Robert Jeffress - The Rise of Radical Islam, Part 1
Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress, and welcome again to "Pathway to Victory". Hardly a week goes by without some news about radical Muslims and their latest acts of terror. And while reports of their terrible violence are making headlines, radical Islam is far from a new phenomenon. On the last episode, I traced the roots of Islam back to Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael in the Old Testament. And today, we'll take a look at modern-day Muslims and what the Bible says about their future. Now, a disclaimer here. Today's message is no call for us to hate Muslims. We should love them as Christ does. And when we talk about radical Islam, we're talking about a very small minority of Muslims. But they are going to make a tremendous impact in the end times. My message is titled "The Rise of Radical Islam" on today's edition of "Pathway to Victory".
Has God blessed Ishmael and his descendants? Think of all of that oil over there in the Middle East they're sitting on top of. You better believe he has blessed the Arab people just as he said he was going to. But God said the Abrahamic covenant is not theirs. It belongs to Abraham, Isaac, and their descendants. Again, look at verse 21 of Genesis 17. "But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year". The land of Israel, regardless of what any negotiations accomplish, regardless of what any U.N. resolution says, in spite of what any president says, that land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. It is theirs by the decree of Almighty God. And we as a nation, America, better make sure we're on not the right side of history, but the right side of God.
God said in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those who bless Israel. I will curse any nation that curses Israel as well". Now, what we're seeing today, the clashes are all over that conflict that began 4.000 years ago about who owns this land. Do you know what the most contested piece of real estate on planet earth is? It's a little place many of us have been to. It's the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is the place where the temple once stood and was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. And right now you go up to the Temple Mount and you find in the place of the temple, you find the dome of the rock, a holy site for the Muslims. The Arabs, they don't want any Jews on that now, and the Jews don't want any Arabs. And you walk up there today and there are soldiers walking around with machine guns. And they have these little skirmishes from time to time up there.
Sometimes people are killed up there because the Jews believe that land and that place belongs to them. And the Bible says one day, that dome of the rock is coming down and there is going to be a temple that is going to be rebuilt there that will precede the return of Jesus Christ. Now, this isn't the Word of God, it's the word of Robert, but I believe it's sanctified somewhat anyway. I believe, it's speculation, but I believe the very real, what the Bible says, effort to rebuild that temple, that could be the spark. That could be the catalyst that triggers the final conflict that leads to Armageddon.
There is no more contested place of real estate in the world right now than the Temple Mount. Well, my point in all of this is simply this. As different as different sects of Islam are, all of radical Islam is united in this. They hate the Jews. They hate Christians. They hate anyone in the west who supports them. They even hate moderate Muslims who won't support them. They are absolutely determined to not only evacuate the Jews from the land of Israel, they are determined to exterminate every Jew and every Christian from the face of the earth. And they are dedicated to using whatever means necessary to achieve that goal.
Now, that brings up an interesting point: pastor, isn't Islam, isn't it just another way to approach God? Isn't Islam just another way to worship God? We all worship the same God. We just call him by a different name. Isn't that the difference? Let me say this without any hesitation. Islam, Islam is a false religion that is based on a false book that was written by a false prophet. Let's look at the first part of that. Islam is a false religion. If you sincerely follow the tenets of Islam with all of your heart, you sincerely follow Islam, you will end up in hell when you die, not in heaven. Islam does not lead a person to the true God. It leads people away from the true God. It is a false religion.
Not only that, it is built and it's based upon a false book. The book called the Quran was written by Muhammad over a 20-year period of time written by one person. There is absolutely not one single prophecy in the Quran that has ever been fulfilled. There is not one piece of archeological evidence to confirm anything in the book called the Quran. It is an absolute false book. You know, the Quran and the book of Mormon have this alike. Both of its authors, Muhammad and Joseph Smith, both say that they received their information from an angel in heaven. Muhammad says an angel appeared to him and delivered to him the Muslim faith that is found in the Quran. Joseph Smith says that an angel appeared to him and gave him the golden tablets and the information in the book of Mormon.
