EVANGELISM: Sermon Crumbs – 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Sermon Crumbs – 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Posted on October 31, 2014  in Blog, Evangelism, Islam, Sermon Crumbs
Unfortunately there wasn’t time to share this great story from Thabiti Anyabwile, which he recounts in his book The Gospel for Muslisms.  Here’s just another demonstration of human weakness and God’s power.  Yes we may be afraid and tremble much.  Inside we may want to crawl into a corner and hide.  But to the outside observer, witnessing God’s power, there’s quite a difference.  Here’s what he writes:
Fear motivates or hinders a lot of behavior.  We speak of being in the “grip” of fear.  That’s a wonderful metaphor because fear does tend to clasp us with strong hands and hold us in its sway.  Fear grapples with us like an Olympic wrestler, securing us in a firm hold and pinning us to the mat.
I’ve felt the strong grip of fear.  I once was invited to participate in a public dialogue with a Muslim apologist on the subject “Who is Jesus Christ and how are we saved?”  It was a subject chosen by the Muslim students sponsoring the discussion.  So you might expect that I would have few apprehensions.  However, the night before the public dialogue, I sat on the side of my bed overcome with fear.  It had lurked around my heart for months, literally from the moment I received the invitatino to come participate in the public dialogue.  I don’t know why I was so afraid.  This would be my third such visit, and the previous two had gone really well.  But I was panic stricken.
In preparation for the discussion, I listened to an earlier debate featuring the young Muslim speaker I was soon to debate.  During this earlier debate, the moderator asked the Muslim whether he thought converts from Islam who publicly made their conversion known should be killed.  Without hesitation, he answered, “Yes, absolutely.  If they speak of leaving Islam in a Muslim country, they may confuse and mislead weaker Muslims, causing others to doubt and disbelieve.  To protect weaker Muslims, such a person should be killed.”
In a few hours I would stand on the same platform with this man discussing the questions “Who is Jesus and how are we saved?”  I imagined a few of the things that could go wrong.  This was a Muslim city and a very public discussion.  The larger the event, the less controlled the atmosphere could be.  There could be an angry and perhaps even violent reaction to the fact that a former Muslim would now be recounting his conversion and sharing the gospel in a Muslim country.
I’ve never been more afraid in my life.  I picked up the phone and called my wife.  I just wanted to hear her voice and pray.  Fear suggested it might be the last time.  And it suggested that a “wiser course” would be to play down my conversion when the time came.
We arrived that night at the venue for the dialogue.  I was afraid, but tried to project calm and warmth.  Before the event began, I asked the young man traveling with me to find a relatively safe distance from which to watch the event.
The discussion began and a funny thing happened.  Someone seemed to take over.  For nearly three hours, the Muslim speaker and I presented our sides.  We questioned each other.  We engaged with the audience.  It was great!
It wasn’t me!  I was still afraid, and I hadn’t shared any details about my conversion from Islam to faith in the Lord Jesus.  Quietly, I carried on another debate with myself.  Should I?  Should I not?  Was this fear or wisdom?
Finally, the moderator instructed my opponent and me to begin our closing comments.  The other speaker mostly used his time to respond to a number of points raised earlier in the debate.  In his closing minute, he then exhorted the audience to read the Quran for themselves.  He insisted if they would just read the Quran, it would improve their lives.
As I listened, it was as though I felt a tap on my shoulder, a nudge really.  It was the Lord.  When my fellow speaker closed by saying “Read the Quran, it will improve your life,” I knew the Lord was holding open the door for the gospel and my own testimony of conversion.
I took my turn at the rostrum, extended a few “thank you’s” to the organizers, and began, “You know, I’ve read the Quran.  I used to be a practicing Muslim…”
After the dialogue, there was a lot of warm interaction between everyone in attendance.  Not the slightest glitch had occurred.  A high-level government official even suggested we hold an event annually – bigger next time!  My fears had lied to me.  The Lord was in control.
On the ride home, my friend and host asked, “How did you feel about the discussion?”  I let out a long sigh, looked through the sunroof of his SUV, and said, “I was scared to death.”  He was astonished.  “Brother, you couldn’t tell it.  You were so bold in defending and proclaiming the cross.”
Praise be to God who gives His people power to witness through His Holy Spirit!

