In Honor Of Our Young Muslim Friend Who Went To Be With The Lord

24536525961_343952ef9b_b.jpg Job

Dear Muslim friends,

We want to honor a very special young Muslim man – Mohamad – who died recently in Michigan.

His death shook a city.

Well over 1,000 people attended his funeral at the end of 5 days of public services in his honor.

The Detroit Lions football team took notice of Mohamad. So did the Detroit Pistons basketball team.

Community leaders recognized him. So did the Sheriff’s department.

What made this young man so special?

It was said that Mohamad never complained during his 1 and 1/2 year battle against cancer.

It was said that he never blamed God for this disease which ravaged his body.

I had the privilege of meeting this young man 5 times. The first time I met Mohamad was in his home. He had been battling cancer for 6 months at that time. Of course, no one is perfect, but it was so obvious that Mohamad was kind. Gentle. Humble. You could just see it in his face. He had this beautiful childlike (not childish) innocence about him. He was not a big talker but he appeared to be a big lover of people. Someone who cared about others.

The other 4 times I met this young man were in the hospital in the last week of his life. I was so blessed – as a Christian minister – to be welcomed at his bedside by his incredible family, including a few hours before he died. To be allowed to pray for Mohamad, and even to pray with him, was a great privilege I will not forget.

How I wish I could have spent more time with Mohamad – to really have gotten to know him. But all is not lost. I believe I will spend a lot more time with him in the future.

In. . .Paradise.

A prayer we had together – and the promises of God – assures me of that.

Isa al Masih – Jesus – said:
- “whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”
(the Injil, John 6:37, NIV)
- “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
(the Injil, Revelation 3:20, NLT)

God bless you, Mohamad. I long to get to know you better when we are both in the presence of God – basking in His glory, and in His eternal love for us.

In that place, there will be no more death. . .or sorrow. . .or crying. . .or pain. . .

06182018social_2000x.jpg heaven

Do They Have Sharia Law in Dearborn, Michigan? (Christmas Caroling for our Muslim Friends)

Dearborn MI mosque on Ford Road, Nov 2018

Because my wife and I often travel to churches around the US to help Christians gain God’s great heart for Muslims, we are often asked the question:

“Do they have Sharia Law in Dearborn, Michigan?”

Surely there are some Arab Muslim families – Lebanese, Iraqi, or Yemeni – that might practice some form of Sharia in Dearborn. Conflict resolution (to keep issues out of court) might be a good example. But is Sharia the official law of the city? Not at all.

We love Dearborn, Michigan – the people, the culture, and of course, the food!

Being in Dearborn makes us feel like we are back in the Middle East. In Jordan. Or Lebanon. Or Palestine. Places where we feel so comfortable.

welcomedearborn-e1498768632634-630x350.jpg dearborn

In Dearborn, we can go to a park in the summer and speak for hours with people from all over the Middle East. We can talk freely about our faiths and even pray together without fear of any kind of religious police shutting us down. (I have been blacklisted from one Middle Eastern country, so I know about being “shut down”)

In Dearborn, we can visit a mosque almost anytime and be kindly received by the people there. I have walked into mosques all over the country – including the two largest mosques in Dearborn – and had men take the initiative to walk up to me, shake hands, and extend a kind greeting.

In Dearborn, we have freedom to go door-to-door and give out our materials about the similarities and differences between the Qur’an and the Injil. Sometimes we have been invited into homes for delicious Middle Eastern food, along with tea or coffee.

monkimage.jpg caroling

In Dearborn, we have freedom to go to any Muslim neighborhood and sing Christmas carols (songs that celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus – Isa al Masih) as we walk down street after street. What a joy to visit Muslim homes and businesses in Dearborn and sing Christmas carols for over 11 years now! The welcome we receive from Muslims is quite often so warm and hospitable.

So. . .do they have Sharia Law in Dearborn, Michigan?

Well, if they do, it hasn’t stopped us from Christmas caroling. . .and so much more.

