Whatever the cost

I saw on the news recently a comment by a Muslim, "We teach the true meaning of the Koran." His meaning was that he taught peace and apparently no such thing as jihad. The passion of those inflamed with jihad is astounding to me. What ever the cost they will pursue what they think is truth, even to death. Why?

The passion burning brightly, albeit for something deeply opposed to God's true Word, is something I do not understand. I cannot fathom wanting to die for something that does not make sense (like women not being allowed in Heaven, yet if one dies sacrificially then one receives a harem of 70 virgins--if women are not allowed in Heaven, then where do the virgins come from?). There are numerous other loop-de-loops which boggle the brain.

Since September 11th, we have been bombarded with the message that Islam is a peaceful religion… that only a few fanatics have twisted the message. It is not a religion of peace as the stories below will illustrate. What is extremely frightening is that Islam is practiced by 1/5 of world’s population and that number is growing every day. Violence is taught by the Koran...

In the Koran, Surah 9 verse 29 states “Fight against…those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [Islam] among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Mohammad also commands in Surah 47:4 how to treat unbelievers of Islam: “Smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly…” meaning to take them captive.

A young Iranian man named, Ali, said, “If there was peace in Islam, I wouldn’t have come to Christianity.”* This is a compelling testimony to the fact that Islam is not a peaceful religion.

A young man* from Indonesia said, “Because we have Jesus, it is not difficult being a Christian.” Only Christians can understand how Petrus can say this after what happened to him and his family.

Petrus’ father, Ishak Kristian, was a pastor*. On an October morning at 11:30 am, about 20 radical Muslims began to protest outside Ishak’s church. Ishak quietly stepped outside and tried to calm them, but the small crowd only grew in size and fury…

Pastor Kristian gathered together 6 of his family and friends and returned to the comparative safety of the church and they began to pray.

Shortly after noon, the small mob had grown to 200. They began smashing the church possessions and screaming for the pastor and the others to come out. Pastor Kristian and the others hid in the back room of the church.

Enraged, the mob lit the church on fire. Only one of the seven managed to escape alive. At the funeral, Petrus was told it was the will of Allah… it was their fate. Petrus said, “At first I was disappointed because I lost all of my beloved people. But this made me realize what really matters in my life. After the fire, most of our congregation became stronger in faith. In my opinion, because we have Jesus, it is not difficult to be a Christian.”

Today, our brothers and sisters in Christ in Indonesia are being slaughtered, kidnapped, raped and forcibly circumcised. The wombs of pregnant women have been slashed open. It all boils down to the real reason: The Devil is desperate—anything but Jesus!

Why is this so? Because we are at war. Paul explains exactly what kind of war we wage in Ephesians 6. It isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the dark principalities, dark forces. Satan is doing anything and everything to keep the Gospel from being spread around the world. Yet, the more he squeezes the oppression, the more Christianity spreads into all the cracks and crevices.

To me, it is amazing that in Vietnam, Christians outnumber the Communist Party members. Nothing has changed since Pharaoh became so angry at Moses sharing Spiritual truths with the children of Israel. The wicked without Jesus see Jesus in Believers and hate us for it. Nothing has changed except that the church Jesus promised to build on the Rock is alive and growing despite the persecution around the world.

We Americans have it so easy, yet we are persecuted if we live the kind of life Jesus would have us live instead of the lukewarm lifestyle of the politically correct. We have it easy, but for how long? Will it take oppression of Christians to inflame that dormant passion in our breasts?

* Stories taken from Voice of the Martyrs.
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