Sunday 14 November 2021

A Letter to My Muslim Friends – IV

Dear Friends,

Once my neighbor, Bro. Alam, invited one Wali sahib, and few other people who knew Koran, at his residence to hold discussion with me about certain issues on which the Moslem and the Christian views differ from each other.

After we were introduced to one another, the discussion started. It began with my asking the elderly Wali sahib about what Islam said about Isa (Jesus). He said that he was one of the prophets. I asked him about the purpose for which God sent him into the world. Wali sahib said that it was to present the world with the Book of love. I asked him, “Do you have that book of love?” He explained that the book of love didn’t literally mean a book but a message of love. I asked him what was that message of love? “To love one another,” he said. I asked him why God saw the need to send Isa with this book since this message was already preached by countless people before Him. Was there anything unique about this message of love that Isa brought into this world? He said, “No.” Here, he stressed the specificity of the mission, not the message.

Clearly, he didn’t know anything about that message of love that God sent Jesus with into the world. There were many other issues that we discussed on that day. I propose to deal one by one with them through different blogs. Just now I would like to talk to you about that message of love that Jesus had to convey to the world. It is exactly this:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

The reason why we would have perished had God not shown His love in this way is exactly this:

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10

We were sinners. In other words, we were against God. The very meaning of sin is to disobey God. To disobey God is surely not the expression of love and honor. It is dishonoring God to commit sin. We have all committed this sin. We disobey God one way or the other.

But God is Holy and Just forever…That, exactly, was the reason why our sins brought about separation between God and us. God can never, never compromise with justice and righteousness. In order to compromise with justice and righteousness, He has to change Himself – the thing that He cannot do; simply because He is God and not human like us. This is the point that God stressed in Malachi 3:6:

“For I am the Lord, I do not change;

Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” – Malachi 3:6

Now, here is a question: If God cannot change, it means that our condition is hopeless! Because we are sinners, and we deserve punishment, and the punishment for sin is nothing less than death. It is written in Romans 6:23:

“For the wages of sin is death…”

It is we humans who view sin as big or small; God sees it for what it is, that is, rebellion against Him. People who rebel against God, rebel against all that is good. Remember, God is good and the source of all that is good.

Therefore, the Just God, when He sits on His judgment seat, is bound to mete out death penalty to the entire human race. That would have destroyed all of them…Then, why God says in Malachi 3 that because He does not change the sons of Jacob are not consumed? The fact that He does not change should have rather destroyed them all…destroyed us all!

If we are to use human logic, in spite of the fact that God loved us, His sense of justice should sacrifice His love for the sake of Divine justice, isn’t it? This is because if He forgives a sinner, it means a sinner will not receive the just punishment that he deserves for his sins. And if God is to punish a sinner, it simply means that the sinner is not going to receive grace from Him.

Well, it is absolutely interesting the way Divine wisdom has solution for each and every situation. It found out a way that would exact Divine justice without sacrificing His love for the mankind. God decided that He would put the punishment of our sins on Jesus (His Son) so that we don’t have to die for our sins.

In order to put upon Him our punishment, it was must for Him to take on a flesh-and-blood existence. Again, many people may not understand why God the Son should take on a flesh-and-blood existence in order to bear the punishment for our sins. Therefore, it is relevant for me to answer this question from the Book of Romans. It is written in Romans, Chapter 7, that sin dwells in our body which is made up of flesh and blood. Whenever we want to be good or to do good, this sin becomes active and fights against our will and forces us to do what is evil. Therefore, we want to do good, but we end up doing what is bad.

In other words, we naturally do what we don’t want to do! And we don’t do what we want to do! St. Paul makes it amply clear when he says that this situation is there because there is one law working in our flesh-and-blood and another in our spirit. The law that works in our flesh-and-blood is the law of sin.

In other words, when we commit sin, it is not we who commit sin but the sin that dwells in our body. Sin works itself out with our body. Therefore, it was important for God to destroy the body that was exposed to all sorts of sinful passions and replace it with a glorified body that wouldn’t be exposed to sinful passions. Because the glorified body is not exposed to sinful passions, Sin cannot dwell in it and live through it.

The destruction of the body in which Sin made its abode was to take place on the cross. The body of Jesus represented the body of the entire mankind.

So, Jesus (God the Son) did take flesh-and-blood existence and took birth through Mother Mary (Mariam) into this world. He took upon Himself the punishment for our sins on the cross; He shed His holy and precious blood on the cross to atone for our sins; and He died in our place. He was buried in the grave but rose to life on the third day and lived on earth for 40 days in the midst of His followers, proving in many ways that He was the same Jesus who died on the cross. Now, the thing that remained for Him to do in order to fulfill the divine plan for the fallen humanity was to ascend to Heaven to His Father. So He did right before the eyes of His followers.

It was necessary for Him to ascend to His Father because if He would go to the Father, He would be able to send the Holy Spirit on earth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. The coming of the Holy Spirit was a very important event because it marked a new phase in the plan of God.

In this phase, the Spirit of God helps the humanity to develop in the spiritual realm to which we were introduced when we received salvation of our spirit. For this purpose, the Spirit of God both dwells with us and within us. He imparts to us the knowledge of God and this knowledge brings about the necessary changes in our personality. The task of the Holy Spirit is to prepare us in such a way that we are ready for the final phase of the salvation that started with our spiritual salvation. This final phase includes Jesus’ appearance in the sky and the believers in Jesus seeing Him face to face. This appearance of Jesus in the sky concerns the event that is called THE RAPTURE. At due time, we shall talk about it. For now, we shall limit ourselves to the topic we are dealing with.

Something unimaginable happens at this time. When the believers see Jesus face to face, in that very instant they undergo change in the twinkling of an eye and they are transformed into the image of Jesus. They acquire ‘glorified body’, which is called the salvation of the body in the Bible.

