Pastor Chad's Itinarary

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"A Graduation Letter from Dad"

“A Graduation Letter from Dad”

Dear Chance,

            I am at a loss for words today. I know that is hard to believe, but it is the truth. As I have sat back and reflected on the past 18 years of your life, I can’t believe how fast they have come and gone. I remember growing up how fast I wanted to be an adult and being told, “don’t wish your days away.” Well, the last 18 years of my life has flown by me and they will begin to get faster for you, as well.


            I have learned so much as your father. I have learned that I am not perfect. I have learned that there are things I deal with in my own life that I often fail to give to God, which causes me a great deal of frustration. I have learned that in many ways I see myself in you, except you are a much better kid than I was. God has used you to teach me so much about myself these last 18 years. I have learned I am still in need of constantly battling against my sinful flesh and stand in need of God’s free grace.

First and last season of football

            I know the past 12 years of school have come and gone quickly. You have learned a lot in life when it comes to an academic education. However, you are entering a new phase of life where if you do not constant learner you will be left behind. I promise I do not say that to scare you, but to encourage you. Never quit learning. The moment you quit learning, you quit growing, and the moment you quit growing, you begin dying. Life is difficult, yet very rewarding and the one who is willing to learn will be successful. Don’t’ merely “get through” life. Learn. Grow. Succeed.

            I guess that is what I want for all three of you boys. I want you to be successful in the Lord. I want you to dream, set goals, and go after it with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. God has gifted you in many ways, use them for His glory and your good. If you want to play college baseball do whatever it takes to get there. Don’t sit around and wonder what if I would have done this or that ten years from now. Do what you are passionate about, it doesn’t matter if you make $30,000 a year of $1,000,000 a year if you are not excited about your work you will live a miserable life.

Last Senior Football Game 2016

            Chance, the reality is this; Mom and Dad will always be your biggest supporters. However, you have to begin to make your own decisions and choices in life that you will have live with for the rest of your life and those choices begin now. They stem from where will you go to college? Where will you work? What degree will I pursue? Who will I date and marry one day? And it goes back to your giftedness and desires. Mom and dad can say you ought to go to school and be a coach and teacher. You have to make your own decision about how you will spend the rest of your life. Mom and dad can help guide you but you will have to ultimately make that decision.

Graduation May 2017

            There is so much more I could say. Yet, I will close with these few thoughts:

1.    Son, I love you. Since January 5, 1999, you have brought a constant source of pleasure and joy into my life. I know there have been times you have wondered if that is true or not. However, I have and will always love you and desire God’s best for you.
2.    Son, you make me proud. There is nothing I have done in my life that makes me prouder than you. You have been a blessing in being your dad. You have caused me so little heartache, except when you call meJ I always think something is wrong every since you wrecked your car.
3.    Son, you can do it. I believe if God places a desire in your heart you should seek after it. The psalmist says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). You can do anything when you delight yourself in the Lord. He is for you, not against you. What is it you want to do in life? What desire and passion has God given you? Go after it with all your might.
4.    Son, you must be disciplined. To succeed in life, you must be disciplined. You must be disciplined to wake up and go about your day with passion. You must be discipline to use your time wisely. You must be discipline to go to work. You must be disciplined to work harder than anyone else. You must be disciplined to do the things no one else is doing and especially when no one else is watching.  Remember this, “Only one life ‘twill soon be past; Only what is done for Christ will last.” C.T. Studd.
5.    Son, you must love God. Remember, nothing else matters in life if you do not know and love God. You were created to worship and enjoy God forever. He longs for you to know, love, and worship. He has revealed Himself to us by His Word and Spirit. You can be successful in life and die and spend eternity in hell. The end of life is not having a large bank account, a nice car, or house, but did you know and live your life for the glory of God. So, you must love God through His Son Jesus Christ or nothing in life will truly satisfy you and you will live a life without meaning.

In closing, I am very excited for you and your future. I look forward to helping you succeed in life, as much as I can. I want you to know that I am always here for you and love you, son very much. May the riches blessings of the Lord be upon you for now and throughout all eternity.

I love you more….


Monday, April 24, 2017

"A Tribute To My Friend, Jeremy "Skeeter" Patterson: God's Glory In Midst of Tragedy"

Psalm 115:1 "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! 

