If Only You Knew Whom You Have Offended
(a response to my Muslim friends)
The following text was written by a Christian man as a response to two of his Muslim friends who were trying to convert him:
Peace be upon the reader. May the grace of God work in your heart unto the regeneration of new life.
Most people think that they can somehow earn their way into Paradise, although they dont all agree concerning what is required of them. Moreover, those who believe in a sovereign God think that God will turn a blind eye on their sins, thereby allowing them to escape the just consequences for their transgressions. In fact, when asked how it is that God can just overlook their sins, they usually mention something to the effect that God is merciful, and therefore He will in His mercy absolve the person of the punishment that is rightfully deserved. It makes people feel good and it gives a deceptive impression that God is so good. However, there is something extremely sinister about this concept. This is a terrible perversion of Gods character. This misperception of Gods mercy makes Him out to be a corrupt judge, because He just turns a blind eye on your crimes.
Imagine in the court of law, if a judge had such a big heart that he simply turned a blind eye on criminal acts. To the Mafioso, this judge decides in his mercy to ignore the evidence against him which proves that he has been engaged in sex-trafficking and drug dealing. To the rich entrepreneur, he gives the right to go free without paying back the millions of dollars that he has stolen from his customers. Why does he do that? Because he has mercy on them! He is merciful! Well, everyone can see that such mercy is seriously flawed. In fact, this judge should not only be removed from his position, but he should also be imprisoned himself. On the other hand, a righteous judge would give them their due penalties, because he is truly good.
It is the same way before the heavenly court. You are guilty of having transgressed the Law of God. You must be punished. In fact, because God is just, He cannot turn a blind eye on your crimes. If He did, He would not be God. At this point, most people would object, saying, Hold on a moment, I havent been that bad! Such an objection only further demonstrates how wicked your mind is, that you have such a low view of God. Yes, the reason you think that you havent been that bad is because you have a perverted understanding of who God is. You dont think Hes that holy. You dont think its such a big deal to offend Him by breaking His Law. You dont know God as He is. If only you knew whom you have offended, you would realize your serious predicament.
In your mind, is it just a little lie, a little anger, a little lust? Its so small that God doesnt need to punish you for it. He can just turn a blind eye on it
cant He? God doesnt need to be honored so much
does He? On the contrary, God is so worthy that He not only deserves all the glory, but He also requires that the slightest transgression be punished. In fact, the seriousness of your offense is directly related to the worthiness of the One you have offended. Let me give you this illustration:
Lets say that you are celebrating with friends and family, when someone wants to be funny and pulls down your pants in front of the entire crowd of people. What shame you must feel! You might be really angry at the guy who pulled down your pants, but you might not require much remuneration from him. Now, lets say you are attending the Presidential Address in Washington D.C. when someone comes up to the President of the United States and pulls down his pants in front of the entire audience. This time, this guy would pay for it. You do not do that kind of thing to the President! He might go to prison, he might have to pay a fine, and he might have trouble finding a job in the future. The reason the punishment is more severe, is because the person who was offended is of much higher status. Now, lets imagine that God took the form of a man to come and reveal His will to us, and someone wanted to be funny and pulled down Gods pants
Oh no! You do NOT do that against God. You do not even put your filthy little hands on Him, much less embarrass Him in front of all people! Well, when you sin, even a little lie, its as though you were pulling down Gods pants in front of the heavenly hosts. Do you see why Allah cannot simply overlook your offense? If He did, peoples esteem of God would seriously diminish, and He would have His own reputation marred by your filthy little trick.
So, are you beginning to understand how serious are your offenses against Allah? Jesus said that if a man looks at a woman with lust (desire) in his heart, he has committed adultery in his heart. He is guilty in the same way that a woman would be guilty if she was caught having sex with her husbands cousin. Have you ever had the slightest desire towards a woman who is not your wife? You deserve to be punished. In the same way, Jesus said that if a man has anger in his heart against someone without cause, he is guilty of committing murder in his heart. Have you ever been a little bit annoyed at someone? You are guilty in the same way that a man would be guilty if he was caught having murdered a group of innocent little children. Have you ever failed to give everything your entire strength, your every thought, your every desire to glorify God in your heart, words, thoughts, and actions? Have you even lapsed for a second or two? Well, God requires you to give everything, all the time, forever, completely, to glorify Him. And if you fail to do that, you are robbing Him of His due praise and honor. Needless to say, you are guilty of that too. Against the perfect requirements of Gods Law, you fall terribly short. Against the straight measure of Gods perfection, you are revealed to be crooked. Against the pure and holy divine nature of your Creator, you are found to be corrupt and perverted. And if you disagree with Gods assessment, you are guilty of making God out to be a liar, and to be corrupt.
