Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God

Have you listened to “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” by the preeminent theologian Jonathan Edwards? Wow. What a message.

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1 Timothy 2:3-4 and 2 Peter 3:9

How does the idea that Christ died for the elect  line up with 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 ?

First we have to recognize that the connotation of a word is determined by the context. There are times when the phrases “all” or “everyone” or “whole world” do not automatically mean “every individual in the entire world.”

We see one example in Luke 2:1-3

 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earthThis was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Obviously “all the inhabited earth” did not mean “every inhabitant of the world.” Caesar’s decree did not apply to people who were not of the Roman empire, so it could not have means everyone in the world. The context for both “all the inhabited earth” and “everyone” was limited to those of the Roman empire.

A second example is when the Pharisees were speaking about everyone following Christ in John 12:19

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

The world did not go after Him – only those who followed Christ did, there were plenty left (in the local area and in the entire world) who did not – including the Pharisee who spoke and the one who heard it.

A third example is seen in Mark 1:32

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.

 We know not all the sick and demon-possessed of the world were brought to Jesus. So “all” doesn’t always mean “all”.

Another example is Matthew 8:16

16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill .

“All” were not healed – only all of those who were brought to Christ. The context limits the meaning of the word.

A fifth example would ‘everyone’ in  Mark 1:35-37

35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”

Obviously not everyone in the world was looking for Jesus – only a lot of people in the crowd of people who had been with Jesus the day before.

Now, having shown that the scope of the word “all” is limited by the context, we need to look and see what the context of  2 Peter 3:9.

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

We can see Peter was speaking of God being long suffering toward us, believers.  Since the context is believers, the “all” refers to all believers, not all people.  We see that God is long suffering toward us – toward believers. He is not willing that any who would come to believe should perish, but all who would come to believe should come to repentance.

What about the context of 1 Timothy 2:3-4? We only have to look back a few sentences before this passage to see what Paul was speaking about.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 tells us that christ came into the world to save sinners, and that Christ’s perfect patience is an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Just like Peter was speaking about believers in 2 Peter 3:9, so too was Paul was speaking about believers . The context limits the scope of “all” to “those who would believe in Him for eternal life. ”

So yeah, Christ died for believers.

David Miller: Evangelicals have dummed down the Gospel. Episode 1339

Too many times, evangelicals dumb down the gospel…

David Miller: Evangelicals have dummed down the Gospel. Episode 1339.

Is forgiveness necessary and do I forgive if they have not asked for it?

“Is forgiveness necessary and do I forgive if they have not asked for it?”

These are two very difficult questions to deal with for most people who have been hurt. Many of us would like to nurse our wounds and some of us would like to strike back when we have been hurt. But we need to look at what scripture says regarding forgiveness.

Jesus told us that things which cause us to stumble are bound to come. But we must forgive if people sin against us and we tell them and they change (repent), we are to forgive them – even if it is something they do over and over again.

Luke 17:1-5

 1He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.

The aposles thought an increased faith was needed to be able to do this. But Jesus said to use the little faith they had – because that could move trees.

We see this echoed in Mark 11. Jesus told Peter and the other apostles that if they had faith, if they truly believed – without doubt, then they could tell a mountain jump into the sea and it would happen. But notice something else – IF while you are praying you realize you have ANYTHING against someone, you need to forgive them so you will be forgiven as well. Your unforgiving heart can affect your own forgiveness and whether your prayers are heard.

Mark 11:20-26

20 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter *said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. 25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

Again, no mention is made of theperson you have something against needing to ask forgiveness before you forgive – its not for him, but for you. This way you release your anger; you soften your heart; you live the love God demands us to have and to show to others.

Jesus also tells us that you being angry with someone will send you into hell. This is very likely to be another aspect of having an unforgiving heart.

Matthew 5:21-24

21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

By asking forgiveness from someone who has something against you, you are having to humble yourself and soften your own heart, and will likely help him soften his.

Some might think that we only need to forgive others if they ask for forgiveness. But that is not what Jesus said – he said that if they ask, you must forgive. In verse 26 (which some manuscripts do not have), we need that if you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven.

In Matthew 6, Jesus was more clear on the need to forgive people – and no mention is made of them having to ask forgiveness.

Matthew 6:9-14

9 “Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Just to be sure people understood that Jesus was not simply speaking of financial debt, He was clear – if you forgive people for their transgressions, God will forgive you and if you do NOT forgive, God will not forgive either.

We see this also in the book of Luke.

Luke 11:2-5

2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.
4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”

We ask God to forgive us because we have forgiven others. Its not so we will be forgiven that we fogive. We forgive because God has changed our hearts, softened our hearts. And since God has done this, which caused us to forgive, we are forgiven in the same way.

