I have just received something in my email that I wanted to share with you a little later in this post. Firstly, let me point out that with mass immigration happening all around the world and an influx of different cultures and religions there are going to be teething problems on many different levels.
In the west, and speaking of Australia in particular, past immigration has pretty much only allowed people from a similar background, culture and religion into the country. Australia along with the other Western countries were founded on Judeo/Christian principles and law. Now we have migrants coming from Islamic countries bringing their faith with them which they are entitled to do in a democratic country. Democracy isn’t quite dead yet and this allows us certain freedoms. [I do however believe that democracy is being challenged and is struggling to survive at this point of history].
Anyway, I remember talking to a lady a few years ago and she mentioned the term “forced missionary work”. She saw a wonderful opportunity with Islamic migrants to be able to share the salvation gospel of Jesus Christ with them. I really liked that idea.
I just want to share with you now the email that gives us hope and puts things in perspective regarding such things…
NOTHING should “strike fear” in a Christian’s heart. “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.” (Lk. 12:4) “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, HIM you shall regard as holy. Let HIM be your fear, and let HIM be your dread.” (Isa. 8:12-13)
“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled. But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” (1Pet. 3:14-15)
If we allow cultural trends like this to cow us, or make us treat Muslims with anything other than love (though Islam itself, as a religion, is worthy of nothing but hate) – then we will have played right into Satan’s hands. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.” (Eph. 6:12-13)
Let me clarify the part where Islam is a religion that is worthy of hate. This may be interpreted wrongly if you don’t know how the bible deals with ANY religion that denies Jesus. John wrote:
1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
Islam most definitely does deny the Holy Trinity:
O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of GOD, and His word that He had sent to Mary, and a revelation from Him. Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. You shall not say, “Trinity.” You shall refrain from this for your own good. GOD is only one god. Be He glorified; He is much too glorious to have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. GOD suffices as Lord and Master (Surah An -Nisa 4:171)
Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, they are anti-christ. They are very strong words and hard to actualise when we have loved ones, family and friends who fall into this category. Actually, when you read the bible it becomes very clear that there are only two people in God’s economy. Those who are alive in Christ and those who are dead in their sins. Muslim’s along with others who have not come to salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, are dead in their sins! We are either with Christ or we are against Him. There is no in between. As much as this politically correct world would have us believe that Allah from the koran and God of the bible are two of the same, it is simply NOT true. Not only is that lie self evident in both the koran and bible, but it is historically evident too.
Again hate is a very strong word, but let me share with you something about that word hate from a biblical perspective…
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to love and a time to hate…
— Ecclesiastes 3:1
The question is this… what are we called to hate? The person, NO! A religion that leaves a person with no hope of salvation, YES!
No, we are not called to hate such people back. We are to recognize that they are in rebellion against God and in reality the only pitiful little things they can even attempt against Him is to focus that anger on us. To such people we are called to be living, earthly examples of His love so they will be reminded that their rebellion is actually against God’s Word and what awaits them if they will choose to instead reconcile with Him.[source]
And what about love. What is love according to the scriptures?
First John 4:8-9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Mysterious but true is the fact that God can perfectly love and hate a person at the same time. This means He can love him as someone He created and can redeem, as well as hate him for his unbelief and sinful lifestyle. We, as imperfect human beings, cannot do this; thus, we must remind ourselves to “love the sinner, hate the sin.”
We love sinners by being faithful in witnessing to them of the forgiveness that is available through Jesus Christ. A true act of love is treating someone with respect and kindness even though he/she knows you do not approve of his lifestyle and/or choices. It is not loving to allow a person to remain stuck in sin. It is not hateful to tell a person he/she is in sin. In fact, the exact opposites are true. We love the sinner by speaking the truth in love. We hate the sin by refusing to condone, ignore, or excuse it.
The world doesn’t really understand biblical concept of love and hate, but I really hope and pray that Christians do understand what it means to love your neighbour. I have many people in my life who are Jehovah Witnesses, Atheists, Wiccans and many others who are not Christian. And I have shared the gospel with them. I don’t fob them off at all and the reason is that I really do love each of them dearly. They are basically me before I came to the Lord. I haven’t forgotten where I have come from. I haven’t forgotten that I was once dead in my sins and that God loved me even as a sinner…
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
We must never forget that!
So as the world changes and different cultures and religions arrive on our doorstep and while we can still work as it is not yet night time, although it is close [Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.] – how are you going to live? In fear, or in opportunity?
There will come a time when we cannot work as John points out. But the nigh time – though it may be close – has not arrived just yet. Now remember, Jacob wrestled all night with the Angel of the Lord until he saw his face. The night is the most common metaphor in biblical typology for the Great Tribulation. “Watchmen, watchmen, how far is the night? Is He coming in the second watch of the night, or the third? He is coming life a thief in the night. Work while you have the light; night will come when no man will work. [J J. Prasch]
We may be scared as we approach the night but we can pray this…
Eph 3:16 I pray that he would give you, according to his glorious riches, strength in your inner being and power through his Spirit,
And great comfort is promised in times of persecution to those who trust in the Holy Spirit…
Mark 13:11 “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”
This is a challenging post and I am not pointing the finger to everyone else, but pretty much it is something that I must take on board too. I hate that I sometimes live in fear of man when I should be fearing God who is the judge of not only everyone else but of me too. I pray that God strengthens me when I feel weak and powerless to share the gospel.
You know the funny thing is, the last time I prayed this… God did bring people into my life who are dead in their sins. Those people I’m going to try and reach out too more, and share with them how Jesus saved me from myself. It’s not easy to do, but the scripture is clear that I must do that! The gospel must be preached throughout the world and what better place to start than with those we love and know are unsaved. I pray that it is in His strength that I witness to His glory. I want to learn how to trust Him more so that I can do that. I don’t want to be scared about doing that. I know that when I have shared the gospel with my unsaved friends I shake a little and I am not sure if that is the Holy Spirit working through me or if I am fearful. But I do know that the conversation was definitely led by the Spirit, I felt empowered and felt great love for the other person. But I just had to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and recognise the right time in which I could speak the Truth of God’s Word.
I will leave you with this…
Joh 14:27 I am leaving peace with you. I am giving you my own peace. I am not giving it to you as the world gives. So do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.