People of Dearborn - we love you!!!

Dearborn Yemeni masjid, April 2018

The Honest Muslim Panelist: “Let’s Not Pretend That Our Differences (Between Muslims & Christians) Don’t Really Matter”

islamic-christian-f7956d513f609d5d620cf096093d8243b1fa84f3-s800-c85

Dear Muslim & Christian friends,

I was having lunch in a great Middle Eastern restaurant a few weeks ago with a new pastor in our area. We began to talk about Christianity and Islam. We talked about the efforts of some churches and well-meaning Christians to have “interfaith” meetings which go to great lengths to totally ignore the differences between our faiths. They almost meld them together into some kind of “Chris-lam” in an effort to somehow be tolerant. Politically correct. Inclusive. And by their definition, “loving.”

My pastor friend related a different perspective in this story below which I hope Muslim and Christian readers will find both informative and thought provoking.

——————————

“Several years ago my wife and I were attending an interfaith panel at _________ University. _________ is known as a politically, culturally, and socially progressive/liberal university community and almost all of the panelists reflected that basic mentality. There was a humanist chaplain from an Ivy League school, an Episcopalian bishop, a Reformed Jewish thinker, and several others who generally believed that the purpose of interfaith dialogue was for different faith traditions to see that we are basically all the same, save for a few small insignificant differences.

“However, one panelist came from a completely different perspective. He was a Muslim thinker from Chicago who was part of an interfaith group in that metro city. At one point in the panel discussion, he said,

“‘My best friend is a Southern Baptist pastor who tells me I am going to hell. But he’s my best friend because I know he loves me. He loves me enough to tell me what he really believes and not to pretend that our differences don’t really matter. In fact, to pretend that we do not have real differences actually diminishes the integrity of both of our faiths. So he is a committed Christian and that means that he thinks I am wrong. And I am a committed Muslim and that means that I think he is wrong. But we still love each other and acknowledging those differences is one of the ways that we show our respect for one another and our respective faiths. And that’s what gives us the ability to have real substantive discussions.’

“The whole place was just frozen in silence. It was a like an earthquake just happened in their heavy-handed culture of tolerance and “everyone has their own truth” and “we’re all right because we’re all basically the same.” And actually it captured in such a profound way that pretending we’re all basically the same is actually not tolerant at all because it does violence to the distinctiveness of all traditions and insists they all be like each other. It says Muslims aren’t allowed to be distinctively Muslim and Christians aren’t allowed to be distinctively Christian. But actually true tolerance, true respect, true love is honestly acknowledging the differences and loving one another in the midst of those differences.”

——————————

I would love to meet this Muslim panelist.

I love his honesty.

Principle-One-Honesty

Muslims and Christians: Is There Just A Little Difference Between Us In What We Believe?

graphic-featured-01.jpg islam and christianity

Dear Muslim and Christian friends,

I have been so blessed to visit mosques in cities all over America:

Chicago, IL
Dearborn, MI
Cleveland, OH
Memphis, TN
Wichita, KS
Denver, CO
Des Moines, IA
St. Louis, MO
Anaheim, CA
Reno, NV
Green Bay WI
San Antonio, TX
Indianapolis, IN
. . .and so many more.

I always receive a warm reception in these mosques. Last summer, I visited a mosque in Michigan that was predominately made up of people from Bangladesh. I greatly enjoyed meeting the imam, his wife, his son, and his daughters. They were so kind and hospitable to me and to the Christian group I was with – yet another warm reception. We had a wonderful conversation outside the mosque before the prayer time about the great work this man and his congregation are doing to improve their community.

After our conversation, our group went inside the small mosque and observed the prayer time. The imam then shared with us about the five pillars of Islam and other Muslim beliefs and practices. We were listening to his presentation when his adult daughter spoke up and said something I’ve heard so many times from Muslims virtually everywhere I travel:

“There really isn’t much difference at all between Islam and Christianity – between what Muslims believe and what Christians believe.”

