Not Only Muslims, But Christians Need to Be Reached, Too

Not Only Muslims, But Christians Need to Be Reached, Too June 4, 2015

My friend Ben Witherington III posts today here at patheos about the book entitled Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? (Thomas Nelson, 2012). Ben says it “is one of the more moving and eye-opening books I have read in quite a long time, and I say that as a person whom has spent a lot of time in the Middle East.”

I have not read theisbook, but I’ve been hearing and reading various reports about this subject. The book tells many recent stories, country-by-county in the Middle East and North Africa, about Muslims having dreams and visions about Jesus. We Christians rejoice in such news, especially when we see in the news about all these Islamic terrorists slaughtering people and threatening peace in so many lands. We especially rejoice when we hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ reaching Muslims, the gospel being that Christ died for our sins. Yet the Qur’an says it didn’t happen (Sura 3:64).

But I think Christians also need to reach themselves or be reached by others. How so? The Qur’an says a lot about the beliefs of Christians and endorses many of them, such as Jesus’ Virgin Birth, miracles, messiahship of Israel, ascension to heaven, and that he will return to earth as judge on Judgment Day. But the Qur’an also has a big beef with Christians. It is that God is numerically one so that the institutional church doctrine of the Trinity, and that Jesus is God, is wrong.

I have been an evangelical Christian since my early teens when I believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Years later, I was taught the doctrine of the Trinity, and therefore that Jesus is God, and I believed that for twenty-two years. Then one day I was reading Jesus’ Olivet Discourse and I believe I had a moment of considerable enlightenment while reading Jesus’ saying concerning his future second coming , “But about that day and/or hour no one knows, neither the angels of/in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matt. 24.36; Mark 13.32). I had also been taught “the hypostatic union,” meaning that every time Jesus did and said something it was from the perspective of one of his two natures, either his human nature or his divine nature. In this case, I was taught that Jesus said this in his human nature because in his divine nature he had to know the time of his return because he is God, and God knows everything, including the time of Jesus’ return just as God the Father knows it.

A light then went on in my mind and heart and I said to myself concerning what I had been taught, “That makes Jesus look like a liar. He said he did not know the time of his return, yet he really did because he is God.” It caused me to undertake a massive study about this subject in which I estimate that I read about 1,000 books on the identity of Jesus over the next twenty-five years and perused hundreds of biblical commentaries about it. The result was that I changed to believing that the Bible does not say God is three persons, but one person, and it does not say Jesus is God. I wrote a 600-page book about this entitled The Restitution of Jesus Christ in which I cite over 400 scholars. So, I believe the Qur’an is quite right, that God is one person, not three, and Jesus is not God.

What advantage is there in believing this way? You have a greater appreciation of Jesus as the blessed overcomer, that is, of his being God’s chosen man who gained the victory over sin, the world, and the devil in order to be qualified as the perfect sacrifice on the cross for our sins. That is why God rewarded him as the author of Hebrews states, “looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12.2). So, this says Jesus had faith in God and that he perfected that faith. How can you have faith in God if you are God? And Jesus was rewarded for enduring the cross by being seated with God on his throne in heaven, which angels have never been invited to do (Heb 1.13). How can that be a reward if Jesus eternally preexisted as God and thus always sat there with God the Father on that heavenly throne during Jesus’ supposed preexistence? He would have merely reclaimed that heavenly place and status that he used to have.

So, I believe that not only do Muslims need to be reached with the good news about Jesus’ atoning death and that God raised him from the dead as proof, Christians need to be reached about the true, biblical identification of God and Jesus.

I often see Ben Witherington at SBL’s Annual Meeting, and we have a brief chat from time to time. I once told him that I wrote this book. He said, “You’ll never convince me.” Well, Ben is a far more learned man of the Scriptures than I am, and I highly respect him for it. But I think Christians, even the best Bible scholars, need to at least be open to reconsidering this matter by searching the Bible to see if the Qur’an could be right, that God is not truine but numerically one, whom Jesus called “Father.”

…………….

To see a list of titles of 130+ posts (2-3 pages) that are about Jesus not being God in the Bible, with a few about God not being a Trinity, at Kermit Zarley Blog click “Chistology” in the header bar. Most are condensations of my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ. See my website servetustheevangelical.com, which is all about this book,  with reviews, etc. Learn about my books and purchase them at kermitzarley.com. I was a Trinitarian for 22 years before reading myself out of it in the Bible.

 

 

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  • Father Thyme

    all these Islamic terrorists

    Oh sure. Before you smear a whole population, maybe you should check out Princeton University’s LoonWatch.

    The Islamophobes claim that Islam is intrinsically a terrorist religion. The proof? Well, just about every terrorist attack is Islamic, they retort. Unfortunately for them, that’s not quite true. More like six percent. Using their defunct logic…

    All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t
    loonwatch.com/2010/01/not-all-terrorists-are-muslims/

    • Father Thyme

      —-

  • One of the most profound movies I have ever seen is entitled “More Than Dreams.” It is 5 true stories of devout Muslims who encountered Jesus. You can actually watch the individual stories on YouTube but the DVD is reasonably priced. The true stories are reenacted superbly. Vic Zarley (Yeah, I’m related–Kermit’s my cousin). PS…I didn’t get the golf gene.

  • Mohomed Farooque

    Surely Muhammad who had been responsible for the

    Bringing into being a world-wide community of millions of
    Believers who, on his authority,

    Believe in:

    (1) The miraculous birth of Jesus,

    (2) That Jesus is the Messiah4;

    (3) That he gave life to the dead by God’s
    permission, and that he healed

    Those born blind and the lepers by God’s permission.

    We Muslim believe that Jesus is coming back .

    For what?

    We Muslim believe Islam is culmination all fulfillment of God revelation all guidance’s
    give to us we don’t have to learn anything
    from Jesus any more.Whatever God wants to give us he has given us. So what is
    the purpose of coming back jesus ?

    Actually He is coming to rectify you ( Christian ) and he is telling you in Gospel of Matthew 7:21 – 23

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter
    the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of

    my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord,

    did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform
    many miracles?’

    Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    I know Christian does not follow what Bible say and
    what Jesus Say, But the follow what the Church( What Church Says).

    and if you follow really what Moses ( PBUH ) Jesus Christ (PBUH) then
    you know

    1) OLD Testament

    2) NEW Testament

    and Finally you
    have to know the LAST Testament that is Quran.