Love—This is the message of the gospel. The reason why God sent his one and only son and the reason why Jesus was crucified on the cross is love. Let’s hear from Nabeel Qureshi, an ex-Muslim who experienced the love of Jesus, as he reminds us that the same love that we have experienced in this relationship that we have with God is the same love that we should communicate with those who haven’t experienced it.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”—John 3:16
This verse is so familiar but I hope that we will not be over familiar with it. “For God so LOVED the world…” Can you imagine? The holy and just God, who could tolerate sin, LOVES this sinful world so much. Love is the very reason that compelled God to give his one and only Son, Jesus, to die and pay the penalty of the sins that we have done. Now, can you imagine the glory that Jesus has to leave in heaven just to die for this fallen world, for us not to perish and have eternal life? That is LOVE! That is the message of the gospel! That is the love that we have experienced and that should be the same love that we should communicate.
Living in an Asian country, idolatry is not new to me. Everywhere you go, you’ll see life-sized carve images of saints made of stone or woods. However, you can’t just go to the streets and say to these people, “You IDOLATERS! The Bible says that, “He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the LORD alone, shall be utterly destroyed.” So repent while you can!” Of course, you cannot do that!
Just last year I, together with a team of volunteers, went to Thailand on a missions trip. Thailand is known as a Buddhist nation and the city where we went is a Muslim community. Can you imagine preaching the gospel in a Muslim community located in a Buddhist nation? That was really challenging, not to mention the challenge brought about by the language differences. Weeks before our trip I was actually thinking of ways to share the gospel to the locals. I was thinking of possible strategies for these locals to accept Jesus in their lives. However, before we went there for the trip, God just reminded me of this: LOVE. God reminded me that the reason why we are going there is because of LOVE. The reason why we are sent there is because of LOVE. Two things about this love. First, God loves us so much that He is sending us to be an instrument to show love to these people. Second, God loves these people so much that He wanted these people to experience His love. The thing about love is that it actually requires trust. And because He loves us so much he entrusted us a mission as big as making an impact in the lives of people. So that’s what we did. We let those people that we have encountered there to experience the love of Jesus through us.
The thing is, you cannot win people over argument! This is the lesson that I learned while sharing the gospel. People will just prove their point as you prove yours and instead of winning them over to Christ, you realized that those people eventually became allergic to Christianity or to church. Why? Because they haven’t experienced from you the message of love that you are trying to prove!
Those people who haven’t known Jesus haven’t experienced the love that we have experienced. Will you be willing to be a vessel of that love to those people?