Delivered By
C.C. Risenhoover
Delivered On
May 1, 2016
Central Passage
Jude 1:5-8
Subject
Christianity vs. Islam
Description

May 1, 2016

SPIRITUAL TERRORISM

          “Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those people who did not believe.  And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day – just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.  Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones” (Jude 1:5-8 ESV).

          One of the key phrases Jude uses to rekindle the memories of his audience is that “…although you once fully knew it…”

          The only reason he would say something like that would be because they had forgotten something very important to their spiritual lives.  And, that something was the knowledge “…that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those people who did not believe.”  They seem to have forgotten that they had not negotiated their own salvation…that God had gifted it to them through Jesus.

          Maybe they remembered only bits and pieces of the Exodus story.  Or, maybe they had forgotten…or had taken for granted…what God had done to save them.  And, maybe Jude just wanted to make sure they understood that there are consequences for disbelieving God.

          Speaking of those consequences, I recently read a story about a woman who grew up in Plano…and who…at age 26 became a convert to Islam.  While in high school she had attended church, Sunday school and lots of parties.  After college she became a Methodist youth minister and…at age 23…she became a single parent.

          Her story is that while working at a sales job with Muslim co-workers she started reading the Bible in order to defend her faith…but in the process she became intrigued by the fact that Muslims prayed five times a day, fasted and gave offerings as a way of life.  She said that in the past she had always taken heaven and hell for granted…and that she now doesn’t accept that Jesus died for her sins because her sins are exclusive to her…that she alone has to atone for them.

          She said she went to a minister and questioned him about the differences between Christianity and Islam…but wasn’t satisfied with his answers.  So now she’s a Muslim.

          What’s wrong with this picture…and the reason for it?  Well, God’s certainly not to blame.  The Bible gives us everything we need to know about how to handle everything in life that we encounter…and it also gives complete instructions on what we have to do to accept the eternal life that God has provided for us in Jesus Christ.  So when I hear of someone allegedly comparing…and then choosing Muhammad over Jesus Christ…I’m reminded that while genius has limits…neither ignorance nor stupidity have limits.

          This young woman claims that when in high school she attended church and Sunday school.  The question is…why?  Did she go to worship God…or did she have a different motivation?  And, what kind of church was it?  Was the emphasis on entertainment…or did the church emphasize God’s Word and true worship?

          Many alleged churches have an “anything we have to do to get children and youth to attend” mentality…often at the expense of God’s Word.  They become casualties of our Godless culture.  In fact, I believe this has been the greatest detriment to the majority of youth in terms of continuing their worship of God beyond high school.  If a church requires nothing of them…they feel no loyalty to it.  I further believe that most youth will respond to being taught strong Christian discipleship the minute they reach an age of accountability.

          Revelation 3:20 gives us a record of Jesus saying, “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.”

          Have you ever thought about the context in which Jesus spoke these words?  I’ve used this statement evangelistically…but what’s actually occurring here is that Jesus is outside His Church and knocking at the door.  He had trouble getting people from the church in Laodicea to open the door to His knock…and He has that same trouble today.

This church in Laodicea had shut Jesus out.  It was a rich church in a worldly sense…bathed in the perfume of tolerance…and wearing the perceived fine clothing of its materialistic society.  But, Jesus said the church’s aggrandized perception of itself was wrong…that despite great attendance…money in the bank and fine clothing…they were actually poor and naked spiritually.

That’s the case with many alleged churches today.  They look great when viewed by the world’s standards of greatness…but they’re a stench to the nostrils of God.

Maybe this church the young woman turned Muslim once attended was like the church at Laodicea…shiny on the outside…but rotten on the inside.  Maybe the membership was more interested in being politically correct than in being biblically correct.  Maybe they thought being accepting of abortion, homosexuality and alleged religions other than Christianity was more important than God’s Word…that it made them cool.

This is pure speculation on my part, of course…but what I’m going to say here isn’t speculation…it is absolute truth.  Anyone who thinks the Qur’an makes more sense than the Bible isn’t playing with a full deck.  In fact, it indicates to me that they haven’t read either…at least not with any degree of understanding.