When it came to Jesus living as he taught, look at what Jesus did on the cross itself:

Luke 23:33-34

33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

No one asked Jesus to forgive them, or to ask God to forgive them. They did not repent and change and ask forgiveness first – Jesus simply forgave them and asked God the Father to forgive them as well.

We see a perfect example of how we need to forgive in the martyr Stephen.

Acts 7:54-60

54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

 Stephen forgave and asked God to forgive his murderers – which included he who would become the apostle Paul. And this forgiveness of others is the same thing Paul taught.

Colossians 3:13

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you

In fact, we need our eyes to be opened, and to turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the power of God. If we do that, we will have our sins forgiven and have a place  with those sanctified by Christ.

Acts 26:15-20

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.

IF we do not do that, we are not forgiven, and are not obeying God, and will not have the Holy Spirit.

Acts 5;30-32

30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

But if we do believe, we will have forgiveness of sins.

Acts 10:42-43

42 And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

So. We must forgive others. If we do not forgive, it is because we do not have forgiveness. Our sins will not be forgiven if we do not forgive. Its not that our forgiving causes our sins to occur, but that our forgiving others reflects the changed heart we were given when God forgave us our sins when we believed in Christ.

 

 

The Trinity in the Old Testament

There are some who say the trinity is a New Testament construct, that God is not a trinity. They say that God does not change and since they can not see the trinity in the Old Testament, it must be a lie. They say this speaks of three gods, and since God is one, this is a lie.

We will look at this today, but first let us establish that God is one:

Deuteronomy 6:4

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!

He is unique.

Deuteronomy 4:35

35 “To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him.

Deuteronomy 4:39

39 “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.

Isaiah 43:10-11

10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. 11 “I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides * Me.  

So yes, there is only one God. But even though the trinity was a mystery that was not revealed until the New Testament, we see the trinity in the Old Testament. In Genesis 1, we see the word ‘elohim’ translated as God. Elohim is a plural word, not singular.

Genesis 1:1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

It has been thought to be a magestic plural, but this does not mean that in fact is the case:

  1. (plural)
    1. rulers, judges
    2. divine ones
    3. angels
    4. gods
  2. (plural intensive – singular meaning)
    1. god, goddess
    2. godlike one
    3. works or special possessions of God
    4. the (true) God
    5. God

Others would say that when God says let us create man, in Genesis 1:26, He is speaking to the angels. This implies it God and the angels who created mankind.

Genesis 1:26

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

But Genesis 1:27 tells us otherwise.

27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

As an aside, the same word, ‘Elohim’ is translated as God (when speaking of God), and ‘gods’ (when speaking of other gods) in Exodus 20:2-3.

2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before * Me.

We see the fact that it is GOD who created everything confirmed in Isaiah 44:24,

 24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all * alone *,

 There fore, it could not have been angels creating with God.

We see in John 1:1-3 that the Son of God is who created everything.

 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing  came into being that has come into being.

The Son is seen in the Old Testament:

Psalm 89:26

26 “He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’

Isaiah 9:6

6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders ; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

We see in 2 Samuel that the Holy Spirit, considered to be God, and mentioned the Rock of Israel.

2 Samuel 23:2-3

2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,

And His word was on my tongue.

3 “The God of Israel said,

The Rock of Israel spoke to me,

‘He who rules over men righteously,

Who rules in the fear of God,

In Isaiah 42, we see God speaking of His chosen One, in whom His soul delights and on whom He has put His Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 42:1

42 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.

God spoke in Isaiah 48, saying he is the first and the last – reminicent of what Christ said of Himself in the New Testament. He went on to say that He was there from the first, and how God sent Him and the Holy Spirit – which is the definition of the trinity in the God-head.

Isaiah 48:12-17

12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
13 “Surely My hand founded the earth,
And My right hand spread out the heavens;
When I call to them, they stand together.
14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen!
Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him; he will carry out His good pleasure on Babylon,
And His arm will be against the Chaldeans.
15 “I, even I, have spoken; indeed I have called him,
I have brought him, and He will make his ways successful.
16 “Come near to Me, listen to this:
From the first I have not spoken in secret,
From the time it took place, I was there.
And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.”

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you in the way you should go.

We can see Christ spoke of Himself as the first and last.

Revelation 22:13

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
In fact, the New Testament teaches that Christ is God.

John 1:1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Colossians 2:9

9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

In fact, in Hebrews 1:1-4, we see Jesus is the exact representation of the nature of God.
1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the righ thand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
Indeed, when Jesus read for the first time before the congregation in the New Testament, He explained himself as being the Son whom the Father anointed, the Messiah.

Luke 4:18-21

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed

19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Isa. 61:1-2a

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord

 

Even though these three are mentioned in the Old Testament, there is little doubt the people living then did not see it. That was not the purpose of that text at the time and place it was given.

