Daily Devotional for Thursday September 25, 2008
Religious Left honors Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
(John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8,9, Romans 10:9,10)
COMMENTARY: The Religious Left honors Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while Christians are persecuted in the country he runs!!! For years now I have warned you about the Religious Left, this emerging group of people who call themselves Christians, yet embrace and hold many positions in rebellion to Christ and the Bible. Here is the latest example. Today at 5:30 EDT at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, there will be an interfaith rally honoring Ahmadinejad. This event is being put on by over 30 faith based and political organizations, including the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Solidarity International, the Catholic League, the Mennonite Central Committee, the Quaker United Nations Office, Religions for Peace, the American Friends Service Committee, the Episcopal Church, and the World Council of Churches.
There is nothing to really to say about Ahmadinejad. He is a thoroughly evil man who follows that false religion of hate and death, Islam. As the President of Iran, he has openly called for the total annihilation of Israel, has made numerous threats against the United States, is shipping arms to Iraqi insurgents helping to kill US troops who are serving there, is harboring Osama Bin Laden's son and other al-Qaeda leaders, and is pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. He preyed upon the weakness of this nation to come to our shores and spit in our faces by his very presence. He no doubt has accomplished his chief goal which was to appear credible on the world stage, while filling his coffers with propaganda to take back to Iran and continue his terrorist activities.
Worse of all, supposed Christian groups were involved in an event to honor this evil man who persecutes our Christian brothers and sisters in his country! Please remember in a few years that this man was here, on our soil, and instead of arresting him like the common criminal he is, we treated him like a head of state and SUPPOSED CHRISTIAN GROUPS HONORED THIS TOOL OF SATAN!!!
A big news item this past Easter was the "conversion" of Magdi Allam, a Muslim author and critic of Islamic fundamentalism who was publicly baptized by the Pope on Easter Sunday. Allam, whose wife is Catholic and described himself as a non-practicing Muslim, is the deputy director of the Corriere della Sera, an Italian newspaper. Allam has been very sympathetic to Israel in his writings, and stated that his conversion would likely procure him "a death sentence for apostasy," or the abandoning of one's faith. The fact he might be killed for leaving Islam, which is called for in the Koran, makes this question critical. Is Magdi Allam saved?
This is a legitimate question since the Bible clearly states in Ephesians 2, verses 8 and 9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." We are saved by God's grace, His unmerited favor, and our faith in Jesus Christ, the only name by which men are saved. Period! This passage goes on to clearly state that good works won't save you. Joining a church and sitting in the pew doesn't save you. The fact your mom and dad are Christians doesn't make you saved. BAPTISM DOESN'T SAVE YOU! The Bible teaches that baptism is an act of identification with Christ as a public proclamation of your relationship with Jesus AFTER you have accepted Him by faith.
The problem I have with this story is wondering whether Magdi Allam thinks that by joining a certain church, being baptized, and taking communion, saves his soul. Actually, I have this concern about many people who seem to think that as long as they have joined a church they are saved. Listen to me carefully my friend, joining a church and sitting in a pew doesn't make you any more saved than if you went to the zoo and stood in the lion's den would make you a lion! You are only saved because you have made the conscious decision to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, repent, turn from your sins, and ask Christ into your heart and life by faith. You are only saved because you have given your life by faith to Jesus!
It was Jesus who said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The Book of Romans in Chapter 10 tells us, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." No church can save you, no amount of good works can save you, no special acts can save you, all the money in the world can't save you, the only way you can be saved is by putting your faith in Jesus Christ! The church helps you to grow in your faith AFTER you are saved. Good works flow from your life AFTER you are saved. Baptism and communion are acts of remembrance AFTER you are saved. Giving becomes an act of worship AFTER you are saved.
This is so critical. Let me ask you a serious question. Are you saved? Have you consciously made the decision to ask Jesus into your heart and life by faith? Many people have said the "sinners prayer," but there are no magical words to save your soul. Those words are simply a verbal guide to what you are doing in your heart by faith. If you are reading these words today and have never really made the conscious choice to ask Christ into your life by faith, or if you don't have 100% assurance that you are saved, I would invite you to go to, http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm. Pray to ask God to open your heart, read the words, pray the prayer, and accept today God's gift to you of everlasting life through His son Jesus.
I love you and care about you deeply. For those of you who already know Christ as your Savior, I would encourage you to forward this email to those people in your life who may not know Jesus as their Savior. Some of those people may think that just because they belong to a church they are saved. Some of those people may think that because their parents are Christians they are also. Some may think that because they are "good people," and do many good works they are saved. Sadly, with the watered down, politically correct preaching in so many of our churches today, with most TV preachers only preaching about how to give them more money or how to be happy and prosperous, most people simply don't understand that salvation is only a prayer of faith away.
It sounds easy, and it is. It is easy because Jesus already did the hard part. However, it is not a decision to be taken lightly since when a person accepts the Lord, they are turning from their sins, promising to follow the Lord, and that means His Word (that is why I wonder how someone can call themselves a Christian, yet live in rebellion to the Word of God!), and literally giving their life to Him. The Bible says that we have been bought with a price, that it is no longer our life any longer. When you accept Jesus by faith, you are giving your life to Him. It no longer belongs to you, it belongs to Jesus. Everyone wants the benefits of being saved, but few want to pay the price of being saved. It cost Jesus His very life so you can be saved, and it costs you your very life to be saved!
In many parts of the world, people are literally killed for accepting Christ. I am encouraged by the tens of thousands of Muslims in Iraq who have come to know Jesus as their Savior in the past 6 years. It is one of the great testimonies of our involvement in Iraq. I pray for these new brothers and sisters daily and ask you to as well, since they all face great persecution and even death for leaving the lies of Islam for the truth of Christianity. Many brave soldiers of the cross are on the front lines in the Middle East, many of them converted Muslims, taking Christ's hope to those still lost in the darkness of Islam.
So I pray for Magdi Allam, that he has not just joined a church and thinks that his church membership and getting baptized saved his soul, since it did not. I pray that he has made the conscious decision to accept Jesus into his heart and life by faith, since the Bible proclaims there is only one name by which men are saved, the name of JESUS!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller