I was recently shopping at a department store, when I “ran into” members of a certain family that belonged to a certain (non-Christian) religion. All too easily, I noticed the man’s right eye — an eye that was certainly blind, because it was grotesque in appearance, infected, and obviously completely blind. Faith arose in my heart. I didn’t usually have such clear precedent to be able to approach a complete stranger like this, but I felt absolutely confident that God was with me, and that he would hear me if I could but pray for this man.
“Sir,” I said, “I would like to pray for your eye.”
“I am a Christian,” I said to him.
“I am a Muslim,” he said to me.
“Yes, I know you are a Muslim,” I said to him.
“I am a Christian,” I repeated. I needed to establish that fact before I could pray for him, so that the glory could go to God when God healed his eye.
Then, I said the same thing over again — that is, I repeated my first statement:
“I would like to pray for your eye.”
Then the man said something like this:
“I am a Muslim. And you are a Christian.” Then he said, point blank, “Who is Jesus Christ to you?”
Ah, … the wall. Muslims don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. That is a big stumbling block to them. To get around it they say that the Bible has been changed. Only their Koran now is reliable.
My only question for Muslims, however, at this point, is, what are you going to do when you meet God face-to-face and He says, “Why didn’t you believe my word?”
Then, they will say, “Because it was changed.”
And then God will say, “Can I not keep my word pure? Am I not a God of my word?”
Christians trust the God who is able to keep his word pure, whereas Muslims trust a God whose word can change. And that is one of the fundamental differences between Christians and Muslims!
I responded to the man, “Jesus is the one they talk about in the Bible”.
“Yes, but who is he?” he said.
“Christians believe he is God,” I said to him matter-of-factly this time.
“And what about you? Do you believe he is God, too?”
“Yes, I do,” I responded.
“No, I don’t want to be prayed for,” the man said.
It was “No Miracle Monday”, to be sure! It was the day that a miracle could have easily occured, but didn’t. It was the day that God was ready to do something very special, but in which case he was not given the chance to.
I did my part. I followed the Lord’s leading. But in the end, both salvation, and healing — when God deems it — are a matter of a joint decision between God and man! He had done his part. He has sent Jesus Christ to die for us on a cruel and rugged cross. He did it so that our penalty for sin could be paid in full, so that God’s wrath (anger) against sin could be satisfied. For God is not only a God of love, but he is also a God of wrath and anger againt sin, as the Bible says:
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
Today, the arms of Jesus are outstretched, and he says, “Come to Me, and put your faith in Me! I love you with all my heart! And that’s why I died for you!”
That is the mercy of God. That is his grace. That is his goodness.
But a day is coming in which all those that refuse to believe will be subject to his eternal wrath: that is wrath that lasts forever and ever and ever!
Today, if you hear his voice, don’t turn away from him!
Believe that he loved you enough to send Jesus Christ to die for you on a cross! That cross is God’s remedy for a sick and hurting world. He doesn’t want to display his wrath. It is only for those who refuse to believe. Don’t be among them!
The Bible says, “But as many as received him [Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12)
What is your position today? Are you believing, or unbelieving?
Sadly, we read an account in the Bible where Jesus was not able to heal, because the people did not believe in him. “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58)
Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
He also said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25b-26)
Believing, or unbelieving? The choice is yours!
In either case, the rewards … are eternal: eternal life for those who will believe, and eternal death for those who refuse to believe.
“They have passed from death unto life,” as Jesus said in John 5:24 (quoted above).
I encourage you today to read the Bible — the word of God that has not changed in thousands of years, and never will! As Jesus himself said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
God bless you as you do.