A few months ago (March, discount pharmacy 2004), sales several missionaries and pastors were murdered in Nigeria. There was actually a reward offered for killing them by Islamic leaders. This really affected me, because I spent time one summer in Nigeria discipling young pastors. My experience with them helped me later write a book on discipleship called “Mission Possible” which is on my web site firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t know if any of these same pastors or missionaries were among those murdered, I pray not. But I can attest to their love for the Muslims in Nigeria. They were willing to risk their lives in order to present the Gospel. I will never forget my time with one of those missionaries. Lois had been a missionary for years up in Kano, Nigeria. One night, right before she was getting ready to turn in a witch doctor broke into her bungalow. He grabbed her by the neck and took out his knife to cut out her tongue. I guess in all the commotion he said over and over again to her, “I must have your tongue, it has power, and I want that power.” Fortunately just before he thrust his knife into her mouth, another missionary broke in causing the witch doctor to flee. I asked Lois why the witch doctor thought her tongue was so powerful? She said (to my embarrassment) that it was not her tongue, but the transforming message of her tongue, which was Christ and Him crucified. The testimony of this woman affected numerous Nigerians; many came to Christ through her. All the witch doctor could see was that her tongue was powerful; he never really considered the message that came from her tongue, which was a message that could have transformed his life. What amazed me most about this woman and so many other Christian pastors in Nigeria was their love for the Muslim people, and their willingness to lose their lives for them.
I conclude the series on Islam with this challenge; we must love the Muslim people even if it means losing our lives doing it. What value is it to our faith to just love those who love us? Imagine, in comparison, how our faith would grow if we love those who hate us and would take our lives if they could (Matthew 5:46-47)? The Great Commandment tells us to love God with all our hearts, and to love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). And this means Muslims must be loved also. There are plenty of Muslims in this country to love. And there are many missionaries risking their lives in Muslim countries we need to support (Matthew 5:9-12). I know it is hard to love Muslims, especially in recent days (Matthew 5:38-41). But we must love them; it is what Christ taught us in the Sermon on the Mount. We cannot do this on our own, but He did not ask us to love Muslims on our own. He said, that if we would just let Him live His life through each of us, then there is nothing we could not do, and that even means loving Muslims (Galatians 2: 20). We need to put away our anger and let God love them through us (Ephesians 4:30-32).
Other facts about Islamic beliefs
Islam’s differences with Christianity
- According to Muslims, god is Allah, a force, not a god who desires a personal relationship.
- According to Christianity, Allah is a false god. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is God, there are no others. The God of the Bible desires a personal relationship with His created.
- According to Muslims, sin is a choice.
- According to Christianity, all men are born with sin.
- According to Muslims, the Koran is the inerrant, syllable-by-syllable, dictated word of Allah.
- According to Muhammad, much of the New Testament’s account of Jesus has been corrupted.
- According to Christians the Bible is the only inspired, inerrant Word of God. The Koran is a false gospel born out of hell.
- According to Muslims, Jesus Christ was not crucified, as Christianity claims. It was Judas who died on the cross, not Christ. Christ was neither Savior nor the Son of God as Christians claim, but only one of the prophets who tried to persuade people of the truth about Allah (the revived old moon god).
- According to Christians Jesus Christ was the Son of God who died for all men’s sins.
- According to Islam salvation is based on self-earned works. A Muslim must work his way toward God through good deeds. Here are some of the good deeds a Muslim must accomplish to get to heaven.
- A Muslim must publicly repeat the Shahadah, which means, ” There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s apostle.”
- Muslims must pray five times a day. They are to kneel and bow in the direction of Mecca.
- Muslims must give 2.5% of their income to the poor.
- All Muslims must fast during Ramadan: the highest holy season (The Muslims 9th month). The fasting must be done during the daylight hours.
- Muslims are expected to go to Mecca at least once in their lifetime and pay homage to Allah at the temple.
- Muslims believe in holy wars called Jihads. A majority of Muslims believe this refers to the Holy War that goes on in one’s own heart. But a growing number of other Muslims are reverting back to the way Mohammad interpreted it, to coerce by force those who resist Islam. And if this means taking their lives then so be it.
- There is no salvation outside of believing in Jesus Christ. He is the only way to salvation. All other ways are false, and are nothing more than a ploy by the evil one.
- John 14: 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
- Romans 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
- There is nothing a Christian can do to earn His salvation; there is not a works system leading to salvation.
- Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- All that God asks us to do in receiving His free gift of salvation is to turn away from our sins (repentance), and accept Jesus as lord and Savior (belief).
- Mark 1: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
- John 11 25-26 25 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
- Romans 10: 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
- The act of salvation is done all at once, it can never be repeated, because God will not allow any of us to lose it. Keeping all of us saved is His concern, because He is the only one who can do it, and He promised He would.
- John 10: 28 I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
Matthew 5:46-47 46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 5: 9-12 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me
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Matthew 5: 38-41 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
Galatians 2: 20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Ephesians 4:30-32 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.