I Must WARN You: “The Bridge Is Out!”

the_bridge_is_out_by_kranggames-d5u6d34

Imagine yourself driving alone on an extremely cold, rainy night – the rain is pouring down, the visibility is low, the road conditions are slippery and dangerous.

Imagine that you near a large bridge ahead but somehow, some way, you are able to see that the bridge is not there! It has collapsed.

Miraculously, you are able to slide to a stop just at the edge of the collapsed bridge or you and your car would have plunged into the icy waters below. You would have surely been killed by the impact, drowned, or frozen to death. But somehow by the mercy of God you saw that the bridge was out.

What would you do then? Surely you would breathe a huge sigh of relief and thank God for saving you from dying. Right? But. . .what then?

There are people who are traveling behind you. Many people. Some of them you know. Some of them you don’t. But they are coming and if you don’t find a way to warn them, they will certainly plunge to the horrible doom you were rescued from.

In your mind you picture the horrible images of carnage and destruction that await them!

Bridge1

Your mind races.

How can you warn them that the bridge is out?

1) Call 911 and leave it all up to someone else – the professional rescuers – to save people?
2) Quickly make a sign and hold it up for oncoming drivers to see: “Danger – Bridge Out Ahead!”
3) Stand on the side of the road and wave kindly – but timidly – to oncoming cars?
4) Stand on the side of the road and wave frantically – yelling and screaming at oncoming cars of the danger ahead?
5) Stand in the middle of the road – refusing to move – risking your life to stop traffic to save people from dying?

Or. . .would you do nothing because of what people might SAY to you if you tried to warn them about the bridge being out:

“Who do you think you are?”
“You shouldn’t be here!”
“You’re intolerant!”
“I know where I’m going and how to get there!”
“Mind your own business!”
“Get out of my way!”

Would you do nothing because of what people might DO to you if you tried to warn them about the bridge being out:

laugh at you. . .
mock you. . .
curse you. . .
throw things at you. . .or even. . .
beat or kill you.

What would determine how you would act on that cold, rainy night?

Fear of what people would think of you?

OR. . .

Concern for what would happen to them if they kept going?

The prophet Solomon (Sulaiman) said we must do something! God Himself is watching (Proverbs 24:11-12):

Rescue the perishing;
don’t hesitate to step in and help
.
If you say, ‘Hey, that’s none of my business,’
will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know —
Someone not impressed with weak excuses.” (The Message)

bridge-collapse-color2

Rescue. . .
don’t stand back and let them die.

Don’t try to disclaim responsibility
by saying you didn’t know about it.

For God, who knows all hearts, knows yours, and he knows you knew!
And he will reward everyone according to his deeds.” (The Living Bible)

My dear readers – whether you call yourself a “Muslim” or a “Christian” or something else – I love you. I care about you. That is why it is my absolute duty before God to warn you that every spiritual “bridge” you are trusting in on the Day of Judgment is out except for one.

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The only “bridge” you can trust to cross over into Paradise is the person and work of Jesus.

God looked down upon you and me and knew that we cannot do enough good things in this life to cross over safely into Paradise. He sent the Prophets to warn us. They were mocked, laughed at, rejected, even killed. Then He sent Jesus. He sent him to die. To be sacrificed. In your place – and mine. For the shame and punishment of your sins – and mine. How do we respond? By accepting the free gift of that sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. By giving our life to Jesus in humble, loving gratitude and then becoming his lifelong followers.

This is the bridge that God Himself has built to save us.

There is no other bridge. There is no other way:

Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (the Injil, the Good News according to John, chapter 14, verse 6).

Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one” (the Book of the Acts of Jesus’ Apostles, chapter 4, verse 12).

My dear friends, I WARN you because I LOVE you.

I warn you because I CARE.

Every bridge is out.

Every bridge but one. . .

That bridge. . .is JESUS.

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Postscript:

To my “Muslim” readers, please note that I am not trying to “convert” you to “Christianity” or becoming a “Christian” – at least not in the way most of you think about those terms. No! But what I am trying to do – boldly and unapologetically – is to plead with you to examine the claims of Jesus in the Injil. To read about his life and yes, his death and resurrection. To see that no one loves you like he does. To see that no one else has given their life for you like he has.

You can trust your good works to get you to Paradise but I warn you. . . that bridge is out. Jesus is the bridge to Paradise and he is calling your name. He is calling you to follow him. Will you answer that call?

To my “Christian” readers, I fear for so many of you. Why? Because you are trusting in your good works to get you to Heaven. Maybe you said a “sinner’s prayer” but let me ask you, “Are you living for Jesus?” “Are you following him?” “Have you given him your life?” Or did you just pray at one time long ago for “fire insurance” but without real commitment to Jesus? It won’t work. I warn you. . .that bridge is out.

