I received a question in an email in which the person wrote: “If Christianity is any good, then why has it failed in defeating and eliminating Islam? To some Muslims, this is a logical question, and they may use this idea as evidence that Islam is a true religion from God. Similarly, the statement given by Muslims all over the world is that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and soon will be the largest religion in the world. Is that true? Is it because Islam is growing in number and does that mean it is a true religion, or if Christianity is not dominating the world, does that mean it is not the true faith?”
(In other words, if the number of people who believe that there is no God is larger than those who believe there is a God, will the belief of the atheists eliminate the existence of God?)
First of all, we must say that Christianity is not a religion, but a unique, personal relationship between God and man. All the beliefs of all the religions of the world are built on the understanding that man CAN save himself. However, Christianity is unique for it is the only spiritual belief which is built on the fact that man CANNOT save himself, but that God saves us through the unique Savior, Whose name is Jesus, who is the Word of God, God Almighty, and Who came in the flesh. Everything about this Savior has already been prophesied throughout the pages of the Old Testament hundreds of years before Jesus came into this world.
Many people look at the Bible as a holy book or just another book like the rest of the religious books of the world, but this is not true. The Bible is a unique book which was written in a period of 1500 years by 40 men. Many of these men never saw each other. Also, the Bible was written in three continents in three different languages. When you examine the characters of these men, you will discover another mystery about this unique book. It would not be logical to have the same people today working together to write such a unique book. For among the writers of the Bible there were prophets and ordinary men. Some were kings while others were farmers or shepherds. Some were philosophers, and others were very wise men. One was a doctor, and one was a tax collector. However, all of them were led by the Spirit of God to present this unique account which describes the unique love of God for sinful men.
Some Muslims think that the belief of Christianity is a made-up religion by some people who came hundreds of years after the birth of Christ. I hear many Muslims say that Christianity was changed starting with Paul, who did not know Jesus, and that Christianity continued to evolve through many of the early church councils. Others claim that the Bible has changed throughout the years to accommodate the influence of people to Christianity. My answer to all these claims is very simple. They are dead wrong, for Christianity is the fulfillment of the unique prophecies which were written hundreds of years earlier.
The Old Testament testified in over 300 prophecies everything we need to know about Christ Jesus and Christianity, such as when He would be born. Genesis 49:10 states: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes.” Here Jacob prophesied the coming of Christ out of the tribe of Judah while the tribe was still in political control of the land. The fulfillment of the prophecy is found in the New Testament exactly as Jacob described it almost 1900 years earlier.
Another example of an Old Testament prophecy about Jesus is where He would be born. Micah prophesied over 700 years before Christ came in the flesh that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah. We read this in Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.” Notice here when Micah stated His going forth from everlasting, this is a powerful declaration that Jesus is eternal. This prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament, such as in Luke 2:4-7: “Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
No child can arrange the place or the time of his birth. That would be very difficult. No child can arrange who his parents will be as we read in the following astonishing verse, written 1500 years before the coming of Christ in the flesh, in Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Also, we read in Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” This verse was written 700 years before the coming of Christ. Now we see the virgin birth prophecy which was also fulfilled in the New Testament in Luke 1:32: “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”
We will continue this article next year in part 2. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember with grateful hearts the abundant blessings our Lord has given to us, and as we celebrate Christmas, may you and your family be filled with the hope and joy of that wondrous night when our Savior was born bringing His plan of salvation to man. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!
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