Now, I believe both of those men. I believe an angel did appear to them and deliver that information. In Galatians 1:8, Paul said, "If either we or an angel of light appears to you and delivers a Gospel other than that of Jesus Christ, let that person be damned. Let that person be accursed". Second Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan many times appears as an angel of light. I believe the angel that Muhammad saw, I believe the angel that Joseph Smith saw was an angel of light. It was Satan himself who delivered this delusion to those people to lead people by the millions away from the one true God.
Islam is a false religion. It is based on a false book. And thirdly, it is written by a false prophet. Muhammad is a false prophet. He's not a man of God. He is a false prophet. He was a warlord. He was a man who butchered people. He was a man who beheaded 600 Jews because they wouldn't follow him into battle. When these ISIS terrorists are beheading people, they are simply following the example of the forerunner of their faith, Muhammad. Muhammad was a warlord. He was a butcher. He was a man who had sex with little girls and then took them as his wives, his brides.
Can you imagine such a thing? Compare that to Jesus Christ. Can you imagine Jesus even thinking of something like that? Jesus said it would be better for a person to have a millstone attached around his neck and be cast into the sea than to hurt a little child. But Muhammad took them for his brides. That's the prophet Muhammad. And that's why I say without any apology, any hesitation, Islam is a false religion that will lead you to hell. It is based on a false book that is nothing but a fraud and it is built upon the writings of a false prophet, Muhammad, who leads people away from rather than true the living God.
Now people say: pastor, that is such a hateful thing to say! That is such a hateful thing to say. Why, don't you know you will just turn Muslims off to Christianity if you deride their prophet and deride their holy book, the Quran? That's going to turn people away! Listen to me. If you really care about Muslims, and we're taking our program and we are beaming it to the Middle East right now to Muslim nations around the world. But if you really are concerned about the eternal destiny of Muslims, you won't sugarcoat the truth in order to make yourself more acceptable to Muslims. If you really care about Muslims, you will tell them the truth about their religion. That it is wrong, it is based on a fraud, and that there is only one way to God and it is through God's son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That's the most loving thing we could do for Muslims today.
You know, people say, "Well, we all worship the same God, we just call him by another name". I heard of a Christian minister who prayed, "Dear Lord, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, or whatever name you go by". Why didn't he add Buddha or Krishna to that list? The fact is, God has a name. The God of the Bible is not Allah of the Quran. The God of the Bible has a Son, his name is Jesus Christ, who came and died for the sins of the world. Allah has no son. Jesus is not his son. He's just another of a long line of prophets. You cannot say you're worshiping the same God if the God you're worshiping has no Son named Jesus Christ. A bumper sticker said it this way. "No, Jesus, no God," N-O. "No Jesus, no God," and then the second line said, "Know," K-N-O-W, "Jesus and know God".
Here's a basic difference between Islam and Christianity:
- Christianity believes in the Trinity. Muslims don't.
- Christians believe Jesus is God's one and only Son and the only way of salvation for all people everywhere. Muslims don't.
- Christians believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. Muslims don't.
- Muslims revere Muhammad as God's prophet. Christians don't.
- Muslims regard Mecca as a holy city. Christians don't.
- Muslims believe in salvation by submission to the five pillars of Islam. Christians don't.
I'll say it again. The most loving thing you can do for a Muslim who doesn't know Christ, and remember, God loves them just as much as he loves you and me. The most loving thing we can do for Muslims is to introduce them to God's way, the only way to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Well, we've talked about the origin of Muslims. We've talked about the goal of Islam, and that is the extermination of Jews and Christians alike. What is the future of radical Islam? Now, let's admit that nowhere in the Bible is the word Islam used, or ISIS. Moses wouldn't have understood that any more than he would have understood a jet airplane or a smartphone. But the fact is, as you look at scripture and look at it honestly when it talks about the end times, I believe you see three mentions of what we know as radical Islam in God's prophetic future.