     On Monday, April 16th, I was informed that a friend of mine had gone missing from his home in Russellville, Alabama. His name was Jeremy "Skeeter" Patterson. For over 48 hours, authorities, family, and friends searched, made phone calls, and aired reports of his disappearance on TV as well as in the newspapers. On Wednesday morning, April 18th, I was in my office at the church when I received an instant message that they had found Skeeter. It would not be too unusual for Skeeter to go wandering off with some buddies for a day or two, so I didn't think much about him missing at first. When I asked if he was alright, the person informed me that he was not. I asked if he was hurt, in the hospital, or was he even alive. The response I received was that they found him, and he was dead. He had hung himself from a tree not very far from where he was living. Skeeter was only 39 years old.
     Seeing those words on my computer screen caused my heart to sink to my stomach. For you see, Skeeter wasn't just another buddy, he was a friend. Skeeter had experienced much in his life; he grew up most of his life without his mother, being raised by his father in rural Phil Campbell, Alabama. Skeeter lost his father to a massive heart attack only a couple of years after getting out of high school. After his father's death, Skeeter inherited the house in which he and his father lived, and it became a place for anyone who needed somewhere to stay. During this time, I lived with Skeeter for over a year or so, coming and going, as many others did also. Nonetheless, Skeeter's door was always open if you needed a place to stay and he had food to eat if you were hungry. Skeeter had such a kind and caring heart toward his friends. If you were Skeeter's friend, you were his friend without any catches at all!
     After hearing of Skeeter's death, I spoke to some friends of ours to see what I could do to help. A friend (who is now a pastor as well and had also lived with Skeeter at one time) asked me to help with the funeral service. I was thankful to be asked to speak at my friend's funeral, but I also pondered on what to say on that day. I never imagined in a million years that I would be speaking at Skeeter's funeral. As I traveled from our current home in Tennessee down to Alabama, my mind raced back to us hanging out together, playing horseshoes, grilling those big steaks from Marty's meat market, and going camping together on the Buffalo River. He was more like the older brother I never had. But, my mind also wondered, "Why?" Why did he take his life? He had so many people who cared for him and would have helped him if they only knew he needed help. I thought to myself (we had lost contact in the last few years), I would have helped him in any way I could. What about his daughters that he leaves behind-- what kind of life will they have without knowing their dad? They won't get to know him as I did; they won't get to enjoy his friendship, his smile, and the camping trips.
     The funeral was Friday, April 20th in Russellville, Alabama at Spry's Funeral Home. When I arrived, I was greeted by many friends--some I had grown up with, though I hadn't seen them in over 15 years. It was almost like a class reunion, yet in a sad way. The Lord gave me grace as I preached from 2 Corinthians 5:21, on "Christ Being Our Substitute." I assured those in attendance that it was only by God's grace that they were not there attending MY funeral. I shared how God had given those in attendance the grace and ability to come and hear the word of God on that day. The other pastor friend, Brian Scott, stood and declared from God's word on "Standing Upon the Rock"-- that Rock being Christ Jesus. I believe in my heart without a doubt that "Jesus and Him crucified" was preached that day!
Now, fast forward two weeks after the funeral... I was checking my Facebook page yesterday when I ran across a post from a friend of ours who attended Skeeter's funeral saying that the Lord had "saved" him. I messaged him to let him know I would be praying for him and his family and this was his reply:
 " I just want you to know that you and Brian really opened my eyes at skeeters funeral. Before that day I was 100% of the devil. I deleted you and anyone else that posted anything about god on Facebook. Hadn't been to a church service years. Didn't want to talk about god or hear anyone talk about god at all. I would avoid people I had been friends with all my life so I didn't have to hear it. I sat there that day and listened and said you hard headed fool that could be you up there in that little box. I said right then and there I didn't want my child to go through life wondering if her dad made it to heaven. My heart was so heavy I cried all the way to the house. I called Brian that afternoon and talked to him. He made me promise that I would come visit his church. I did The lord saved me and I have felt the weight of the world come from me. I love you and I thank you."

