Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Glorious Gospel

My life has been deeply impacted ever since I sat up with a colleague of mine who is ex-Muslim but a Christian now. Her words-her story combined with Jesus’ story touched me to such an extent that the urge to share them grows with every fleeting moment. It seemed as just an ordinary day besides the fact that the Holy Spirit had placed it in my spirit to take some time out and seek God in fasting and prayer. God is so good the way He just reveals Himself to those who seek Him with all their heart. (You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah29:13). God is so special. He is the King that should be honored by all He created. He is the invisible, all-knowing, and all Powerful God.

Mrs. D is just an ordinary librarian in her early sixties. Not regarded as one who is important because of her simplicity, she describes herself weak, humbly relying on the Lord. She is not all prestigious with riches and luxury, but she has a treasure inside of her which draws people to her. The treasure is Jesus Christ- the Son of the living God. Oh how the Father delights in the broken-hearted, in the less fortunate, in those who are regarded as ‘nothing’. “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things – and things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”~1Corinthians126-29

She was a very beautiful girl in her teens when she got married to a Muslim man. Being young and na├»ve, she didn’t consider the religious implications that would take place in her marriage. Her husband was a good man who provided for her and followed his religious duties faithfully. “Religion, including Christianity, breeds death because it is limited man’s ability to comply with its codes and regulations. It works only to the degree that its participants strive to comply with the rules, their religion works. If they are bound in sin however, and are in need of a stronger power to set them free, their religion condemns them and sentence them to ‘try harder’.”~Chris Jackson. She was Muslim by marriage but had a deep longing for Christ in heart. She constantly prayed that Jesus would set her free from being a Muslim without hurting those close to her and her husband. Her husband passed away at some point and she was no longer bound to him. Sometimes we experience painful circumstances to be set free from bondage, and in this case she lost her loving husband. Worldly matters such as marriage, success and etc are not so important compared to eternity. God’s focus is on eternity and He wants us to focus on the same. “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand side of God. Set your mind on things above not on earthly things.”~Collosians3:1-2

I asked her, between Christianity and Muslim, which religion does she think is true. “Definitely Christianity”, she said. In the Old Testament when God’s people were worshipping idols, the angel Gabriel appeared to a prophet named Mohammed. He was sad and distraught and the angel asked why he was so sad. Mohammed told the angel that it was because of the people worshipping the idols. The angel then told him to urge the people to turn away from their idols and worship the living God. As he went about declaring this message, some listened, but some didn’t. Those who did followed him, forming a “religious clan” that worshipped the only true God. She says these people are the Muslims, that’s why they believe everything written in the Old Testament and oppose the New Testament of Jesus Christ. They do believe in God, they even have Christian names such as Abraham, Moses, Isaac and etc, they believe that Jesus was also a prophet but they don’t believe that He died for the sins of the world.

I’m sitting there thinking to myself, with the fear of imposing my religion on others, “They could be right you know…I mean we didn’t see anything.” Mrs. D continued; making me aware of the trivial events that took place in the Old Testament. Anyone who sinned underwent punishment because sin in any case deserves to be punished. Although God punished His people they couldn’t let go off their sin, in fact they became worse with each generation. And every time God had to punish them and this lead to many deaths, but that grieved God because He created us out of love, to walk and live in fellowship with Him.

Because God is holy, and couldn’t be seen or approached by just anybody, years later He formed His son in a woman’s womb to come into this world and show us the way of his Father- God. He was here on earth, walking, healing, and imitating the ways of his father. Hence he always said everything that he does, every word that he speaks, comes from his father. The world teaches us to hate, but Jesus taught us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. The world teaches us to fornicate and be loose in matters of sex, but Jesus taught us that our body is the temple of God which should glorify Him. Jesus brought God’s kingdom here on earth, religion could not do it. Even though there was a group of people that listened to Mohammed and turned away from idols, there was still chaos on earth. Religion could not save them.

Remember the Pharisees? The bible doesn’t say that they were Christians. They were just people who knew about God and tried their utmost best to live by regulations in order to be counted worthy of God. These are the people with pride, who look down on those who don’t live according to rules, or wear “holy “garments, ready to persecute those who commit sin. These are the people who crucified Jesus because they only believed in God, not in any human or idol. These are the Muslims. It’s sad because they grew up being taught to follow only God, it’s not their fault, unless someone tells them the glorious gospel of Jesus, Jesus-the Son of the living God, who sets us all free from bondage, from religion, from ignorance. Jesus -the Savior of the world. “Jesus shocked the religious leaders of His day when He spoke of God as His Father. At this time, the Jews generally had no concept or understand of God as a father in a personal way. Therefore, Jesus’ claim of such intimacy offended them. Fatherhood implies source. When we claim someone as a father, we claim him as the source of who we are, suggesting we are made of the same “stuff.” This is what Jesus was claiming when He called God His Father. The religious leaders understood His claim that is why they persecuted Him. Jewish theology had no fatherhood image of God. They knew God was holy, just, and merciful, but they also saw Him as a terrifying judge, a consuming fire, a God to be feared. They did not know or see Him as a Father.”~Dr Myles Munroe

Christians are blessed to know the truth. Some will question many things such as Jesus being born of a virgin. Many will be deceived by the enemy, but those who reject the truth will face judgment day. We need to understand that God’s ways are supernatural. He is a unique God and He does things in a way only He can. “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”~Ecclesiastes11:5. Jesus came out of a Virgin Mary, lived on earth, demonstrated God’s Kingdom for us, was crucified for our sins, but on the third day He resurrected. Hence the bible says that those who believe in Him shall never die, we will also resurrect, but not on the third day like Jesus, but into eternity.  He ascended where He is now seated at the right hand side of the Father, pleading on our behalf, for each and every one of us. “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ behalf: Be reconciled to God.”~2Corinthians5:18-20

The blessing of God follows those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God who could not be seen comes and dwells in them. Oh, this is good news. He breathes His spirit in their lungs and gives them power to live the “Normal Christian Life” as Watchman Nee calls it. When they fall down, the Spirit of God is there to pick them up again; hence there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who live according to the Spirit of God. Those who reject Jesus are bound by guilt and shame, striving to live right yet experiencing no peace, no joy, no freedom. On judgment day Jesus will come in a cloud and everyone of us will be judged. Those who believe in Jesus have already been judged on the cross, as Jesus hung…but those who reject Him will be judged according to their deeds. Their deeds are not worthy. No one can stand on the basis of his deeds. That is why God sent His Jesus Christ to die for us and take the penalty, the punishment of our sins so that anyone who believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life. Thank You Jesus!

Those who believed the words of the gospel will enter into the new life. Jesus said that in His Father’s house are many mansions, and He is going to prepare a place for you and me. There will be no more pain, tears, hurt but increasing joy. Oh how I wish to meet you there friend. I pray that I meet you there.  Those who reject Jesus will go to hell, apart from God their Creator, who created them to be in fellowship with Him. There will be a fury furnace of fire that will never come to an end. The devil will be wiped off by the All Powerful God, and his defeat will be evident on that day. Mrs. D continued to say… “God is a good God. He is waiting for you. When you get home, He will be there waiting for you, anticipating your appointment.” It’s as if she knew that I was fasting and had set an appointment to meet with God after school. I didn’t feel worthy. I thought that even my fast was a waste of time because somewhere along the line I sure was gonna please my flesh anyway. But my life changed on that day. I knew that God was with me. He lives in the highest heavens but settles n the hearts of those who are humble. There is no one like God-the Father to all.

“To the youth of our world- may your generation never have to struggle through religion to find the joy of the kingdom.”~Dr Myles Munroe

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