THE ONE-SENTENCE GOSPEL PRESENTATION
By Renod Bejjani
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a Christian during the lifetime of Jesus or shortly after he died? We know two things about what it was like to be a Christian during the first 600 years after Jesus was resurrected:
- Christians were living out God’s command to be Jesus’s witnesses and ambassadors in active ways.
- Christians were severely persecuted and killed by the Roman Empire.
Despite this severe persecution, Christians shared so passionately and tirelessly that Christianity grew to become the dominant religion in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Europe.
Today, and throughout history, wherever Christians are actively sharing their faith with non-Christians, Christianity is growing. But today, in the United States, Canada, and Europe, Christians are not actively sharing their faith. In fact, according to https://bible.org/illustration/evangelism-statistics, less than 2% of Christians in Christianized nations share their faith.
As a result, Christianity is declining in these areas while Islam is growing. I have a unique perspective into this trend (click here to read more about my story) and I founded iHOPE Ministries as a way to address this decline by inspiring and empowering Christians to share their faith with their Muslim neighbors through five “Essentials.” Let’s take a look at the first of these five together.
The One-Sentence Gospel “Presentation”
The first “Essential” is for each Christian to share the Gospel of Jesus with a Muslim. While this is something every Christian can do (no advanced degrees or years of study required), many people wonder:
How can I share the Gospel with a Muslim, in love, in a way that resonates, without offending?
I used to wonder this too. Let me share a story to illustrate how simple it can be:
My friend, Liz stepped out of her comfort zone and volunteered as an English language conversation partner with international students in hopes of sharing her faith with Muslims. She used an online resource (https://www.cru.org/us/en/communities/locations.html) to get connected. And she quickly met many Muslims who spoke English well. As soon as she thought it appropriate, within a conversation with one student, Liz shared her faith by saying:
“I’m a follower of Jesus. That means I believe what God says in the Bible, Romans 10:9: 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.”
That’s it! After sharing that simple, one-sentence Gospel presentation, she followed it up with an invitation that went something like this:
“I’d love to know more about you. Let’s have tea! How about Tuesday afternoon?”
I think you’ll be surprised to learn the impact these few sentences had on the students Liz met. In just six months, Liz shared this simple, one-sentence Gospel sentence with 50 Muslim students. None were offended and almost all accepted her invitation for tea.
Liz is now in Gospel-centered relationships with 32 students and three have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As I’m writing this blog, one student has already been baptized, and two are planning to be baptized in the future.
By taking an obedient step of faith, Liz gave these students a life-changing opportunity to know God’s grace and salvation through Jesus Christ—and they’re now sharing with their friends too.
Why Does This Work Well?
I’ve shared this simple one-sentence Gospel presentation with Muslims worldwide, including places where it’s illegal to share Jesus for the purpose of converting a Muslim. I’ve even shared the Gospel in this way with suspected Islamic extremists. It’s been my experience that Muslims haven’t been offended because they’ve respected me as a person of faith and conviction, even if they’ve disagreed with me.
Take Small Steps
- Memorize Romans 10:9 with a Bible translation that works well for you (we recommend the New Living Translation). Be ready to share it.
- Read more practical ideas like this in my book, Muslims: 5 Biblical Essentials.
- Listen to iHOPE’s Podcast series. Start HERE. You’ll also find the iHOPE Empowers podcast series in iTunes or iHeart Radio.)
- Watch iHOPE’s free 5-part online video series. Go HERE to enroll and get the corresponding Small Group Study Guide. You can also find it in RightNow Media.
Once you’ve taken these small steps, practice what you learn? You’ll have made huge strides toward sharing the light of God with the world. Stay committed to the relationships you’re developing and continue to revisit this website for more resources.
Note: When interacting with a Muslim, it’s only appropriate to do so with a member of the same gender (male with male, female with female). The exceptions are when you’re interacting with a family where both genders are present, or when your own family where both genders are present is interacting with a Muslim of either gender.