Mat 3:16-17 (cf Mark 1:10–11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32-34)

16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water ; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Acts 7:55

55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

2 Cor 13:14

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

So WHY was the trinity hidden in the Old Testament? So Christ would be crucified, which was necessary for those who love God.

2 Corinthians 2:7-11

7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written,

“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

So yes, we see the trinity in the Old Testament. This is not saying God is three gods, but that there are three persons in one God.

Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

There recently arose a video of the pastor of Hillsong Church claiming,  at 1:24, “Do you know, taken all the way back ito the Old Testament, the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same god. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba, Father, God.”

We must always be careful when we listen to preachers, for there will be impostors and deceivers.

2 Tim. 3:13

13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

He is wrong as far as whether God and the muslim Allah are the same god – its heresy to claim they are the same god. God has a begotten son, Allah does not. You earn your way to heaven with Allah, God has done all the work through Christ Jesus’ suffering and death and resurrection.

In this sense, IF Allah were God, we could agree: There is one God.
Deuteronomy 6:4

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one

God does not want you to have any other god but Him.
Exodus 20:2-3

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

Islam teaches there is no trinity.  In the Koran, Quran 5:73 states,  “They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.”

But we know that God is one in three. In fact, even though it was a mystery that was not revealed until the New Testament, we see the trinity in the Old Testament:

Genesis 1:26

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let themrule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

2 Samuel 23:2-3

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,

And His word was on my tongue.

“The God of Israel said,

The Rock of Israel spoke to me,

‘He who rules over men righteously,

Who rules in the fear of God,

Isaiah 42:1

42 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.

Isaiah 48:12-17

12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
13 “Surely My hand founded the earth,
And My right hand spread out the heavens;
When I call to them, they stand together.
14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen!
Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him; he will carry out His good pleasure on Babylon,
And His arm will be against the Chaldeans.
15 “I, even I, have spoken; indeed I have called him,
I have brought him, and He will make his ways successful.
16 “Come near to Me, listen to this:
From the first I have not spoken in secret,
From the time it took place, I was there.
And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.”

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you in the way you should go.

Indeed, when Jesus read for the first time before the congregation in the New Testament, He explained himself as being the Son whom the Father anointed, the Messiah.

Luke 4:18-21

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed

19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Isa. 61:1-2a

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord

Even though these three are mentioned in the Old Testament, there is little doubt the people living then did not see it. That was not the purpose of that text at the time and place it was given.

Mat 3:16-17 (cf Mark 1:10–11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32-34)

16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water ; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Acts 7:55

55 But being full of the Holy Spirithe gazed intently into heaven and sawthe glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

2 Cor 13:14

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

So WHY was the trinity hidden in the Old Testament? So Christ would be crucified, which was necessary for those who love God.

2 Corinthians 2:7-11

but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written,

“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

Indeed, if one denies Christ, one does not have God.

1 John 2:23
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

2 John 1:9
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

Further, Islam teaches Mohammed is the Helper, while the Bible teaches that the Helper is the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

In Islam, Jesus is not God in the flesh (Surah 4:172; 5:73; 9:30). But in Christianity, He is.

John 1:1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Colossians 2:9

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

In Islam, Christ was not crucified (Surah 4:158), but in Christianity, He was. In fact, he was crucified, was buried, was in the tomb for three days, and rose again.

Matthew 27:1-28:15

1 Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away anddelivered Him to Pilate the governor.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to thatyourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; 10 and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me.”

Jesus before Pilate

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” 12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer. 13 Then Pilate *said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” 14 And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed.

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.17 So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that because of envy they had handed Him over.

19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. 21 But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate *said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all *said, “Crucify Him!” 23 And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” 25 And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the wholeRoman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. 31 After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

32 As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they pressed into service to bear His cross.

The Crucifixion

33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.

35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. 37 And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

38 At that time two robbers *were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left.39 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, 42 “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 43 He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.

45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink.49 But the rest of them said, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” 50 And Jesuscried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while ministering to Him. 56 Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Jesus Is Buried

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the grave.

62 Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64 Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”

And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus *said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

11 Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” 15 And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.

Finally, did Jesus say that the god of the Samaritans was the same as what the Jews worshiped? Actually, he did not. Jesus said they worship in ignorance and that salvation is from the Jews.

John 4:21-23

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

This same Jesus is the one who we must believe in as our Savior, as our Lord.

Acts 16:29-31

29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

God has both offered and accepted the only acceptable sacrifice – Jesus on the cross.

Hebrews 10:8-18

After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law),then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, whichcan never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,

16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will write them,”

He then says,

17 “And their sins and their lawless deeds
I will remember no more.”

