Muslims: Your enemy is neither Israel nor America
Kent Philpott's personal thoughts regarding Islam and Christianity (April 2003)
The Second Persian Gulf War has had American and Muslim leaders talking about “enemies.” Leaders of nations, historically, have blamed other nations for their problems. Thus, enemies are created. Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s troubles, for example. This same process occurs on a personal level; it is often easier to focus on an enemy and thereby avoid taking responsibility for our own problems. Substance abusers, for example, may blame their parents for the addictions that plague their lives.
I have had a few enemies in my time. Enemies come and go; some enemies have become friends. Maybe “enemy” is too strong a word. I have no doubt that some of my enemies have not known my state of mind and would have been surprised had they known what was in my heart. Usually I created my enemies; they were real only in my mind and heart; they were not enemies in the classical sense. The saying, “I was my own worst enemy,” probably most accurately describes most of my experience.
If I had no enemies at all and blamed no one for my difficulties, I would still have an enemy. This enemy is unseen, unheard, almost unreal, yet cunning, deceptive, and deadly. And this enemy lurks within me--the perfect camouflage. Could this be true of the Muslim as well as the Christian?
Muslim people, let me ask you: If Israel and America disappeared from the face of the earth, what then? Would you be without an enemy? Would your life be paradise? If you were on a desert island, having arrived there direct from the womb, would you have an enemy? With no culture, no religion, no politics, just the proverbial blank slate, would you have an enemy? You would. This enemy is your own sinful self.
“All have sinned.” This is the testimony of both Old and New Testament. (see Psalm 106:6 and Romans 3:23) This means Israeli, American, Muslim, whomever. Any citizen of the world sitting alone under a palm tree, on a desert island, with waves lapping onto the golden sand, sin would be there. American, Englishman, Iraqi, Saudi, and so on—no matter, sin would be there and it would be in you. And unless it was forgiven, it would mean no paradise, no eternal life—only an eternal separation from God in hell.
What could you do? Nothing at all! There you are all alone with no good deed to perform, no church or mosque for worship, no clergy for counsel. You are alone with your unforgiven sin.
You could pray! That you could do. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out (John 6:37). You can come to Jesus in prayer. He covered your sin when He died on the cross. His shed blood covers your sin. That is the only way your sin can be forgiven. Jesus rose from the dead and reigns with God the Father in heaven right now. Jesus is the mediator who stands between you and God the Father. All alone on an island and God can be with you. He will indwell you. He will be your Savior. He will be your Lord and God. When you die you will be with your God and Savior forever and ever.
Your own sin is the enemy, your only real enemy. You may defeat or be defeated by your worldly enemies all your life and it will make no difference. Victor or vanquished—it does not matter. One day you will stand before God at the judgment. There you will be with your sin. Jesus asks you to leave your sin at His cross, come to Him, and receive His salvation.