Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the man pictured above, is dead. He died in a hail of Romans 13:1-5 hot-leaded justice, at the hands of Parisian police officers.
Abaaoud did not die a martyr’s death. He died a murderer’s death. His cowardly compatriots also died murderers’ deaths. None of those who engaged in suicidal homicide in Paris that fateful night stepped into paradise after they detonated themselves. Like all other lost people who die in their sin, they await the Great White Throne Judgment of Almighty God (Revelation 20:11-15). No 80,000 servants. No 72 wives. No pearl-studded, domed condos in the sky. Just wrath; just the holy, righteous, eternal wrath of their Creator, God Almighty, YAHWEH–not Allah.
‘Allah’ is not Great
The Islamic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” called “Takbir” in Arabic, is often translated in three very similar ways: “God is Great;” “God is Greater;” “God is Greatest.”
The phrase “allahu Akbar” is a lie. Why is it a lie? It is a lie because it is an Islamic phrase in reference to the false god of Islam. The god of Islam does not exist. That which does not exist cannot be great. It cannot be anything at all.
Like the atheist who is in denial when he shouts “God does not exist,” the Muslim is in denial when he shouts “Allahu Akbar.” Both the Atheist and the Muslim deny the God they know exists. The atheist replaces the God he knows exists with the man in the mirror. The Muslim replaces the God he knows exists with Allah. Both the atheist and the Muslim chant to a false god–a false god he wants to believe is great–greater than the one, true, and living God they know exists.
And by what authority do I make such declarations? The Word of God is the authority. And the passage Romans 1:18-25) that so succinctly applies to the atheist also applies to the Muslim.
There are only two worldviews: 1) the truth–that which comports to reality as perceived by the mind of God; 2) everything else. That’s right. The atheist and the Muslim (as well as the Mormon, the Jehovah’s Witness, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Seventh Day Adventist, the Roman Catholic, the Rob Bellian, the Oprah-ite, the New Apostolic Reformationist, and the Osteenian), and every other adherent to any false philosophical, theoretical, or theological point of view can be lumped and dumped into the “everything else” worldview.
God has declared it so.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen” (Romans 1:18-25).
Christians and Muslims: We have Nothing in Common
Whether it is the god in the mirror, or the god of Salt Lake City (Mormons), or the god of Brooklyn (JWs), or the god of Vatican City, or any other false god created in the imaginations of men, the Christian has no spiritual common ground with any individual or any group finding itself or himself in the “everything else” worldview camp.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty'” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
The Christian and the Muslim share nothing in common regarding beliefs in God’s sovereignty, His creatorship, His immutability, His essential oneness, His divine prerogatives, or any other belief regarding the character and work of God. The reason: the Muslim doesn’t assign these attributes to YAHWEH. They blasphemously and idolatrously assign YAHWEH’s character and work to the false god Allah. The two are not one and the same.
“There is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.
Who would not fear you, O King of the nations?
For this is your due;
for among all the wise ones of the nations
and in all their kingdoms
there is none like you.
They are both stupid and foolish;
the instruction of idols is but wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
and gold from Uphaz.
They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith;
their clothing is violet and purple;
they are all the work of skilled men.
But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes,
and the nations cannot endure his indignation” (Jeremiah 10:6-10).
YAHWEH exists. Allah was the figment of Muhammad’s twisted imagination. Allah is the figment of the imagination of everyone who has ever followed the false prophet Muhammad, as well as the figment of the imagination of everyone who follows him today.
“Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jonah 2:8-9)!
Declaration, not Dialogue
A dialogue can simply be defined as a conversation between two or more people. However, it is also defined as: “an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, especially a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement”
I will engage anyone, any kind of person in gospel conversation. Who they are, where they’re from, what they believe, what they look like: it is irrelevant to me, to the extent of determining whether or not I will engage them in conversation. Over the years, I have talked to Muslims, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhists, Hindus, Seventh Day Adventists, atheists, and people of other religious stripes.
What I’m about to say in no way suggests that I am advocating for Christians to stop talking to people, particularly Muslims. On the contrary: if Christians truly love lost people, including Muslims, they will talk to them every chance they get.
Now, more than ever, Christians should be engaging Muslims in conversation. However, now is the time for declaration, not dialogue.
As a Christian–one who believes the Bible is the Word of God and believes that salvation is by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone–there will never be a time when I can or will reach an amicable agreement or settlement with Muslims regarding matters pertaining to who God is, what God does, and how God reconciles sinners to Himself. The only way I could ever reach an agreement or settlement with a Muslim regarding these eternal issues is if, by God’s grace, God causes him to be born again (1 Peter 1:3) and, by faith (Romans 1:17), the Muslim repents and receives Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Every human being knows God exists (Romans 1:18). The Christian lives in submission to Him, through faith in Jesus Christ. Everyone else, including the Muslim, lives in wanton rebellion against Him. The Muslim goes so far as to set up an idol, giving him the name “Allah,” and declares him god.
While the Muslim defiantly and blasphemously declares “Allah” to be god, Christians want to engage Muslims in dialogue about who God is. What Christians should be doing is declaring the truths of Scripture, declaring the reality and sovereignty of the Creator-God, and declaring that God commands all people everywhere to repent of their various forms of idolatry and to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
A declaration is a “formal or explicit statement or announcement.” In conversations with Muslims, Christians should be making declarative statements, with the formality that comes with the authority of God’s Word. Christians should speak to Muslims, not with the ambiguity that often comes from dialogues meant to find common ground that doesn’t exist, but rather explicitly. To speak explicitly is to speak in a manner that is “[clear] and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.”
The Christian should never engage any unbeliever in spiritual conversation with the impotent, loveless goal of “reaching an amicable agreement or settlement.” While, yes, of course, always speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), the Christian’s agenda should always be the conversion of the lost person in front of him. Granted, the work of conversion is a monergistic work of Almighty God. It is not a synergistic work between God and man. However, God Almighty, who is a God of means, uses His people to declare the gospel to those He has determined to save (Romans 10:14-17). And it is the gospel, and the gospel alone, that is the power of God for salvation to all who believe (Romans 1:16).
God has not called His people, Christians, to be pursuers of Detente with His enemies. God has commanded His people to be ambassadors, even ambassadors in chains, even at the edge of a bloody, murderous, Muslim sword. He has called His people to proclaim the gospel to the lost, including every person who follows the false god of Islam.
With that, here is my declaration to every unbeliever, including every Muslim who reads this: