The Shepherd of Hope blog is here to serve you, to help you know Jesus better and to find hope in Him. This blog relies on the Spirit of God using the word of God to build people of God. All material has been prayerfully submitted for your encouragement and spiritual edification. Your questions and comments are welcome.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Three Things About Islam

The following 8 minute video is a secular presentation on Three Things About Islam. It discusses whether or not Islam has been hijacked by a fanatical few, the strategy of the gradual perpetuation of Sharia Law, and the Law of Taqiyya that allows Muslims to lie to infidels in order to forward their religion. Christians won't agree with everything in this video,(such as viewing Christianity as just one of many religions and that all contain contradictions - Christianity, rightly understood is without contradictions). But these three points are vitally important for understanding what is going on in the world today. At the end of the video are some links to do further research. I encourage you to get informed about Islam.

I invite you to watch the video and then read my comments.

Abraham Lincoln said You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. It's time we wake up as a nation. It's time for Christians to equip themselves to share the gospel with Muslims. Politically it is doubtful the west has the wherewithal and courage to address honestly the danger of Islam. This is a spiritual battle. Wherever you find deception being used you know the devil is involved (John 8:44). The way to deal with the deceptions of the devil is to address and expose falsehoods and lies with truth.

This is a religio-political problem because Islam is a religious system that incorporates politics, a governmental system, and religious beliefs in one package. Islam is a works righteousness religious system. As such it binds and shackles people with guilt and oppression. Jesus, on the other hand said, "If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. . . . Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. . . . Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:31-32, 34, 36). Exposing the truth about Islam is important, but it is not enough. Addressing Islam from a political position is not enough. We have to go beyond the mere truth laid out for us in Three Things About Islam. We have to go to the the truth of Jesus.

Exposing the truth about Islam so that the world protects itself against it will only result in political freedom. In the United States right now there is a national conversation about the loss of freedoms. That is patriotic. That is important. But that is not enough. There is a greater freedom to experience. Jesus offers eternal freedom. Jesus offers freedom from the shackles of sin. If Islam is thwarted and our freedoms restored and secured in the United States, people will still remain bound in sin! We need to go beyond the mere secular, temporal addressing of issues in the world and address the eternal predicament of humanity.

We have to go beyond secular truth and seek the Spirit of truth. We need the Holy Spirit who illuminates and reveals the truth of God (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). The truth we need to seek is the truth of God revealed in His word (John 17:17). We need the "truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5, 14). The early church turned the world upside down (i.e. right side up) (Acts 17:6). The Spirit filled disciples of the early church were faced with problems and religious systems just as oppressive and threatening as the ones we face today. They were imprisoned, tortured, stoned, sawn in two, decapitated (sound familiar?), and thrown to lions (cf. Heb. 11:32-40). But they were able to gain victory and glory for God no matter what the enemy threw at them. Why? How? Because they had "the truth of the gospel" (Col. 1:5). The truth of the gospel won the hearts of enemies as it was spread throughout the world in the power of the Spirit (Acts 1:8). That is what is really needed today; gospel truth spread in the power of the Spirit. Anything less is only a band aid.

The truth of the gospel is that there are none righteous, not one human being (Rom. 3:10, 23). Every person has broken not just one but many of God's Laws and done so many times over. God gave us His Law to show us the way to a peaceful abundant life (Deut. 30:11-20; Gal. 3:24). God's law is holy, just and good (Rom. 7:12). God is holy and sin is repugnant to Him (Hab. 1:13). Sin dirties us and separates us from Holy God (Ps. 66:18; Isaiah 59:2). Even one sin of breaking God's Law separates a person from God (Gal. 3:10; James 2:10). Sin is serious. Sin is like cancer, one cell, left unattended spreads and will kill the entire body. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23a). Sin causes pain and sorrow. Sin is the result of pride, rebellion and selfishness. Sin is linked to everything bad in this world. And because of this God's righteous wrath is what awaits the sinner in judgment (Eph. 2:1-3). He will not allow sin into His heaven, a place of true peace, harmony and loving fellowship with Him (e.g. John 17:3). Sin separates us from everything good and we have a malignancy of sin. This is the bad news.

The good news of the gospel is that God, in a gift of His grace, has reached down to help us out of the mire of sin. The wages or debt of sin is the eternal death penalty. This death is not annihilation but the just sentence of eternal condemnation in a place called hell (Mat. 25:46; Rev. 20:11). But Jesus went to the cross and paid that penalty for us by dying a sinners death there (1 Pet. 1:18-19). God "made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that when we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). We can be saved from our sins when we forsake our sin,put our faith or trust in Jesus and His work on the cross as the only sufficient means to ask for and receive God's forgiveness for for our sins (Mark 1:15; John 1:12; Acts 2:38-39; Rom. 5:1; 6:23; 10:9-10; 2 Cor. 7:10; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-5). Grace therefore is God's Riches at Christ's Expense. Because this salvation is a gift of God's grace you can rest assured that you have it when you follow the gospel truth revealed to you by God (1 John 5:13). The person who receives the truth of God's gospel passes from death to life. No matter how great a sinner you are if you receive Jesus as Savior and Lord the Bible says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). Where the Spirit does His work, liberty from sin results (2 Co. 3:17-18). The evidence of this is the beautiful love of God poured out into you by the Spirit who indwells the believer (Rom. 5:5; 8:9-11; 1 John 3:14). That is the better way; love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8).

We need more than a political or military response to Islam and the various problems faced in this world. We need gospel truth applied. Let's make that our prayer. In fact, let's pray as Paul did when he wrote to the Colossians saying:

"We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; . . . ." (Col. 1:3-6).

Let's spread "the word of the truth of the gospel . . . in all the world." God bless you all. Speak the truth of God's word in the love and power of the Spirit.

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