The Power of the Gospel
by Thabiti Anyabwile
I was once an enemy of the cross. I opposed the gospel of my Lord and His people. I’m not sure I could have been harder in my entire outlook.
And now, God has saved me. And not only has He saved me, but He has given me the great privilege of preaching His gospel and shepherding His people. I can’t imagine a bigger reversal in so short a time! I look back over the years that I’ve been a Christian and wonder at the riches of God’s grace.
From time to time, the Lord grants me the privilege of participating in dialogue and conversation with Muslims. Through those encounters, He gives me small glimpses into His inexhaustible wisdom. While one part of me laments the days spent lost in Islam, another part rejoices that God had an amazing purpose in allowing me to spend prodigal years as a Muslim in order to redeem that experience as a Christian evangelist and pastor. I cry out with another former enemy of the cross, the apostle Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Rom. 11:33).
And with the apostle I marvel at God’s kindness: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 1:13–14).
When it comes to evangelizing to Muslims, the greatest myth is that Muslims do not convert. I’m here to tell you that they do. But don’t take my word for it. Take God’s Word: “The gospel . . . is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16)—including the Muslim Gentile.
Don’t stop with my story. Go out and play your part in God’s bigger story of bringing people from every nation to a saving knowledge of His Son and into eternal life!
I believe in the power of God in the gospel. Like you, my Christian reader, I have tasted that power and have been born again. And I believe that this same gospel is the power of God to win our Muslim neighbors, friends, and coworkers to Christ. We know enough in the gospel itself to help Muslim people find eternal life through the Son of God. Let us joyfully tell the good news!
Thabiti Anyabwile is the full-time husband to a loving wife, Kristie, and father to three adorable children. He currently serves as senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Previously, he worked as an assistant pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Thabiti holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in psychology from North Carolina State University. A former high school basketball coach and bookstore owner, Thabiti loves reading, sports, and watching sci-fi films. He is the author of The Decline of African-American Theology, What Is a Healthy Church Member?, and The Faithful Preacher.