Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

      In March, I heard Pastor Shahram Hadian explain the Islamic belief. It was not only enlightening and challenging, but it was encouraging. As I listened to the facts about Islam’s god Allah, I thanked the God of the Universe for revealing Himself to me by His Spirit. As I learned about the two houses (presentations) of Islam (house of war and house of Islam) and its two-sided coin (forced peace through complete surrender and tyranny ruling through Sharia Law), I thanked the Lord that He has provided only one way (Jesus Christ) and one message (the Gospel) in which people can approach Him and be accepted in His kingdom.

      Unlike the main goal of Islam which is all about conquering all who disagree with it through fear, murder, rape, torture, and death as a means to bring the whole world into a place of subordination to the cruel, oppressive Sharia law, I rejoiced that Jesus was the manifestation of God’s commitment to draw the world with cords of love into a place of submission, where those who believe His message can receive His glorious promise of eternal life in their hearts as being true (John 3:16). When I heard about the lies that those advocating Islam hide behind in order to set up and eventually overtake communities and then graduate from the house of war to the house of Islam where Sharia Law becomes the law of the community and eventually the land and nation, I rejoiced that I am not serving the god of this age, Satan, who is the god and false light behind Islam. As the father of lies, and being a murderer from the very beginning, he is clearly the true inspiration behind it (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

      As I heard about Islam’s main prophet Muhammad, I thanked God for our Prophet, Jesus Christ (Deuteronomy 18:18-22 refer to John 7:40). Although Jesus is fully God, He was clothed in humanity to walk among us as Prophet, to serve in the heavenly temple as our Priest, and return as our King. Muhammad is simply a man, a prophet of Islam and will never serve as priest or king of an everlasting kingdom.

      When Muhammad is compared to Jesus in the prophetical office, it is clear who the true prophet is, and who the false one is. These two prophets stand at opposite poles from each other. Muhammad started out preaching peace, but changed his message when he acquired an army so that through war and bloodshed he could force people to become followers of Islam. As a result, you hear about Islam being a religion of peace from the propaganda machine, along with the mouthpieces of political correctness, while the actions of the “true” representatives and followers of Muhammad are declaring Jihad against everyone who will not surrender to their god and prophet.

      Let’s consider the character of Islam’s prophet. Muhammad married a six-year-old girl and consummated his perverted, godless union with her when she was only nine. Sadly, Muhammad’s followers have been instructed to be imitators of him. Should we be abhorred at the actions of Muslims when they marry off their little daughters to perverts, as well as repulsed by the many reports of Jihadists raping the young, innocent girls of the “infidels,” ultimately killing many of them? Muhammad cut off the heads of those who would not surrender to his cruel, insane belief. Should we be surprised then to see his followers cut off heads? Keep in mind, some of the world is denouncing such actions and calling it extreme or radical Islam, but the truth is such actions are what the Koran demands of its committed followers.

      Those who declare that Islam is a religion of peace are only presenting one side of the coin that is incomplete, while the true face of Islam is being best represented by those who are at war with every infidel (you and me) who are not yet surrendered to Allah and Muhammad. Islam requires sacrifices to open the way for people to enter Paradise. Hence enters suicide bombers. These individuals are not only promised Paradise and virgins, but supposedly, they open the way to Paradise for at least 70 of their family members. This is why we see such celebration when a committed follower offers up his life in the name of Allah. Clearly, Islam promotes a culture of death and not life.

      As for the Koran, the message of it has changed to present a double-sided coin, but holds to the goal of world-wide dominance whether by seduction or force. The word “Koran” is derived from the Arabic roots “Salema,” which means peace (through surrender), purity (forcing people through, unclean wicked acts (lying, murdering, and intimidation to come into subordination), submission to the good will of their god (Allah) and obedience to his law (Sharia). Again, we are reminded that peace comes with Islam when one completely surrenders to the oppressive Sharia Law, which produces oppressive fruits that are unclean and clearly demonic.

      According to the January 2016 magazine, Midnight Call, there was a recent discovery of fragments of Suras (chapters 18 &19) that would designate it as the oldest part of the Koran ever discovered. It was written with ink in an early form of Arabic script known as Hijaz. You may wonder why this bit of information has caused such a stir. It is because these fragments predate Muhammad’s writing of the Koran. Such an implication shows that the particular text of the Koran was written to fit the political and theological agenda of the times and that it was not a revelation from heaven.

