"Islam Has No Solution For Sin"
(THE BLIGHT OF ISLAM - Part 9)
1. This evening’s message is the last of the series "The Blight Of Islam." So I would like to wrap up our series by tying up as many loose ends as I can on our way to addressing the issue of witnessing to Muslims.
2. Now, I realize that this entire series of messages would have little appeal to those who live in the heartland of the United States or Canada, but these sermons are very important to us who live in the big cities, where Muslims are encountered every day.
3. When you get gasoline from a man named Rashid, or the clerk at a store is named Fatima, or when you drive down a boulevard and see a mosque, then you realize that something is going on that you need to pay attention to.
4. In 1974 there was one mosque in all of France, but today there are more than 1,600. In Chicago there are more Muslims than there are Methodists. In Los Angeles there are more than 500,000 Muslims. There are now Muslim chaplains in our nation’s prisons, in our nation’s jail systems, and in our nation’s military establishment.
5. But the greatest problem Christendom has when facing the onslaught of the rising tide of Islam is decisonism. The weakness and anemia of Christendom in Britain and the United States and Canada that results from decisionism makes many so-called Christians vulnerable to Islam.
6. But in China, Malaysia, Nigeria, Indonesia and other countries where there are large Muslim populations and great persecution of Christians, there are huge numbers of Muslims coming to Christ. How is this disparity to be explained?
7. Decisionist Christianity thrives in a benign environment like ours, where there is really no opposition to an empty profession of faith that isn’t a real conversion experience. But when becoming a Christian is a life and death matter then there is deep thought, profound reflection, much soul searching before a sinner comes to Christ.
8. That Christian, the real Christian who counted the cost before coming to Christ, is far more likely to serve God no matter what, because he got really saved, truly converted, in a harsh environment. When someone knows that coming to Christ probably means the death of him, how can someone threaten him with martyrdom after he has come to Christ?
9. That’s what I believe explains the spread of the Gospel in other parts of the world and the anemic brand of Christianity we see here.
10. To show you how very vulnerable a professing Christian is who isn’t really converted, let me read to you two "conversion" testimonies of "Christians" who became Muslims. First the man, then the woman. I took their testimonies from a Muslim web site:
I grew up Baptist, in a family of ministers, in rural Mississippi. I went to college at Morehouse College in Atlanta, so I was exposed to the NOI, but I had the good fortune to become friends with an orthodox Muslim who explained to me the difference between NOI and Islam, and the lack of knowledge most NOI have of true Islam. Later, after I left school and began working, I got an internet account, and started to study some of the religions of the world. I had never really been a particularly religious person, due to my somewhat scientific nature. I always insist on proof. I started to delve deeper into Christianity, and studied it intently on the Web. I was somewhat disdained however by some inconsistencies in the Bible. I principally was troubled by the Trinity, though. I just did not see it. The one passage I saw as being most supportive (1 John 5:7) was partially forged. When I read Mathew 19:16-17, and Jesus (pbuh) says "Why callest thou me good?, it was clear to me that he was saying that he was not good, and only God was. But most of the Christians seemed to think Jesus was being tongue-in-cheek at this point. I found that I would have to be dishonest to accept this.
Then fortune? smiled upon me. I hit a deer in my car. It was out of service for almost a month. During that time, I was unemployed, but had saved money, so I could live (I also have two roommates). I still had my internet account, and I decided to study more. After I had studied the Biblical contradictions, in addition to the inherent idolatry and unscriptural nature of the Trinity, along with other things, I rejected Christianity as a religion. Even Jesus did not seem to teach it, he taught belief in God. I went a time without any religion, thinking maybe it was all a sham. I have a friend who is in the 5% NOI, and I saw how much he hated religion, and I decided that I did not want to be like that. I believe that God kept my mind open and my heart from hardening against Him, and I studied Islam. Everything just seemed to fit: a reasoned faith which was very prayerful to keep us on the straight path, yet did not disdain acquisition of knowledge (the preachers back home loved to rail against education, as if ignorance is preferred by God). Islam seemed to be made for me. A good Muslim was the exact sort of person I aspired to be. After another month of study and prayer, I decided that if Muhammad (pbuh) was not a prophet, then there had never been prophets in the first place. The moment of decision came one night when I was reading the Qur'an and I read 21:30, and I read of God expanding his creation. Now, I almost became an astronomer at one point, and I still am interested, and these verses hit me like a sledgehammer. I became fearful of God, and wanted to worship him better.
