Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Intercession for the Lost

Praying For Our Enemies

Someone wrote that worship of God is where we worship Him for who He is.  Intercessory prayer is where we pray what God has promised in His Word.  For example, when we pray for the lost to be saved we are praying the will of God (1 Timothy 2:3-6; 2 Peter 3:9).  We are praying what God has spoken.  When we pray for world missions, we are praying what the Father promised to His Son (Psalm 2:8; Matthew 28:18-20).

With intercessory prayer in mind, Jesus said in Matthew 5:44:

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

We are called to pray for our enemies.  What does this do in the heart of the believer?  This produces love.  When we begin to pray for our enemies, we will soon find that we have a love for them.  We begin to desire to see them turn from their sins and repent.  Yes we hate their sins but we will begin to love them for being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).  True praying for someone will produce love for them.

I have been seeking to implement this into my prayer life.  When I hear a story about a church preaching false doctrine, I have begun to pray for that church to come to repentance.  I have been praying for those who are enemies of the gospel.  I have been praying for those who are dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3) to come to faith in the Lord Jesus.  I have been praying for cults to turn from their false doctrines to the truth in Christ.  My longing is for genuine love to flow from me for those who are enemies of the gospel.

I am all for apologetic ministries and even discernment ministries but I fear that too often we are wanting to win debates with people and pointing out their false teachings while not praying for them.  To be clear, I detest false doctrines.  Yet I equally know that Jesus calls us to pray for our enemies.  I fear that we often want to destroy people while not longing for them to come to repentance.  May that not be.

Paul the Apostle was persecuted by his own people, the Jews.  Yet he prayed for their salvation (Romans 10:1).  Paul could have grown cold and bitter toward his own but he longed to see them repent.  His praying no doubt produced love for his lost kin.

My prayer is that I would pray for my enemies and truly love them.  I am far from that now.  In my heart, I want my enemies gone!  I look around at the wicked world and long for Jesus to come and make it all right.  Yet how many would be cast into hell if that were the case and Jesus came today?  Again, the Lord is patient with  lost sinners (2 Peter 3:9).  The heart of God is for sinners to repent and live (Ezekiel 18:32).

May the Lord help me to pray for my enemies for His glory.

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Using Tragedy to Pray

Seems as if everyday we find news coming out of evil abounding.  People murdering people.  People lying.  People giving themselves to sexual immorality and to drugs.  We see the work of the devil all around us.  We see politicians lying, sports stars living in wickedness, and yes, sadly, the church has its own people falling into sin.  We need only to look in the mirror to know that sin abounds (Romans 3:23).

I believe that before we take to social media to talk about the sin around us and in us, we need to go to our knees to pray.  I believe the Lord can use tragedy to help us pray with His heart for this lost world.  The Lord is no doubt the Savior of the lost (Luke 19:10) and He draws sinners to Himself by His grace (John 6:44) but He also uses the means of grace to bring the lost to Himself.  This is true for Arminians as it is for our Calvinist brethren.  The Lord uses the means of preaching (1 Corinthians 1:21) and the means of prayer to bring sinners to salvation (Romans 10:1; 1 Timothy 2:1-2).  The God of glory allows us (fallen human beings) to join with Him in prayer to labor for souls (1 Corinthians 3:9).

When we see wickedness around us, let us pray.  When we see people living in sin around us, let us pray.  When we hear of Muslims committing works of evil, let us pray.  When we hear of cults, let us pray.  When we hear of Christians falling into sin, let us pray.  When we hear of loved ones who are living in sin, let us pray.  When we hear the news of evil, let us pray.

Let us pray for the souls to be saved.  Let us pray for God to send forth workers to work His harvest fields (Matthew 9:37-38).  Let us pray for the Word to go forth and bear fruit to the glory of God (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2). Let us pray for cities and nations to experience revival (Acts 2:17-18).  Let us pray for the Lord to bring sinners to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  Let us pray for holiness in the Church (1 Peter 1:15-16).  Let us pray for the glory of God to fill His Church (Ephesians 3:20-21).