     Upon receiving this message, I did what any good Baptist preacher would do-- I shouted, "Hallelujah!" Only God can give a sinner a new heart! A man who once hated God has now received a new heart and a love for God. What an encouragement to know that God took a tragic situation and brought glory to Himself by saving a sinner by His grace. It was all because of the simplicity of preaching the gospel of God's grace. I rejoice with this new brother in the faith. I also encouraged him to keep his eyes upon the Lord and find a local church where the Bible is faithfully preached and taught. 

     As I reflect on the last few weeks of my ministry, I see God bringing glory to Himself through every and all situations in the life of His creation, just as He has ordained it. I am humbled and honored that the Lord chooses me in order to use me for His honor and glory! This reminds me of the verse I posted; this is not about us, but "to God be the glory!"

     For all my friends and family from P.C. or wherever you are reading this from, although I rarely speak to you in person, know that I  am here for you, whether you just need to talk or need me to listen. I am only a phone call away. May God's grace be upon you and if you do not know God through His Son Jesus Christ, I urge you to seek Him! 
Sola Deo Gloria!

Monday, April 17, 2017

"18 Reasons Why I Love My Wife"

Proverbs 18:22 "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD."

 April 17, 1999, Gatlinburg, TN

      April 17th is a special date in my life.  On April 17th, 1999, I married Samantha Smith from Littleville, Alabama. As all married couples who stick it out, there have been many ups and downs, but God has seen us through them all. Some thought we started out a little backward and in some ways we did. However,  I'd say the Lord was very gracious towards us for no more than we had known at that time. The past 18 years she has had to deal with my job losses, moving homes, leaving family, coping with a son's medical issues, and a husband who went from being a truck driver to a preacher. She often reminds me (jokingly), "I didn't marry a preacher."

    There are a lot of things I could write about the last 18 years together, but I thought I'd write exactly why I am more in love with this woman today than I was 18 years ago. And as I remind others when it comes to one's spiritual and physical well-being, it's not how you start that matters but how you finish.

Therefore, here are 18 reasons why I love my wife, Samantha:

1. She would rather be in God's will than out.
2. She loves me for who I am and doesn't expect me to be someone I am not.
3. She is an amazing mother to our children.
4. She is beautiful, even without makeup.
5. She makes me laugh with her indecisions.
May 20, 2015, Knoxville, TN
6. She puts up with me when I have new ideas or as she likes to say, "I see your little wheels turning."
7. She does not desire the spotlight, only wants to be faithful.
8. She is a hard worker.
9. She double checks our grocery, restaurant, and any other bill we receive to make sure we don't get ripped off.
10. She is a great listener.
11. She is an excellent cook.
12. She supports me in my wild adventures of triathlon and now ultramarathons.
13. She pushes me to keep going when I want to quit.
14. She holds my hand when we go out in public.
15. She lets me go to the grocery store with her, even though I act like I don't want to go sometimes.
16. She helps me to "let my hair down" and not take life so seriously.
17. She doesn't mind going on dates with me.
18. She is my best friend.

Easter 2017, Cross Plains, TN
    Eighteen years have come and gone. We have made a lot of mistakes. We have learned a lot of valuable lessons when it comes to life. I can honestly say, that I love this girl from Alabama more with each passing day. I look forward to the next 18 years with her. God has shown me much favor by giving her to me for a season while upon this earth. All I can say is, "To God Alone Be the Glory!"

Thursday, March 30, 2017

"Are You a Witness?"

Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth"

      After Jesus was resurrected, he appeared to his disciples. His appearance to His disciples was to commission them to carry out the work that God has entrusted to them to do. What was their specific task? Matthew tells us Christ's disciples were to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus was teaching his disciples in Matthew's gospel, as well as Luke's account in Acts, they were not to look to themselves but to point others to Jesus the Messiah.

      Jesus tells his disciples that they were to be outward focused, not inward. He tells them that they were going to be given the power of the Holy Spirit to be faithful witnesses for him. They were charged to be μάρτυs (martys), from which we get our English word "martyr."  This word, "witness" means "one who dies for his faith." This was the common price of being a witness for Christ. The disciples were to be witnesses of Christ as they told the truth of the gospel. The disciples of Christ had given and are still giving their lives as witnesses for Christ today through death. The Lord's disciples were called to go and give themselves for the sake of the gospel, and the call is the same today.

