We had a few minutes to catch up on the phone before she walked into work--the last thing mentioned was the war. 'Yeah, so I was talking to my daughter about it...' then her voice trailed off a bit and she asked, "Hmmm, like don't you think Christians, Jews and Muslims are all praying to the same God?"
So many questions being asked today. Where do we find answers? Our young people, even our children, are confused about what is going on with Israel and Gaza following the Hamas attack six days ago. The atrocities continue to be revealed, evil of unspeakable proportions.
A little honesty here: following the election of 2020, I turned a deaf ear to the news agencies - almost across the board. Judge me if you will, but bias and censorship too is rife in our mainstream news sources.
Questions - questions that require answers, careful truth.
1. Where can truth be found?
God is the source of all truth--all truth is God's truth--so from his Word I draw on this prayer today:
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord! Psalm 25.4-7
2.Are we all praying to the same God? that begs another question - what is the distinguishing element of Christianity vs. Islam and Judaism? Jesus Christ.
So while there are 'good' people, sincere religious people in all three faiths, the line of demarcation for every human being, for every religion is this:
What do they believe about Jesus Christ?
Apart from Christianity, all other religions are man trying to get to God, whereas Christianity reveals the fact that God came to us in the form of a human being. Jesus became a man, born of human flesh, lived a sinless life, did the miraculous to show he was from God, took on our sin and died a treacherous death at the hands of religious people, then rose again - providing the evidence that cannot be denied - that Jesus was exactly who he purported to be: God the Son.
Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet, not the Son of God; they do not worship or revere him as God, or accept that he is our salvation, nor do the Jewish people, unless they are Messianic Jews, which accounts for a tiny segment of people.
No, we Muslims, Christians and Jews are not praying to the same God because only Christianity prays to God the Father in the mighty name of Jesus. Jesus: Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. John 16.23.
3. "Come on, don't Judaism, Islam and Christianity all lead to God? I mean, I know they all came out of Abraham, right?"
I take you back to a night where I was pinned to the wall and had to answer.
It was about eight o’clock in the evening, and it had been a long day for me … I stepped into the kitchen just to doff my hat, so to speak, and say ‘g’night’ to the attorney-husband of my new friend. Apparently, he was in the mood to talk and began to ask some questions about what I do … in short order, he said, “You Christians are all alike--so arrogant, saying Jesus is the only way to God. Do you know how many fine people I know? ‘You want to stand there and tell me because they don’t believe in your Jesus, your loving God is going to send them to Hell?”
I was too tired to be clever, so I gave him straight-up, simple truth … “Well, Joe…I’m not really here to argue with you—(being that he is a litigator, I was not apt to win an argument anyway!)—all of us choose to live our lives by a set of values, whether we are conscious of it or not… for me, the standard I have chosen is the Bible. The more I know of it, the more I study it, the more verifiable truth I find! So yes, you are right about Jesus being the only way to God, and I didn’t say it, he did. And then I quoted Jesus’ words, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14.6.
4. "Okay, okay, that helps. What do I do now - in the face of this escalating war? Can you help me with my call to action as a believer of Jesus Christ?"
Yes. Several things.
Look to God. ->Pray for the peace of Jerusalem--we are commanded to do so in Psalm 122.6. Do not stop there. ->Pray that people will turn to God for salvation in Jesus Christ--that they will not believe lies. People? Yes, Israelis who are scared out of their minds, innocents in Gaza, and a watching world, wondering where this is all going to go.
The Jihadi terrorists have called for this day, October 13, to be an international day of Jihad. Their three goals: death to the Saturday people, all Jews, death to the Sunday people, all Christians, and the set up of a global caliphate.
->Be informed. credible: short clip by Greg Laurie, solid:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo3NqofM7Zw
Joel Rosenberg: https://allisrael.com/
I follow the Israeli Defense Forces on 'X', formerly Twitter, also Tiff Shuttlesworth
->Be more in the Word than in the News.
->Be encouraged. He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. Psalm 121.4
->God is on the throne, these conflicts God foretold of in his Word.
Zechariah 12.3; Ezekiel 37.
->Share your confidence in God with others. People are looking for answers--they are looking for hope. You have it--his name is Jesus Christ.
Come, Jesus Come: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UViC6DllCeA
Praying for you,
p.s. My friend and Israeli guide, Ezer, and family, is safe and in Cambridge, Massachusetts; his wife, an oncologist, has a fellowship at Harvard Medical.
Our friend, Udi Merioz, Blue and White Gallery, Old City, Jerusalem. Pray for him and his family.
Our friend John Dirmadgian and family, Creations Jewelry, Jerusalem, is well. Had a long talk with him two days ago.