There was once a young man who came from great wealth. He sat and ate at his father’s table and never lacked for anything. But after many years and blessings abundant, he asked for something that would tear his father’s heart in two. He no longer wanted to spend his days with his father and brother, but rather, wanted to cash in on his inheritance and live a life free of his father’s care and rules.
Sadly, this event happens all the time. Young men and women leave the safety of their family’s home, hoping that this new found freedom will make them truly “free”. While it sounds good on the surface, what typically takes place is that they find themselves slaves to the bondage of alcohol, drugs or sexual promiscuity, bringing great shame to their family in the process. The young man in this tale was not free from these very entanglements. In fact, he squandered all of his inheritance on loose living. Things turned so bad for him that he had to give up his freedom and become a slave in order not to starve. He was forced to work in the filth of pigs and even came to the point that he wanted to fill his stomach with the food that was next to the very place that the pigs would defecate. It was only after this turbulent fall into utter ruin that he thought to himself, “Even my father’s workers have enough to eat, and I am here dying of starvation, working for a man I do not know”. He formulated a plan in which he would come to his father, prostrate himself, and ask for his father’s forgiveness. He would then offer himself as a servant to his father so that he wouldn’t starve.
If this story sounds familiar to you, it is probably because you might have heard it in a book that the Qur’an says was revealed by Allah himself (Surah 5:26, 57:27). It was a story told by Jesus of Nazareth and recorded in the Injil, in Luke 15:11-32. Jesus used many different stories to help us understand what Paradise is like and how God interacts with us. In this very story, Jesus used it to describe what it would look like for those who would repent and come back to their father’s house after making a mess of their life.
Interestingly enough, the repentant plea – initially prescribed by the brother – is described over and over again in the Qur’an. According to Surah 5:18 and Surah 19:92-93, he was correct in believing that he would only ever be accepted as a servant and would never be accepted as a family member. One could easily understand how he could come to such a conclusion. He had done evil in his father’s sight. He had squandered everything that his father had given him. To simply be a servant shows you the graciousness and the compassion of a father who had been wronged.
But how does Jesus actually end this story? How does He describe how this disobedient child would live out his days?
So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, ‘“Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.” And they began to celebrate.
The Father embraces him as his own! He doesn’t merely give him a job as a servant, he celebrates the fact that he has returned and welcomes him as a son. It is not hard to see the parallel of repentance described in the Qur’an and the very position that the prodigal son expected for himself when he came to his father. The fact is, the character of the son’s father was far and above greater than what he ever expected. Jesus tells us that our Father in Heaven not only wants us as a child, but in the case of the prodigal son the Father RUNS to meet him. He doesn’t even wait for him to get all the way home. Rather than a relationship as a servant, the father offers a place for him at his table. This right is one given to those who believe by the grace of God:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
The fact is, God can offer us that seat at the table because He has personally dealt with sin. As a Muslim, you are to believe that one day your life’s deeds will be placed on a scale, “Then as for him whose balance (of good deeds) will be heavy, he will receive a pleasant life (in paradise), But as for him whose balance (of good deeds) will be light, He will have his home in Hawiyah (pit, i.e. Hell).” (Surah 101:6-11).
But if we consider this, we quickly recognize that this measurement isn’t even accepted in a courtroom today. Ask yourself, if someone came in and murdered your mother, would the fact that they prayed, fasted, gave money or made pilgrimage change the fact that they murdered your mom? If you went to the court hearing and you came to find out that the judge let the man off – simply because he had done a lot of good for the world – would you believe this judge was a good judge? Of course not!
The fact is, the payment for the crime must be required in order for the judge to be a righteous judge. Sin is so serious that simply saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it. Someone needs to pay for the crimes. The same author who recorded the story mentioned above in the Injil also wrote what Christians call, “The Book of Acts”. This book records the “acts” of the followers of Jesus, whom the Qur’an calls the “uppermost” of men. (Surah 61:14). In this book, the followers of Jesus are warned of ravenous wolves that would come and try to tear apart those who follow the Christ. It then says a very important statement as to the price that was paid in order for us to be reconciled to God. Of these very people it says, “God purchased the church with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).
Man is free to die and pay for the crimes they have committed, but the fact is our crimes have already been paid for! When Jesus died on the cross (something that even the most skeptical atheist scholars believe), He cried out with a word “Tetelestai”. This was an accounting term used at that time in order to proclaim that a debt had been paid in full. However, Jesus Christ did not pay for His own debt, as He had none, but instead Jesus paid for the debt of sin that was due our name.
It is because of Him crying out “Paid in Full” that I can have full assurance that I will enter in to everlasting life. I don’t have to wonder if God will accept me because when my debt of sin is laid out before me, in front of my God, it has those words written in the blood of God almighty: “PAID IN FULL”. That is why Jesus says all who come to Him pass from death unto life:
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
There is no wondering. There is no scale. If you love Jesus, then you know that to be absent from the body only means you will be present with the Lord. Neither Jesus nor His apostles ever questioned whether or not they would be saved. They knew that when they died that they would be ushered into the presence of God because they know their debt of sin is paid. The same cannot be said of Islam. Even your prophet Muhammed was not sure where he would go when he died.
“Say, ‘I am not something original among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am not but a clear warner.’”
If Muhammad couldn’t know, then how can you know either?
If you are someone who has practiced Islam for a number of years and have come to realize that you have no assurance of salvation, that you have been following someone who would not even welcome you in as a child, now is the time to turn to the TRUE God and embrace Him. He doesn’t keep you guessing concerning your salvation. He doesn’t keep you wondering. He gives you full assurance that if you place your trust in Him and believe in Him that you will be saved:
But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
Jesus made it clear that those who believe in Him pass from death to life and do not fall into condemnation.
You don’t have to take someone’s word for it that Muhammad allegedly talked to the angel Gabriel. You can KNOW that over 500 different witnesses point to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ! It isn’t based on the word of only one man, but on MANY! I encourage you to follow the truth, wherever it leads, and you will find that it only leads to one person…Jesus!
1 Corinthians 15:3-5
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep.
If you actually care about believing the truth, take this to your Imam and take it to the people of the book and cry out for the TRUE God to reveal Himself to you.
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