Let’s begin with prayer.  The young woman said she was impressed with the fact that Muslims make a public spectacle of praying five times daily.  She, obviously, couldn’t find this kind of devotion to prayer among Christians…or in the Bible.  This indicates a depth on her part that hasn’t broken the spiritual surface even a fraction of an inch.

Maybe the young woman we’re discussing never got to 1 Thessalonians 5:17…which tells Christians to “…pray without ceasing”…which, the last time I checked, was more than five times a day.  Or, maybe she missed the fact that Jesus told us in so many words that prayer is not a duty or ritual…but rather a love relationship with God.

She was also impressed with the fact that Muslims fasted.  Well, if she had read Matthew 6:16-18, she would have discovered that Jesus said that fasting…like prayer…should be done in private and not for show.  Fasting isn’t about “Look at me, I’m fasting”…or “Look at me, I’m fasting and praying.”  It’s a spiritual experience between a believer and God.

The third thing that impressed the young woman about Islam was that Muslims give alms (or an offering) regularly.  Well, obviously, she never read the sixth chapter of Matthew, which would have addressed her concerns about Christian giving, prayer and fasting.

Here’s what Jesus said about giving in Matthew 6:1-4: “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

If our Muslim convert had bothered to check, she would have found that America’s church members are the most generous people in the world.  But, while Christians give to help people…no matter what their religion or political ideology…Muslims give to finance terrorism.  Of course, we’re not supposed to talk about that…the fact that much of the money they give is for purpose of murdering Christians and Jews.  That’s the most important part of Islamic giving and it’s their program of evangelism.

If you want to buy this young woman’s reason for switching from Christianity to Islam…fine and dandy.  But, I don’t think she had anything to switch from.  There never was one iota of Christ in her.  Remember, she doesn’t believe that Jesus died for her sins.

Is this the fault of the church she attended as a teenager?  I really don’t know.  One can try to justify her action by criminalizing her parents, the church, her education and a failed marriage.  But, ultimately, it came down to personal choice.  She alone has made a choice to deny Christ and what little she knows about the Bible in order to follow and give credibility to a satanic political ideology that seeks to destroy Christianity and civilized society.  Despite the lies of its proponents…Islam is barbaric in every sense of the word…and apologists for the actions of its followers defy logic.

Islam allows Allah to affirm something positive and then abrogate it with something negative.  In other words, a verse in the second chapter of the Qur’an may be abrogated in the third chapter…then reinstated in the fourth chapter.  There is no continuity of thought in the Qur’an…and we shouldn’t expect any.  After all, the Bible clearly tells us that Satan is the author of confusion and lies…and there’s no hesitancy on my part in saying that the author of the Qur’an was none other than the Devil.

Muhammad assumed that both Jews and Christians would welcome him as the prophet that he claimed to be.  When they didn’t…he turned on them and pretended to quote God verbatim…saying that they had to convert to his way of thinking or else.  Throughout the Qur’an you will find that he was adamant about the “or else.”

Listen to these words from Qur’an 4:47: “You to whom Scriptures were given.  Believe in that which we have revealed, confirming your own Scriptures, before we obliterate your faces and turn them backward, or lay our curse on you.”

How about that?  Allah…according to Muhammad…wants those who don’t accept his prophethood to have their faces erased and their necks twisted until they’re broken.  In other words, if you’re one of those people who don’t want to let Muhammad pitch…he’s not just going to take his ball and go home…he’s going to have his followers murder you.

That’s the Islamic way.  You don’t just ignore people who don’t accept what you say…you murder them.

The contrast between Jesus and Muhammad is so severe that it’s almost laughable…but these folks aren’t funny.  They’re dangerous…not just to Christians and Jews, but to the entire world.

With the right president we can…and will…defeat ISIS…but ISIS is just a small splinter of a cancerous political ideology that will continue its murderous policies throughout the entire world.  That pervasive cancer is Islam…and it’s going to be around even after the Church is raptured.  Islam will be the Antichrist’s most important ally during the Great Tribulation.

The Qur’an (chapter nine) teaches that people who do not forbid what Allah and Muhammad forbid must be destroyed.  And, one of the primary things this duo did was forbid people to proclaim the deity of Christ as God’s Son.  That’s found in the fifth chapter of the Qur’an.