We live in this world as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).  We can speak to people for God but we also can speak to God for people.  God doesn’t hear the cries of wicked sinners who have not repented of their sins (Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; John 9:31) but He does hear those of His children (Psalm 34:15).  As His children, we have the right (John 1:12-13) to come into His holy presence through His Son (John 14:12-14; Hebrews 4:14-16).  We have a faithful high priest before the Father and we can approach the throne of God through faith in the Lord Jesus who died for our sins and now sits at the right hand of God praying for us (Hebrews 7:25).  Through the name of Jesus, we have the right to pray and the Lord hears our cries.  The Bible says that He acknowledges the humble (Psalm 147:11).

As we pray, let us praise with the Psalmist and rejoice that God hears our prayers (Psalm 66:20).  Let us pray,

“Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.  I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue.”  – Psalm 66:16-17 (NASB)

We have the joy of praying for the nations, for the lost, for the Church, for God to be glorified.  Let us not waste this time by wasting our energy on social media ranting about evil but let us pray in the name of Jesus knowing that our Father hears our prayers and He will be glorified through our cries.

Don’t Use Evil To Destroy Another

I was sad this week to read after the Paris attacks from Muslim terrorists that a brother went on Twitter to attack Calvinists over their view of divine determinism.  While  I agree that divine determinism is not biblical, I don’t believe we should use evil to try to attack Calvinists.  People lost their lives in France and we should mourn that.  Now is not the time to use the wicked acts of these Muslims to attack our brethren.

Both Arminians and Calvinists mourn over the loss of lives.  We both agree that the only hope for Muslims, for the people of France, and the world is the precious truth of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the answer to the problem of evil.  We both preach that Jesus saves sinners (Luke 19:10) and we both agree that none are saved apart from Christ Jesus (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).  We agree that the preaching of the gospel is necessary to bring people to salvation (Romans 10:14-17).  Let us focus on this, on getting the gospel to the lost souls in France and throughout the world (Matthew 28:19-20).  This is the heart of God, for the lost to come to faith in His Son (John 3:16).

Let us pray for the world to hear the gospel and be saved (Matthew 9:38; Romans 10:1).  Let us pray that people in France will heed the gospel and repent (Luke 13:1-5) as well as the Muslims.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

11/18/2015 at 2:15 PM

So the Lord Changed His Mind (Exodus 32:14)

One of the precious doctrines of the faith is the immutability of God.  This doctrine teaches us that God does not change.  In other words, God does not change like we humans do.  He is not “learning” nor is His character based on what happens around Him.  God is loving and good no matter what.  God is long-suffering toward us.  This is all true because of the nature of God and the fact that He does not change (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 12:29).  God’s will does not change because His will is based on who He is (Psalm 33:11; Isaiah 46:10).

The positive of this doctrine is that God is not a man.  He is not one day happy with me and the next day He is angry toward me.  God doesn’t hear my prayers today but He ignores me tomorrow.  Because of the nature of God and what He has done regarding our salvation, the Lord will not cast us away tomorrow because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  Our adoption as children of God comes through Christ Jesus and His eternal work (Hebrews 9:14).  The Lord does not cast us aside because He has said that all who come to Him He would not cast away (John 6:37).  The promises of God are sure because of the nature of God and the fact that He is immutable.

That said, I don’t fully grasp God.  I am thankful for that.  I have often said that cults have their god figured out.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses can explain their god.  Why?  Because their god is made in their image.  Their god is a false god.  Our God, the true and living God, is a mystery to me in many ways.  The Bible does not fully reveal God.  The Bible reveals enough about God to save us (John 20:31) but even John records about the Lord Jesus that not everything about Him was written down (John 21:25).  Enough of Jesus was written down to save us but the biblical record is not revealing all about Jesus.  It never could.

