||Extract from the December 2001 . |
This extract chosen for its current relevance to Islam & Muslims.
* There is much greater interest to know more about Islamic religion and Churches are slowly becoming aware of Muslim faith's expansion in the Western World.
* According to "Voice of Martyrs" report...'there are 51.8 million Muslims in Europe and that it is likely, with a current growth rate of 6.5% per year that Muslims will be the second largest religious group in Europe behind Catholics by the year 2014. These figures were compiled by the Central Institute Islam Archives in Soest, Germany, using official statistics provided by individual countries.
Already Muslims have overtaken Protestants as the second largest group behind Catholics in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, and are second to the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Russia and Serbia. (Source: The Voice of the Martyrs, October 2001, p.9)
* More people are turning to God in the Western World.
* True Muslims are opposing every work of evangelism to the best of their ability.
* Many if not all Christians have been more active in their prayer life.
* Many Christians in the Islamic countries are suffering as a backlash from Muslims.
In spite of all these problems and turmoils we need to remember that it is not the enemy who is in control but the Lord God Almighty our Heavenly Father. God is not taken by surprise by these terroristic activities of Muslims.
Jesus told that... "nations will be in anguish and perplexity...men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, ...Luke 21:25. As the Second Coming of our Lord is drawing closer we must get deeply involved in spiritual warfare. We believe we, being the true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must love all Muslims and overcome all hatred by His grace. But at the same time must not compromise the truth of the Gospel, otherwise 'Love' in deception of compromise will lead no where but hell.
We need to love Muslims, but not to sell our birthright or heritage to them.
Keep up the attitude of Christ who did not deny the truth but loved His enemies even at the Cross. Muslims need Christ like behaviour irrespective of their actions and attitudes. In these last days every Christian needs to leave behind materialistic life-style and be willing and prepared to live a tough life for Jesus. Along with prayer, spiritual warfare, learn more about Islam and get involved in evangelism to Muslims. Do not forget those who are involved in ministry to Muslims, remember to support them by your prayers and finances.
We both, along with our IMI board, praise and thank God Almighty for this successful year 2001. God by His grace has helped and blessed us in this ministry, through your prayers and financial support. Please continue to pray for more anointing, wisdom, protection, provision and strength.
Daniel & Mariat Scot
One way to show the outstanding nature of the Christian gospel is to start with one or more of the following beliefs about God.
Yes, Christians and Muslims agree on each of these assertions, but how do we understand what they mean? There is a huge gulf to be humbly and patiently bridged.
1. GOD CREATES Christians and Muslims believe that God is the original source of all that exists, and that He stands over and above all creation. He is not part of or in some way fused with creation. In this belief Christians are closer to Muslims than they are to Hindus or Buddhists. But when Christians and Muslims begin to probe the extent to which humans are created "in the image of God" or to what extent God can be personally known by human beings they find that they are poles apart.
2. GOD IS ONE Muslims assert that "there is no God but God" and Christians believe that "The Lord our God, the Lord is one"(Deut. 6:4).
But how is He one? Is it a strict mathematical unity? Or is it a complex unity involving the mutually loving community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit -three divine persons in divine unity ?
3. GOD RULES Both Muslims and Christians believe in God's sovereignty over all. But how and in what way? Muslims believe that He rules through the House of Islam and that those entering the kingdom of God must obey the shariat law revealed through Mohammed. God's rule is unpredictable and capricious. Christians believe that God's rule is exercised in accordance with His everlasting righteousness, faithfulness and love. They believe that God's kingdom has been fully revealed in Jesus Christ and that those who enter the kingdom of God live under the authority of Jesus as members of the new community he called into being..
4.GOD REVEALS Christians believe that God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ and in the Old and New Testaments as originally given. Muslims believe that God has revealed not himself but his laws. God himself is unknowable. To Muslims the Qur'an is the Word of God in heaven become the Word of God on earth.
5.GOD LOVES Christians believe in the unconditional love of God. This love was supremely demonstrated in the sacrificial death of Jesus (Romans 5:8; John 3:16) and extends to all people, regardless of how worthy or unworthy, upright or corrupt, they may be. Muslims honour God as "the Forgiving, the Merciful (Qur'an39:53). They believe God loves the pure and upright and despises the evil and unbelievers. His mercy is conditional on human submission to the shariat law.
6. GOD JUDGES Both Christians and Muslims believe in the Day of Judgment. But how will God judge? Christians believe that God will judge the world through Jesus and that this is beyond doubt because of Jesus' resurrection from the dead.(Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16). Apart from Christ all people stand condemned before God. Muslims believe that God will weigh the good deeds and the bad deeds on the scales of justice, using the shariat law as the measuring stick. Sin is viewed by Muslims as weakness or as a series of mistakes rather than as a fatal spiritual disease resulting in spiritual death as the Bible teaches.
7. GOD FORGIVES Muslims believe that forgiveness is conditional on people's obedience to God and Mohammad. God forgives whom he wills (Qur'an 2:284) and there is no certainty about future forgiveness in the Day of judgement. Christians believe that forgiveness involves suffering. God can't simply say, "It doesn't matter". His love bore the painful consequences of sin that His justice requires when "Christ died for our sins" (I Cor. 15:3). When humans turn to Christ in repentance and faith God forgives them now and they are at peace with God. Based on "Rethinking the Gospel for Muslims" - a chapter by Colin Chapman in ed. J.D. Woodberry:
Muslims and Christians on the Emmaus Road MARC 1997 pp.121-125
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