I really liked this imam and his daughter a lot. As I said before, they were both so kind. And as this young lady spoke, she had such a gentle, sweet look on her face. I debated briefly in my mind: “Do I contradict her in her place of worship? Or do I let it go?”

I chose to do the former.

I said to this young lady – and to the rest of the Muslims who were present,
“We can say that there is really just a little difference between what Muslims and Christians believe but. . .would that really be honest of us? Would that really be truthful?”

I went on to say,
“If we build a strong bridge of friendship, we can be honest enough to talk about – not just the similarities in our religions (and we truly have them) – but also, the differences. We have real. . .significant. . .differences.

“We have differences in who Isa – Jesus – is: is he a great Prophet or is he the (spiritual) Son of God?

“We have differences in Jesus and the cross: did Allah take Jesus to Paradise and put someone else looking like him on the cross or did Jesus really die on the cross for all our sins?

“We have differences in how we get to Paradise: do we get there by our good deeds outweighing our bad deeds or is Paradise a free gift received by faith alone?

“Let’s not deny these differences. Let’s talk about them! With respect. With love.”

Dear Muslim and Christian readers, I want to say the same things to you: let’s not be afraid of offending each other. Let’s really get to know each other. Listen to each other. Love each other. And yes, let’s talk about the similarities AND the differences in what we believe.

Let’s speak what we each believe to be truth – but speak it with love.

To do anything less would not only be dishonest, it would dishonor our faiths. . .

image-40.jpg speak the truth in love

Islam & Christianity: Is There Just A “Thin Line” Between Us?

Dear Muslim and Christian friends,

Barnett_Cathedra.jpg thin line

“How Thin Is The Line Between Islam & Christianity?”

Moustapha Akkad’s 1977 movie, “The Message,” tells of an early event in the history of Islam – known as the First Hegira (migration). In this migration, Muslims fled to Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia and Eritrea) to find refuge.

Muhammad’s followers sought protection in eastern Africa because of persecution against him and his followers in Mecca from the ruling Quraysh tribe of Mecca. These early Muslims were reportedly boycotted and several of them were restrained in their homes. Some were stoned. Because of this, Muhammad ordered Ja’far ibn Abi Talib to take some of his followers – perhaps about 80 people, not counting small children – and emigrate to Abyssinia in 615 CE. Apparently, they did not all go at the same time but in small groups.

When the persecutors – the Quraish – got wind of this group’s plans, they sent a search party to forcibly bring this group back to Arabia. The group evaded them and made their way to Abyssinia. The Quraysh then sent Amr ibn al ‘Aas, a friend of the Abyssinian King, as an envoy to convince him not to give refuge to the fleeing Muslims.

When Amr requested that the “rebels” be returned, the Negus (meaning King or Monarch) – Ashama ibn Abjar – is said to have replied, “I cannot put souls into chains without first hearing them.” They were then taken before the king – supposedly a Christian – and his religious leaders to see if he would allow them to stay in peace, or give them up to be taken back to Mecca. The Muslims were called before King Negus and this is one report of their defense before him through Ja’far:

———————————————

The King to Ja’far: “Speak to me of Christ!”

Ja’far: “We say of Christ what our Prophet has taught us. That God cast his holy spirit into the womb of a virgin named Mary. And that she conceived Christ, the apostle of God. . . .”

Ja’far: “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Relate in the book the story of Mary. How she withdrew from her family to a place in the east. How we sent to her our angel Gabriel who said, ‘I am a messenger from your God. To announce the birth of a Holy Son to you.‘” She said, “How can I, Mary, have a son when no man has touched me?” And Gabriel replied, “For your lord says it will happen. We appoint him as a sign unto man. And a mercy from us. It is a thing ordained.”

The King drew a thin line in the sand with his staff and said to Ja’far and the Muslims: “The difference between us and you, is no thicker than this line.”

“Not for a mountain of gold will I give you up. You may live in Abyssinia in peace for as long as you wish. And may God’s blessings be upon you on your return.”

