Excerpted from “Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live” by David Platt (Tyndale, © 2013)
A Simple Strategy
Journey with me to a country where conversion to Christianity is outlawed. It is illegal to share the gospel with a Muslim in this Middle Eastern nation, and it is illegal for a Muslim to become a Christian. Because of this, you might expect the gospel to be silenced, but thankfully that’s not the case.
A small group of Christians are making disciples and multiplying churches in this country. These brothers and sisters are not flashy; on the contrary, they’re pretty plain. As they live in this country, they are simply running a successful business that employs Muslim men and women. Along the way, they are purposefully loving people and leading them to eternal life in Christ. Their strategy is simple: make disciples based on Matthew 28.
They start by sharing the gospel. Now, you may wonder, I thought it was illegal for them to share the gospel, so how can they do that?
Well, these brothers and sisters know that the Holy Spirit lives inside of them so that they might be witnesses, and nothing is going to stop them from speaking about their Savior. They can’t help it. The gospel of God’s grace is too good to keep to themselves, and they’re glad to risk their lives in order to share it with others. They don’t perceive this as some sort of radical devotion to Christ. They simply believe it’s normal for every follower of Christ to fish for men.
Yet they are wise in the ways they share the gospel. Their goal is to sew threads of the gospel into the fabric of every interaction with Muslims. In every conversation, in every business dealing, at every meal, and in every meeting, they look for opportunities to speak about who God is, how God loves, what God is doing in the world, and supremely what God has done for us in Christ. Of course, not every conversation involves a full-on, hour-long gospel explanation. They simply try to saturate all of their interactions with various strands of the gospel, like weaving various colored threads into a quilt. Their prayer is that in time, God will open the eyes of men and women around them to behold the tapestry of the gospel, and they will come to Christ.
As I watched this “gospel sewing” in action, I was amazed at how natural (or should I say supernatural “gospel sharing” could be. In casual interactions, whether at workplaces or in homes, I listened to brothers and sisters share stories about God’s Son and truths from God’s Word. I sat in a shop where Mark, one of the brothers in this country, was talking with a Muslim shop owner and sharing about how Jesus was working in his life and family that week. Another time, while we were waiting to eat dinner with a Muslim family in their home, I listened to Kim, one of the sisters in this country, simply share about the selfless love God has for us.
Late one night, I found myself with Robert, another brother in this country, talking with a group of men about the divinity of Christ. This is a major obstacle to coming to Christ for many Muslims, as they consider it a blasphemous and offensive doctrine altogether. I must admit that I was a bit nervous as we sat in that upstairs room at two o’clock in the morning, surrounded by Muslims I had just met, in a country where it’s illegal to share the gospel, and we discussed what could be the most contentious, provocative, and even insulting facet of the gospel.