     As Christ's disciples today, we are to be witnesses of the gospel by giving ourselves in our homes, communities, nation, and world. And the glorious thing is that God, the Holy Spirit, has empowered us to fulfill this command. Jesus gave his disciples 3 locations of where they were to be gospel witnesses:

1. The disciples were to be witnesses in Jerusalem. 
     The disciples were to be witnesses of the gospel at home first. This can be described as their physical homes and community in which they lived. Many want to carry the gospel across the ocean, while never carrying the gospel across the street. However, as Christ's disciples our witness begins at home with our own family, then extends to our neighbors and those in our community. 
     PHBC has had the privilege to be an effective witness in our community. The question is will you be a witness in YOUR Jerusalem. Saturday, April 8th PHBC will hit our streets to knock on doors to pass out gospel bags. Saturday, May 13th, PHBC will have a booth set up at the Strawberry Festival passing out water, gospel bags, and engaging people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The question is; Will you be a witness in your Jerusalem? Will you GO?

2. The disciples were to be witnesses in Judea and Samaria.
     The disciples had the awesome privilege of being witnesses at home and, at the same time, they were also to be witnesses in Judea and Samaria. They were to preach the gospel of Christ at home and be actively extending it to the surrounding regions--even to Samaria. 
     You and I have the privilege of being active in spreading the gospel in our surrounding area. The Lord has granted us several opportunities to help church plants here in Tennessee and in the United States. PHBC will travel to Syracuse, NY again to help Christ Is King Baptist church complete door-to-door evangelism. We will hit the streets passing out gospel tracts and invitations to their weekly gathering. The question is: will you be a witness in YOUR Judea and Samaria? Will you GO? 

3. The disciples were to be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
     The disciples were to be gospel witnesses in Jerusalem (home), Judea and Samaria (nation), and to the ends of the earth (Rome). The disciples were to preach the gospel and to eventually end up in Rome where the gospel had never been preached.  
    PHBC had the privilege to take the gospel to the nations. We have been called to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. By God's grace, we have a gospel presence throughout the world through our IMB missionaries and Bro. Barry Carpenter. However, God has called the local church--His disciples--to be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
Plans to go to the Philippines and Mexico City are being made for 2018. Will YOU be a witness to the ends of the earth? Will you GO?

      God has called every believer to be a witness for Christ. This means every believer is a missionary. I understand God doesn't call everyone to physically GO. Yet, God either calls you to go into the well or to hold the rope. This means that you would either go or support those who are willing to go through prayer and financial support.
       As your pastor, I have purposed for PHBC to be evangelistic and mission-minded when it comes to taking the gospel to our Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. I want every member at PHBC to experience the blessing, privilege, and joy of taking the gospel to the lost world, whether that be here in Orlinda, Syracuse, or even the Philippines. 
      May we not focus upon ourselves at PHBC, but upon being gospel witnesses to those in our community, nation, and the world who have not heard the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"21 Days of Prayer and Fasting at PHBC"

Matthew 17:21 "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
    The spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting are often neglected in the life of many Christians. As I have experienced, the discipline of fasting is neglected more so than praying. Nevertheless, these disciplines are essentials when it comes to the spiritual growth. Prayer and fasting are gifts given to the believer to enhance and draw oneself into closer communion with God. As James wrote, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:8). When the believer prays and fasts it is an act of faith in God, which they are drawing nearer to Him with a spiritual purpose.

     What is prayer? Prayer is communicating with God. Prayer is talking to God in its simplest form. When believers pray they are acknowledging before God of their weakness, finiteness, and lack of being able to do anything without Him. Praying crushes pride. Prayer aligns the Christian's will to  "God's will being done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Prayer connects the believer with the sovereign God of the universe, whereby the believer confesses sin, intercedes on the behalf of others, and ask for God's will to be done in their lives. Prayer is the lifeline for the Christian. As Leonard Ravenhill once said, "No man is greater than his prayer life." So, very true. 