———————————————

My dear Muslim and Christian friends, what do you think?

Is there just a “thin line” between us in what we believe and how we practice our respective religions?

Are the theological differences between us “insignificant” as some believe?

Are the differences “simply a matter of semantics”?

Should we only focus on our “similarities” – what we have in common – as some people like to say?

Or. . .if we truly value friendship and a deeper level/depth of relationship, can we talk honestly and respectively about our differences?

I submit to you the latter.

I submit to you that when Muslims and Christians take the time to listen to one another and build a strong relationship, they can talk peacefully about their differences – even real, significant differences.

I submit to you that while we have many things in common in what we believe as Muslims and Christians, we also have some huge, huge differences – especially about the way to Paradise.

Let’s talk about those differences.

Let’s not sweep them under the rug.

Let’s listen to each other and love each other.

Dear Muslims and Christians, let’s talk.

counseling-testing-lets-talk-logo

My Dear Muslim Friends: I Love You Too Much. . .To Be Silent

Dear Muslim & Christian friends,

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 depends on how you view Jesus and what you do with him as a result of that view.

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.”

never-thirst-again

I have found living water in the desert of my thirsty soul. It comes from Jesus.

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

I love you so much, my Muslim friends.

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

There Are Only 2 Religions In The World – Which One Is Yours?

??????????????????????????????????????

(The post below was first done in June of 2013. Because of a great conversation with two kind sheikhs and other Muslim men at a mosque, I thought it would be good to repost it. I hope it is thought provoking as you seek truth in this life and what we all want in the future – Paradise.)

Dear Muslim and Christian friends,

I believe there are really only 2 religions – 2 religious belief systems – in the world. Sounds crazy, right? No, I truly believe there are just 2 religions in the world.

In the first religious belief system, we can use the illustration of a ladder extending from earth to Heaven.

In this illustration, most of humanity attempts to “climb the ladder” to Heaven by right beliefs, good intentions, obedience to all kinds of rules, and the faithful practice of all kinds of rituals. The adherents of this religious belief system believe if they can just do enough, they can tip the divine scales and God will let them into a place of bliss, perfection, and reward. This religious system is called “good works.”

Those who follow this way of reaching an after death state of Paradise might call themselves “Buddhists” (using the 8-fold path of enlightenment) or “Hindus” (reincarnation – coming back over an over again in some new form), or something else. They might call themselves “Muslims” (practicing the 5 pillars, attendance at the mosque, memorizing the Qur’an, following the Sunnah, etc.) or “Christians” (going faithfully to “church,” practicing the “Golden Rule,” singing in the choir, reading the Bible, etc.).

A legitimate question about all of these people is, “What – or who – are they counting on to gain Paradise when they die?” Essentially, if they are trying to “climb the ladder” to Paradise by their good deeds, they are counting upon – and this is incredibly important – themselves. They are counting on their own performance, their own hard work, and their own spiritual achievements – in essence, their own goodness.

In the second religious belief system, we can also use the illustration of a ladder between earth and Heaven. But in this faith system, God in Heaven looks down upon humanity and lovingly sees that people simply cannot “climb the ladder” and get to Him. None of them can. All are helpless, all are hopelessly lost, and all are in need of rescue. All are in deep shame and in need of their honor to be restored. So God sends His mercy and compassion down the ladder through His prophets. He does this especially and uniquely through Jesus – Isa Al Masih. The prophet Isa – spotless and sinless (Qur’an 19:19) – takes upon himself the sins and shame of the whole world through the voluntary sacrifice of his life. He provides restored relationship with God in Heaven, forgiveness of sins, and the honor that all people need and crave.

This is indeed Good News but. . .there is a big IF: mankind must believe in Isa – who he is and what he has done – and follow him to the end. This religious belief system is called “grace.” Grace is simply receiving (accepting) by faith a gift that cannot be earned. In this case, the gift is the gift of forgiveness of sins and righteousness (right standing) before God and then the resulting gift of eternal life in Paradise.

