.(or The Syrians are coming! The Syrians are coming!)
There has been talk of a large number of Syrian refugees being re-settled in the United States. The immediate reaction of many Americans to this possibility, especially born-again believers, is negative. (I would include myself in that category.) But how should mature believers respond to this possibility?
Let us respond in terms of the Great Commission in which our Lord Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations.
Very few believers are called to go to war-torn Syria as missionaries at this moment in history. Preaching the gospel in Syria at this time where ISIS has its stronghold will of course be extremely difficult and dangerous. Traditional missions there will likely not be very fruitful.
But if Syrians indeed settle in the United States in large numbers, they will be in OUR land. We will be able to share the gospel with them freely without fear of severe reprisal. Moreover, it has been observed that non-Christian peoples are most open to the gospel when they have been uprooted from their culture and home country and transplanted to a completely different one. The gospel can be shared with them most effectively during this time of upheaval and transition in their lives. They will be able to accept Christ without the same level of persecution that they might suffer back in Syria.
This is the time for us to mobilize if we are serious about the Great Commission, especially to the spiritual descendants of Ishmael who live in our midst. It can be a great opportunity.
The Lord moreover has revealed us to a very effective and scriptural approach to sharing the gospel with them without the necessity of our having first to study the Quran in depth to find out everything it says about Jesus. (But of course it would be helpful to study the Quran.)
Our Lord has entrusted to us power and authority over infirmities and demons to be used in providing convincing evidence to the lost that the gospel of Jesus Christ is in fact true and that He is in fact the Son of God and the only way to the Father.
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)
Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:11-12)
The disciples were to do the miraculous works which Jesus did using the power and authority He entrusted to them.
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:1-2)
This power and authority can be used very effectively when sharing the gospel with Syrians, or for that matter with anyone from the same religion—which is of course the predominant religion today in the Middle East. God loves the spiritual descendants of Ishmael, and is more than willing to prove to them through convincing miraculous healings that Jesus is far more than a prophet—He is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Once they experience the healing power of Jesus Christ in their bodies, they will be open to hearing from us who Jesus really is. And many will put their faith in Him. This scriptural approach has already been used effectively and fruitfully in Indonesia, the fourth most populous nation in the world with more spiritual descendants of Ishmael than any other country on earth. This approach can therefore be applied for sharing the gospel with any adherent of this religion, not only Syrian refugees.
When approaching your Syrian neighbor, friend, or co-worker who is sick and not feeling well, keep in mind the command Jesus gave to his 72 disciples in Luke 10:9. “Heal the sick and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God has come near to you.’ “ According to this we should heal the sick before we share the kingdom of God with the lost.
Therefore before you share the love of Jesus with him (or her), first minister supernatural healing to him in the name of Jesus Christ using the power and authority the Lord has entrusted to you. He will physically experience the undeniable power of our Lord Jesus in his body, and his heart will be open to what you are going to share. You will tell him that Jesus is far more than merely a prophet as the Quran says He is, and that He is in fact the…