God's Message to the Muslim
God’s Message to The Muslim!
And to the Jew! To the Christian!
The Hindu! The Buddhist! The Atheist!
The New-Age! The Jehovah’s Witness! The Mormon! To “whosoever will!”
God’s message to the Muslim is the same as to every other man or woman on earth today. It is found in the New Testament of the Bible in St John 3:7. The message is short, simple, and to the point. It says, “Ye must be born again!” It is a mistake to think that this message is only to those who are of the “Christian Faith.” In fact, it was a “Jew” by the name of “Nicodemus” who first heard this message. Nicodemus was a teacher of the Jews. He was totally knowledgeable in the Law of Moses, and the “traditions” of the elders. He was a man who loved God with his whole heart and being, and very sincere in his religion, but there was that one thing he lacked, and until the day he came to question Jesus, he didn’t know what it was. “Except a man be born again,” Jesus told him, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Most of us are a result of the “society” we were born into. I was born into a “Christian society (we called it ‘Christian America’ back then),” therefore in a cultural sense I was a “Christian” when I was born. I was raised in a “Christian” home. My Dad and Mom were devout Christians. We had family Bible study and prayer at nights, and were taught “Christian” values continually. I was known in the churches we attended to be a “good” boy. I was faithful to church, I was honest, moral, and many thought, a model “Christian” child. By the time I was only sixteen or seventeen years old, I had been made leader of the “Christ Ambassadors” youth ministry in the church we attended. It was when I was eighteen years old that I really heard the message that God gives to every person. It was the same old message He had given to the Jew almost two thousand years ago, “Ye must be born again.” You see, even while I was a model “Christian” in the eyes of many, I was also “lost.” I had no peace with God. All my worship was nothing more than tradition, just words I had heard others use in prayer or service.
I had just moved to the northside of Houston Texas. I attended a church where I felt the presence of God in a way I had never felt before. In the awesome presence of God I knew immediately what the reason was that I had no peace. I was lost. Even though I was a “model Christian,” I was lost. I was a sinner and I was damned. In an hours time I lost everything I had trusted in. All my righteousness had been self-righteousness. Now, I wept in repentance for sin at an old wooden altar, and that day, March 9, 1958, I was “born again” of the Spirit of God. I was instantly transformed. The same day I was “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” When I arose from that old wooden altar, such love and joy and peace that never knew existed had flooded my soul. I was a child of God, I was “born again.”
In America today, there are millions of people who attend “Christian” churches faithfully and are nevertheless “lost.” They have never been “born again.” Most probably let a minister pray the “sinners prayer” with them. Maybe they were “baptized” in water, and “joined” the church, but they were never “born again.” They are still sinners, and they are taught that this is “normal,” but never fear, Heaven is guaranteed because they have “made a decision for Christ.” The truth is, the “traditional,” or “cultural” Christian has no guarantee of Heaven whatsoever. They also must be “born again.”
“Ye must be born again” is not just a message for the Christian culture. In fact, there was no “Christian culture” when Jesus was preaching the “gospel” to the Jews. It wasn’t until numerous years later that Jesus’ disciples were first called “Christians” at Antioch (Acts 11:26). “Ye must be born again” was a message preached by believers to people of every nation, race, and religion in the world. Those Jews who “repented and believed the gospel (Mark 1:15),” were “born again,” as were the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ethiopians, and those of every nation on earth. Regardless of where they came from, what “culture” they were of, or even which “god” they worshiped, all that repented and believed the gospel were born again. They were freed from sin, and given a “new heart” and a “new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26)” They were so like Jesus Christ that they were commonly called “Christians.” It had nothing to do with the so-called “Christian culture” that has evolved into something so “un-Christ-like” as is so prevalent today.
A Jew once told me, “Leroy, when I read about Jesus I want to follow him. I want more than anything to be like him, but I don’t want to become a Christian.” After talking with him for a while, I found that his concept of “becoming a Christian” was to join a church, maybe a “Baptist,” or a “Methodist,” “Assembly of God,” or some other “Christian” organization. I asked him if this was what he meant and he answered “yes, isn’t that what being a ‘Christian’ is all about?”