My first realization about the Christian idea of salvation came after I was baptized into a Southern Baptist church at a young age. I was taught in Sunday School that "if you aren’t baptized, then you are going to hell".
My own baptism had taken place because I wanted to please people. My mom had come into my room one evening and I asked her about baptism. She encouraged me to do it. So, the next Sunday, I decided to go to the front of the church. During a hymn at the end of the sermon, I walked forward to meet with the youth minister. He had a smile on his face, greeted me, then sat beside me on a pew. He asked a question, "Why do you want to do this?"... I paused, then said, "because I love Jesus and I know that he loves me". After making the statement, the members of the church came up and hugged me... anticipating the ceremonial immersion in water just a few weeks later.
During my early years at church, even in the kindergarten class, I remember being a vocal participant in the Sunday School lessons. Later, in my early adolescent years I was a member of the young girls’ group that gathered at the church for weekly activities and went on annual retreats to a camp. During my youth, I attended a camp with older members of the youth group. Though I hadn’t spent much time with them before, they recognized me as "the daughter of a youth coordinator" or "the girl who plays piano at special occations at church". One evening at this camp a man was speaking about his marriage. He told the story about meeting his wife. He had grown up in the US where dating was normal, but in the girl’s culture, he could only be with her if they had a guardian with them. Since he liked her, he decided to continue seeing her. Another stipulation is that they could not touch each other until she had been given a promise ring. Once he proposed to her, they were allowed to hold hands. - This baffled me, yet held me in awe. It was beautiful to think that such discovery of another person could be saved until a commitment was made. Though I enjoyed the story, I never thought that the same incident could occur again.
A few years later, my parents divorced and the role of religion changed in my life. I had always seen my family through the eyes of a child - they were perfect. My dad was a deacon in the church, well respected, and known by all. My mom was active with youth groups. When my mom left, I took the role of caretaker of my father and two brothers. We continued to go to church, but when visiting my mom on weekends, the visits to churches became more infrequent. When at my dad’s home we would gather at night every night to read Corinthians 1:13 (which talks about love/charity). My brothers, father, and I repeated this so often that I memorized it. It was a source of support for my dad, though I could not understand why.
In a period of three consecutive years, my older brother, younger brother, and I moved to my mom’s house. At that point my mom no longer went to church, so my brothers found church attendance less important. Having moved to my mother’s house during my junior year of high school, I was to discover new friends and a different way of life. The first day of school I met a girl who was very friendly. The second day of school, she invited me to her house for the weekend - to meet her family and visit her church. I was automatically "adopted" into her family as a "good kid" and "good influence" for her. Also, I was surprisingly shocked at the congregation that attended her church. Though I was a stranger, all of the women and men greeted me with hugs and kisses and made me feel welcome.
After continually spending time with the family and attending church on the weekends, they started talking to me about particular beliefs in their Church of Christ. This group went by the New Testament (literal interpretation of Paul's writings). They had no musical instruments in church services - only vocal singing; there were no hired preachers, but elders who would bring sermons each Sunday. Women were not allowed to speak in church. Christmas, Easter, and other holidays were not celebrated, wine and unleavened bread were taken as communion every Sunday, and baptism was seen as immediately necessary at the moment that the sinner decided to become a believer. Though I was already considered a Christian, members of this congregation believed that I was going to hell if I didn't get baptized again - in their church, their way. This was the first major blow to my belief system. Had I grown up in a church where everything had been done wrong? Did I really have to be baptized again?
At one point I had a discussion about faith with my mom. I told her about my confusion and just wanted somebody to clear things up for me. I became critical of sermons at all churches because the preachers would just tell stories and not focus on the Bible. I couldn’t understand: if the Bible was so important, why was it not read (solely) in the church service?
Though I thought about baptism every Sunday for almost two years, I could not walk forward to be baptized. I would pray to God to push me forward if it were the right thing to do - but it never happened.
