet then they would be condemned on the last day. He claimed that if I would look thing look at things with an open mind that I would see the truth of Islam. That he thinks that I have a closed mind. I don’t know if he used that word or not, but I would see Muhammad in the Bible if I would look – I would see that Jesus is not God that he’s just a prophet if I would look with an open mind.
I shared with him that also I think that he’s not looking at it objectively I pointed out that in our meetings he’s brought in Bible verses that were taken completely out of context and brought them forward to me to challenge or defeat the Christian faith. He kind of took offense at the statement “totally out of context”. But I pointed out, “have you ever read the Bible just to read it?” I mean those verses that you gave me that you said that you think that they prove that Jesus is not God or something like that did you just run into those while you were reading the Bible? Or were those things that you looked up as you were trying to find arguments against the Christian faith?
So I challenged him, convince me, please convince me! He said he has been trying to convince me. He did admit he’s not a scholar and he doesn’t know the answers to everything. He said that I have not been very convincing in talking to him about the Trinity & talking to him about Jesus being 100% God and 100% man. He mentioned that he had done some research on Nabeel Qureshi (who I’d referred to several times in the previous 8 discussions) and does not find his story convincing at all – he really emphasized that point.
Referring to his lack of having an open mind, I said you’ve got to admit you’re not coming with an open mind or an objective mind either, you haven’t read the Bible. I reminded him that I’d asked him to read or listen to Nabeel Qureshi’s story and he replied that he doesn’t have time to read books. I said told him that he should read all of what Nabeel has to say before he criticizes him. I also reminded my Muslim friend that I (as a Christian) am reading the Qur’an & I’m also reading the Hadith. So, I told him, if you would just read the Bible then you would know the context of some of these things that you’re pulling out of context (at one of our subsequent meetings he agreed to read the Bible, so I gave him an expensive leather bound NIV study Bible, instructing him to start reading in the book of John).
Also he mentioned that he now knows that there are 66 books of the Bible that there are 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament that there’s four gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John and this Christian and Muslim convert said that you can’t trust John because it was written by another author not by John. It was written in 100 AD and cannot be trusted. I asked him do you want me to give you evidence on the authorship of the Gospel of John? I can do that if that’s what you want. I can’t even remember what he answered on that point.
Our conversations were full of vigorous debate, but we were always VERY friendly and we still remain friends to this day, but I haven’t convinced him to abandon his faith, nor have I convinced him that Christianity is true.
I pray for my Muslim friend that his eyes would be opened and he would see the real Jesus and be saved!