Conversation with a Muslim

He is very sharp and a real piece of work. He is fairly knowledgable of Islam and has made a quick study of Christianity. After 4-5 weeks of attending nearly every one of our meetings he began saying, “Jesus is Lord.” I had a long and painful conversation with him one Sunday night. He would have “prayed a prayer” that night had I encouraged him to. He said, “I am willing to accept that Jesus is God’s Son and that for you, He is a Savior and God. I am willing to say that He is Lord.” But as we talked further, it became apparent that his thinking was more syncretistic than enlightened by the Word of God. As lights began to go off in his mind, he started asking questions of me:
“So, you say if I do not trust Jesus and become His follower, I will not go to paradise?”
“Yes.”
“You are saying, then, that Jesus is the only way to God?”
“Yes.”
“I know that, for you Jesus is God, but not for me because I am Muslim.”
“Jesus is the true God for every person, regardless of ethnicity, religious background or nationality.”
“But Christianity is for Americans. Islam is for Tajiks. Are you saying that I must become a Christian in order for God to take me into paradise?”
“Yes.”
“I think Christianity is a true relgion. I have respect for it. Do you think Islam is a true religion?”
“I have respect for many things in Islam–its belief that there is only one God and that He is great, for instance. But I do not believe that Islam will lead you to the true God.”
“So you think Islam is a false religion?”
“Yes.”
“Then what do you think of the Prophet Mohommed?”
“I do not believe that he is a true prophet.”
“You call him a false prophet?”
“Yes.”
“Your words are disastrous. They are war! All Muslims will hate you for this. I can never come back to your church. You have disrespected me today. The cup is broken. It cannot be repaired.”

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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