Bulletins & Updates
Although a Muslim friend asked me this question to answer in the light of the Bible, this is a question that Christian scholars have debated since the early church. Some say, “No, everything that happens is God’s will.” So, if a prayer is answered, the answer must be within God’s will. Those who hold this position may cite Romans 9:18-21 which describes God as a potter and us as the clay. Since God shapes the clay, the final form of the vessel must be according to His will. Nothing can thwart God’s will. While this view has a great deal of truth, it is not complete or entirely correct for several reasons. First, the potter and clay example in Romans 9 references an Old Testament Scripture in Jeremiah 18, where the clay becomes spoiled in the potter’s hand, so he reshapes it into something else. The final form was not what the potter initially intended. Secondly, it is a mistake to say that every time something wrong happens, God ordained it. Though God uses some things as punishment, a lesson, or a blessing, to say he is involved as the main force behind every action is not biblical. For example, is it God’s will for someone to murder a child? Is it not more correct to say that God allows people the free choice to do what is evil or wrong? Finally, there are many Scriptures where God expresses sorrow over what people choose to do.
Many in the world celebrate Christmas; however, I sometimes wonder how many remind themselves of why Jesus came into the world. Often, we may say, yes, we know. A reminder is a vital aspect of our lives. Jesus came into the world for one reason: to make it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins and go to heaven when we die. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). This forgiveness is not automatic. We must ask for it. It is free, but there is a condition: Repentance. Sadly, only a few churches today emphasize this crucial requirement. Often, I think about how very pleasing it is for the devil to see humans forget about sin and its ability to destroy marriages, families, churches, ministries, and even society.
Both Islam and Christianity believe that God sent His messengers to lead human beings into the right path. They do differ as to how to deal with the separation between God and man caused by the sin of men, which the Bible clearly states is evident in the whole of humankind, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:11), for, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In general, sin means transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4). This law exists because God is Holy and so cannot abide with evil. It is offensive to God no matter what the sinner’s excuse or how insignificant the sin.
The Qur’an also tells us that all are guilty and unworthy to be saved. If God were to judge us all according to his rules, none of us would be saved. “If Allah were to punish men for their wrong-doing, he would not leave, on the earth, a single living creature” (Sura 16:61, see also Sura 35:45).
The Bible is Changed – Really?
Some Muslims believe that Christians have corrupted the Bible, whereas their book, the Qur’an, upholds the same Bible, treating it as the word of God.
God revealed them
The Qur’an uses the following terms to refer to parts of the Bible: -
Tawrat – Torah, the first five books of the Bible
Zabur – the Psalms
Injil – the Gospel
Saha’if – the books of the prophets
The Tawrat, the Zabur, and the Saha’if are known as the Holy Scriptures of the Jews. Christians call them the Old Testament. The Injil referred to as the Holy Scriptures of the Christians is the New Testament. The Qur’an accepts them as God’s revelation: ‘... confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel’ (Sura 3:3).
Indeed, this life is given once, and we should use it to the full for his glory. A general misunderstanding of Jesus’ teaching on persecution is that believers humbly do nothing while being attacked or assassinated. Certainly, retribution and hostility are not, at all, part of a biblical response (Romans 12:19; John 18:23-40); it does not mean that believers should not seek to escape harm when possible. Jesus told his followers to flee persecution in one town by moving to another (Matthew 10:23). This way, the good news about faith in Jesus will spread throughout the towns and cities. In the book of Acts, we see how the religious leaders launched the first great persecution against the church in Jerusalem after stoning Stephen. This caused the disciples to scatter through the “regions of Judea and Samaria” (Acts 8:1-4), but they preached the word wherever they went. They did not become secret believers; they still shared the gospel.