Sunday, February 26, 2006

What's all the Hubbub, Bub?

As tired as I am of writing and hearing about Muslims,Islam and disrespecting religions, I thought that an overview might be prophetable for those who can't understand why we Christians are being so intolerant of Islam. We want our beliefs to be respected, so it would seem fair that we respect the beliefs of others as well.
Baloney. Non Christians may tolerate me believing as I do,but they do not tolerate my sharing the Gospel with them. "It's okay for you, but keep your beliefs to yourself!"

Hagar was the handmaiden of Sarai, Abram’s wife. God had promised that Sarai and Abram would have a son, many offspring, that nations would come from their union.
When God seems to tarry with our blessings, we sometimes become impatient and strive to fulfill what He has promised through our own (weak) human strengths. Sarai and Abram were getting old, and Sarai, lacking faith in God’s delivering on His promise to them, sent Hagar in to be a surrogate, a ‘host mother’. Just as Adam accepted the fruit from Eve, Abram accepted Sarai’s giving Hagar to him.
And then the troubles began.
“4He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. 5And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.” 6But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.
7Now the angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” 10Moreover, the angel of the LORD said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.” 11The angel of the LORD said to her further,
““Behold, you are with child,
And you will bear a son;
And you shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.
“He will be a wild donkey of a man,
His hand will be against everyone,
And everyone’s hand will be against him;
And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”

Note that Ishmael was named by the angel of the Lord, and his character was described before he was even born. And that the angel commanded Hagar to return to Sarai and submit to her authority. Ishmael would be born and grow up in Abram’s tents.
At a later time, when God came to Abram and re-affirmed His covenant, changing their names to Abraham and Sarah, promising them that through Sarah His promise would be fulfilled, Abraham thought God must be kidding, as they were exceedingly past the age when they could have children. He hoped that Ishmael would be a good enough substitute:
18And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” 19But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20“As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation 21“But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”

So Ishmael would be blessed, but Isaac would be the fulfillment of the Covenant.
That is clearly stated in these few verses, and many others which I could point to, but these should be enough to establish that the Covenant was with Isaac and his descendants; actually his Descendant, Jesus Christ, who would redeem the world and fulfill all of the prophesies going back to the Garden of Eden, where God said to the serpent (Satan):

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Fast forward 2600 years. To get an idea of how long that is, from the time of Christ’s appearing until now has only been 2000 or so years-2600 years after Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah, Mohammed built up a false religion, claiming to be the final authorized Prophet from God. Though drawing some of his beliefs from the Jewish texts, 2600 years after the fact Mohammed declared that the Genesis account is wrong, and that Ishmael was actually the Covenant bearer. And in the famous story of Abraham being ready to sacrifice his son as an act of faith-Mohammed decided that it was actually Ishmael on the altar of stone, not Isaac.
There is no redemption through Islam. There is no Salvation through Jesus Christ according to Islam.
In Islam, Salvation is by the will of God through human obedience to God’s law.
Jesus Christ is revered as a spiritual guide, but is not, according to the teachings of Islam, the Son of God.
Which brings us to 1 John 22,23:
“ 22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” John wrote these words 600 years before Mohammed was born. And they are still true today.

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