The next year I went to college and became detached from all churches as a freshman. Some Sundays I would visit churches with friends - only to feel critical of the sermons. I tried to join the baptist student association, but felt that things were wrong there, too. I had come to college thinking that I would find something like the church of christ but it was not to be found. When I would return home to my mom’s house on occassional weekends, I would visit the church to gain the immediate sense of community and welcoming.
In my Sophomore year, I spent Sundays singing at the Wake Forest church in the choir because I earned good money. Though I didn’t support the church beliefs, I endured the sermons to make money. In October of my sophomore year I met a Muslim who lived in my dorm. He was a friendly guy who always seemed to be pondering questions or carrying a deep thought. One evening I spent the entire evening asking him philosophical questions about beliefs and religion. He talked about his beliefs as a Shia’ Ismaili Imami Muslim. Though his thoughts did not fully represent this sect of Islam (since he was also confused and searching for answers), his initial statements made me question my own beliefs: are we born into a religion, therefore making it the right one? Day after day I would meet with him and ask questions - wanting to get on the same level of communication that we had reached at our initial meeting - but he would not longer answer the questions or meet the spiritual needs that I had.
The following summer I worked at a bookstore and grabbed any books that I could find about Islam. I introduced myself to another Muslim on campus and started asking him questions about Islam. Instead of looking to him for answers, I was directed to the Quran. Any time I would have general questions about Islam, he would answer them. I went to the local mosque twice during that year and was happy to feel a sense of community again.
After reading about Islam over the summer, I became more sensitive to statements made about Muslims. While taking an introductory half-semester couse on Islam, I would feel frustrated when the professor would make a comment the was incorrect, but I didn't know how to correct him. Outside of my personal studies and university class, I became an active worker and supporter of our newly rising campus Islam Awareness Organization. As the only female member, I would be identified to others as "the christian in the group". every time a Muslim would say that, I would look at him with puzzlement - because I thought that I was doing all that they had been doing - and that I was a Muslim, too.
I had stopped eating pork and became vegetarian, had never liked alcohol, and had begun fasting for the month of Ramadhan. But, there still was a difference...
At the end of that year (junior year) other changes were made. I decided to start wearing my hair up - concealed from people. Once again, I thought of this as something beautiful and had an idea that only my husband should be able to see my hair. I hadn’t even been told about hijab... since many of the sisters at the mosque did not wear it.
That summer I was sitting at school browsing the internet and looking for sites about Islam. I wanted to find e-mail addresses for Muslims, but couldn’t find a way. I eventually ventured onto a homepage that was a matrimonial link. I read over some advertisements and tried to find some people within my age range to write to about Islam. I prefaced my initial letters with "I am not seeking marriage - I just want to learn about Islam". Within a few days I had received replies from three Muslims- one from Pakistan/India who was studying in the US, one from India but studying in the UK, and one living in the UAE. Each brother was helpful in unique ways - but I started corresponding with the one from the US the most because we were in the same time zone. I would send questions to him and he would reply with thorough, logical answers. By this point I knew that Islam was right - all people were equal regardless of color, age, sex, race, etc; I had received answers to troublesome questions by going to the Qua’an, I could feel a sense of community with Muslims, and I had a strong, overwhelming need to declare the shahada at a mosque. No longer did I have the "christian fear" of denouncing the claim of Jesus as God - I believed that there was only one God and there should be no associations with God. One Thursday night in July 1997 I talked with the brother over the phone. I asked more questions and received many more pertinent, logical answers. I decided that the next day I would go to the mosque.
I went to the mosque with the Muslim brother from Wake Forest and his non-Muslim sister, but did not tell him my intentions. I mentioned that I wanted to speak with the imam after the khutbah [religious directed talk]. The imam delivered the khutbah, the Muslims prayed [which includes praising Allah, recitation of the Quran, and a series of movements which includes bowing to Allah] then he came over to talk with me. I asked him what was necessary to become Muslim. He replied that there are basics to understand about Islam, plus the shahada [there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah]. I told him that I had learned about Islam for more than a year and was ready to become Muslim. I recited the kalimah... and became Muslim on July 12, 1996, alhumdulillah [all praise due to Allah].
