Presenting the Gospel to a Muslim

The following answer is from a veteran missionary to Muslims:

Q:   How do I explain to a Muslim how to be saved?

A:   I try to avoid debate and argument.  Prayer is the only thing that will open his heart.  I first make friends with him.  I ask him about his family, country and I ask him to explains his religion to me.  I then reply, “As you explained your religion, I notice that there are four things in common between your religion and mine.”

          1.   We both believe in one God who is the creator of heaven and earth.
          2.   We both believe in an after life.  We have a soul that when we die goes to heaven or hell.
          3.   Both our religions have an ethical system.  Some things are right to do and some things are wrong to do.
          4.   Our religions basically teach that if we obey all the laws of God we will go to heaven and if we do not we will go to hell.

My Muslim friend will always agree with me up to this point.  Then I will say, “I have a confession to make that I have not lived up to laws that God has given me and so I am not worthy of going to heaven.”   I will then ask him if this is the case with him.  Almost always if he is being honest with me he will say yes, or he does not know.  I will then say this is the fifth thing you and I have in common that both of us have fallen in the well of sin together.  We therefore need someone outside of that well who has never sinned to pull us out.  This was the reason prophet Jesus came.  This was his mission.

I then go on to explain the good news of the gospel.  My goal is that he should hear the gospel clearly in terms he can understand.  I therefore at this point will not answer any question which he brings up that my redirect me from explaining the gospel and which will take me down just another rabbit trail.  If he asks a question I will thank him for it and will write it down so we will not forget it but I will not answer it at that time.  After explaining the way of salvation I will then ask if I have explained it clearly to him.  I will mention I realize you may still have a lot of questions.  We may talk about these later.  All I want to know now is if I have explained clearly the way your prophet told us was God’s way to heaven.  If he says there are still some things that are not clear I will answer those questions but only as they relate directly to the way of salvation.  If he      says the explanation is clear I will then ask him if he would now like to receive God’s gift of eternal life.

Further discussion I try to keep centered on the one point of how are we going to get out of this well of sin and to heaven.  I try to not let the discussion stray from this point.