God is beyond our logic and understanding.  His ways and His thoughts are above our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).  There is much about the Lord that I don’t fully understand.  How can I?  He is absolutely holy but I am sinful.  My sinfulness gets in the way of my thinking about God.  I tend to view God through my own limitedness.  I view God through my sinfulness.  The biblical record often confronts my sins, my views of God, and my understanding of Him.  Whenever I tend to think I have God figured out, the Lord will open His Word to me and show me more about Himself that counters my flesh.

One area of God I have no true understanding about is prayer.  In Exodus 32 we read the account of Moses interceding for Israel after their rebellion against the Lord through the golden cafe (Exodus 32:6).  The Lord says that He is going to wipe them out for their sins and He will raise up a new nation through Moses (Exodus 32:9-10).  Moses goes to praying in Exodus 32:11 and he prays according to the promise that God has given through His servants (Exodus 32:13).  Interestingly Moses appeals to the unchangeable nature of God in that He had promised to bless His people through Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.  I also point out that Moses uses Israel in verse 13 rather than Jacob.  The Lord Himself had changed Jacob’s name to Israel.  Moses uses the name of Israel to remind the Lord that He is faithful to keep His promises as He is a covenant keeping God.

Then we come to Exodus 32:14.  The Lord changed His mind.  This is the New American Standard.  The ESV uses “relents” while the KJV uses “repents.”  I find it amazing that the Lord changed His mind.  The immutable God changed His mind.  Some suppose that God did not really change His mind but instead this is anthropomorphic language to describe God.  They suppose that God allows the biblical writers to use human language to describe Him who is not human.  How can God change His mind?  How can the Lord who knows all things from beginning to end change His mind?  Is He not an eternal God who dwells outside of time?

Yet the clear reading of Exodus 32:14 is that God is moved by the prayer of Moses.  Can prayer really change God’s mind?  The divine determinism view of prayer is that prayer is really God working through means to accomplish His will that He has determined beforehand to accomplish.  In other words, prayer is not able to move the heart of God.  The divine determinist view is that God has fixed what He will do and He even determines the praying of the saints to accomplish His will.  Yet when we read Exodus 32:11-14 and we read the prayer of Moses here I don’t see  the divine determinism coming into play.

God has said that He will answer prayer.  We are to pray according to His will (1 John 5:14-15) but He has said that He will answer prayer (Jeremiah 29:13; 33:3).  Jesus taught us to pray because God knows beforehand what we need (Matthew 6:8) and He hears our prayers and responds.  I find nothing in Scripture to suggest that prayer is just a religious ritual.  I see in the Bible the promise of God that He hears our prayers and He responds.

The example of Moses here shows that God allows us by His grace to be co-workers with Him in accomplishing His will.  No doubt God could do whatever He desires.  If God wanted to save everyone He could.  If God wanted to damn all He could.  If God wanted to save sinners without the preaching of the Word or the prayers of the saints, He could.  Yet God has fixed certain conditions that if we meet them, God works through His Church to do His will.  For example, the will of God is to save sinners.  This is the will of God (1 Timothy 2:3-4) but He will only save those who come to Him in faith (Romans 4:5).  The Lord could have sent Jesus to die for all sinners and that one sacrifice could have atoned for all sin and that would end that but God has made faith part of His plan of salvation (John 3:16, 36).  We have to have faith in Jesus to be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:9 that he was a co-worker with God for His Church.  Paul could not save anyone nor could he build the Church apart from the grace of God.  The Lord worked through Paul to save sinners (Acts 16:14-15).  Paul preached the gospel and the Lord was faithful to add people to His Church (Acts 2:47; Romans 1:16-17).

In a sense, prayer is our working with God.  Intercessory prayer is how God has allowed His children to co-work with Him in this world.  The Lord heard the prayers of Moses and He changed His mind.  That is mind-blowing in of itself.

In Ezekiel 22:30-31 we read these sad words (NKJV):

30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.