It’s time to quit playing games with God, with yourself, with your eternity. Jesus is the bridge to Paradise and he is calling your name. He is calling you to follow him. Will you answer that call?

9 thoughts on “I Must WARN You: “The Bridge Is Out!”

  1. “You can trust your good works to get you to Paradise but I warn you. . . that bridge is out. ”
    I’m afraid that is not the Muslim view—-the “Bridge” to God can never be broken or “out” for God is compassionate and merciful to ALL his creation—to suppose that God is not—is an injustice. In other words—It is NEVER God that closes the door to Paradise—it is humans that choose not to enter it……..or make arbitrary presumptions as to who goes and does not go to Paradise.

    To arbitrarily propose that God has shut down all other ways to him/it except the one from your chosen religion is to misunderstand the nature of God’s encompassing compassion, mercy and justice to his creation…….

    To examine claims is good—but how is a Muslim to examine anything when Christians do not agree among themselves?…You say that good works has no merit—Yet the Catholic church says that both Good works and belief/faith are important!!

    • My Muslim friend,

      We have much in common in our faiths: I so definitely agree that God is compassionate and merciful. I also so completely agree that God is just.

      You always raise such good questions and topics. But here, I just want to address your comment about “arbitrary presumptions.”

      Here is my question in response: is truth exclusivistic? It seems to me that by nature, it has to be. Most religions subscribe – either explicitly or implicitly – to the premise of exclusive truth. Therefore, we cannot act as if every religion is equally true. Islam doesn’t teach this and neither does Christianity.

      I will blog on this later but it is fascinating how many Muslims have said to me over the years that there is such a small difference between Islam and Christianity. Really? Seriously? A truly honest person – or at least a truly knowledgeable one – would not say that. Wouldn’t you agree? Please don’t get me wrong. We have much in common. Much to even celebrate in some common beliefs.

      But please consider this quote (and I say it with all respect to you):

      “It is significant that most religions exact revenge against dissenters. This contradicts the claim that ‘all religions are basically the same.’ If all religions were indeed the same, why not let someone be ‘converted’ to another religion? What this revenge demonstrates so strongly is an inbuilt belief that conversion is wrong. And why is conversion so forbidden? It circles back to the one notion that all religions ascribe to the notion of exclusive truth.” (http://www.satyam-truth.net/z.php)

      So. . .we are not talking about “arbitrary presumptions.” I am quite sure that your imam teaches that Islam is the only way to Paradise. Correct? When the Qur’an says this below (3:85), is it making an “arbitrary presumption” or. . .is it making a statement about absolute, exclusivistic truth?
      ______________________________________________________________

      Sahih International: And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.

      Pickthall: And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.

      Yusuf Ali: If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).

      Shakir: And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.

      Muhammad Sarwar: No religion other than Islam (submission to the will of God) will be accepted from anyone. Whoever follows a religion other than Islam will be lost on the Day of Judgment.

      Mohsin Khan: And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.

      Arberry: Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him; in the next world he shall be among the losers.
      ______________________________________________________________

      Perhaps I don’t understand this verse but to use your words, it seems like “God has shut down all other ways to him/it except the one from your chosen religion.”

      Again, maybe I don’t understand this verse but it seems to be saying, “I must warn you: every bridge is out but one! The only bridge that you can cross to Paradise is through Islam.”

      My point is, I think we both believe in absolute, ultimate, exclusivistic truth. I think we each believe that ultimate truth is found only in our respective holy books.

      For me, love for God and people compels me to tell people about the only bridge I believe will carry a person to eternal life: Jesus.

      You ask about Catholicism and merit and good works and I understand your confusion. Sorry for that! But for me, it’s not about Catholicism or Protestantism or even Christianity. It’s about Jesus. I encourage people to examine his claims from his words in the Injil.

      I encourage people to see if his words – and his life – have the ring of absolute, ultimate truth.

    • One more thing. When I think of Muslims & Christians loving each other, I think of this quote:

      “It’s nonsense that you must agree with people to love them. I often disagree with people I deeply love. I married one!” – Rick Warren

  2. I enjoy talking about our differences as much as I enjoy celebrating our similarities.

    Again, to bring up the doctrines of the Catholic Church—-In its Catechisms it says this about Muslims—-
    CCC 841 The plan of Salvation also includes those who acknowledge the creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one merciful God, mankinds judge on the last day. (the full section starts from CCC 839)

    The Quran says—
    2:62 Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
    5:59 Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians whoever believes in God and the last day and does good– they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.

    You have quoted 3:85, which at first may seem to contradict the other verses—but is actually complementary. The Quran explains this elsewhere when it calls Jesus Christ (pbuh) a “muslim”. In other words—it is not our (self-appointed) labels that determine our place after death, it is our intentions.