   What is fasting? John Piper writes in his book, A Hunger for God, "Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God." Ronnie Floyd defines fasting in The Power of Prayer and Fasting as, "The abstinence from food with a spiritual goal in mind." Donald Whitney wrote in his book entitled, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, saying, "Christian fasting is voluntary in that fasting should not be coerced. And fasting is more than just the ultimate crash diet for the body; it is abstinence from food for spiritual purposes." Ultimately, fasting is a form of self-denial that has a spiritual goal, namely God for its purpose. It is abstaining from food or other enjoyments for a period in one's life in order to seek God and to be conformed more into the image of Christ.

     This coming Lord's Day, Sunday, March 26th, Pleasant Hill Baptist church will begin 21-Days of Prayer and Fasting. The purpose and goal of this 21-Days of Prayer and Fasting will be to seek God in order that He would change us individually, corporately as a church. PHBC will be praying for God the Holy Spirit to bring about a spiritual awakening in our families, community, nation, and the world. These 21-Days will be marked by confession, repentance, and brokenness over our sin. Some of the saints may be desperate to hear from God in other areas of their lives. Others may need guidance or even a miracle in their life at this time. I am not sure of anyone's specific needs, per se, but I do know PHBC and all Christians could spend more intentional time focusing on God and His will for our lives, rather than less.

     Therefore, I encourage all of PHBC to prepare yourself for the next 21 days. Pray, asking God to reveal sin that needs to be killed. You know what sin so easily weighs you down. Pray asking Him how you can better serve Him. Pray for your lost neighbor, friend, or co-worker who needs Christ, then share Christ with them. Ask God what needs to be removed from your life in order to seek Him more fully these next 21 days. Pray and fast in faith expecting God to move in your life and the life of PHBC for His glory!

Here are a couple of more quotes on fasting. Enjoy! 

John Piper wrote, "What we hunger for the most, we worship."

Richard Foster says, "More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. This is a wonderful benefit to the true disciple who longs to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. We cover up what is inside of us with food and other things."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"Who Will Go?"

Romans 15:20 "and I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone's else's foundation." 

Me and Eli at Shoshone Falls

     I have spent the past week in Twin Falls, ID to celebrate and surprise my ex-music minster (Eli) for his 40th birthday. It was a great time seeing how surprised he was seeing his mother, step-dad, and sister who flew in from Illinois,  his mother-in-law (Gail) who drove down from Washington, and brother-in-law (Jason) from Montana to join in the surprise party as well. I believe he was doubly surprised to see his old pastor who traveled 2,000 miles to spend the week with him and his family. Yet, there was much more to my visit than surprising Eli. There was a multitude of  Christ-centered and gospel-saturated conversations with the lost, pastors, and church planters while in Twin Falls.

Me and Pastor Paul Thompson at Idaho Joes

    Therefore, this trip was much more than to surprise Eli. It was also an opportunity to minister in the name of Christ. I had the privilege to meet faithful pastors and church planters from both Idaho and Utah. On Tuesday I had lunch with Pastor Paul Thompson of EastSide Baptist church in Twin Falls, ID. I learned more about the lostness of Twin Falls and the need for faithful gospel preachers throughout the Idaho area. He shared with me that there are communities in Idaho with 20-30,000 people and no gospel preaching churches.

Me and Dr. Travis Kerns

   Likewise, I traveled 120 miles to Pocatello, ID to have dinner on Tuesday evening with Dr. Travis Kerns. Dr. Kerns was my philosophy professor at Boyce College back in 2010. Travis moved to Salt Lake City in 2013 to serve as an NAMB (North American Mission Board) missionary and church planter. I learned there are over 3 million people who live in the state of Utah. There are over 2 million who live in what is called the "bowl area" of SLC. The state of Utah is less than 2% Christian. There is only 1 Christian (gospel preaching) church for every 40,000 people. As Travis shared these stats with me I was heartbroken, saddened, and concerned.

    Being from Alabama there are no shortages of Bible believing churches. This is not the case in Idaho and Utah. Matter of fact, the opposite is true. As there are Christian churches on almost every corner in the South, there are LDS (Mormon) meeting houses on almost every corner here. Mormonism is a way of life here in Idaho and Utah. Mormons call themselves Christians, all the while denying the eternal Deity of Jesus Christ, which makes them not Christian at all. Mormons have another Jesus, like that of Islam and Jehovah Witnesses. They have been taught to believe a lie, rather than the truth of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

LDS Mormon Meeting House

    The bottom line and truth is this; There is a multitude who are dying without hearing the "true" gospel of Jesus Christ, according to the scriptures. Living in the south we are sheltered and often take this truth for granted. God has enlightened you and me with the truth not to keep it to ourselves but to take to the world. It is the gospel of Jesus, which is the power of God to salvation (Rom.1:16). The same gospel that converted the Apostle Paul, me, and if you are a Christian, even you is the same gospel that has the power to change the hearts of Mormons.

