Former Muslim David Nasser: ‘Muslims Are Not the Enemies, But the Prize’

Senior Vice President of Spiritual Development David Nasser is photographed on September 2, 2014. (Photo by Joel Coleman)
Senior Vice President of Spiritual Development David Nasser is photographed on September 2, 2014. (Photo by Joel Coleman)

The prophets of old foretold that God would pour out His spirit in the last days, on all cultures.  In the second chapter of Acts, we read that when the people of Judea saw the spirit of God fall on the apostles, they could not understand what was happening; they thought the apostles were drunk.  But Peter told the crowd:

This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.   Acts 2:16-18 (NASB)

We are witnessing God’s claim today, in the Muslim world.

Despite the daily news, of the persecution of Christians around the world, by Islamist groups, there is another, lesser-known story of growing numbers of Muslims around the world who are turning to Christ as Lord.  Missionary David Garrison’s book, “A Wind in the House of Islam,” charts this phenomenon, which he says demonstrates that “we are living in the midst of the greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in history”.

As the world spins into chaos, Christians should prepare for one of the greatest outpourings of all times.    The following is a re-blog from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and an important salvific tool every Christian should keep in their back pocket today.

** On paper, David Nasser isn’t someone who should be sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, let alone a vice president at Liberty University.

As a child, Nasser moved from his native Iran to the United States with his culturally Muslim family during the Iranian revolution.

Several years later, his parents became owners of a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama. Members of a local church were patrons of the restaurant, and noticed that Nasser’s father was running low on staff. They rolled up their sleeves and began waiting tables.

One of those church members, who happened to be the worship leader at the church, brought Nasser’s father to choir practice. He explained that the Iranian restaurateur needed help and boldly explained that whoever was in choir would be required to sign up for shifts at his restaurant.

This was part of a series of events that led the entire Nasser family to the Lord.

It’s also an example of what Nasser believes is necessary to reach Islamic followers for Christ.

“When we say ‘reaching someone,’ they are imaginary people until we get out of our circles,” he explained. “But once you look outside of that bubble you might find you have a Muslim friend at work, or a Pakistani family that has moved into your neighborhood. And that’s what the people from that Baptist church in Birmingham did for us.”

In these cases, he says, we must find commonality and build relationships.

Nasser explained what this might look like in real life: “If you have Muslim neighbors, take time to learn their names. Maybe they have kids the same age as yours. Start hanging out. Show up and cut their grass. Or show up with a casserole if they have just moved in. When you get to know them, offer to babysit their kids so they can go out on a date. Simply develop a friendship by serving.”

Another important thing to remember when making new Muslim friends, Nasser says, is to be culturally sensitive: “Allow their culture to infiltrate your life. Eat some of their food. Find out what their lives were like back home. Take time to learn about their culture.”

Part of being culturally sensitive, Nasser explained, is self-education.

“We need to familiarize ourselves with their beliefs. An important part of that is to do an ‘MRI’—look into the life of that person. It’s amazing what people will volunteer if you just start asking them questions (about their beliefs),” he said.

“It shows you are interested in them. We should all be willing to be taught.”

Nasser adds that while relationships are foundational in bringing people of Islam into the Kingdom of God, it’s not enough.

We must verbally share the Gospel, but in the right way.

“Some people jump the gun and immediately begin the conversation. But we must first begin with compassion. Find some commonality, then share Christ,” he explained. “That’s what Jesus did. Take, for example, the woman at the well. Before He tells her not to sin, He just comes and sits with her.”

And like Jesus, our motivation to share the Gospel with followers of Islam should not be out of fear, but out of love.

“Wanting to convert someone just because they want to kill you isn’t necessarily a bad motivation, but there is a much greater one. Instead of looking for protection for ourselves, we should be looking for protection for our Muslim friends,” urged Nasser.

“If the end goal is the conversion of the Muslim and not the security of the believer, you’ll get both; the person is no longer your enemy, but your brother or sister.

“Muslims are not the enemy; they are the prize. We are part of the only kingdom where the King of our kingdom died for His enemies. It is us for them, not us against them. We want to see them come to Christ. And we need to maintain a passion for the very people we rise up against, but at the same time rise up for.” **

Many end times Bible scholars believe, based on ample scripture, that Islam will be the foundation of the Antichrist in the last days.  Once a Christ follower gets passed the initial shock of this prospect, the information should take root, and an awakening should happen:  we (the church) are the arms with which God will reach this people.   Many Christians are afraid to go to the Middle East to witness, but God has provided an open door for them to come to us, here, in our country.  How much easier can God make it for us to share His gospel?  It is time to roll down our sleeves, and pick up God’s love.

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