There are biblical reasons that believers should love Muslims, while there is no room for hate.
Enemies of God
The Apostle Paul never did try to tiptoe around the Word of God. He said, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6), and so, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Even more incredibly, “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10). Since God died for ungodly, wicked sinners who were His enemies, how can we not love others in a way that proves that we are Jesus’ disciples? Jesus said it is by our love for one another that people will know we are His disciples (John 13:34-35). Since Jesus died for us when we certainly didn’t deserve it, how can we ever call someone an enemy? We used to be one! We must look at people the way God looks at people, and we know from Scripture that “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1st Tim 2:4), so we should pray that “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth” (2nd Tim 2:25b). A person’s positon in life, skin color, religion, or national origin, should never matter to the believer in Christ. God is no respecter of persons and He doesn’t regard one over another, and neither should we.
Who among us is loveable? I mean loveable to God? The Apostle Paul doesn’t rank peoples and nations, but rather puts us all in the same category, writing, “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10), and “no one understands; no one seeks for God” (Rom 3:11), in fact, not just you and me, but “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:12). Paul says with authority that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). That certainly levels the playing field of humanity. None are good and certainly not good enough to work their way to heaven, so we must learn to look at people differently, and that means Muslims are not our enemies any more than atheists, Buddhists or Hindus are. We are no better than they, and they are no better than we. The only difference is God saved us, but He is saving others too, including those who have come out of various world religions but also out of atheism and agnosticism.
Dreams and Visions
In many cases, where missionaries can’t go, Jesus has appeared in dreams and visions to people of various faiths around the world, including the Islamic faith. It doesn’t matter to God where someone is. He can move heaven and earth to save one soul, and we know it’s His will that none should perish, and that includes Muslims. Many former Muslims have come to know the Jesus of the Bible…the Son of God Who died for their sins…cleansing all who would trust in Him. There are certainly concerns about Sharia Law taking over certain areas of the nation, but the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists and we shouldn’t treat all Muslims as if they are. That’s looking at the outside and not the heart, as God does (1st Sam 16:7). Many Muslims who immigrated to the U.S. or Canada have done so to escape Sharia Law or the radical elements of Islamic extremists. They are tired of the violence, and so when they are exposed to Jesus as He truly is (like in the gospel of John), they see that He teaches that we are to be praying for our enemies, doing good to those who do bad to us, and blessing those who curse us (Matt 5:44; Luke 6:28). That’s Jesus’ way and it must be our way too if we are to be His disciples and hope to be used by God to lead some to Christ. The love of God is a powerful magnet to Muslims, and our love for them should act in the same way.
Undoubtedly, God has been calling many former Muslims into the church. They too are created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27), and God has “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place” (Acts 17:26), and He created all the nations so “that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). As Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28), “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal 3:29). The children of God are the children of God, not because of sex, color, national origin, or former religion. They become the children of God when they trust in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Remember that Abraham was a pagan when God called Him and the Apostle Paul was the church’s arch enemy, imprisoning and killing Christians, but God saved him. This shows that the worst of sinners can be saved, and that’s why grace is so very amazing. Why try to witness to Muslims? We’re told to go into all the world, and not just certain people groups (Matt 28:18-20). Why not Muslims, or Buddhists, or atheists, or anyone you see? Even the Jews will be restored to a right relationship with God, and the day will come when “Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (Zech 8:22-23).
If we are fearful or afraid to even talk to a Muslim, then we’re taking the wrong approach and we must be uneducated about Muslims, but we’re also having a memory lapse, because we too were once an enemy of God (Rom 5:10). Our true enemy is the one we should be concerned about. He’s a powerful and yet invisible enemy that truly is an enemy ours (Eph 6), but even he and his minions can’t keep us from God (Rom 8:37-39), and someday that enemy will face the judgment of God (Rev 20:10). Muslims are not our enemies, they are people that God wants to save and is saving and, and by our love and prayers for them, God might possibly use us as a means to save some.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is host of Spiritual Fitness and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.