That was the first big step. Many doors opened after that - and have continued to open by the grace of Allah. I first began to learn prayer, then visited another masjid in Winston-Salem, and began wearing hijab two weeks later.
At my summer job, I had problems with wearing hijab. The bosses didn’t like it and "let me go" early for the summer. They didn’t think that I could "perform" my job of selling bookbags because the clothing would limit me. But, I found the hijab very liberating. I met Muslims as they would walk around the mall.. everyday I met someone new, alhumdulillah.
As my senior year of college progressed, I took the lead of the Muslim organization on campus because I found that the brothers were not very active. Since I pushed the brothers to do things and constantly reminded them of events, I received the name "mother Kaci".
During the last half of my Senior year, I took elective courses: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Each course was good because I was a minority representative in each. Mashallah, it was nice to represent Islam and to tell people the truth about Muslims and Allah.
8. My friends, it is clear to me, as it ought to be clear to you, that the two testimonies I read were the testimonies of two young adults who grew up in rather typical Baptist churches here in the United States, while not being exposed to the essence of Biblical Christianity at all, and without either of them being born again before their conversion to Islam.
9. Their testimonies show how very easy it is for someone who is not born again, and because of that is still blind to spiritual truth, to become confused and enamored with the false religion of Islam. So, because of the rapid growth of Islam in the English speaking countries, there are three undeniable imperatives facing us:
1A. First, YOU MUST MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU YOURSELF ARE CONVERTED
1B. This May Take You Back A Bit, But It’s Absolutely Critical For Anyone Who Is Engaged In Spiritual Conflict Such As We Face These Days To Make Sure You Are One Of Christ’s Own Sheep, And Not A Goat In Disguise.
2B. The Danger In Making Sure That You Are Genuinely Converted Is Not That You Might Become A Casualty At Some Point. My Friend, If You Are Not Converted You Already Are A Casualty, At This Point.
3B. Now, Let Me Share With You Some Of My Concerns. I Have Embarked Upon A Program Of Preparing Young Men For Spiritual Leadership, To Train Them How To Be The Spiritual Heads Of Their Households, To Prepare Them For The Time When I Will Be Dead And Gone. But Rather Than Find Men Who Are Eager To Prepare For The Mantle Of Leadership I Am Finding Some Who Are Reticent, Who Are Reluctant, Who Downright Refuse My Leadership.
4B. I Think To Myself, "Who will be the spiritual leader to this man’s wife and kids if he won’t let me train him to be the spiritual leader?" And, "What direction is this whole family going if the husband and father and head of household is unwilling to be trained for Christian leadership?"
5B. Let Me Tell You Something. Jesus Said ". . . unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me," Matthew 16.24. What Am I Then To Think When I Provide Some Direction To A Supposed Disciple Of Christ And I Find Him Unwilling To Deny Himself Just A Very Little Bit?
6B. "Pastor, I’ve examined myself and I think I am a Christian." That’s Wonderful. That’s Fine. That’s A Wonderful Testimony Of A Christian Exercising His Priesthood As A Believer. But What If You Are Not A Believer And Have No God-Given Priesthood To Exercise? Seems To Me That A Shepherd Is Much Better At Evaluating Whether One Who Is Browsing Around The Flock Is Actually A Sheep Or Not, Don’t You Think?
7B. Besides, How Much Practice Do You Have At Discerning Between The Righteous And The Wicked? By What Criteria Would You Distinguish Between The Righteous And The Wicked? If I Were You I Would Recognize The Extraordinary Danger You Find Yourself In If You Are Not, In Fact, Truly Converted.
8B. If You Were Under Arrest You Would Certainly Hire An Attorney. But When It Comes To The Safety Of Your Eternal And Undying Soul You Seem To Be Quite Content To Play Amateur Hour. I Can’t Say I Think Your Course Of Action In This Respect Is All That Wise.
9B. I Think You Need To Ask Yourself If You Are Really Converted. I Think You Need To Fasten Down A Time And A Place When You Were Supposedly Converted. I Think You Need To Be Able To Write Out A Credible Testimony That Makes Good Scriptural Sense. And I Think If You Can’t Do That You Probably Are Not Converted, Meaning Not Only You But Your Entire Family Is At Risk In Ways You Do Not Comprehend.