Nicodemus’ first response to Jesus’ “born again” message was a question; “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Many might laugh at such “ignorance,” but not Jesus. He patiently taught this sincere Jew and the day came that Nicodemus was “born” of the Spirit of God. So it is today. Perhaps in the religious culture you were born into you have never heard of being “born again.” Such a thing may sound foreign and strange to you, but the message of God to you is that you will never see the kingdom of God unless you have been born a second time, this time of the “Spirit of God.”
How Can This Be?
It was to a man in the Bible named “Thomas” that Jesus first revealed the “way to God.” Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” What an amazing claim for a man to make. Upon this claim hangs the necessity for every person to know for themselves exactly “who” and “what” Jesus Christ is. It is not good enough for anyone to say that Jesus was just a “good” man, a “teacher” of new ideas, who went about doing good deeds for the poor in his day. Neither will it suffice, as Islam does, to promote that Jesus was a great “prophet of God,” but no more than a prophet, and only a servant. Some will go so far as to believe, as the Budhists and the Hindus, that Jesus was indeed the “Messiah,” or “Christ,” for his day, but only one in a long line of Messiahs to come. If Jesus was not everything He said He was in this single verse of scripture, then He was a fraud, a liar, a blasphemer, and the Jews were right in their judgment against Him. If Jesus was, in fact, a “good,” moral, honest, decent man, who was also a “prophet of God,” and a “Messiah” to the people, then He had to be all that He said He was, “The Way, The Truth, and The Life.” There can be no other “way” to God but Jesus Christ. The High Priest and the “Sanhedrin Court” did not judge Jesus to be either a good man, a prophet of God, or a Messiah. They declared Him to be a liar, a deceiver, a blasphemer, a man worthy only of torture and death on the cross. Without the intervention of God, that would have been the end of the matter, but the scriptural record says, “…but God raised Him from the dead (Acts 13:30).” God’s judgment of Jesus was different than that of man’s. The record in Romans 1:3-4 reveals God’s judgment of Jesus as follows, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Jesus was more than just a good man, a prophet, or a messiah: He was and is forever the Son of God with power, proven to be so by His resurrection from the dead.
Islam teaches that Jesus was a great prophet of God, that he was caught up to Heaven alive, and that he will judge the world at the last day. They deny, however, that he was the Son of God, that he died on the cross, or that he was raised from the dead. It was only a “likeness” of him, they say, that was crucified, even as Jesus himself was caught up to Heaven before Calvary. Honoring Jesus as a “great prophet of God,” they deny His own words as He told of His own death and resurrection. Hear the record of the scripture in Matthew 16:21, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” After this event, Jesus is quoted nine times in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, telling of His coming death and resurrection.
The Muslim honors Abraham, Moses, and the Law. They honor David and the prophets. Does it not follow that they will believe the prophets if they hear their words? Who can read the Psalm of David in Psalms, chapter twenty-two, and not know that David is speaking of Jesus Christ when they compare it with Matthew, chapter twenty-seven, Mark, chapter fifteen, Luke, chapter twenty-three, or the nineteenth chapter of John. David saw the sufferings of our Lord from Heaven a thousand years before the fact. Who could give a more detailed account of the sufferings of Israel’s Messiah than Isaiah gave seven hundred years before Calvary in Isaiah, chapter fifty-three? Isaiah clearly told the circumstances of His death, His resurrection and His eternal reign. Who can deny that God has a Son when they read the second chapter of Psalms, especially the seventh (“…thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee.”) and twelfth (“Kiss the Son lest He be angry…”) verses? Hear David again in Psalms, chapter 110, as he speaks of Jesus in these words, “The Lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool’.” Follow up with the words of God Himself through the prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 12:10, “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced.” Certainly this tells who it was that was nailed to that cross that day. An imposter? Just a “likeness?” Not so! Dozens of precise prophecies coming from the mouths of the patriarchs and the prophets foretold in detail the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Prophecies of His birth;
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us).