The Lord has said that He would heed the prayers of the intercessor.  That is mind-blowing theology.  Yet because none was found, the Lord said He is sending judgment.  Not so with Moses in Exodus 32.  Moses stood in the gap and he prayed for Israel and the Lord changed His mind.

Only when sin has reached its limit will God not hear the prayers of His saints (Jeremiah 15:1; Ezekiel 14:14, 16).  If God has determined the judgment of God because of sin, the prayers of the saints will not change the mind of God.

Prayer is a mystery.  God uses the prayers of the saints to do His work.  He has called us to prayer (Matthew 9:38).  The Church is strongest when she is on her knees.  Leonard Ravenhill wrote:

“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”

If God has said that He would hear our prayers and He would answer our prayers, how can we not pray?  How can we waste time with this world when God has called us to co-work with Him through prayer?  Imagine Exodus 32 if Moses had not prayed.  God no doubt uses the prayers of the saints to do His work but we need people who will be like Moses and stand in the gap for the world.  The world is dying and going to hell yet the Lord has called His people to pray for sinners (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  The prayers of the saints rises before the throne of God like sweet-smelling incense (Revelation 5:8).

My longing is to pray.  I want to stand in the gap for sinners.  I want to pray for the Lord to do great things in this world for His glory and honor.  I want to be an intercessory for the glory of God.  I may never be known in this world and I’m okay with that but I want to be known by the Lord.  I want to stand up before His holy throne and cry out to Him and know that He hears my prayers and He answers according to His will (Mark 11:22-24).  There is power in prayer because there is power in the Lord.  This leads my heart to cry out (Luke 18:1).

Oh let me pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

11/15/2015 at 9:00 PM

Interceding For The End of Abortion

Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973 with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade.  Since that time, literally millions of babies have been slaughtered in the womb.  While people want to argue about which lives matter, babies everyday are being killed for the simple reason that they exist.  The untold slaughter of the unborn in the United States and around the world is a stench to a holy God who cannot tolerate such evil.  We see the effects of Romans 1 in the United States and abortion is a fruit of this.

How can one make an impact for the Lord against abortion?  I could talk on about voting pro-life and I do and I believe all true disciples must.  How can one vote for a pro-murder politician is beyond me.  I could talk on about the need for true disciples of Jesus to run for political office to make an impact for the pro-life cause.  I could talk about the need for Christians to go to your local murder mills to protest and to preach and to plead with women and men not to kill their babies.  I could talk about the need for the churches to stop being silent about abortion.  Preach on abortion, talk about the need to end abortion, pray for sinners to repent and believe the gospel and turn from their wicked sins.

For all of us, I point to the biblical truth of praying for the end of abortion.  I do pray that we would pray, plead, preach, and protest but above all pray!  Pray for the Lord to end abortion.   Pray for Him to save the staff and “doctors” involved in murdering unborn babies.  Pray for pro-life groups to be strong, to preach the gospel, to help women who have become pregnant to see that murder should not be an option.  Pray for the Lord to raise up preachers of the gospel who will preach against abortion and turn women (and men) from the murdering of babies.

1 Timothy 2:1-7 is my bases for all this:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

We are winning the war over the pro-murder groups.  The pro-life movement in the United States is strong.  Granted, the federal government (especially under the pro-murder Democrats) has provided billions of dollars toward pro-murdering groups but the Lord is on our side.  The Lord is for life.  He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27) and we seek to murder babies who likewise are created in His image.   The pro-life movement must preach the gospel realizing that the hope for those involved in murdering babies is that Jesus saves from sin (Luke 19:10).  So many in the pro-life movement go and protest with an eye on earning merit from God (Isaiah 64:6).  I remind you again that our “works of righteousness” do not save (Titus 3:5-7).  We must preach the gospel that Jesus saves sinners and we are chief (1 Timothy 1:15).

For now, let us pray earnestly for the Lord to end abortion.  I do pray we preach, plead, and protest but oh that we would pray for sinners to be saved (Romans 10:1), that the Lord would raise up laborers for His harvest fields (Matthew 9:37-38) and that we would pray for the end to abortion.

