Dear Muslim friends,
I think questions that begin with “why” can be hard to answer but they are so important. They can really help us to think.
I have a few questions for you today but. . .I want you to know that I am attempting to ask them with sincere respect and kindness. Here they are:
“Why are you. . .a Muslim?”
“Why are you a Muslim and not. . .something else?”
“Why aren’t you a believer in Shintoism, Jainism, Confusianism, Bahaism, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Christianity?” (others of the 10 largest or most powerful religions in the world)
“Are you a Muslim because. . . you were ‘born’ a Muslim?”
“Are you a Muslim because. . . it is part of your culture?”
“Are you a Muslim because. . . you were born and grew up in a Muslim country?”
“Are you a Muslim because. . . your parents and grandparents and great grandparents before you were Muslim?”
“Are you a Muslim because. . . you made a careful search of the religions of the world – at least the major ones – and decided that Islam was the only religion that contained absolute truth?”
“Are you a Muslim by choice? Your. . .own. . .personal. . .choice?”
Please allow me to share some things about my life as a follower of Jesus.
I am not a follower of Jesus because. . . I was “born” that way.
(no one is “born” a follower of Jesus)
I am not a follower of Jesus because. . . it is part of my culture.
(my American culture is not very much like Jesus for the most part)
I am not a follower of Jesus because. . . I was born and grew up in a country that follows Jesus.
(the vast majority of people in America are not real followers of Jesus)
I am not a follower of Jesus. . . because my parents and grandparents and great grandparents before me loved and obeyed and followed Jesus.
(who my parents or grandparents were could not automatically make me a Jesus follower)
I am a follower of Jesus because. . .when I was in college, I made a careful search of the religions of the world, at least the major ones, in a search for absolute truth.
I easily observed then that all the major religions of the world – except following Jesus – have the same way to Paradise/Heaven/Jannah/Nirvana etc. That way is “works,” specifically, “good” works.
In this way of thinking, if we humans can just do enough good things, keep enough religious rules, obey enough spiritual leaders, then – we might – be able to go to an eternal place of bliss (whatever the name). But the nagging question is always this:
I am a follower of Jesus because. . .as I looked at the major religions of the world as a young college student, it was easy to see that following Jesus was different. Absolutely unique. It became more and more clear to me that following Him was not about being good enough or obeying enough rules. It was about grace.
Grace is undeserved kindness and love. It is a gift to be received. You can’t earn a gift!
Grace is about what Jesus did (dying for my sins), not what you or I do (trying to be good enough) to make it to Heaven. It was not about being saved by our good works but about being rescued by Jesus from our sins. It is about being saved. . .by grace. . .alone (see Ephesians 2:8-9 in the Bible and below).
I am a follower of Jesus because. . .I made a choice – a choice to follow Him instead of any other religion or religious figure. Jesus is different. Absolutely unique.
No one else sacrificed themself for my sins. No one else loves me that much. No one else will never leave me. No one else loves me no matter how much I do or don’t do in keeping religious rules.
There is no one like Jesus.
My dear Muslim friends, why am I a follower of Jesus? Because by His grace, I made a choice.
I chose Jesus. . .
Are you a Muslim by choice?
Your. . .own. . .personal. . .choice?
Your eternity is your choice!