MUSLIMS: NOT OUR ENEMY, BUT OUR MISSION FIELD
May 9, 2018
- To better inform our prayers, here is an excerpt from an article by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association offering a fresh perspective on reaching Muslims.
- IFA has produced two wonderful new resources to equip you to pray strategically and effectively for Muslims and about Islam. Click to download–Special Report Prayer Guide: Islam, A Mirage of Peace and/or Praying for Muslims Prayer Guide Bookmark.
In early 2001, Brian felt called to missions, and God opened an opportunity in a Muslim country. “I was not excited about it,” he said. “When I saw a Muslim man, I did not want to give him a hug. I had negative emotional feelings. I didn’t want to help save people; I wanted us to be saved from them as a nation.” Then, as he read the book of Jonah, things changed.
When Jonah was called to preach to Ninevah, an enemy of Israel, he didn’t want to go. He’d rather his enemies be destroyed. And yet, God had compassion on the Ninevites and made sure they heard His message of forgiveness and life. Brian thought of the Muslims he felt led to reach. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” he said, quoting Romans 5:8. “If I received His mercy, they certainly deserve, or at least should have the opportunity, to have His mercy as well.”
Brian isn’t the only one who wasn’t thrilled at first about reaching out to Muslims. “When people think of Muslims, … a lot of times the very first thing that comes to mind is fear,” Kimberly said. There are two kinds of fear, she added: “what they might do to me … and the fear of offending.” Both tend to keep Muslims at arm’s length, she said. “They are desperate for approval from God.”
In their years meeting and befriending Muslims, Brian and Kimberly say they’ve met many kind-hearted, hospitable Muslim families. At the same time, if you were to read the Quran chronologically, she said, you’d find a shift in Muhammad’s teachings on non-Muslims; in later years, he taught that they should be given a chance to convert, and if they didn’t, wage war. Dying as a martyr is the only way in Islam to be sure your sins are forgiven and that you’ll go to heaven.
Here’s where Kimberly gets teary eyed. When you hear about suicide bombers blowing themselves up, she said, “it’s not always because they hate all these other people; many times it’s because they are desperate for approval from God.” Yet, there’s hope, with more and more Muslims seeking out Jesus Christ. Here are just two comments left through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s online “Search for Jesus” ministry:
“I’m from Afghanistan and I am Muslim. During the last two years I dream that Jesus invites me to His way and tells me to ‘Take my hand day by day.’ I am interested in Jesus.” (Comment edited for clarity)
“I am a person from an area of radical Muslims and I am not satisfied [with] my faith because here are enemies and they are killing people daily. So I am searching [for] a true and loving God.”
That’s only a glimpse. Some sources estimate that thousands of Muslims are accepting Christ every year. “Muslims need Jesus,” Kimberly said. “Muslims are not our enemy. Muslims are our mission field.”