by Frederick Hoehn, copyright 2013. |
If we're going just by the numbers of people, one of the main religions of the world is Islam.
People who have Islam as their religion are called Muslims. The religion of the Muslims is Islam. At their Friday prayers, they pray to Allah. Is the Muslim deity, Allah, the same as the Judeo-Christian God?
The Jews and the Christians don’t call their God Allah. I haven't found the name Allah anywhere in the Bible.
Let’s focus for just a moment on the smaller question: Do Jews and Christians have the same God?
Uh, well, sort of. Christians worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as do the Jews. But where Jews and Christians differ, the Jews are still waiting for the promised Messiah, or Savior, while the Christians accept Jesus as that Messiah and Savior.
There is, of course, a small percentage of Jews who are also Christians. I met a man who called himself a Messianic Jew, because he accepts Jesus as the Messiah.
I met the Zarr family at the church I grew up in. They were Christian Jews. There’s also an organization called, “Jews for Jesus.”
I spoke with a "Jews for Jesus" man in downtown Los Angeles. He was passing out literature in front of Macy’s Plaza at Seventh and Flower streets. He told me about the “dumbing down” of the Hebrew language by Jewish leaders to avoid getting into trouble with God.
No, the way to avoid trouble with God is to fear God and keep his commandments.
The Jews, who are waiting for the Messiah to come, will instead find a counterfeit Messiah who is The Antichrist, also called The Beast. He will make a pact with the Jews, but after a while they’ll see that he’s not their Messiah. (Book of Revelation)
I bought a computer from a store owned by a Muslim man, Mohammed, in the Los Angeles area. The store was closed on Friday afternoons for Friday prayers. Mohammed was pretty savvy about computers.
I met Ibrahim, a Muslim man, in Houston, TX. He was a neighbor. He and I played some games of chess.
He was a fairly strong chess player, and won about half of the games. He worked from time to time in the maritime industry on civilian ships.
One time I said to Ibrahim, You people (the Muslims) say that Jesus was a good man, and a prophet, but not the Son of God. But Jesus said he's the Son of God. So then, if you're right that Jesus is not the Son of God, then Jesus is not a good man, but a liar; not a prophet, but a false prophet.
Ibrahim surprised me with his answer. He said that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God. He is quite mistaken, and obviously doesn't read the Bible.
After he was betrayed and arrested, Jesus was brought before the Jewish High Priest, who asked Jesus if he was the Son of God. Jesus answered, “I am, and you'll see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." (Mrk 14:61,62)
Another time, talking with his disciples, Jesus asked them, “Whom do men say that I am?” They answered that some said he was one of the old prophets, or John the Baptist raised back up from the dead.
Jesus answered, “But whom do you say that I am?” Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus answered Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood hasn’t revealed it to you, but my Father in heaven.” (Matt chapter 16)
So then, Jesus himself claimed to be the Son of God.
So the Muslims are mistaken. Jesus is a prophet, and also the Son of God. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except by me." (John 14:6)
Jesus is the Son of God, and Savior of the World. He's the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, for those who accept Him as Lord and Savior.
So then, why didn’t Ibrahim know that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God? Because he doesn’t read the Bible. They read the Koran (or, Quran). The Muslims say that Jesus is one of their prophets.
The Muslims are right that Jesus is a prophet, but he is much more than a prophet. But if you know that someone is a prophet, don’t you want to find out all that that prophet has to say to you, as the messenger of God that he is?
But if you want to learn all that Jesus said, you have to read the Bible because Ibrahim, by reading the Koran, didn’t know that Jesus said he’s the Son of God.
How many other of the words of Jesus are there that that Ibrahim doesn't know about because of not reading the Bible? In Hosea 4:6, God says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."
It is not only God's people that are destroyed for lack of knowledge. It is also the multitudes that are lacking in knowledge about God and his plan of salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ.
What you don't know can cut your life short. What they don't know can send people to hell. Another man tried to tell me that Islam was the religion of Ishmael, the son of Abraham. That is incorrect. Islam started up in about the seventh century A.D. Ishmael lived thousands of years prior to that.
But some of the descendants of Ishmael are probably Muslims. Also, Abraham remarried after the death of Sarah. His second wife, Keturah, bore him six sons. (Book of Genesis)
No doubt many Muslims can legitimately claim to be descendants of Abraham.
But being a biological descendant of Abraham doesn’t get you into heaven.