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of His ministry;
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
Of His death;
1. (the prophecy) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
(the fulfillment) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
2. (the prophecy) He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
(the fulfillment) He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
3. (the prophecy) They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
(the fulfillment) They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
4. (the prophecy) For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
(the fulfillment) The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
5. (the prophecy) They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
(the fulfillment) And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
And, of His resurrection!
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:7-12
These are but a few of the dozens of exact prophecies that were fulfilled to perfection in the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The odds against so many “predictions” made hundreds of years beforehand by various different individuals all being fulfilled in one man are infinite. By no stretch of imagination could this be coincidence. Jesus Christ is who the prophets said He is, and His claim to be the only way to God is true. He came into this world, the Son of God, for the purpose of being the atonement for the sin of the world. He did not suffer and die only for the “Christian” culture, for there was none. Jesus died for the Muslim, the Jew, the Hindu, the Budhist, the Shaman, the Atheist, and for every other sect, or race of people. “For God so loved the world (that’s everyone), that He gave His only begotten Son (that’s Jesus), that whosoever (that’s Muslim, Jew, Hindu, etc. to the last and least person on earth) believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Even Mohammed did not know if he was going to Heaven or not. He said “only God knows.” I tell you, and the gospel of Jesus Christ insures that you can know where you are going if, and only if, you come through Jesus Christ. Jesus said it: “No man cometh to the Father but by me.”
A Name Above Every Name
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11
The eternal “Word” of God, who in the beginning was “with” God, and “was” God (John 1:1-3), was “made flesh (John 1:14)” and dwelt among us. This is He that was “in the form of God,” and “thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” This same one, whom the scriptures say, “all things were made by Him,” is the one who took upon Himself “the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” This is “Christ Jesus.” This is the Son of the living God. Galatians 4:4 says, “…God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” Jesus, the Son of God, is that same “son of Mary” spoken of in the Muslim Koran. If there is a god that has no son (and there are many), so be it. Jesus Christ is the Son of the living and true God. He is from all eternity, as He Himself said, “…before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).”
Our text tells us, “…and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” It is important to know, even as Jesus was dying on the cross, no man took His life. That would have not been possible. Jesus told us in John 10: 17-18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
“Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him…” God, the Father of Jesus Christ, raised Jesus from the dead, exalted Him to His own right hand, and gave Him a name that is above every name. Ephesians 1:21 tells us He is “…far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” “A name that is above every name!” That name is Jesus. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” It was Muhammad, who claimed only to be a messenger, that penned these words in the Koran, the book of Ornaments, verse eighty one; “Say: ‘If the All-merciful has a son, then I am the first to serve him. Glory be to the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne, above that they describe’.” Muhammad, along with every other name that is named among men, will bow his knee and confess that Jesus Christ is “the Lord of the heavens and the earth.” He said that he would, and he will in that day.
The scripture is explicitly clear that every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This, of course, speaks of that great last day judgment when God will judge the world by Jesus Christ (Acts 17-31).” Today, He is the way to God. He is the saviour of all who believe on Him, and trust the keeping of their soul to Him. In John 12:47-48 Jesus said, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” When He returns to this earth, it will not be to save the world, but to judge the world. This is that same Jesus who told us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me.” He said we will be judged by the word which He spoke to us. We must come to the Father through Him. All who bow their knees before Him in this day, and confess openly with their mouths that He is Lord, will be saved. To do otherwise may not bring the judgment of God in this present world, but in the world to come they will face certain damnation.
No Other Name
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12
A man had been an invalid for over forty years. Never in his lifetime had he been able to walk, or to care for himself. He was carried by others and laid daily at the “beautiful” gate of the Temple. Now, he was walking, leaping, praising God in the Temple. A huge crowd gathered, because everyone in Jerusalem knew this man and his sad condition. What had happened? How did this great miracle take place? They saw the man clinging to Peter and John, two of Jesus’ disciples. A multitude gathered around just to see these men that had raised the invalid up. Peter took the occasion to preach Jesus Christ to them. Jesus, whom they crucified, God had raised from the dead. “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all (Acts 3:16).” Five thousand people believed upon Jesus and were added to the “church” that day. The leaders of the Jews were angered that they taught the people in the name of Jesus, but they could not deny the great miracle. They called Peter and John before the council. “By what power, or by what name have ye done this?” they demanded. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:8-12).”