2A. Second, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOUR SPOUSE IS CONVERTED
1B. Do You Have Any Idea How Many Husbands In This Church Don’t Think Their Wives Are Converted? Or How Many Wives Don’t Think Their Husbands Are Converted? There Are Even Some Couples In Our Church, Each Of Whom Doesn’t Think The Other Is Truly Converted.
2B. And Don’t You Dare Ask Your Spouse What They’ve Told Me In Confidence. No Husband Has Any Right To Intrude On The Confidential Relationship That Exists Between A Woman And Her Pastor. And No Wife Has Any Right To Intrude On The Confidential Relationship That Exists Between A Man And His Pastor, First Corinthians 7.
3B. And If You Are One Of Those Men Who Pesters Your Wife About What She Says To Me, Or You Are One Of Those Women Who Asks Your Husband, "Have you been talking to pastor again?" Then Perhaps You And I Need To Talk About Parting Company, Because You Are At Odds With 2000 Years Of Christian Practice And Belief On This Matter.
4B. Some Of You Are Genuinely Converted But Your Spouse Is Not. You Think He Is, You Think She Is, But That’s Not The Case. Let Me Give You Some Suggestions For Discovering If Your Spouse Is Unconverted:
1C. No private devotional time? Does your spouse seem to have any personal relationship of his or her own with God? Or does your spouse just feed off of your relationship with God?
2C. Discernment? Does your spouse display an alarming lack of understanding of basic spiritual truths from time to time, things so basic that it surprises you he or she doesn’t understand?
3C. Humility? Does your wife not have the humility to follow you, but seems to insist on retaining veto authority over your attempts to lead her? Or does your husband exhibit absolutely no interest in providing spiritual leadership to you?
5B. My Friend, If You Are Married To Someone Who You Suspect Is Lost You Need To Confront Him With Your Suspicion, Or Her, As The Case May Be. A Person’s Reaction To Such A Concerned And Loving Expression Of Concern Will Tell A Lot. At The Very Least A Genuine Christian Will Be Profoundly Grateful For Your Concern, Alarmed At His Own Poor Testimony, And Will Seek Pastoral Counsel To Address The Matter.
6B. You Can’t Just Go Through Life With A Lost Husband Or Wife Without Addressing The Issue From Time To Time. And How Dare Any Husband Or Wife Shut Off Such An Important Conversation By Saying "I don’t want to talk about it." Excuse Me! You Sleep With That Person And You Don’t Want To Discuss With Him Or Her Your Eternal Destiny? That’s Absurd.
3A. Finally, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY AND LOVED ONES ARE CONVERTED
How can you make sure your family and loved ones get converted? The same way you would try to get a Muslim converted, so pay very close attention. I am condensing what I have read, what I have gotten from my friend, Dr. Ramzi Khammar (missionary to the middle east who grew up in the Arab speaking world), and a recent acquaintance, Esper Ajaj, who pastors an Arabic speaking Baptist Church in Washington, D. C., and who grew up in Syria.
1B. First, You Have To Genuinely Love The Person You Want To Reach For Christ
1C. My friend, Jesus taught us that you should love your neighbor as yourself. And who is your neighbor? Anyone close enough to you to be attended to by you.
2C. Love for your neighbor is one of the great distinctions between Christianity and Islam, which only shows interest in people who are interested in Islam.
3C. If you’ve read as many testimonies of professing Christians who became Muslims as I have you’d also be struck by two things: First, their decisions to become Muslims are not informed. They are profoundly wrong about the basics of Christianity, usually because of inconsistent and unloving so-called Christians they’ve known. As well, they felt a heart need that they perceived to be met by Islam. They are wrong, but it is what they felt to be true.
4C. The point that I seek to make is that people do not become Muslims or become Christians with their heads. A person becomes a Muslim with his heart, just as a person becomes a Christian with his heart.
5C. The greatest tragedy is when the wicked and deceitful heart, not acted upon by the Holy Spirit of God, leads a sinner into the soul-damning religion of Islam.
6C. What the child of God has that no one else has is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Romans 5.5. You want to see loved ones and Muslims come to Christ? Love them with a supernatural love. That’s first.
