I Love You Too Much. . .To Be Silent

My Arab Muslim barber often says to me, “Mr. Mark, I love you too much!” I know he is using the word “too” with the meaning of “so” and it always warms my heart. Believe me, I feel the same way about him! He is a very special person to me and I love him.

A few years ago, I heard about a Christian woman in the Middle East who was meeting for coffee with several Muslim women. Suddenly, a Muslim man – a relative of one of the women – came into the room and began to preach Islam to the Christian woman. Among other things, he told her that her doom in hell was sure unless she repented and took Islam for her religion. I found her response very interesting. After a few moments of careful thought, she simply replied to him to him with real honesty and sincerity, “Hamza, thank you for telling me these things. Your message to me must be because you love me and don’t want me to go to hell.” She was saying in essence, You love me too much to be silent and I greatly appreciate it.”

In my own life, I remember an experience with a Muslim man from the Middle East who was attending a university in the United States. We became friends and had many wonderful times of discussion about faith issues – sometimes until 2, 3, or 4 in the morning. On one occasion, Omar related that he had walked by an American restaurant with another Muslim friend. As they looked in the window at those who were eating, Omar said with real concern in his voice, “Abdullah, all these people, going to the hell-fire.” I asked Omar for an explanation of his comment. He explained that in his mind – in his way of thinking – these people were not Muslims and were in danger of hell. I could see that it clearly pained him and I deeply respected him for that. He cared about the eternal destiny of those people and because of that care, it was hard for him to be silent.

Now some – if not many – of my Muslim readers may not agree with Omar or Hamza’s theology regarding who goes to hell but here is the point I want to make in this blog post today: we should not be silent about what we believe.

No, silence about finding a source of water is not a loving way to live when people you know are dying of thirst.

In light of this, please consider 3 thoughts:

#1) Whether you are a Muslim or a Christian, if you love someone, you don’t want them to go to hell. Isn’t that right? It disturbs you to think about it. It actually hurts deeply to think of someone – especially someone you care about – suffering that horribly and for that long in fire!

#2) To my Muslim readers: if you believe that submitting to Allah, obeying the Qur’an, and following the life and teachings of Muhammad is the only way to Paradise and that for a friend to knowingly reject these teachings will send him or her to the hell-fire, what do you do? Do you remain silent? No! As I understand it, it is your duty – your religious obligation – to “invite” your friend to follow the ways of Muhammad and embrace Islam (this is “dawa”).

#3) The same goes for my Christian readers: if you believe that following the ways of Jesus as taught in the Bible is the only way to Heaven and that for a friend to knowingly reject his teachings and sacrifice for sins will send him or her to hell, what do you do? Do you remain silent? No! Your love for God and your friend compels you to share the “Good News” of Jesus death and resurrection and his offer of forgiveness of all sins with your friend (this is “evangelism”).

So. . .as I close, I want to say to any Muslim who has spoken or will speak to me about your faith, thank you for caring for my eternal soul by speaking of the Qur’an and the teachings and ways of Muhammad to me. As in the story of the woman above, your message to me must be because you love me and don’t want me to go to hell.

In addition, I want to say to you, my dear Muslim friends whom I love: please allow me to share with you what I believe about Jesus, the man I believe to be the one and only Savior from sins and hell-fire that you and I – that all people – so desperately need. I say with heartfelt love and incredible concern: your eternity is at stake.

Jesus once said these words to a woman at a well in Palestine (Injeel, Gospel of John 4:13-14),

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I have found water in the desert. It comes from the pierced heart and hands of Jesus.

It would indeed be a crime for me to be silent and not tell you about it.

I love you so much. I love you too much. . .to be silent.

14 thoughts on “I Love You Too Much. . .To Be Silent

  1. Salam Mark,
    first, as am writing from Paris with my busy life here I really want to thank you for writing this blog, which interest me!
    second, I want to make an explanation for the concept of (Hell) and (Paradise) in my religion Islam.
    God; (or as what all the arab Christians, Jewish, and Muslims call him in Arabic *Allah*) didnt ask us to Judge people (to point our fingers on them and Judge them in Person)
    and at the same time, he didn’t ask us to claim that we are going to the Paradise.
    The prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: no one go to the paradise because of his work. It was said:Even You our God’s apostle? he replied: Even Me, except with the Mercy of God*.
    all what we can go in our life (whatsoever religion we follow, and whatsoever pray we do) can’t really give the thank that the almighty and merciful God gave us! nothing can equal the mercy of God for creating for us the eyes! the earth! the (every kind of thing)!
    and for any muslim who ever claim that he’s going to Paradise and the others to the Hell, all what I can say is what the almighty God said in the Holy Quran:
    In the Name of Allah, the Benificent, the Merciful
    And the dwellers on the Heights call unto men whom they know by their marks, (saying): What did your multitude and that in which ye took your pride avail you? (48) Are these they of whom ye swore that Allah would not show them mercy? (Unto them it hath been said): Enter the Garden. No fear shall come upon you nor is it ye who will grieve. (49)
    Holy Quran, Chapter 7.

    However, I do believe that God will Judge the people on their work, and on a research that they have to make on the creation, the existence, and the religions.
    I certainly believe, according to the teaching of the Holy Quran, that the Almighty God don’t and will not Misjudge a humanbeing in the day of resurruction:
    In the name of Allah, the benificent, the merciful
    Surely! Allâh wrongs not even of the weight of an atom, but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward (40)
    Holy Quran, Chapter 4.

    finally, I do declare; as a Muslim believer, from my own research, that the only messages that’s still exist on the earth, which came from the One God and Lord of all what exist, is : Judaism, Christianity, and his final Message to the mankind Islam.
    I do believe, that Judaism and Christianity was changed, by the time.
    and that the origin of Judaism and Christianity, I can clearly know it from the last message that Its book was never changed, the book that God himself took the responsibility to save it.
    In the Name of Allah, the benificent, the merciful
    Verily We (God): It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’ân) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)[] (9) Indeed, We sent (Messengers) before you (O Muhammad) amongst the sects (communities) of old. (10) And never came a Messenger to them but they did mock at him. (11).
    Holy Quran, Chapter 15.