First of all, the Islamic invasion of Israel. Turn over to Ezekiel 38 to 39. There is nothing in history that corresponds to this event. It hasn't happened yet. And when you look at these nations here that are listed here, they are Muslim nations. In fact, Iran is actually mentioned here. Back then it was known as Persia, but this is a group of Muslim nations that will attempt to invade Israel sometime during the tribulation period of time. Interestingly, they will be defeated. God will intervene in that situation. He will deliver Israel out of the Muslim hands, and there will be two results of that deliverance.
Number one, the nations will know that God has delivered Israel. Look at Ezekiel 39:21. "And I shall set my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see my judgment which I've executed and my hand which I have laid upon them". Remember, during these last seven years, God is giving the world one last chance to repent. And by his deliverance of Israel, he will prove to the nations that he really is God. The second result will be Israel will know God's power and faithfulness. Israel has not been saved at this point. God is trying to woo Israel to himself, and he does this great act of deliverance to bring them to himself. Ezekiel 39:22 says, as a result of this deliverance, "The house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward".
Now, again, this hasn't happened yet. Listen to the words of "The Moody Bible commentary" about this passage: all of the countries mentioned here by Ezekiel are today Muslim countries. Assuming their spiritual allegiance does not change, the future invasion of Israel by these nations will not be a Russian invasion, but an Islamic invasion. The coordination of attack on Israel will not come from Moscow, but from the leadership of these Muslim governments. I believe that.
The second reference to the future of Islam in prophecy is the army from the east mentioned in Revelation 9 and Revelation 16. The Bible says in the final days before Jesus returns, there will be a great battle on the plain of Megiddo. And leading up to that great battle, there will be an army of 200 million that will March from the east. Look at Revelation 9:16. "The number of the armies of the horsemen was," what? "200 million". Revelation 16:12. "The sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates, and its waters were dried up that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east".
People used to read this and say, "200 million? What nation in the world could have a army of 200 million"? If you go to the CIA Facebook, you'll discover that today China has over 318 million people fit for military service. But according to the same source, India today has over 249 million people fit for military service. You add to that the approximate 98 million from various Muslim countries surrounding Israel, it's very easy to see how an army of 200 million could march from the east to Israel. The Bible says that's going to happen.
The third reference to Islam in Bible prophecy is one frankly I hadn't seen until recently, and it has to do with the beheadings we're seeing more and more frequently. I want you to turn over to Revelation 20:4. Did you know the Bible predicts beheadings will become common in the last days? Revelation 20:4, John said: and I saw thrones and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus, because the Word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark upon their forehead and their hand. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
We're going to talk about this more next week. But the Bible says that during the tribulation when the antichrist rules the earth, if you want to buy or sell anything, food, medicine, anything, you have to take the mark of that leader, the mark of the beast. Somehow it is configured to the number 666. If you don't take that mark, you won't be able to buy or sell anything. And those who refuse to take the mark of the beast will be seen as disloyal to the government, disloyal to the antichrist, and they will face execution. That's what he's talking about here.
Those who refuse to show their allegiance to the governmental leader known as the antichrist, they will be executed. And how will they be executed? Not by lethal injection, not by the electric chair, not by a shooting firing squad. They will be beheaded. "I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded". I've studied the Book of Revelation for 40 years and read that passage over and over again. And every time I've read it, I've had the same reaction. Beheaded? Beheaded, that's an ancient practice. Surely John got it wrong, here. I mean, who in the future would ever resort to this arcane, barbaric way of execution? Sawing a person's head off, who in the world would do that?
I think we have the answer today, don't we? What we're seeing today, these grisly beheadings and even more barbaric acts that I think we're going to see in the future, these things are going to increase in frequency. Now, let me remind you. All of these things we're seeing in the world today are simply setting the stage for the greatest event in human history. The Apocalypse, the Revelation, the unveiling, the return of Jesus Christ.