2B. Second, You Have To Expose The Person To The Truth
1C. No matter how long a person has attended Church, if he is not converted he has some glaring errors about the Christian faith. After all, something is keeping him from coming to Christ.
2C. Muslims, too, have great misconceptions about Christianity. For instance, they think the Bible is corrupted, something that can easily be disproved to anyone with an open mind. As well, they think we claim Jesus to be the son of God by means of a physical union between God and Mary, an unspeakable blasphemy that has no basis in fact. Third, they think Christians believe in three gods, much like the Jehovah’s Witnesses accusation. Not true, not true, not true.
3C. With either a loved one, family member, or a Muslim, you have to know what you know. And you have to know why you know what you know. Don’t be like the woman who once called up a pastor I know and said, "Pastor, what do I believe about this matter?" No, no. Your own faith needs to be grounded in the truth of God’s Word.
4C. And this is so important, since Jesus declared that the truth shall make you free, John 8.32. But it’s love that makes men willing to receive this liberating truth. So, you must love the lost and you must be ready to correct error and teach truth to the lost.
3B. Third, You Must Get That Lost Person To Church
1C. Am I saying that a person who refuses to go to Church will not get saved? Yes, I am saying that. The Christian life is a life that God intends to be lived in community, the community of the local congregation, which is the Church for which Jesus died.
2C. Christ died for the ungodly, Romans 5.6. Christ died for us, Romans 5.8. Christ died for the weak brother, Romans 14.15 and First Corinthians 8.11. Christ died for our sins, First Corinthians 15.3. But Christ also gave Himself for the Church, Ephesians 5.25.
3C. Too often decisionists consider forgiveness of sins only, and ignore the totally of a Christian’s salvation. But the reason Jesus wants men to count the cost when thinking about becoming a Christian, Luke 14.28, is precisely so you will be prepared to do what Christ wants you to do after you become a Christian . . . which necessarily includes a deep commitment to Church.
4C. As well, it’s in Church that the most important means of grace is featured, which is Gospel preaching. Listen to First Corinthians 1.18 and 21: "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
5C. O, how important it is to get the lost to Church. How great is the error of parents who do not compel their children to attend Church while they are living at home. And how wrong-headed is that person who would try to bring a loved one or a Muslim to Christ without bringing that person to Church.
6C. Where else but in Church will this dynamic be at work? Here is what happens when a lost person is exposed to preaching in Church: ". . . there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth." First Corinthians 14.24-25.
1. The briefest of reviews before brother Isenberger comes and we take up our offering and sing a hymn, after which I will bring my sermon.
2. First, you need to make sure you are truly saved. And if you have felt under Gospel preaching that you were not saved you need to come and talk to me. I may not think you are unsaved. Sometimes a person will think he or she is not saved and I will disagree and say "O, yes, I think you are!" Come and talk to me if there is doubt. We’ll work together to clear things up.
3. As well, if your spouse thinks you are lost come and see me. There are things the person you sleep with can just feel, but may not be able to put into words. Talk to your husband or wife about this, but please do not ask them to betray confidential conversations with me without my permission. It’s not ethical.
4. And then, to get your loved ones saved, or to get a Muslim saved, three things: First, Holy Spirit-given Christian love toward that person. Second, the truth for that person. Third, Church for that person.
5. Now, let’s stand and sing.
1. Here you are, in Church, but you are not a Christian. There is no way you can convince anyone you are a Christian. You don’t attend Church regularly, no one really knows when you will show up or not, and there is no concern on your part to serve Christ and glorify God with your life.
2. You may or may not be a Muslim. Whether you are or not, there is one thing you need to concern yourself with that no one else will concern themselves with for you.
3. Maybe you have been or maybe you have not been truly loved by a Christian. I don’t think I was, except for the two old ladies who first witnessed to me when I was six or seven, and then again when I was witnessed to as a fifteen year old by my uncle. Other than that, no Christian love for my soul.
4. Neither did anyone ever try to get me in Church. I never resisted attending Church. I was just never invited and didn’t know to go. So, it’s better for you than it was for me.
5. You are here, I can tell you for sure that I love you, and now I want to tell you the truth about something, the truth that will set you free.