All of us were born into this world as sinners. It makes no difference what religious “culture” we were born into, we were sinners, we were lost, and we needed a saviour. Spiritually we were very much like the invalid was for over forty years of his life. He could not help himself. Nothing he could do could ever change his circumstance. It was through the name of Jesus, Peter said, “the faith that is by Him” that gave “perfect soundness” to the man and made him “whole.” Whether we were born into the Muslim, the Jewish, or the Christian cultures does not matter, for we were born sinners, and “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).” As a sinner, we can pray five or more times a day, be sure that our “good” deeds outweigh our “bad,” and it will profit us nothing. Nothing we can do will change our circumstance. We must have a saviour. We must have a redeemer. Before Jesus was born to Mary, the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “…thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” His name, “Jesus (Greek for ‘he will save’),” was derived from the fact He was sent into the world to be the “saviour” of the world.
The prophet Joel prophesied in Joel 2:32, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered (saved).” Jesus Christ is that Lord, as Peter assured us in Acts 2:36, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Believe upon Him, that He is the Son of God, that He died for your sin, and rose again the third day. Call upon Him, repenting of your sins, and He will forgive and save your soul. You will be “born again.”
A Message to the “Christian”
It was Mohandas Gandhi, the great non-violent Hindu leader of India of a past generation, who is quoted as saying, “When I study the life of Jesus, I would be a Christian, if it were not for “Christians (not an exact quote).” It was a Jew who once told me “I would love to follow Jesus, but I don’t want to be a Christian.” There are many millions of people in the “Christian culture” who do not know Jesus Christ. There are even those who, in the “name of Christ,” have both now and in the past, have committed horrible atrocities against humanity. The “inquisition” of the Catholic church was surely spawned out of Hell itself, as millions of so-called “Christian heretics,” Muslims and Jews were murdered. The Crusades from a previous age offered the “guarantee” of Heaven to anyone who would go to Jerusalem to fight against the Muslims and Jews. Even Hitler was influenced in his hatred of Jews by “Christian” leaders of the past who also hated the Jews. Years ago, when I was in junior high school, an overweight Jewish boy told me one day that I was “different.” “You don’t tease me and hurt my feelings like the other boys do,” he said. I told him, “That’s because I am a Christian.” “No,” he answered, “it’s the Christian boys that hurt me the most.” I couldn’t convince him that Christians were different, because he knew too many from the “Christian culture.” He ended the conversation by saying, “if I knew what it was that made you different, I would want it.” Many Jews, Muslims and Hindus alike now know that Jesus Christ was “different.” A prophet, a teacher, even a “rabbi” some say. They come short of believing that He is the Son of God. A generation of the “church” that teaches, “believe in Jesus, continue in sin, and go to Heaven when you die,” will never be able to persuade them. Jesus Christ came into the world to lay His live down, the sacrifice of God, to take the sin of the world away. He lives today. He sits at the right hand of God in the Heavens. He lives on earth in the hearts and natures of those who have been “born again” of the Spirit of God. It is a sad commentary on the state of the church today that very few have ever truly been “born again.”
To those who are “born again” of the Spirit of God, make that total surrender of your body and soul to the Lord. Seek to be filled with the Spirit. Seek to both have and to be a manifestation of Jesus Christ to this last generation. When the “church” is the “Church;” when it is what He purchased with His own blood, we will effect the world; we will reap the harvest. Every religious culture on earth is waiting to see Jesus. We are the only hope that they ever will. We are the people upon whom the ends of the world are come. We dare not come short of the certain glory that God has called us unto (II Thessalonians 2:13). Untold millions of souls are in the balance. We must not fail.