**Note: This outline leans heavily on the methodology found in Mike Shipman’s book **Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime — Win Muslims to Christ Now! My adaptations fit it into our Northwestern Ugandan culture, bringing in the concept of honor/shame (See helpful treatment on this topic: The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in Our Multicultural World by Werner Mischhke) which is prevalent in the Majority World societies like ours and which is also common in the Bible. I also interpose the need for “inner cleansing”. There is great importance placed in Islam for outer cleansing. J.D. Greear in his book Breaking the Islam Code: Understanding the Soul Questions of Every Muslim has also been a great help.
Thank you for your hospitality! Salaam Alekum!
Jacob William Lee Introduction: In September I will be 60 years old. I am married to Carol Ann for 34 years and have three grown children with two married. We have four beautiful grandchildren back in Texas USA. I grew up on an Iowa farm and worked as a builder in my 20’s. I went to University in my 30’s and received a Bachelor’s Degree. In my 40’s I received a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. I was a teacher and headmaster for many years as well a pastor in our local church in Texas.
When I was 20 years old I became a true follower of Jesus. Jesus took away my shame and debt of sin through His sacrificial blood. Jesus has delivered me from the power of evil and has given me abundant life. I was raised in a religious home. I used to try to be a good person, so I could please God. However, I was never quite good enough. One night, after having read our Holy Book, the Bible, to help me fall asleep, I had an experience of God’s forgiveness of my sins and I knew God wanted me to have a relationship with Him and live for His glory. Even at that time I had a feeling that God wanted me to tell others about Him who have never heard about His forgiveness. I was overwhelmed because I knew God is holy and I was not. It was a joyful experience to know that a Holy God would want me to be in a relationship with HIM.
(** See note above) God is in heaven and is holy, but we on earth are unholy. Through our religion, we try to please God with our good works, but it is never quite good enough. We climb, and then fall. Climb, then fall. It is frustrating, isn’t it?
Most religions are alike, aren’t they?
We are all trying to please God, to get our sins forgiven. We are all sinners aren’t we? Even good people sin. Sinning is easy, but paying off our sin debt to God is much more difficult, isn’t it? Our sin brings shame and inner uncleanness before a holy God, doesn’t it?
In your Muslim religion what are you doing: to pay off your sin debt? To remove your shame from sin and inner uncleanness? To please God?
1). Are your sins forgiven yet?
2). Is all your shame before God now gone? Is your inner man been made clean?
3). When will your sins be forgiven, your shame be gone, and your inner man be made clean?
4). On Judgment Day, do you know for certain that your sins will be forgiven or that you will be without shame of sin and your inner man completely clean?
What I believe is different. I know my sins are completely forgiven, my shame before God has been taken away and my inner man has been made perfectly clean. This is not because I am a good person, even though I do try to be good. My sins are forgiven because God Himself has paid for my sin. The outcome of this forgiveness is that my shame before a holy God is gone and I have been cleansed within from the filth of sin through Jesus’ sacrificial blood. Satan’s power over me has been broken in my life by Jesus. I have been set free through Jesus.
Part One: Jesus
Jesus, the Word of God, was in Heaven with God from the beginning. He was born into this world through the Virgin Mary. Both the Bible and the Qur’an teach this. Jesus never sinned, even though He was tempted in every way imaginable. Jesus overcame the desires of His flesh. He never married; never killed anyone; never gathered riches for Himself. Jesus once fasted 40 days and 40 nights while being tempted by the devil, yet He never sinned.
Jesus performed great miracles. He cast out demons; healed the sick and blind; Jesus even raised the dead.
It is interesting that, though Jesus was not yet old, He began prophesying about His death. To his followers He said, “I must die, but I will rise again.” Do you know why Jesus said, “I must die?”
Part Two: Why did Jesus have to die?
The answer is found in the Taurat (the first 5 books of the Bible). The Taurat tells us about the first persons God created, Adam and Eve. God put them in a perfect paradise, called the Garden of Eden. They were given great freedom to eat fruit from any tree in the garden except for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned them that if they ate of that fruit they would die.
A covering for sin
One day, Satan visited Eve in the form of a serpent and tempted her to eat the fruit that God had forbidden. She ate the fruit, and gave it to Adam, who also ate it. Immediately, they were afraid, so they hid from God. But because God knows everything, He found them and punished Adam and Eve for their disobedience.
As punishment for their disobedience, God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden paradise, and eventually they did die. God’s desire had been for them to live forever, but because of their sins, they lost paradise and died.
It is interesting that the Taurat says Adam and Eve committed just one sin and it resulted in their judgment and death. Adam and Eve seemed like good people, probably better than us. Perhaps they had already done hundreds of good works. They hadn’t killed anyone, committed adultery, or stolen anything. But they disobeyed just once and it resulted in death. Sometimes we think that if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds that our sins will be forgiven, but that is not what the Bible says.
Promised Savior and New Clothes
Yet God still loved Adam and Eve. So He made a way for their sins to be forgiven. After pronouncing His judgment on Adam and Eve, God also judged the serpent (Satan) who had deceived them. God promised that from the woman’s descendent a Savior would come who would crush Satan’s head, although Satan would also injure Him. Over the centuries that followed, many prophets of God foretold the coming of a Savior who would take away the sins of the world.
Then God did something very interesting. He changed Adam and Eve’s clothes. God replaced the clothes made of leaves that Adam and Eve had made with new clothes made from animal skins. Of course, to make these clothes, an animal had to die. The death of an innocent animal was the price that God paid to cover the sins of Adam and Eve. Because He loved Adam and Eve, God Himself offered the first sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins. The Bible teaches us that apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22.) Since that first sacrifice all of our forefathers have offered sacrifices to have their sins forgiven: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and others.
Part Three: “That is why Jesus had to die!”
And then Jesus came, born of a virgin, the descendent of a woman. Jesus lived a sinless life, and performed great miracles. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, a prophet named John looked to Jesus and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”
That is interesting, isn’t it? Jesus was called “the Lamb of God.” Why? Because a lamb is an animal used for sacrifice. Do you remember my question: “Do you know why Jesus said, “I must die”? That is why Jesus said, “I must die.”
Jesus came to be God’s sacrifice to pay for our sins, remove our shame from sin, and give us inner cleansing from the filth of sin. This is why He surrendered Himself to the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers to be crucified. He was God’s sacrifice for your sins and mine.
As He was dying, Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” meaning that our sin debt had now been paid for. Then Jesus bowed His head and died. But on the third day Jesus rose from the dead, just as He had promised. For the next 40 days, Jesus appeared to more than 500 of His followers and then was taken up into heaven. We know that one day Jesus will return to earth as Judge over all mankind.
“That is why I know my sins are forgiven.” The Bible tells us that if we surrender our life to Jesus as Lord and believe that He has paid for our sins through His sacrifice and that God has raised Him from the dead, our sins will be forgiven. And that is why I know my sins are forgiven.
It makes sense, doesn’t it, that we cannot pay off our own sins but that God made a way for our sins to be forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice”?
Do you believe that Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins and was raised from the dead?
The Bible says in Romans 10: 9-10 says “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
The way people usually surrender themselves to Jesus is through prayer. Prayer is speaking to God what is in your heart. Romans 10:9-10 is a good guide for a prayer of surrender.
May I pray for you and your personal needs?
Thank you and God bless you!
For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:
Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa
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The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it. May the Lord grant each of us His followers the wherewithal to be obedient disciples! Jacob W. Lee
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