1A. First, YOU HAVE A SIN PROBLEM
1B. Islam Doesn’t Believe That You Have A Sin Problem. Islam Doesn’t Believe You Are A Member Of A Race Fallen Into Sin. As A Matter Of Fact, Islam Insists That Men Are Only Weak And In Need Of Guidance, Not Sinful In Need Of Salvation.
2B. But Do The Events Of September 11th Line Up With The Muslim View Of Man’s Essential Goodness? Were The Terrorists Who Flew Planes Into Three Buildings And Murdered More Than 6,000 Innocent People Merely Misguided? Or Were They True Believers And The People They Killed Were Misguided? But Would Men With The Truth Plan And Murder 6,000 People They Believed To Be Essentially Good, But Misguided?
3B. Excuse Me, But Something Doesn’t Add Up Here. The Muslim View Of Things Doesn’t Explain The Condition Of Mankind And Doesn’t Explain The Actions Of The Terrorist Butchers Who Subscribe To Their Religion. The Reason The Muslim View Of Things Doesn’t Explain What’s Going On In The World Is Because The Muslim View Is Wrong.
4B. Man Is Not Essentially Good And In Need Only Of Guidance. Man Is Essentially Evil, And With A Profoundly Serious Sin Problem. And Why Is Sin A Profoundly Serious Problem? Sin, Any Amount Of Sin, Any Level Of Sin, Is Profoundly Serious Because Sin Defiles, Sin Corrupts, Sin Dirties, Sin Contaminates The Soul. But God’s Word Says, "without holiness no man shall see the Lord," Hebrews 12.14.
5B. My Good Friend, Dr. Ramzi Khammar, Who Was Born In Beirut And Who Grew Up In The Middle East, Tells Me That Islam’s Greatest Weakness Is It’s Complete Inability To Deal With A Man’s Sin Problem. He Is Completely Correct In His Appraisal. Read The Koran From Cover To Cover And You Will Not Find Anything Suggesting How To Address The Profound Issue Of Man’s Sin.
2A. BUT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE SOLUTION TO YOUR SIN PROBLEM
1B. I Know A Man Is Not Likely To Accept This Truth Unless And Until He Is Loved In Such A Way That He Wants To Accept This Truth. The Fact Is, Men Are Receptive To That Which Their Hearts Want To Accept As Truth.
2B. So I Hope, My Friend, That Some Christian You Know Has Loved You With A Supernatural And God-Given Love. I Hope Your Heart Has Been Melted By The Love Of God In Christ Jesus, With The Love Of Some Friend Or Relative, Or Through The Preaching Of God’s Word About Christ’s Love For You.
3B. My Desire Is That You Be Treated With Such Care And Affection That You Can Quite Honestly Feel The Concern God Has For Your Soul, And That You Appreciate The Motive For Which Jesus Died On The Cross For You, And Shed His Precious Blood. Because Unless Your Heart Is So Melted, Your Affections Are So Tenderized, It’s Unlikely You Will Accept The Truth For What It Is, The Power Of God Unto Salvation.
4B. Now, I Know The Muslims Don’t Accept Jesus To Be Who He Is, The Eternal Son Of The Living God, The One Who Was Crucified To Pay The Ransom Price For Your Sin. But Let Me Ask You A Question: If Jesus Isn’t The Savior Of Sinful Men’s Souls, Then Who Is? No One Else Even Claimed To Be The Savior. No One Else Died On The Cross For The Sins Of Men. No One Else Rose From the Dead After Three Days And Three Nights In Front Of Hundreds Of Witnesses.
5B. So, Please Answer Me That One Question. If Jesus Isn’t The Savior, If He Isn’t The One Who Washes Away Sins With His Blood, If He Isn’t The One Who Saves People From Their Sins, Then Who Does? There Is Salvation From Sins In No Other Person, My Friend.
6B. You See, Jesus Christ Is The Only Answer To Certain Questions. And He Is The Only Answer To The All-Important Question Before Us Now, The Sin Question. Sin Is A Problem. Sin Is A Big Problem. Sin Keeps People Out Of Heaven. Sin Angers God. Sin Calls Down God’s Wrath. And Jesus Is The Only Solution To The Sin Problem Of A Man.
