From Isa Masih - summer 1996 - Editorial [p1]
God’s timing is perfect. Have you ever wondered why Jesus came just when he did? In the first century the Greek language, the Roman Empire and the Jewish diaspora worked together to ensure that the the Gospel spread quickly throughout the known world: a common tongue, superb transport and a Jewish people diffused through every culture. Pentecost, and later Antioch were multicultural foci which God’s Spirit used to take new life to the ends of the earth. He used bi-cultural individuals like Paul, like the Ethiopian eunuch; who once converted spread their faith to regions beyond. The first century was God’s time for the Graeco-Roman world.
The 1990s is God’s time for the Islamic World. After centuries of cultural isolation, now Muslims are accessible to the Gospel as never before in history. God has brought them to our cities and universites in great numbers, at a time when we can freely talk to them of Christ in our own language. Furthermore more Muslims are being converted today than ever before; through dreams and visions, through personal friendship, through the patient loving witness of some Christians; and in spite of the cold apathy and antagonism of others. God is at work.
Doors may have closed to traditional avenues of missionary work in some countries; but they are wide open into every Muslim country through Muslims working and studying in the West. Could converted Muslims be Christ’s missionary force of the future? Why not? What a challenge to us!
At a similar strategic time, Jesus said to his disciples,‘Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest... I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.’
Others have done the hard work: we have Bibles and Christian literature in Islamic languages, and all the apologetic equipment we need. Others have spent their lifetimes sowing. Jesus is calling us to reap. Are we willing to obey?