Most stats indicate that Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and one of the fastest growing religions in the world. One of the greatest attractions to Islam must certainly be its militancy and ambition, despite the many protests by ignorant or agenda-driven pundits. No one wants to join the losing side. Islam presents a vision of world conquest and militant struggle.
At least some of the responsibility for this state of affairs in this nation is American evangelicalism that has insisted quite loudly for the last hundred years or so through its fanatical and spurious eschatology that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. With the Antichrist under every funny looking rock and the rapture, an immanent reality, this world is irrelevant, passing, and at best, distracting. But if the world is a free-fall into hell, the human spirit at least cries out for a fight. And thus the starving, deformed masculinity of American evangelicalism cries out for an alternative, and Muhammad’s religion offers many the appearance of a backbone.
But the Christian faith declares the victory of the cross. In the death and resurrection of Jesus, the death knell has been struck on all evil and darkness. The history of the universe will not be the story of the world’s free fall into hell but rather the complete and utter victory of Jesus in this world. He is in heaven reigning until all of his enemies have been made his footstool, and the last enemy will be death itself (Heb. 10:12-13, 1 Cor. 15:25-26). This means that before Christ returns, Afghanistan will bow the knee to Jesus. Before Christ delivers up the kingdom to the Father, Iraq and Indonesia will bow their knees to King Jesus. This is the story of the triumph of the gospel, the conquest of the world with the Word of forgiveness and grace in Jesus.
Ministry to Christians attracted to Islam and Muslims themselves must include this kind of faith and certainty in the work of the gospel in the world. Pastors and laity alike need to know and believe that their efforts are not in vain because God has promised the nations to Jesus. And Muslims need to know that their struggle is in vain; the winning conquest was begun in Jesus and continues in the Church until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.