With the salvation of the body, the process of salvation is concluded. They pass onto the divine plane from the human. Now they are in the possession of a divine nature that cannot be assailed by sin and death. This is because this nature is not sinful. It is righteous. And, it is immortal. Now the believers are ready to accompany Jesus to Heaven and be able to live in the presence of God for eternity.

In biblical terminology, with the salvation of the body, we pass from human dimension into the divine! And we shall be granted the status of ‘adopted’ children of God – adopted because actually we were not part of the family of God but out of His grace He included us into His family so that we may have share in all that is His.

Just consider what it means to be the sons and daughters of God! It means just as the children of men and women are bound to be men and women, the children of God are bound to be gods! This difference between God and gods must be understood. It is an altogether different topic for which this short blog does not provide enough room. I will certainly deal with it in a different blog. What I would like to underline here is the fact that we shall be in Heaven with God forever.

Therein lies God’s happiness – and also ours. In that state He would be able to give us all the blessings that He intends to give us. When we will talk about the nature of our existence in the presence of God in Heaven, we shall also discuss what He wants to bless us with. If anyone has any question to ask about this blog, please feel free to get in touch.

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Saturday 13 November 2021

A Letter to My Muslim Friends - III

Dear Friends,

I am forced to change the topic on which I was writing at present in order to write expressly to you. The matter I am dealing with is quite serious because of its deceptiveness. There are some people who are pretending to be the standard-bearers of Christianity and doing utmost harm to the same. They are acting utterly deliberately. They know very well what they are doing. I wish they haven’t succeeded in achieving their goals through deception. They are deliberately attacking Islam and the God of Islam in such a way that those who love Islam and its Godhead are bound to get hurt and respond in like manner. This, exactly, is what these so-called Christian standard-bearers are aiming to achieve. They want you to shy away from knowing what you need to know about Jesus. My humble request to you is not to fall in their trap and shy away from knowing the truth that you need to know NOW.

I am saying this to you because recently I watched a video posted by Hear ‘n See Ministries. I tried to search for it just now but it is simply not there! Or, maybe if it is there and I am not able to find it. Anyway, what is important is the content of this video. It started by giving a piece of information that was completely irrelevant to the subject of the video. The irrelevant info had to do about the actual shape of the earth which science deliberately distorted in order to deceive the humanity; and the subject of the video had to do with Jesus of the Bible being the Dajjal of the Koran.

When I thought about why the narrator in the video began the video with this irrelevant info, after some time I came to realize that the photo of the earth that he presented to be the real shape of the earth faintly resembled that of a skull. I may be mistaken in my perception. I rather wish I am mistaken in my perception. But the question stands as it is. Did he want to drop a clue about who he was? I don’t know about it.

Coming to the point, what made the narrator of this video say that the Dajjal of Koran was the biblical Jesus? The YouTube video image showed a photo of Dajjal beside the image of the one-eyed Christ from Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. In Mel Gibson’s film, it is shown that Jesus suffers injuries in His right eye which remains close all through the film.

Interestingly, Bible doesn’t say that Jesus’ right eye suffered injury! Jesus forms part of the New Testament but the Old Testament is full of prophecies regarding Jesus. So, there are also prophecies about the wounds that Jesus actually received. This is because the wounds of Jesus have specific meaning which is clearly put forth in the Book of Isaiah 53 where it is written:

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.”

As for the wounds of Jesus, they are prophetically described in the following verses from the Bible:

  1. Piercing of His hands and feet: See Book of Psalms 22:16
  2. The scourging on His back: See Psalms 129:3
  3. None of His bones were broken: See Psalm 34:20, etc
When Jesus rose from death on the third day, one of His disciples named Thomas wasn’t willing to believe that the resurrected Jesus standing before him was the same as the one who died on the cross. So, he demanded of Jesus that until and unless he would put his hands in His wounds, he wouldn’t believe that He was the same Jesus that died on the cross. Jesus asked him to put his hands in His wounds. Thomas did. When he found the wounds on Jesus’ body, he believed that Jesus had indeed risen from death.

In other words, the wounds on Jesus’ body were also identifying marks. Nowhere in the Bible there is a mention of his right eye having suffered injury. An attempt both from Mel Gibson and the narrator of this video from Hear ‘n See Ministries to show Jesus as one-eyed tantamount to casting the real identity of Jesus into mist! That’s terrible!

Another thing that should surprise any Christian who has read Bible from cover to cover is this: On what ground this narrator drew parallel between biblical Jesus and Dajjal of Koran? If he had to find a counterpart of Dajjal in the Bible, it was to be found in the Book of Zechariah, Chapter 11, and Verse 17. Here, in Zechariah 11, this person is described as ‘worthless’. Let me quote the verses about this person:

“Woe to the worthless shepherd,
Who leaves the flock!
A sword shall be against his arm
And against his right eye;
His arm shall completely wither,
And his right eye shall be totally blinded.”

This ‘worthless’ shepherd (leader of the Jewish state in the time to come) will harm Israel, not help her. And he will be subject to divine punishment because he is an evil person. His arm will wither and his right eye will be blinded.

When the narrator of the video from Hear ‘n See Ministries compares biblical Jesus to Islamic Dajjal, that is the indirect way in which he considers biblical Jesus to be the worthless shepherd of Zechariah 11 in the Bible!

At first, I felt the narrator must be mistaken out of his ignorance about what is written about this one-eyed evil person in Zechariah 11. I wanted to correct his mistake by giving my opinion in the comment section. But I was shocked to find the comments disabled! Why would he do that? It would be quite naïve to think that he wanted to disable the comments made by the Muslim. I firmly believe that this action of disabling the comments is directed more against the Christians who would prove him wrong.