The time is coming…and soon…when you will have to either stand boldly for Christ or deny Him.  Unfortunately, in the case of America’s denial of Christ…the rooster has crowed for so long and so loudly that his voice is almost gone…and still there is no repentance leading to revival.

When I began this series of messages about the dark cloud of evil that is enshrouding our country in sin…and in denial of the true God…I knew there would be repercussions…that attacks would come from without and within.  Some of you may not fully understand this…but the truth is that I really don’t have a choice as to what I preach.  Because I’m totally dependent on the Holy Spirit in preparing a message…it’s out of my hands the moment that I turn things over to Him.

Satan, of course, uses some of his minions…demons if you like…in an effort to alter what the Holy Spirit is leading me to preach.  Most often that demon embeds himself (or herself) in the mind of a churchgoer who…if actually a Christian…has denied the Holy Spirit any control of his or her life…and who is still a product of the law and a hellish legalism that sends people to the lake of fire.  These people are called of Satan to sow dissension and discord within the body of Christ…to make a mockery of God’s Spirit and Truth by trying to reinvent the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the hearts and minds of believers.  They ignite strange fire in a church…and it’s not fire from God.

God called me to bring people into His presence so that they would have the opportunity to choose their destiny.  He also called me to warn people about believing in…and trusting in…the satanic political ideology known as Islam…to combat the perverse evil of abortion and homosexuality…and to rescue people from alleged churches that show a lack of discernment about sin.

I did not choose to be anointed by God to preach the Gospel.  He chose me.  Left to my own devices…my choice would have been to be a major league baseball player.  I ran from God just as Jonah did.  And…I might add…with an equal amount of success.

When I read about the persecution of Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and the other prophets…and about what Jesus and His apostles underwent…and how Satan used his minions to try to shut them up…I find that none of them escaped persecution…so why I should get a free pass?  Why should any Christian?

Moses, the prophets, Jesus, the apostles and a host of other genuine disciples of our Lord…were not cowardly when it came to calling the names of those who were betraying or denying the Lord.  Satan has a lot of big name preachers in his witness protection program…and when it comes to a point where I’m afraid to name those who are leading people down a pathway to hell…I might as well hang it up.  And, if I allow a churchgoer to tell me how to preach…and what to preach…I might as well hang it up because I will have betrayed Jesus…who never failed to call out religious leaders who were experts in misleading people about God.

If Jesus had just followed the party line…He could have been a big wheel in the religious system of His day.  He, instead, had disdain for those who thought they had a monopoly on God.  If you have trouble believing that Jesus called people out for such arrogance…read the 23rd chapter of Matthew.

God called me…led by the Holy Spirit…to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And, He called you, too.  He may have called you to do it in a different way than me…but He has called each and every one of us to do exactly the same thing.  We don’t need man-devised job descriptions.  God has already taken care of that.

People aren’t won to Christ by a church constitution or by pithy sayings and slogans.  The Bible is our constitution and our bill of rights.  Jesus simplified things for those seeking God…but our tendency is to complicate what He did for each and every one of us on the Cross.

God didn’t put me in charge of you…or you in charge of me.  He’s the boss.  We work for Him…and we’re supposed to worship Him…not worship something we create with our finite minds.

It might be a good idea…based on Scripture…to focus on the most important thing He has called you to do…and to not worry so much that others aren’t doing things your particular way.  If we can all do that…develop a unity of spirit that doesn’t require a legalistic and formula approach to serving God…we might have a chance of becoming a pretty good church.

Now I didn’t say that a greater unity of spirit would make us a great church…but it would get us moving in the direction of being a pretty good church.

I’m called and anointed to preach the Gospel in a particular way…and the Holy Spirit is the only one who is ever going to have a say about what I preach.  I will tell you with a degree of certainty that my sermons are going to become increasingly bolder…which may drive some people away…but I’m not going to play patty-cake with the devil.

As for my brothers and sisters in Christ…I respect you too much to insist…or even suggest…that you should minister to others exactly as I do.  God has given each of you special gifts…and I have no monopoly on the Holy Spirit.  He speaks to you…just as He does to me.

He’s speaking to you right now.  And, He’s not like your car radio.  You can’t turn Him off…and you can’t tune Him out.

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