    Peace be upon you Mark! may God guide you to the right path! I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH and you know that :)

    peace!
    Ammar
    Paris

    • Ammar,

      I always love to hear from you! I love you too much!

      Ammar, I too am so glad that God is the Judge and that He is a perfect Judge. He will judge in righteousness. He will judge with all knowledge of the human heart and motives – not just seeing the external actions as we would do.

      And yes, I too believe in God’s mercy. For me, He already displayed that mercy in an unfathomable way when He sent Jesus to be sacrificed for our sins. In our place. Taking the punishment we rightly deserved. (See the words of the prophet Isaiah in chapter 53 of the Bible as he predicted this 700 years before Christ!)

      I also believe in God’s wrath & justice - His perfect anger toward sin. He hates it with a completely righteous hatred. He says sin cannot enter heaven. He says sin must be punished. There has to be a sacrifice for it. Death. Bloodshed. Therefore, no one can enter Heaven/Paradise simply based on God’s mercy. His justice has to be satisfied as well.

      For us as followers of Jesus, God provided the perfect solution to having both His perfect mercy and His perfect justice satisifed: the death of Jesus on the cross.

      How glad I am for this awesome God who is perfect in all His ways. I can never praise Him enough.

      Peace be upon you as well, Ammar!

  2. Do Muslims find peace with Allah as they spread Islam? Where is Muhammed right now? I am 100% confident that the Lord Jesus is preparing a place for those who follow Him to the end and who are ready to feast at His table. Muslims and Christians agree that Jesus is sinless and that he is in heaven right now. Those who leave their own sin and seek refuge in the Sinless One from the flames of hell are wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If I am wrong, I am a huge idiot for avoiding sin that can be so much fun … temporarily.

    • Mert,

      Thanks for your comments, brother.

      I believe Muhammad is reported to have said, “By Allah, though I am the apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me” (Hadith, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 5:266).

      My deepest longing is that all repent, believe, and follow Jesus – to escape hell, yes. Absolutely. But also to know the joy of experiencing his complete, perfect love in this life.

  3. Dear Mark,
    I have heard you speak and read many emails. You are a man that exhibits love everywhere you go. It is practically seeping from your pores. Hearing this word coming from you, a man who truly loves all of God’s creation, gives it even more weight. Thank you for reminding us that we all do want what is best for each other, and that is what motivates many of our actions.

    • Good point about wanting the best for each other to be the motivating factor in engaging spiritual dialog. The question that needs to be asked is, ” what is the best belief system when it comes to our eternal destination? How do we decide if what we believe to be the truth is correct?”

      • Dolores, thanks so much for your response.

        I do want the best for all my friends regarding their eternity – whether they call themselves Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, or whatever. I want everyone to go to heaven! I want them to experience the joy of being with God there. I don’t want them to suffer.

        And so I tell them – with complete respect and all the kindness and gentleness I can muster – about the message of the Bible. It is a simple but powerful message of God’s incredible love – a love so great that He would send His one and only to this earth to be a sacrificial substitute for our sins. That whoever believes in Jesus and follows him will have eternal life.

        I believe this to be the only saving truth that God has provided for mankind because it is the only faith that is fully dependent upon God’s free gift (grace) rather than our good works on the Day of Judgment.

        I give my life and the rest of my days to spread this Good News of forgiveness and peace with God through Jesus my savior.

    • Emily, thanks for your kind words. Soli Deo Gloria. May love for God and people motivate all that we do (Mark 12:30-31).

  4. The bible says, “faithful are the wounds of a friend” — in other words, a real friend will tell us the truth even if it hurts our feelings.

    • Brother Phil, this is so true. “Speaking the truth in love,” as the Bible says in Ephesians 4:15, is so important but it can also be hard and costly.

  5. John 15:13-14
    “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
    You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.”

    Jesus has charged us that know Him to share the good news of His redeeming sacrifice – His righteous blood for our unrighteousness = Eternal Life for all who take hold!
    How could we say we love our neighbors if we fail to do so?

    • Preacher Dave,

      Yes, my friend, I agree.

      Let us love our neighbors by sharing what we believe to be life-giving (for eternity!) truth.

      This shows that we love Jesus and our neighbors.

  6. Hello.
    I still believe u have more knowledge than many Muslims.
    I read ur blog, I found out many instructions showing that u had the
    Real Muslim doctrine. Most Muslims have doublicating in dealing. What I hope ,that people in general have the same concepts as u have. Those people are influenced by their emotion, but that is not true. They have to learn from prophets biography. Many thanks to show others ur believe and respect to Islamic religion hoping other side showing as well toward Christianity.

    • Jawad, sorry to be so slow in getting back to you.
      First of all, thank you so much for reading and making comments.
      Second, how did you find my blog?
      The main thing I want Muslims to know is that I love them but much, much, much more importantly, God loves them! As a Christian, I believe God loves Muslims – and all peoople – so much that He sent His one and only beloved one to die for their sins (John 3:16). My Muslim friends say that God would never allow His prophet to die that way and that it doesn’t make sense. They are right about the second part of that sentence – it doesn’t make sense! It doesn’t make sense that God would love us that much to make that kind of a sacrifice. But He did. He really did.
      God bless you, Jawad. I hope you know this love I am describing.

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