Oh Lord grant this for Your glory!  In Jesus’ name!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/22/2015 at 5:16 PM

The Need for Revival

It doesn’t take much to look around at the wickedness that abounds and to know that we need revival.  So many don’t care about the Lord nor give thought to Him.  Even as I have preached in the open air that all people will die (Hebrews 9:27), so few take thought of their lives and the fact that we are but vapors (James 4:14).  Every person living today will be dead yet they don’t stop to consider this fact even as people die all around them.  So few take the time to consider their lives and to see that they have violated the law of God and deserve His just punishment against sin (James 2:10-12).  They don’t know what awaits them when they die and they don’t seem to care.

Even worse is the state of the Church.  So many are just showing up for their “Sunday services” and give no thought to God during their week.  They don’t pray.  They don’t share their faith.  They don’t worship the Lord Jesus in all they say and do (Colossians 3:17).  They say they love the Lord Jesus and are thankful for His saving work on the cross but they don’t live their lives reflecting HIs grace nor His love (John 14:21).  They would claim heaven but they don’t live like heaven (Matthew 1:21).  They would say that Jesus saved them from their sins while still living in sin (1 John 3:4-10).  The “preachers” are not preaching the gospel but are often found preaching peace and prosperity in the midst of sin.  These preachers are not preaching repentance nor holiness but are preaching a “happy clappy” message that does not save nor sanctifies its hearers.  Jesus is the offended One in their midst and He is often shunned in favor of being popular (Luke 6:26).  The burden for the lost is largely missing.  Where are the tears for the lost?  Where are the tears for those who have not repented of their sins?  Where are those who will call out to God for the lost (Romans 10:1)?

We also lack the urgency in prayer for the lost.  Where are the intercessors for the lost?  Jesus said in Matthew 9:38 that we are to pray to the Lord of the harvest that He might send out laborers in His harvest.  Where are those who will do this, who will pray for the workers to work the harvest fields?  Paul the Apostle urged prayer for the lost in 1 Timothy 2:1-7.  Where are those who would obey the words of the Apostle and pray?  We are taught by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 6:10 to pray for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven yet where are those who do this besides those who just repeat the words over and over again without pondering them?  When was the last time you spent hours in prayer just praying for the lost?  Where are the tears for the lost who are bound for hell apart from the grace of God?  Paul the Apostle said he had great sorrow and continual grief in his heart for the lost (Romans 9:2).  Do you?  Do I?

In Ezekiel 9 we read how Ezekiel saw a vision in his time of a man clothed with linen (an angel) and an inkhorn at his side and the Lord told him to go through the midst of the city (Jerusalem).  The Angel of the Lord (the pre-incarnate Christ) goes through the city and makes the people of God.  We read in Ezekiel 9:4 that He did this to those who “sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it” (NKJV).  What a picture!  The elect of God here are those who are within the city of God who are weeping and crying and detest the wickedness that is around them.  These elect do not share in their sins nor do they face the judgment coming (Ezekiel 9:5-7).

I don’t know what the future holds for our wicked world.  I have optimism that  the Lord will send a revival and that many will be saved from the wrath to come.  I pray Psalm 110:1 for the world.  Yet I also know that God is a holy and righteous God who cannot tolerate wickedness.  His grace and mercy are evident around us while people go on sinning.  I believe 1 Peter 4:17.  I believe that the Lord is calling to His faithful to abandon sin, to live lives of holiness (Hebrews 12:14).  I believe the will of the Lord is for His people to be holy people who love Him and worship Him in all we do.  I believe the Lord is gracious to send a heart for repentance to His people.  I pray that I would be one of those as in the time of Ezekiel 9:4 who sigh and cry over all the abominations.  I pray that I don’t join in with the sinning of the world.  I long to be holy and pure.