      On the other hand, we know the Word of God was inspired by the Holy Spirit, stands on infallible truths and righteous principles, and is trustworthy (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Unlike the theme of the Koran, which ultimately insists on complete surrender to a cruel, oppressive law, we know that the main theme of the Bible is man’s redemption, and can be found from Genesis 3:15 through Revelation. In His Word, God’s righteous nature is consistently upheld and man’s hopeless plight due to sin is revealed and addressed in light of the cross of Jesus.

      In light of the previous facts about Islam, let’s now consider our Prophet, Jesus. He was the Word from the beginning, but came as a servant to mankind. Jesus never had to preach a fickle message of peace because He is the true Prince of Peace. As the way, He opened up the only true way to Heaven, not to just a few people, but to the whole world. The only sword He carried was the truth that could set men free from all spiritual oppression. He did not come to condemn but to save. He did not kill those who disagreed with Him, cursed those who opposed Him, or take vengeance on the innocent because of their association with “infidels”; rather, He actually asked forgiveness for those who bruised, beat, and crucified Him. He came to reconcile man back to his Creator by becoming the sacrifice, taking the judgment of sin on Himself so those who believed upon Him would not have to taste spiritual death. Jesus calls His disciples to follow (imitate) His godly examples. This means to submit to that which is worthy of all consideration as one walks in the ways of righteousness, always choosing the ways of life and taking the high road of inward humility towards God and moral excellence in conduct towards others (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 9:23-26, 56; 23:34; John 1:1; 8:32-36; 14:6, 27).

      The reconciliation Jesus brought through His work on the cross opened the way for believers to enter into a relationship as adopted sons and daughters of the Father of heaven (John 1:12; Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:26; 4:4-7; Ephesians 2:12-17). As Christians it is easy to take our family relationship with God for granted. However, Pastor Shahram Hadian put this relationship in a whole different light for me. It is this personal, family relationship that brought hope and awe to him. The reason why is because Allah has no sons. Allah is nothing more than the moon god, which has been clearly represented on the flags of Islam with the symbol of the crescent moon. He was a lifeless idol worshipped by Muhammad’s family. Muhammad simply gave credence to this idol by giving it an identity (Allah), attaching power to it through the physical sword, and exalting it in the minds of the followers in the place of the true God of the Universe.

      God’s people are commanded not to worship the sun or moon or any part of creation (Deuteronomy 17:2-3; Romans 1:20-26). Clearly, there is no reasoning with a lifeless idol. When it comes to an idol, there is no room for mercy, no avenue of grace, and no real assurance of salvation. Since idols can only take on the attitudes of the one who exalts them, they prove to be fickle and hypocritical.

      The most profound difference between these two prophets, Jesus and Muhammad, confirms which way, which message, and which presentation will ultimately stand in the end. Jesus’ tomb is empty and Muhammad’s grave still possesses his bones. Our Lord lives and is one day coming back for His people. All false religions will be brought down before His feet in utter destruction. He will set this world right side up with His justice.

      The question is are we as Christians ready to stand on the reality of who our God is, withstand with the truth against the spiritual cancers such as Islam that are taking many captive and killing those who dare to defy them? Are we prepared to stand regardless of what it costs us? We can sit in our chairs of wishful thinking and declare our devotion to God, but lack authority to stand. We can seduce ourselves in a state of fantasy and denial, thinking that such beliefs as Islam will never conquer America, but the truth is such idolatrous beliefs do not have to flex their muscles. The “bleeding heart” liberals and the undermining Communist agendas of the Progressives will let them come in and take over to serve their wicked agenda of bringing this country into a one-world government. But, let me just say, the leaders of Islam will not be heading the one-world government. The truth is that like so many deluded individuals in the world, those who follow Islam in principle are nothing more than pawns that will be sacrificed in the end for a wicked cause. These deluded souls will be used to usher in a new world order that has nothing to do with Islam. And, the Bible is clear that all who oppose Israel (such as the devoted Islamic followers) will be destroyed.

      Even though we know that Jesus will put an end to wicked governments and heretical kingdoms, we need to keep in mind that the location of the seven churches mentioned in Revelations chapters two and three is now under Muslim’s dominance. Where is the light of the church in that part of the world? For that matter, where is the light of the church in America that could bring a decisive contrast to those seeking God, seeking the true way, and desiring everlasting life? The truth is the church in America used to be a threat to the Muslims, but the devoted followers of Islam are no longer afraid of it because they see how weakened it has become by the corruption of the world.

      This brings me to a very important aspect of the God of the Universe that I have already discussed—that He is the only true light. Outside of the God of all creation, man gropes in darkness. It is much like what happened to Lot in the city of Sodom in Genesis 19. The wicked men of the city wanted to abuse the angels because they would not be denied their abominable desires. The angels pulled Lot into the house and closed the door, while blinding the men. These men then wearied themselves trying to find the door as they groped in darkness for the entrance.

