This Sunday Pastor Miles continued his series on True Religion?, a series designed to investigate how "true" the beliefs and promises are for some of the most commonly practiced religions. Pastor Miles emphasized that the series is designed to tell you about the teachings of each religion, not about the people who practice them.
A religion can be defined as a "system of beliefs and practices designed to lead someone into a relationship with the supernatural." Islam was the topic of this message and will continue to be covered over the next couple of weeks. Today's message explored six conflicts between the identity of Jehovah and the identity of Allah.
Allah or Jehovah, what is God's name?
Muhammed, the founder of Islam, was born into a society that worshipped 360 gods. He decided he only wanted to worship one, and he chose the moon god, who the people believed was the greatest of the gods. He named the moon god "The Deity" or Allah. Today, one out of every four people on earth claim to be Muslim.
Along with the Koran, the Islamic faith claims the first five books of the Old Testament, Psalms, and the Gospels as part of their teaching. The problem with this is that the Koran refers to Allah and the Bible refers to Jehovah.
However, some people argue that the God of the Bible and the god of Islam are the same. This is a lie.
Exodus 3:13-14 states, Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I am has sent me to you.'"
The name "I am who I am" means that God always was, always is, and always will be eternally God. He exists independently of us and is not validated by our response to Him.
God identifies Himself as Jehovah, in Exodus 6:2, which states, God also said to Moses, "I am the Lord."
Allah, or The Deity, is not the same as Jehovah, the Lord. The two different names do not refer to the same God.
Allah is one god while the Lord God is a Trinity.
As one of the five pillars of their faith, Muslims recite a statement called the Shahadah, which says, "There is none worthy of worship except god and Muhammad is the messenger of god."
Muslims do not believe in the Trinity, and therefore consider Christianity to be polytheistic. There is no son of god in Islam, only Muhammad, who is the messenger.
Christianity is monotheistic. Deuteronomy 6:4 states, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Matthew 28:19-20 states, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." The Bible teaches that there is one God in three persons.
Allah suffers not while Jehovah suffers for His people.
Muslims believe that Allah is all-supreme, holy, and all-powerful, but that Allah is in heaven and not involved in life on earth.
The Bible teaches that Jehovah is not only omnipotent, perfect, and holy, but that He is very involved in daily life.
John 3:16 states, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus came to earth to be the perfect sacrifice for sinners.
Mark 10:45 states, For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Jesus dies for our sins and believing in Him is the only way to heaven. He not only died on the cross, but He sympathizes with us! Hebrews 4:15 states, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.
Muslims are servants to Allah and Christians are children of God the Father.
The meaning of the Shahadah for Muslims is that the only purpose of life is to serve Allah. Salvation in Islam is a matter of good deeds outweighing evil ones. Service to Allah is performed out of fear, because there is no certainty of salvation.
Christians believe that their purpose is to serve Jehovah, but their service is out of love rather than fear. Romans 8:15 states, For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
Pastor Miles shared that children run around in Israel calling out "Abba." It means Daddy. Christians are meant to relate to Jehovah as a loving, close Father, not as a distant master.
Jesus has given us the Spirit of sonship and we are assured of salvation. God has made it so that trying to earn salvation does not work. We must serve out of love rather than fear.
Allah is unknowable while Jehovah can be known intimately.
In Islam, God does not reveal himself to anyone in anyway. He only reveals his will, through the Koran. It is very different to know what someone wants than to know the person. Consider getting a message through someone rather than directly from the source. There are lots of ways to get the message wrong.
Jehovah wants us to know Him. He revealed Himself through Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God. Only through knowing God can you truly know who you are.
John 17:3-4 states, Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
Allah's love is earned while Jehovah's love is received.
In Islam, Allah only loves those who obey him. Followers of Allah must work to earn his love. They do not have any idea if they are saved until they die. They live in fear and work to avoid wrath.
1 John 4:10 states, This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Jehovah loved us first. Romans 5:8 states, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We are children of God when we accept the gift of salvation. God loves us unconditionally, regardless of how obedient we are. If we make mistakes, there will be consequences, but it does not change how much God loves us.
Pastor Miles shared three truths about love. First, love should be without hypocrisy. It must be genuine, not out of fear of punishment. 1 John 4:18 states, There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. Unlike Jehovah, who gives perfect love, Allah is a god of fear.
Second, love must act. Jehovah acted to bring salvation to man. Allah is not active. He has never interacted with anyone.
Third, love must be mutual. God loved us first and through His love we are empowered to love Him. A recent study found that babies younger than six months are born with a sense of empathy for other babies. When the babies in the study heard tapes of other babies crying, they cried. But when they were played tapes of their own cry, they would not cry. It seems that God hardwired humans to be capable of love.
God gave us the inclination to love Him and a way to love Him by sending His Son. God's love must truly set you free. Jehovah, the God of the Bible, is the only God who can set you free. Allah cannot set you free.