Jesus said, “You must be born again.” (John chapter 3) You get born again when you hear that your sins can be forgiven by faith in Jesus, you confess that Jesus is your Lord, and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. (Romans 10:9,10)
The thing about Abraham that pleased God was Abraham’s faith.
Paul, the Apostle, says we Christians are grafted into Israel. We are followers of the faith of Abraham. (Romans chapter 11)
But Paul also teaches that the Jews are not seeking salvation by faith. (Romans chapter 9)
In the religion of Islam, Allah doesn’t have a son, Jesus. But the Christians know that Jesus is the Son of God. So, if there’s a god that doesn’t have Jesus as his son, such as Allah, then that god is not the same as the Judeo-Christian God.
It is Bible doctrine that God is a triune God. God is God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God’s Holy Spirit (or, Holy Ghost, or, Comforter). (Matthew chapter 28)
However, there are Christians, referred to as “Jesus Only” Christians, who think that the different members of God are all just different forms of Jesus. That’s quite wrong.
When God the Father sent his son Jesus down to earth from heaven, God the Father stayed behind in heaven. Jesus, while he was on earth, prayed, “Our Father, who is in heaven…”
While Jesus was on earth, he prayed to God the Father in Heaven. Two different persons, the Father, and the Son. Nor are God the Father and his son Jesus equals, because Jesus said, “My Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28)
Since the Father is greater, Jesus is not equal with God the Father.
But here’s another way to know that Allah is not the Judeo-Christian God. God said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” But Muslims avenge themselves when they believe they’ve been done wrong. (Leviticus 19:18, Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19)
I don’t want to talk about dirty things, but it was on TV about a Muslim family that thought they’d been done wrong by another Muslim family. That second family, in the interest of making peace, was willing to send an emissary to apologize. They were told to send a female member of their family.
So, a female member of the family was sent, and when she arrived, she was gang-raped, in vengeance.
But Christians couldn’t do that because, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) And then too, Christians can’t rape, because that would be fornication, which is sin. And also, what was done was a violation of Jesus’ command to, “Do to others as you would have them to do to you.” (The Golden Rule). (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
They wouldn’t have wanted that done to one of their female family members, so then it’s wrong to do it to someone else’s female family member, and wrong to take vengeance.
We have a saying in Americana, “What goes around comes around.” The Bible says it this way, “What you plant, you’ll harvest.” (Galatians 6:7)
This issue of vengeance shows that the Muslim God is not the same as the Christian God, together with the fact that the Muslim God doesn’t have a son, Jesus, like the Christian God does.
There was a pretty good write up about Islam in the book, “Silent No More,” by Rod Parsley. Seems like that book came out in 2005.
Here is another difference between Islam and Christianity. Some of the potential Muslim martyrs have been promised that as Muslim martyrs, they will be rewarded with seventy two virgins to be their wives in heaven.
But Jesus said that in heaven, there’s no marrying nor giving in marriage. A man doesn’t have a wife in heaven. A woman doesn’t have a husband in heaven. Couples who were husband and wife on earth will no longer be husband and wife in heaven. (Matt 22:30)
Also the Bible says, “No murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Muslim martyrs murder people to become Muslim martyrs. That doesn’t get you to heaven. (1 John 3:15)
Major Hasan, at Fort Hood Texas, when he got orders that he didn’t like, decided that the solution to his problem was to become a Muslim martyr, because doesn’t being a Muslim martyr guarantee that you’ll go to heaven and get those seventy two virgins?
So, Hasan got his guns and started shooting people. Sooner or later, someone would shoot him.
But things didn’t turn out the way Hasan had hoped. When Hasan was shot, it didn’t kill him, it only paralyzed him.
The shoe bomber wanted to be a Muslim Martyr, but his bomb wouldn’t explode.
But those people were laboring under a misconception. It may be a teaching of Islam that Muslim Martyrs go to heaven, but God says in the Bible that “no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)
Eternal life means going to heaven. So now, there’s a choice. Are you going to bet your soul on the teachings of Islam, or on the teachings of Jesus, as found in the Bible?
(“What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Jesus)
And if, when you die, you miss out on heaven, then you do go to a fiery hell, according to the teachings of Jesus. (Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
But let me give you a tip, having been with Jesus for nearly seven decades, I know that you won’t find better than Jesus, and his teachings found in the Bible.
So the Muslim deity is not the same as the Judeo-Christian God, and the teachings of Islam are quite different from those of Judaism and Christianity.
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