God cannot even though He is merciful simply turn a blind eye on your sins. He cannot just overlook your countless offenses against His reputation and His Law. You have spit upon His face, you have brought shame to His name, and you deserve to be punished. And the punishment is of eternal nature, because you have offended the Eternal One. Your punishment is of infinite duration, because you have offended the Infinite One. You will never be able to pay your way back; you will never be able to be vindicated. So the question comes: How can God vindicate sinners without perverting justice? How can God vindicate and pronounce sinners to be righteous, without becoming Himself corrupt? This is the question you must answer, without making Gods mercy to be a cover-up for evil. There is a verse in the Bible that says, He who vindicates the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, they are both alike an abomination to the LORD. (Proverbs 17:15) How can God be merciful without becoming Himself an abomination? That is where the cross becomes necessary, if you want to go to Paradise. Otherwise, you will be punished in the eternal fire of hell, and there will be no quenching.
Now, in case you are tempted to think that you can somehow tip the balance by your good deeds, let me tell you once again, You dont realize the seriousness of your offenses. Could the Mafioso be absolved of his crimes if he said to the judge, I have done all these good things for my community? Absolutely not! If the judge is a good judge, he will respond, That doesnt change the fact that you are guilty of having committed those crimes. The way people think that they can buy their way out of punishment by serving God is absolutely ludicrous. So now you think that God is so base, so low, that you can give Him a bribe and pervert justice for yourself? What blasphemy! You cannot buy God out to become corrupt. Even more, you think that your filthy little good deeds are all that great? You have such a perverted heart that even your best righteous deeds are tainted by sin, by selfishness, by corruption, by filth. There is a verse in the Bible that says, We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. (Isaiah 64:6) This is Gods assessment of you:
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:10-18)
Do you disagree with Gods assessment? Again, you think youre not that bad? If you do, that just shows that you have such a low view of God, and such a high view of yourself. You think youre so great, that God should view your good deeds as having infinitely more value than your perverted acts and thoughts and words. You are indeed perverted to the core of your thinking. As God says in His holy Word: Let God be true and every man a liar, so that God may be justified in His words. (Romans 3:4)
You dont think that you need to be absolutely perfect? Well, Jesus Himself said, Therefore, be perfect, because your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) These words were recorded in the Injil so that you may be aware of the truth. Jesus said, You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. He also said, If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. So, how can the Son set you free? What is the truth that can set you free? To begin, you need to acknowledge that you are guilty before God, and that He cannot turn a blind eye on your sins. That is the first step. You must recognize that you desperately need a righteousness that comes from God Himself. You do not have any righteousness in yourself.
In Jesus Christ, you find both the righteousness of God, and the propitiation for your sins. You see, Jesus Christ is the only man who has never sinned and who has perfectly accomplished the righteous requirements of Gods Law. Jesus was born of a virgin, so that He would not be corrupted by sinful flesh. He is the offspring of God, having been created in the womb by the Holy Spirit, in the same way that God spoke the world into existence, when the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters. (Genesis 1:2; Luke 1:35) Jesus lived a perfect life, never sinning, never erring from Gods requirements. He fulfilled all righteousness, even when it was unnecessary from a human perspective (Matthew 3:15). He was testified by God who spoke of His beloved Son from heaven, attested by God who worked miracles through Him, approved of God by the demonstration of His power by raising Him from the dead (Matthew 3:7; Mark 9:7; John 5:36; Acts 2:22-24; Acts 2:32-36). Jesus Christ is the only man who was absolutely righteous in the sight of God. He is the only One worthy to stand before God.
Because He was absolutely perfect, He was the only One worthy of atoning for our sins. You see, He was the promised Messiah, that is, the promised Christ. And God had appointed Him to suffer on our behalf (Luke 24:26; Luke 24:46). How can God be merciful to you without perverting justice? Only if His wrath and His righteous requirements are satisfied. It was necessary for the Messiah to suffer, indeed, to suffer the wrath of God on our behalf. That was the reason that though He existed in the form of God, did He take on the likeness of a man, so that sin might be punished in sinful man, thereby satisfying the justice of God. (Philippians 2:6-11; Romans 8:3-4) Yes, it was Gods will to crush Him. (Isaiah 53:10) Jesus Christ took the wrath of God for those who would believe in Him, so that they could be vindicated by God.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are vindicated by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show Gods righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:23-25)
Not only that, but Jesus conquered death by the power of God, being raised to life on the third day. There was no way that death could hold Him. Thereby, He disarmed death and gave a crushing blow to the one who holds the power of death. (1 Corinthians 15:54; Hebrews 2:14) What seemed like weakness and defeat was actually the very promise of God being fulfilled on behalf of sinful men and women. It was indeed the display of the wisdom and the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:23-25)
When you acknowledge that God is righteous and that Jesus Christ paid the price for your sins by bearing the wrath of God on your behalf on the cross, you can receive forgiveness for your sins. You can receive forgiveness because by faith, a transfer occurs: You transfer your sins upon Jesus at the cross, and Jesus transfers His righteousness to you, so that you may be blameless in the sight of God. God is most honored when we acknowledge His righteousness, and our inadequacy. As a result, no one can boast before God, and we give all glory to Him. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)
You need to stop dishonoring God by perverting His justice, as though He could turn a blind eye on your offenses. God can indeed be both merciful and just at the same time, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. That is why the Bible says:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is vindicated, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame." (Romans 10:9-11)
May the grace of God and the peace that surpasses all understanding give rest to your weary soul.
Your Christian friend