Categories
God Islam Trials and temptations

A very brief history of Muhammad and Islam

Muhammad: Among Muslims, imagery of Muhammad is widely considered idolatry. Credit: Conservapedia.
Muhammad: Among Muslims, imagery of Muhammad is widely considered idolatry. Credit: Conservapedia.

Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Abd al-Muttalib was born in Mecca April 20, 570 AD and died in 632 AD. His youth was marked by poverty and rejection.  His father died soon after he was born. His mother gave him up for adoption at the age of 2 years old. His foster-mother raised him in the highlands south-east of Mecca, in a poor shepherd’s family.  Muhammad started having visions and fits at age 5.  The shepherds that he lived with were afraid he was possessed by the devil and returned him to his mother.  Some medical experts today believe he had epilepsy.  Orphaned at age 6. At age 8 he was cared for by an uncle, who hired him out as a shepherd and at age 10 as a guard and caravan camel driver.  He was probably illiterate.

Age 25: Married his first wife Khadija, a 40-year-old wealthy older widow.

Age 40: Received his first revelation. Khadija and a cousin of hers became his first disciples.

Mohammed_receiving_revelation_from_the_angel_Gabriel
A depiction of Muhammad receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. From the manuscript Jami’ al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, 1307, Ilkhanate period. Credit: Wikimedia commons

Co-opts the moon-god Allah.  By picking, for the god of Islam, the name of the moon-god Allah, particularly revered by Muhammad’s own tribe, the Quraysh, Muhammad helped assure the early success of Islam by avoiding any too radical innovations.

Categories
Testimonies Witnessing

Street evangelism in Adelaide

Rundle mall 1

The Apostle Paul argued daily in the market place, and preached the gospel of Christ.

Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Acts 17:17.

He spoke at Mars Hill and disputed with the intellectuals of Athens.

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Witnessing

The parable of the orange tree

Back in the 1970s I remember reading a tract of the story of a man who ventured into Orange County to pick oranges. It has a very pointed message for the Christian church today, even more so than it did back then. The story, or parable, is called:

THE PARABLE OF THE ORANGE TREE

by Dr. John White

Orange tree parableI DREAMED I drove on a Florida road, still and straight and empty. On either side were groves of orange trees, so that as I turned to look at them from time to time, line after line of trees stretched back endlessly from the road—their boughs heavy with round yellow fruit. This was harvest time. My wonder grew as the miles slipped by. How could the harvest be gathered?

Suddenly I realized that for all of the hours I had driven (and this was how I knew I must be dreaming) I had seen no other person. The groves were empty of people. No other car had passed me. No houses were to be seen beside the highway. I was along in a forest of orange trees.

But at last I saw some orange pickers. Far from the highway, almost on the horizon, lost in the vast wilderness of unpicked fruit, I could discern a tiny group of them working steadily. And many miles later I saw another group. I could not be sure, but I suspected that the earth beneath me was shaking with silent laughter at the hopelessness of their task. Yet the pickers went on picking.

The sun had long passed its zenith, and the shadows were lengthening when, without any warning, I turned a corner of the road to see

Categories
salvation testimony Trials and temptations Witnessing

Jesus never gives up on us

 Job 13:15 Yet will I trust in Him.

One day in 1976 my wife, Christina, and I travelled to Albany on the southern coast of Western Australia. We were just married and went on a faith trip together. At that time, we lived by faith to serve the Lord and witness His message of the gospel to the world. We went to that town because Christina had had a dream about a big whale and felt God was calling us to that town, which was once a big whaling port.

Albany001AOn arriving in the town, we went to the main street where the people shopped and we passed tracts and witnessed to anyone we could about the Lord.

Categories
Belief in God Witnessing

Watch! Time is short

Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

The hour of death is uncertain; the second coming of Jesus equally so. Therefore we are commanded to be ready always on the watch. His coming is the grand object of our faith, and should be our daily desire and prayer. It will be unimaginably glorious. The Apostle Paul calls it our glorious hope, the climatic conclusion of history. But the timing of it knows no man, for God has purposely concealed it, in wisdom and mercy and for our good. He commands us to watch and keep awake, to be at our post and busy in our calling. In our watching we must be convinced daily, fervently believing Jesus will come any moment, and praying to be found ready.–Daily Remembrancer November 11 Morning