    When the Quran calls Jesus Christ (pbuh) a muslim—it is emphasizing the fact that the Prophet was one who chooses to “submit” to the will of God/God’s law. It is referring not to a label of a religion—but to the intentions of his heart/soul. In this context, the earth is a “muslim” because in its rotations around the sun it is following God’s laws (or what in scientific language is called laws of physics).

    In this context “Islam” means “submission to God’s laws/God’s will in order to attain inner and outer peace” and “religion” (Arabic word=Deen) means “way of life”. In other words—Islam (submission) is the way (deen) to attain inner and outer peace in this life and the next.

    For a person to simply arbitrarily self-proclaim to be a “Muslim” does not guarantee Paradise. He must be “muslim” in his intentions.

    But, in the Quran, Islam/muslim is the lowest of the spiritual levels—Iman and Ihsan are higher levels of spirituality and those who follow this way/path, the “momin” and the “mohsin” will also enter paradise.

    • My friend,

      Regarding the Catholic church statement that you have mentioned again, how does it read to you? What do you think it means? I can’t speak to its meaning since I am not a Catholic but I suppose it could be construed to read that – from the Catholic viewpoint – Muslims will be “saved.” They will be included in the “plan of salvation.”

      You then quote various Qur’anic texts that could be construed to read that – from the Islamic viewpoint – Christians will have no reason to fear (the hellfire?), that is, Christians who are in reality “Muslims” (“one who chooses to ‘submit’ to the will of God/God’s law”).

      In reading these statements, perhaps one could come to the conclusion that Catholics think Muslims are going to heaven and Muslims think Christians are going to paradise! We will all just live happily ever after!

      I have to ask you again – with complete respect – if this is true, why is the issue of “conversion” to the other faith so completely unacceptable? For both groups?

  3. Exclusivity is Shirk (division). Truth must be universal so that it can lead to Unity (Tawheed)

    Why is exclusivity Shirk?—because it is born of arrogance and pride. Al-Gazzali calls this mental state “Iblisi Logic”. The story in the Quran is between God, Adam and Iblis (Iblis is a previous creation to humanity—made from a different substance than humanity) According to Gazzali’s interpretation, this story is about how Iblis arbitrarily assigns superiority/superior value and therefore falls into shirk—this Gazzali calls Iblisi Logic…..In the story God asks Iblis to bow down to Adam but Iblis refuses claiming he is made of a superior substance (fire) than Adam (clay) and is therefore better/superior to Adam. In other words—he fails to do God’s will and justifies it by arbitrarily assigning values.
    That is why in Islam, in matters of Divine Judgement, Paradise, Hell, …..Muslims will say “Allahualim” or God knows best/God is most knowing. For human beings to go about proclaiming judgement on who goes to paradise/hell is arrogant and takes on the right that is God’s alone.

    Islam also has a concept of “Grace” or unmerited mercy…which posits that God bestows mercy on whom he wills.

    • My Muslim friend,

      I understand that pride and judgment are both sins to be avoided. Yes! So, so important.

      And. . .I want to say that I never, ever want to sound prideful or judgmental in my blog. As you would say, Astaghfirulla —God forgive!” And I ask you to forgive me also if I come across that way. That is never my intention.

      I am simply one who has been forgiven of my sins. I want to tell others where to find the peace that comes from that same forgiveness. I am just one who has found “bread” and I want to tell others where they can eat and be filled in their hearts. I am only one who found God through Jesus and I so want to tell everyone I can about him.

      The analogy of a bridge being out is not meant to be about pride or judgment. It is meant to save lives – for eternity.

      In Mecca, Muhammad was a “warner,” correct? That is, he felt compelled by God to warn people about the sins of polytheism and idolatry of his day. Would you say that his “warning” was prideful or judgmental? No. But why not? Because you believe he was simply telling the people the truth.

      I belive Jesus is the truth. But please believe me, I take no personal pride in that. I mean to judge no one in that. Only to warn them.

      Warn them out of love.

      (In the same way, if you tell me Islam is the truth – if you practice dawa – I will not be offended. I will not think you judgmental or prideful. I will just think you care. You simply want to warn me.)

  4. Every Soul shall taste Death..

    Humans will be tested in many ways by God Almighty…

    When Death Comes None can protect you .

    (S.A. Ex-Christians-Now Muslim,Alhamdulillah)

    • Yes, my friend, you are so right. Every soul will certainly taste death. The Bible itself says, “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). It is a very, very serious thing indeed!

      But the question is, what are we trusting in to get across the al-sirat bridge? Our good works? No, for me, I know that I can never do enough good works to get to Paradise – to please God. That is why I trust in Jesus alone. His sacrifice for me. He took my place in death so I can taste Life – Eternal Life with him! This is called Grace and I thank God for it.

      Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”

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