To my many Muslim and Jewish brothers and sisters, I’d love to share with you the Good News About the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24: 14). God, in the flesh of Jesus Christ, has redeemed all humankind, not with cash or coupons, but with His blood. “For God so loves the world …” (John 3: 16). On the cross, God has washed our sins away, in humility and by grace. It is God’s way of reconciling with every person. God has created us with free will. We make mistakes. We sin. None of us deserve grace. With our sins forgiven, God has made us presentable to Him.
What’s more, God’s Kingdom is now. God’s Holy Spirit dwells inside your being. The New Testament affirms that God no longer resides in edifices made of stone. He lives inside His gems, created in His image, more precious than stone. Yes! Potentially, you are His temple. Believers call this phenomenon’ salvation.’ The Word salvation comes from the word salve, i.e., ointment, balm, healing oils. God’s Holy Spirit serves as a healing ointment or’ anointing.’ “Put on the helmet of salvation” (Isaiah 59: 17) and let the healing oils of His Spirit flow to envelope you in His presence. Mind you; you remain captain of your ship. You hold the wheel that controls your rudder. God, within you, is your conscience. You are free to follow God or not.
When you read excerpts of Saint Pope John Paul II’s inaugural address, ‘Do Not Be Afraid,’ substitute the word ‘Christ’ with ‘God’ or ‘Allah’ or ‘Eloah.’ Here in Bible Belt America, just about all Christians accept Eloah as another name for God. I gently try to convince Christians to acknowledge the term ‘Allah,’ the Arabic sound-alike of Eloah:
“Jesus is God, right?”
Most Christians proclaim, “Yes!”
If Jesus is God, Jesus is Allah because Allah is God.
I ask the same question to many of my Muslim friends, but in reverse: “Allah is God, Right?”
“Yes!” they say.
“If Allah is God, Allah is Jesus. Do you agree? Disagree?”
Jesus Christ, according to Christians, is God. “Whoever has seen me [Jesus] has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, ‘Show us the Father‘? (John 14: 9) The New Testament refers to Jesus Christ as “the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). In Judaism, God’s name (among many others) is Eloah, mentioned 57 times in the Old Testament. The Arabic sound-alike of Eloah is Allah. Jews, Christians, and Muslims assert: “There is no God other than our one God …” (1 Corinthians 8: 5-6). Our Abrahamic Faiths uphold that God is merciful and compassionate, all-knowing, all-powerful, and omnipresent.
So whether you worship Eloah, God-the-father, God-the-Son (Jesus Christ), God-the-Holy-Spirit, or Allah, you are glorifying the One God, the God of Abraham, the God of all Israelites (Jews), all Christians, and all Muslims; the God of Adam and Eve, the God of all humanity, including all believers and unbelievers and those who are lost in their ways.
The Good News is God, the God of many names. The Good News is the Spiritual Kingdom of God today and forever. The Good News is grace. The Good News is the redeemed you. The Good News is for all humankind. The Good News is free. The Good News is God’s gift. The Good News is a given, whether you want it, like it, or not. It’s a done deal. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Nonetheless, God entitles you to your own opinion. Feel free to reject God’s unconditional love and face the qonsequences of distancing yourself from God. Another option is that you could examine, acknowledge, and appreciate the limitless possibilities of the Good News. Just say, “yes, wash my sins away” and enter into a new journey, a closer walk with God. That’s what I mean by ‘heaven on earth,’ the rebirth, or ‘born again’ triumph (*Chapter 1: A Divine Surprise … Sub-chapter 1.2 Christians the Newly Anointed ‘Jews;’ Page 31; Kindle Location 478).
Here’s the best news. God, who is neither Jew, Christian, nor Muslim, aspires you to become more God-like or Christ-like (Genesis 1: 26-28). Our role model is the God who has humbly come into our midst in human form. His name is Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. God’s Word lives in the One God with many names, including Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God, the Father of all humanity.
With every good wish to you, I am,
Abraham A. van Kempen
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