      How many people who are zealously committed to cults and the occult are groping to find the door into Paradise, a better reincarnation, or afterlife? Clearly, such people represent those who fumble in the darkness trying to find the one door into eternal security, but it will elude them (Luke 13:24). However, their light is darkness and as Jesus stated in Matthew 6:22-23, great is their darkness. They have been blinded by the lies of the age they live in and the false light of seductive heresy. They are unable to see the light of the true Gospel (Jesus). Their deeds are evil and they can’t afford for the light to shine on them (John 1:3; 3:19-21; Corinthians 4:2-6).

      Then there are the counterfeits of Christianity. There are so-called “Christians” who have become militant in their prayers, bold in their claims against hell, and swing from branches of nonsensical, fleshly hype. They are under such heretical umbrellas of Positive Confession and Kingdom Dominion, but all such false presentations will prove powerless against the real spiritual battle that is taking place between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness.

      As believers, we need to know who our God is and stand strong in Him if we are to stand against this grave darkness that is consuming the world (Daniel 11:32). We must remember that the real light that empowers believers is not successful methods, man’s traditions, religious theology, denominational associations, good works, or charismatic claims. It is the person of Jesus Christ, His life being established in us which is the true light of the world. He is the Victor and He alone will usher in the victory.

      Clearly, the great challenge of our times does not come down to the issue of our Lord’s ability to fight and win the battle for we know He will, but the real issue for each of us rests with the relationship we have with Him right now. What side will we be standing on when we face the different affronts that take place against this nation and the church? What will the fires of judgment reveal about our commitment towards Him and the quality of our works that we have done on His behalf? The sad truth is Islam is filling the spiritual vacuum left by the weak preaching of a compromised gospel, a church that seems to lack authority and power, and members who appear to be asleep at the wheel.

      This brings me to this question. Where is the fire of the Spirit that would be seen in the darkness? Where is the passion for souls that would stir up the church to carry out its commission, contend for the faith that was first delivered to it, and prepare (disciple) others to carry the torch? Where is the love for truth that would stand against all besetting sin in love, stand against any type of heresy in urgency, and in power call God’s people to come out and be separate from this world in their attitudes, ways of thinking, and practices?

      As we face the heart-wrenching fruits of our homes, societies, and nation, as the church we must honestly ask ourselves if we have dropped the torch that we have been entrusted with because we have fallen asleep in the pews. Do we lack godly love because we have become half-hearted towards Jesus? Are we in a state of despondency because our walk lacks life and power? Do we fear man and the world more than we fear God because we want to be popular and considered as “loving” in order to fit into the politically correct environment?

      If we have answered “yes” to any of these questions, we need to know that most likely the living reality, the presence of God is missing. It is the presence of God that ensures true worship. It is the fire of God that not only lights the way but inspires us. It is the torch of God that reminds us that we are in a life-and-death race.

      If the presence of God is missing, why go to church? Why go through the motions if there is no life found in our religious exercise. Why settle for less, become lean in the spirit, and frustrated in our spiritual walk because we walk away hungry after being fed Cool Whip, and thirsty because the cisterns are either dried up or only offer stagnant water? Why spend time getting ready for church when you come back emptier?  Would we be surprised to find out how many people on Sunday morning have to push, prod, shame, or give self a pep talk so they make it to church? According to statistics that number is high and is confirmed by those who no longer attend church. We can blame it on Satan, on bad habits, the attractions of the world, and lack of true devotion, but is the real reason for such a state in our churches because God is missing? And, why is God missing?

      There are those who see the problem in the church and are calling for revival. When you listen to their plans to bring about revival, there is one element missing: a call for repentance. God’s Spirit will not come down on foul waters (compromise), land on muddy ground (divided hearts), and abide in filth (the profane).

      The condition of the church can clearly be traced back to sin. Whether it is people living in sin or omitting righteousness in matters, God is missing from the equation because of sin. Families are falling apart because of the sins of selfishness and pride. Our societies are in chaos because of the sin of lawlessness, and our nation is crumbling because of the sins of immorality and corruption in high places.

      Next month I am going to elaborate on the weakness that is paralyzing numerous churches in America and how to remedy it. Meanwhile, in humility ask the Lord to turn the spotlight on your own life to reveal how He views your life before Him, your relationship with Him, and your life of service to Him. After all, the only evaluation that will count about such matters in the end is God’s evaluation.