I was born and raised as a Muslim in Malaysia. My father made sure that I was brought up in Islamic ways. At the early age, I was taught to obey the five pillars of Islam (the 'shadat', (profession of faith), solat, fasting during ramadan, 'zakat' (give alms), and pilgrimage to Mecca, and recite the Quran (in arabic). Religious classes in both primary and secondary schools were mandatory for Muslim students. The Malaysian government did an excellent job in providing islamic education to the Muslims. It also made it easy and convenient for Malaysian Muslims to practice their faith. All through my childhood and teenage years, I faithfully carried out my Muslim duties to God (Allah) by obeying His laws. However, I felt spiritually unfulfilled. No matter how many good deeds I did, I was never sure whether Allah is pleased. During my trials and tribulation, I cried out to Allah but He seemed distant and impersonal.
I came to the United States in 1981 for college education. I was enthusiastic about blending into the American culture but unfortunately, I was led further from the truth. I was very temperamental then. My Christian friend then (who is my wife now), shared her faith with me. That was the first time I ever heard of the Gospel. (When I was growing up, I was told that Christians were idol worshippers. Muslims in Malaysia are forbidden to hear the Gospel). She told me that:
a) We are all sinners by nature. At first, I find it hard to believe that we are sinners by nature because as Muslims, we were thought that mankind were not born as sinners but rather through our weakness and frailty, we commit sinful acts. Therefore, in Islam, one Muslim may be less sinful than another Muslim and thus, it creates "holier than thou" syndrome amongst Muslims.
b) Isa Al-Masih died for our sins and we are forgiven if we confess our sins and received Him as our Lord and Savior. This was hard for me to believe too because of God dying for my sins? It is completely foreign to me.
I began to read the Bible. As I was reading, I felt comfortable with Isa Al-Masih's teachings - filled with love, compassion, mercy, and grace. Throughout the Gospel (as I was only reading the New Testament), the message was clear: God loves us very much. I also found out that Isa Al-Masih is the Son of God and that He came to earth as a man to die for our sins.
I struggled between the new found truth and my Muslim beliefs. One of them got to be the truth. So, my search for the one true God began in 1983. I prayed "God, I want to know you intimately. Please reveal yourself to me." From 1983 to 1985, I was looking for God. Finally, through His grace and mercy, I found Him in 1985. I had been sporadically attending church services in 1985 but there was on particular service where the pastor was preaching about praying. He mentioned that the Bible said that we're all SINNERS by nature and if we accept Isa Al-Masih as our Lord and Savior and repent of our sins, we have a LIVING RELATIONSHIP with God forever and ever. He said to pray like this:
"Our Father in heaven Hallowed be your name Your Kingdom come, You will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give this day our daily bread. Forgive our debts As we also have forgiven our debtors And lead us not into temptation But deliver us from the evil one"
Suddenly, everything seemed clear to me. The God who created the universe loves me. He knows me intimately. He does not require me to pray in Arabic. He hears my prayers at all times. Salvation is a gift from God because he loves me.
That night, I repented of my sins and asked Isa Al-Masih to be my Lord and Savior. I felt peace in my soul after that. Until today, I have no regrets of my decision to let Isa Al-Masih rule my life. I am now married with 3 kids. Eventhough life is not a bed of roses, God's promises are for real. Psalm 23:4 "Eventhough I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me". He is with me and strengthens me through trials and tribulation. God's love for me is unconditional and because He loves me first and I am loving him back with all my heart, soul, and mind.
Asalaamualaikum to my Muslim friends.
Let me ask you question: If you were to die tonight, do you know for sure that you are going to heaven? Do you have the assurance that you are going to heaven? I am here to tell you that the God who created the universe has given us the assurance that you will go to heaven if you have faith in HIM and what He has DONE for you.
You see, my friends, sin is not based on your deeds alone but rather it is a state of mankind. God has told us in that he created man perfect and He wanted to dwell among His creations. However, Adam and Eve (First man and woman) CHOSE to rebel against God by DISOBEYING Him. Adam and Eve sinned against God. What God has made perfect is now corrupted by sin. Through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, we're all sinners. What does God says about man and sin? It clearly states in the Bible that ALL have SINNED and fall short of the glory of God. The Bible goes on to say that the wages of sin is DEATH (physically and spiritually). Why is God so harsh on sin? Because God is PERFECT and JUST and everything about sin is diametrically opposite of who God is. Since God said that the wages of sin is death, we are doomed. Fortunately, God who is perfect and just is also a God of GRACE and MERCY. From the every beginning of time, God LOVES US and He grieves when we chose to disobey and sinned against Him. The good news is that God FORGIVES ALL our sins completely. How does he forgive our sins? Isa Al-Masih came to the world and died for ALL our sins. He paid it all. God forgiveness is in Isa Al-Masih. Isa Al-Masih DIED for our sins AND three days after He died, he ROSE again. He LIVES. There is no work for us to do in order to gain forgiveness from God. Isa Al-Masih has done everything for us. All you need to do is to accept God's gift of forgiveness by:
Isa Al-Masih said, "I am the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE. NO ONE comes to the Father (God) except through Me." He also said "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Isa Al-Masih is the sirat - the bridge that allows us to cross over to God's Kingdom.
My friends, salvation is by FAITH and it is a gift of God. The Bible says that our righteous deeds are like filthy rags to Him. Without accepting God's gift, no amount of works can satisfy God's demands for our sins.
God Bless you.
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