I am thankful for the goodness of God revealed in Christ Jesus.  I am thankful that Christ came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).  I am thankful that Jesus saved me (Galatians 1:4) and that He saves me from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). I am thankful that Jesus is my salvation (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).  I rejoice that I am saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not by my works of righteousness (Titus 3:5).  I worship Him who alone is worthy for His intercession for me before the Father (Hebrews 7:25).  This salvation is not by my doing but by His going (Colossians 1:13-14; 2:12-13).

Yet I see the need for revival.  I see the great need for the people of God to pray for revival.  What will turn the lost back to the gospel will not be our creativity but the Lord Himself.  What will stir the hearts of those who sit in the churches but are lost will be the Spirit of God.  I pray that the Holy Spirit moves in power upon His Church and that many sinners will hear the gospel and be saved (Romans 10:17).  Jesus came to save sinners (Luke 10:19) and I pray that He glorified in the saving of sinners.  Jesus can truly save a sinner.  He saved this sinner.  Jesus is still saving this sinner from sin.

Oh join with me in praying for revival!  Join with me in praying for the gospel to transform the saints of God.  Join with me in allowing the Holy Spirit to stir your heart toward revival.  Pray for God to be glorified among His saints and for sinners to hear the gospel and be saved.  Rejoice in the mercy of God that saved us and rejoice that God is merciful toward sinners (2 Peter 3:9).  Rejoice that He is patient with the lost (and the saints) and He wants to call all to repentance.  Pray for the Lord to be praised by His saints without fear and with great boldness even before sinners (Acts 4:29).  Pray for the kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/19/2015 at 1:36 PM

Why the Secular World Has No Answer For ISIS

I recently watched a video on the Islamic State or better known as ISIS.  The video was not produced by Christians so the video simply wanted to tell the story of ISIS and why they do what they do and what is their goal.  The reality was that ISIS members were not murderers bent on simply killing infidels in the name of Islam but they are simple, normal Muslims who truly love Islam and are seeking to follow the ways of their Prophet.  These Muslims fill their day with learning from the Quran, with prayer, and with seeking to imitate the life of Mohammad in every way possible including jihad.  Their passion is simple: they want to do the will of their god as it gave it to their prophet.

The secular world simply cannot fathom this devotion.  They look at ISIS and see a people who must be mad at the West for something.  Perhaps its our morals (and that is part of it) or our freedom (they see it as bondage because the will of their god is not being followed).  The secular world thinks it’s about land or oil or money or even sex.  The reality is that the members of ISIS and especially the leadership are well-educated Muslims who are bent on being true to the Quran and to their prophet.  This is not about a fight for land.  This is not a fight over the US involvement with Iraq or Afghanistan per se (though ISIS hates the Americans for being in Muslim lands).  This is not about Jews or Christians (though they despise them both for their “false worship”).  This is about their god.  And the secular world has no answer.

The reason is simple why the secular worldview has no answer: they have no god.  The “god” of the secular is themselves (Romans 1:22-23).  The false god of Islam is not much different other than that the Muslim believes in a god outside of themselves.  Their god is still a false god.  Either way, the secularist has no answer for Islam.

The Christian reply is that the Muslims are worshiping a false god.  A comparison of the God of the Bible with the god of the Quran shows a god who is much different in Islam.  Even a comparison of the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ with Mohammad shows worlds difference between the two.  The Lord Jesus was perfect, sinless and He never struck down those who attacked Him (1 Peter 2:21-24).  Jesus even prayed for those who were killing Him (Luke 23:34).  The Bible even says that we are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) and Paul the Apostle advocated the same (Romans 12:12-21).  Jesus did teach His disciples to advance His kingdom (Acts 1:8) because of His authority (Matthew 28:18-20) but this advancement is not with weapons of warfare (2 Corinthians 10:3-4) but with the gospel.  The gospel will conquer the nations (Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:13-14; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26) and the Lord will redeem sinners from every nation (Revelation 5:9-10).  Yet Jesus, unlike Mohammad, never called His followers to advance His kingdom by force or power.  The gospel alone can transform a person and this comes from above (John 3:3; cf. Luke 17:20-21).