No Comments



Valley of Vision: The Servant in BattleBooks You Might Read in 2020 The Message of the CrossBeginning a New JourneyABORTION: “Take those handkerchiefs away from your noses…”ABORTION: Advocating for the Unborn – Follow UpABORTION: No More Motion 408?ADVENT: The Advent Conspiracy CalendarADVENT: Advent ConspiracyAPOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: A Church Responds to the Canada Summer Job GrantAPOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: Too Close to HomeAPOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: The Force of an Awakened Worldview FilterAPOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: Ravi Zacharias on MarriageAPOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: How to Use the Bible to Support IdolatryAPOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: Mathematics and the Myth of NeutralityAPOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: “Tale of the Unexpected”APOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: How do you forgive someone who hurt you deeply?APOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: Got One?APOLOGETICS/WORLDVIEWS: Questions are our friends!BIBLE: Treasuring God’s WordBIBLE: Leviticus: Four Reasons and Resources as You ReadBIBLE: Wanna Know What Exodus is About?BIBLE: Exodus: God DeliversBIBLE: God the Covenant-MakerBIBLE: The Gospel ProjectBIBLE: Great Expectations?BIBLE: How to Use the Bible to Support IdolatryBLOG: Top Ten Reads of 2018BLOG: Why I Believe TGC Canada’s Recent Statement Said Too MuchBLOG:Trinity Western UniversityOf the Reading of Big Books There is No Hope…Or is There?Inheritance of Tears: Four Reasons to be Grateful for a Book About MiscarriageA Look Through the LibraryReformation Reading ChallengeThe most important pursuit is…A Trip to the ArmouryTake Up and Read!BURNING QUESTIONS: Dear fellow parent, we have a question for you…BURNING QUESTIONS ?Sermon Crumbs – God and the Gay Christian?What does it mean to preach the gospel to yourself?What does it mean to pray in the Spirit?JC Ryle on SufferingFighting…but not reallyThe Christian in Complete ArmourPorn-Free: The 40 Day ChallengeOn The Alert: A Lesson from The Two TowersThe Enemy DescribedThe Necessity of Christian Warfare
Church History - An Imperishable InheritanceCOMMUNION: Questions to Ask Before CommunionCommunion: Reflection Before CommunionCommunion: 10 Questions to Ask Before CommunionCONFERENCES: Increase Conference 2018CONFERENCES: Back to School – Part IICONFERENCES: FEB Central Regional ConferenceCULTURE: Too Close to HomeCULTURE: The “Thou Shall Nots” of Political CorrectnessENCOURAGEMENT: Worried Much?ENCOURAGEMENT: Eternal EncouragementEVANGELISM: Our community is growing…EVANGELISM: Trick or Retreat? (Round 3)EVANGELISM: Facing a Task UnfinishedEVANGELISM: Back to SchoolEVANGELISM: Sermon Crumbs – 1 Corinthians 2:1-5EVANGELISM: Trick or Retreat? (Round 2)EVANGELISM: Evangelism Stories 3 (and a great article from Desiring God)EVANGELISM: Evangelism Stories – Part 2HOLINESS: Leviticus: Four Reasons and Resources as You ReadRE(media)L HolinessHOLINESS: An Open Letter to the Church from a LesbianTen CommitmentsWhat’s the Worldview? – Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan LewisGay Marriage; Now What?HOSPITALITY: Preventing Pointless Participation: Getting the Most Out of Your Small GroupISLAM: Persecution in IraqISLAM: Praying During RamadanMEMBERSHIP: Lessons from cancelling church…MEMBERSHIP: The Beauty of Membership amidst the Ugliness of SinMINISTRY UPDATE: A Year Later: Reflecting on the Gospel ProjectMINISTRY UPDATE: Wanna Know What Exodus is About?MINISTRY UPDATE: Advocating for Small GroupsMINISTRY UPDATE: Church Family LetterMUSIC: Global Hymn Sing – Jesus Shall ReignMUSIC: Songs for Groaning SoulsMUSIC: Songs of Lament for Times of SorrowMUSIC: Lyrical Theology – Shai LinnePARENTING: Challenge Accepted!PARENTING: A letter from C.H. Spurgeon to Arthur LayzellPARENTING: Celebrating Absentee FathersPARENTING: Dads, when was the last time you…PARENTING: Introducing New City CatechsimPERSECUTED CHURCH: How do we obey Hebrews 13:3?PODCASTS: Podcast RoundupPRAYER: A Call to PrayerPRAYER: Our community is growing…PRAYER: A Year End PrayerPRAYER: The Death of Prayer MeetingsPRAYER: Why is praying together as a church so important?PRAYER: Praying for a Nation