2 religious belief systems: good works and grace.

So yes, I believe there are only 2 religions in the world. Which one is yours?

ephesians_2_8-9

(Postscript: All I want – all I passionately want – is for all people to see Isa Al Masih – Jesus – for who he is. I desperately want all people to put their complete trust in him and his sacrificial death so they can live forever in Heaven with God who certainly is full of genuine, undeserved mercy and compassion. If I can help anyone to find and follow that straight path, it is my complete joy, privilege, and honor.)

Ramadan Ended and the World Cup is Near The End – Gooooaaaallll?

my-life-after-ramadan-how

Dear Muslim friends,

Ramadan came and went a few weeks ago – as did Eid.

So I have a question for you:

As you finished Ramadan for yet another year, did you reach your goal – or goals?

Did you feel:

- closer to God?
- forgiven and clean?
- closer to your family?
- closer to the umma – your Muslim community?
- relieved that you don’t have to fast like this for another year?

ramadan-ends

What next? How do you follow up Ramadan? Eid – of course. And watching the World Cup with 6 Muslim majority nations playing (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia). Both of these things were probably enjoyable for you.

But spiritually – after Ramadan and Eid – what will you do to try to please God? What will you do to cause your good deeds to outweigh your bad deeds on the Day of Judgment? What is your. . .goal?

maxresdefault (3).jpg goal

May I share something with you as a follower of Jesus?

news

First the bad news:
I can’t EARN God’s love – and neither can you.
I can’t DO enough good deeds to get to Paradise – and neither can you.

But there is good news – really, really GOOD news:
God knew I couldn’t earn His love but He gave it to me anyway – because He is love.
God knew I couldn’t do enough good deeds so He sent someone who could – Isa – Jesus the Messiah and Savior.

It’s all found in the Injil in Ephesians 2:8-9.

ephesians_2_8-9

Jesus paid the debt we couldn’t pay.
Jesus died the death we wouldn’t want to die.
Jesus took our place on a cross.
Because he loves us.
It’s all found in the Injil in John 3:16.

John_3_16_1280X1024 (1)

Eyewitnesses saw this death. And eyewitnesses saw Isa – Jesus – after he rose from the dead.
They went all over the world telling people this amazing news:
- salvation is a gift!
- you don’t have to earn it
- receive it
- take it
- it’s yours – by faith.

My Muslims friends, this salvation Jesus offers is truly free. Completely, totally free. But. . .it costs to follow Jesus. Your family, your friends, your umma may reject you. Disown you. Even harm you. But Jesus will never leave you if you invite him into your heart and commit yourself to follow him.

Yes, Ramadan has ended. The World Cup is getting near its exciting finish.

But. . .there is something so much more exciting:
Knowing that your sins can be totally wiped out. Your honor restored. Paradise insured.
Jesus will do all that for you if you ask.

I plead with you:
ask him today.

got-forgiveness

I MUST Warn You: “Every Bridge To Paradise Is Out. . .Except One!”

Dear Muslim and Christian friends,

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:

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.”
(Proverbs 24:11-12, 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.”
(Proverbs 24:11-12, 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.

13165434931905329076Bridge Out Sign.svg.med

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 except one. . .

That bridge. . .is JESUS.

______________________________________________________________

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 MUST 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?

As You Seek Allah This Ramadan, Know That I Will Be Praying For You

ramadan-2014-wallpaper-1

My Muslim friends,

As you seek Allah this Ramadan. . .know that I will be praying for you.

May God bless you in amazing, unforgettable, indescribable, new ways.

May He reveal more of His glory than you can hold in your heart.

May the words of God touch your soul like never before.

May His love overwhelm you as you fast and pray.

May you dream His dreams and see His visions.

May you be a blessing to those who suffer.

May your family be healthy and happy.

May Isa be more real than ever.

May your prayers be heard.

I love you, my Muslim friends. I really do.

Petingnya-Memperbanyak-Istighfar.jpg ramadan