ISIS is not following Jesus.  In fact, ISIS hates Jesus and the true and living God of the Bible as all sinners do (Romans 1:18-19).  ISIS, like other forms of Islam, cannot convert one person because they have no gospel, no power.  Islam offers no forgiveness of sins because they reject sin.  Islam offers no assurance of salvation but to martyrs.  Islam offers no hope that their god loves them but only that it is merciful.  Islam has no concept of individual salvation but with only submission to their god.  The very name “Muslim” means “one who submits.”  Yet ISIS views all forms of Islam false who also do not follow sharia law (or the laws put forth by various Muslim clerics about how to follow the Quran and the life of Mohammad).  If a nation or person does not follow sharia law as set forth by ISIS, they are deemed infidels and must repent and come back to the true religion.  This is not a religion of peace but one of submission.

ISIS’s goal is clear: to raise the black flag of ISIS over every nation.  In the video I watched, ISIS promised to raise the flag over Turkey (if they did not open a dam to allow water into Syria) and over all the Middle East (including Iran and Israel whom they both hate).  ISIS even promised to raise the flag of Islam over the White House in the United States.  This is not a religion of peace but as the name states – of submission.  Sharia law is to be the law of the land wherever ISIS comes.

What can the secularist say to this?  They have no solution.  No answers.  The President of the United States will not even see that they are true Muslims but he views them as false Muslims.  Any simple reading of the Quran and the Hadith would show otherwise.  Some secular religious scholar is giving the President of the United States bad advice.  I agree that warfare is not the total answer.  ISIS wants war.  ISIS would love to face the United States to the battlefield (though they would probably lose in my estimation).  ISIS believes that their holy war is from their god.  The US military would just view it as another war with terrorists.  While the US could defeat ISIS in battles, the hearts for the people living in Muslim lands must be won with the gospel.  And the US (and other nations) would not get that part.  Until they do, they would have to continue to fight Islamic fighters for years to come.

The answer for combatting ISIS is this: send missionaries.  You could (and I think should) fight ISIS on the battlefield for they continue to kill people who are simply in their way.  ISIS must be stopped and stopped by a strong military force (just as the European nations sent the Crusaders in the middle ages not to take over the Middle East but to combat the spread of Islam into European nations).  After stopping ISIS on the battlefield, we must turn the work over to the gospel.  Muslims need to freely hear the gospel.  One ISIS soldier even said that he hated seeing the Americans in Iraq because they would build Christian churches.  This is what we must do.  We must send forth the gospel.

The gospel can transform the Middle East.  It did in the first 600 years after the resurrection of Christ until the false prophet Mohammad sought to build a cult off the teachings of Judaism and Christianity.  Since then, the gospel has struggled against the false teachings of Islam.  Islam is not merely another religion from Christianity but it is the antithesis of Christianity.  Islam doesn’t merely teach against Jesus but another Jesus altogether to pervert the true Jesus of the Bible.

Thank God for the reports of Muslims hearing the gospel through the Internet and through radio.  ISIS will kill whoever converts to Christianity and ISIS will kill whoever is found with a Bible or listening to Christian programs.  This is not about peace but submission.  Yahweh is sending forth His truth against the false teachings of Islam.  Yahweh will be glorified through His Son in all nations and the promise is that all nations will bow to His dominion (Psalm 72:8-9).

I pray that ISIS will repent.  God saved a Jew bent on killing disciples of Christ in Acts 9 and He can do the same with members of ISIS.  I pray that nations will see the threat of ISIS and see that the answer is not found in secularism.  It is not found in money or sex.  The answer for ISIS is the gospel of the Jesus Christ.  I pray that members of ISIS will turn from their sins and the Spirit of God would bring deep conviction upon them (John 16:8-11).  Jesus is able to save even the worse of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).  May we intercede for this (1 Timothy 2:1-7).

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