Summary: This message delivers the distinguishing marks between Christianity and Islam; Mohammed and Jesus. In a day of constant Islamic Terrorist Threats this message will seek to prepare the believer for a biblical defense.
WHOSE SERMON IS IT ANYWAY?
“The Truth About Islam”
Acts 9:1-8 - ©Dr. Larry L. Thompson (2005)
On September 11, 2001 our nation and our world was rocked as Islamic fundamentalism found it’s way inside our borders and attacked at the very heart of our economy. On Thursday, July 7, 2005 and again on Thursday, July 22, 2005 our world received another wake up call regarding the Islamic fundamentalist who become homicide bombers blowing themselves up along with innocent men, women and children in Great Britain. The Cable News Networks ran a statement made by the father of the ringleader who lead the 911 attacks, Mohammad Atta, who lived right here in South Florida during his flight training school. This man who just four years denounced what his son had done and continually denied that it could be his son was now saying, “My son is a living hero in the eyes of the great prophet Mohammad. History will record that it was my son that lit the fire that started the destruction of the infidels, the Jews and the Christians.” One U.S. Senator said, “For centuries we believed the two great oceans of the world secured our safety from our enemies but that is no longer the case. Our enemies now live in our own neighborhoods, waiting for the order to strike.”
The headlines were already filled with stories about another young man whose heart was so filled with hate that he felt compelled by his god to go on a mission to destroy people whose faith was different than his. Like so many, his mind had also been filled with hatred; he had learned to acquire the heart of hate from watching those older shout obscenities while they would rally a mob into a frenzy. His heart’s desire was to become a leader of this angry mass of hatred. He had witnessed the taste of blood, seen a man brutally tortured to death and even went to the leaders of his religion and asked to be given an assignment with the authority to take the lives of others. Permission was granted, the hatred in his heart secure, and his course established. How tragic, this young man actually believes he is going to kill someone who dares to contradict his religion and in the process of this murder he will be highly esteemed as a religious hero. He had taken so much hatred into his heart that he was now compelled to act…even if it cost him his own life in the process.
Today, you gave me the assignment to share a topical message from the book of Acts. My focal passage is Acts 9:1-9; the exact same story I just shared with you:
“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" 5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6 "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.”
Just as Saul allowed an extremist religion to keep him from a relationship with the Jesus, six hundred years later Islam’s prophet Muhammed counterfeited the Judeo-Christian tradition to create a new religious system, a new cult which by passed a relationship with the Savior. It is interesting that Paul and Muhammed were both confronted with Christianity at an early age and both, while on the road to Syria in route to Damascus, were directed to a new path. Paul responded to a relationship with Christ while Muhammed’s path led him to a counterfeit cult. Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
Explanation of Cult:
We tend to think of Islam as a completely different religious system, like Hinduism, Buddhism or Shintoism. However, Islam is nothing more than an aberration of eight thousand years of history of God’s work among Jews and Christians. Six centuries after the resurrection of Christ, Muhammed re-interpreted Biblical facts – the life story of Abraham, the battle between Isaac and Ishmael, the promise of the Gospel of Jesus -- to make a religion based on his own way of seeing things.