18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

So no, Muslims do not worship the same god as Christians. They worship what they think is god, but Christ was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christ died for our sins. The Holy Spirit was sent to help us. If we believe in Christ as our Savior, making Christ our Lord, the ruler of our lives, then we are saved. So we must believe in the God who sent Christ.

Should every Christian share the gospel, or evangelize?

What does the Bible say about whether every one who claims Christ as their savior should share the gospel? Should every Christian evangelize?

First, we must realize that we need faith to please God – needing to believe in God’s existence and that God rewards those who seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Second, we must realize that it is only by grace through faith that we are saved, not based upon anything we do, can do, have done, or will do.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The faith we  must have is one which changes our lives – not be a intellectual assent to the proposition that God exists.

James 2:14-26

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Acts 26:20

20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and alsoto the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

 

 Finally, we must realize it is only by hearing the Word of God that we are saved. Indeed, the goal is for people to hear and believe.John 5:24

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Romans 10:11-14

 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

So faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.

But who is supposed to share that faith?

First, we know there are some who are called or gifted to share God’s word to equip the saints for the work of ministry and building up the body of Christ until we all attain the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to mature manhood.

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

What is the work of an evangelist? I think we can see it in 2 Timothy 4:1-5

1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

I think Paul described the work of an evangelist when he told  Timothy to preach the word, to be prepared, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching, to be sober-minded, endure suffering.

In fact, the word ‘evangelize’ comes from Evanggeliso, translated in Acts 16:10 as “preach the gospel”.

Acts 16:10

10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we  sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

But while there is an office or role of evangelist, all of us are to be humble, tender, righteous,  prepared to suffer for doing good, and to give an answer for the hope that within us.

1 Peter 3:8-17

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

This is apologetics – talking about God.

This is not saying to try to win souls to Christ, or to be a used car salesman for Christ – as if trying to “sell” Christ to others. This is saying to talk about what God has done in your life. This is saying make God look good by letting others know of your experience with God. This is giving God the glory and credit for what God has done.

Although Paul certainly tried to win people. Indeed, he was compelled to do so.

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, thatby all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

But although he was compelled to share the Gospel, He also asked people to pray that he would have an opportunity to share speak the mystery of Christ. Indeed, Paul told the Colossians to conduct themselves wisely with outsiders, speaking gracefully, so they would know how to respond to each people.

Colossians 4:2-6

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.

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Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

This tells me we must be willing to talk about God to others, and that we must vary our approach with people, finding the way or words which are most effective for each people.

But again, who should be sharing the gospel? We know Paul was an apostle, appointed by God. Jesus told the Apostles they would be His witnesses to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, andto the end of the earth.”

Indeed, Jesus gave the Great Commission to the apostles, which many believe is given to all Christians, telling them to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all He had commanded them.

Matthew 28 :15-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Certainly every Christian is to let his or her light shine by doing goo works so God may get glory.

Matthew 5:13-16

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

We see in Philemon 1:4-7 where Paul prayed the sharing of Philemon’s faith may become effective the full knowledge of every good thing that is in use for the sake of Christ. This seems to be talking about faith, while Paul also spoke of deriving much joy and comfort from his love because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through him. That seems to be putting his faith and love into action so that people were refreshed.

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

Parents are to bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord – not provoking them to anger.

Ephesians 4:1-4

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

 Does this mean everyone you talk to about God and Christ will become a Christian? No. Sometimes you plant seeds; sometimes you water. But it is God who makes people become Christians – who gives them faith.
 
1 Corinthians 3:5-9
5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

Indeed, God has to cleanse us, give us a new heart, and a new spirit, and cause us to walk in His statues.

Ezekiel 36:24-29

24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.29 Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you.

Christ is the author of our salvation.

Hebrews 2:10

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

Christ is also the author and perfecter of our faith.

Hebrews 12:2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 But God uses us for His purposes. As we are filled with the Holy Spirit, God will use us to speak as and when HE desires – like He did at Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-4

1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

In fact, scripture tell sus that what is within you will flow from you – good and bad.

Luke 6:45

45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

If you are filled by God, that will be what you speak of.

Jesus spent three years teaching his disciples before He told them to wait  and they would  receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Then once the Holy Spirit filled them, the Holy Spirit caused them to speak as HE wanted them to speak.

It is GOD who works in us to both will and work for His good pleasure.

Philippians 2:13

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
 

So yes, we are all to talk about what God wants us to talk about. Some of us are to win people to Christ. Some of us are evangelists, preachers, etc. But all of us can talk about God, and raise our children in the word of God. All of us can love others in ways that God is glorified. All of us can live in a way that if we are asked, we can share what God has done in our lives to give us hope. Some of us plant. Others of us water. God causes the growth – not you and not me. Let God do the work through you, and God will get the glory too – as He deserves.

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