7B. "Well, I’m Not Sure The Muslims Aren’t Right. I Don’t Think Jesus Is Who You Claim He Is." My Friend, If Jesus Is Not The Savior Of Sinful Men’s Souls Then There Is No Savior Of Sinful Men’s Souls, Since He Is The Only Man In History About Whom The Claim Is Made. So, If Jesus Is Not The One Who Saves From Sins Then There Is No Salvation From Sins. Are You Prepared To Deal With That?
3A. Finally, BY WHAT MEANS CAN JESUS, THE SAVIOR, DO YOU ANY GOOD?
1B. What Good Does It Do You That Jesus Died On A Cross, Shed His Blood, And Rose From The Dead 2,000 Years Ago? How Does That Help You? And How Does It Help You To Know That He Suffered And Bled And Died 2,000 Years Ago? My Friend, Those Facts, Important As They Certainly Are, Do You No Good Whatsoever In And Of Themselves.
2B. You See, What Jesus Did He Did 2,000 Years Ago! What He Did He Did Almost 10,000 Miles Away! How Does Some Event, No Matter How Wonderful And Marvelous It Was, Benefit You When It Is So Far Removed In Space And Time? And Even If You Were There When Jesus Died, Or There Standing At The Opening Of The Tomb When He Rose From The Dead, How Does That Benefit You?
3B. You See, There Are A Great Many People In This World Who Think Themselves Christians, Who Think They Are Saved, Who Have Done Something Akin To What A Muslim Does, Which Is To Say Certain Words. But How Do Reciting Words, Or Saying A Prayer, Or Bowing And Posturing In Some Way, Solve The Sin Problem? How Does It Acquire For You The Benefit Of Jesus’ Doing And Dying?
4B. My Friend, And What I Am About To Say Is Unique To Christianity, God Has A Way Whereby The Solution Can Be Applied To Your Problem. That’s Right. There Is A Means Whereby You Can Receive The Benefit Of What Jesus Did Long Ago And Far Away, To Solve Your Sin Problem.
5B. It’s Faith. That’s Right, Faith. The Bible Says, "Therefore, Being Justified By Faith We Have Peace With God," Romans 5.1. You See, Though Mohammed Is Now Dead And Buried, Jesus Was Dead And Buried, And Is Alive Again. He Rose From The Dead And Then Ascended To Heaven, Where He Now Sits At His Father’s Right Hand, Ready To Save Sinners. Ready To Save You.
6B. If You Will Believe In Him, If You Will Place Your Faith In Him, Jesus The Living Savior, Based Upon What He Did 2,000 Years Ago And Almost 10,000 Miles Away, Will Save You From Your Sins. Do You Grasp The Concept? It Isn’t What Jesus Did That Saves Anyone. It Is Jesus, The One Who Did What He Did, Who Saves Sinners.
7B. That’s Why Jesus Told People To "Come Unto Me." That’s Why The Apostle Paul Told The Philippian Jailor To "Believe On The Lord Jesus Christ And Thou Shalt Be Saved." That’s Why You Need To Come To Jesus, As Well.
1. To review: My friend, you have a terrible problem. It’s sin. And it corrupts and defiles and damns the soul. God hates it. And since God is holy He won’t allow any amount of sin into His heaven. So, sin is a terrible problem, because the only other place to go come eternity is Hell.
2. But Jesus is the solution to the problem. And He’d better be the solution to the sin problem, since there is no other solution. No one else has ever claimed to be the solution to the sin problem, as Jesus has. So, it’s Jesus or Hell, there are no other options.
3. Think about this. Ponder this. Consider it carefully. Weigh it with the deliberation it deserves. And then act, for unless you come to Jesus there is no good for you. Unless you believe on Him, there is no salvation.
4. Many men have died and gone to Hell knowing Jesus is the Savior but never having actually come to Him. More people than you can ever imagine. Please don’t be one of them.
5.Realize that you will never be saved from your sins unless you come to Jesus, for there is no other Savior. And there is no other faith besides Christianity which even promises to answer the sin problem. If you are not a Christian, really born again, let’s you and me sit down and talk about how you can have your sins forgiven by Jesus, the only Savior of sinful men’s souls.
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