   This question is this; Who will go? Who will plant a church where the name of Christ has not been named? Will you support those to go? Will you pray?
Pray. Ask the Lord to use you to take the gospel whether short-term or long-term where the name of Christ has not been named.

For further information you can check see links below:
Salt Lake City

Eastside Baptist Twin Falls

Monday, February 27, 2017

"The Nature of God Revealed: A Critical Doctrinal Difference Between Islam and Christianity" (pt.4)

The Knowability of God
            Another fundamental difference, which relates to the nature of God in Islam and Christianity is the ability to know God. God’s knowability is directly related to both His transcendence and immanence. Norman Geisler notes, “The literal meaning of the immanence of God is ‘to be within’ or ‘near’ in relation to God’s creation.”[1] Muslims believe Allah is transcendent to the point that his nature is unknowable, while the Christian believes God is transcendent, yet chooses to reveal Himself. God chooses to reveal Himself to his creation through the Trinity. Allah and God’s knowability again brings a sharp division between the Muslim and Christian.
Allah’s Immanence
            Can Allah be known? The Qur’an teaches Allah is so transcendent that he is even outside of his own creation, as it says that after creation he “…then established Himself above the Throne.”[2] Yet, as written earlier, the Qur’an describes Allah as being “closer to him than [his] jugular vein.”[3] These two verses in the Qur’an seem to contradict one another. Can Muslims know Allah in a personal, intimate, and relational way? This question is widely debated by both Muslim and Christian scholars alike when it comes to Allah’s knowability.
            For most of the Islamic community, the immanence of Allah is a foreign concept. Therefore, the immanence of Allah was never a point of contention among Muslims. This was due to the belief that Allah is one and not everywhere, as revealed in the hadiths when Muhammad asks a slave girl, “Where is Allah?” She replies, “Above the heavens.”[4] The Qur’an and hadiths rejects the notion of Allah’s immanence; however, there were some Muslims who began to accept the teaching of Allah’s immanence, as it related to Allah’s presence on earth. As A.J. Arberry points out, “Among Muslim people, a deranged sufi/mystic and so-called saint, al-Hallaaj (858-992 CE), openly declared that he and Allah were one.”[5] This claim by al-Hallaaj was entirely outside the boundaries of Islamic orthodoxy, since it declared God was within him, which would eventually lead to his execution for his profession of Allah’s immanence.
            Allah can be known only by submitting to and obeying his will revealed in the Qur’an—namely, the five pillars of Islam. Since the Qur’an denies “Allah as a father,”[6] he cannot be known in a personal or relational sense. Not only can he not be known relationally, but there is not even a possibility for knowing Allah since he is transcendent above his creation. The unity of Allah fails to allow for the Muslim to know him in an intimate and relational sense. Therefore, the Muslim must submit, obey, follow, the divine revelation of the Qur’an in order to be a good Muslim.
God Is Known
            The Christian faith believes that the God of the Bible makes Himself known, unlike the Islamic faith where Allah is transcendent and unknowable. Christians believe God subsists as three persons known as the Trinity. The Trinity allows the Christian not only to know the will of God, but also to know God in a relational sense. As Wayne Grudem points out, “If we are to know God at all, it is necessary that He reveal Himself to us.”[7] Grudem assumes that God can be known and desires to be known. The Bible reveals God’s desire for man to know Him when He said, “So God created man in his own image.”[8] The knowabilty of God comes from His nature and attribute of love. Thus, God’s transcendence does not limit Himself from His creation.
            The Bible claims, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The nature of God as love is revealed throughout the Bible and his creation. God’s love, revealed by creation, allows for one to know both His will and His nature. God’s love has been woven in the very fabric and essence of the Christian’s life by God through the Holy Spirit, allowing His creation to know Him. This is a major doctrinal difference between Islam and Christianity.
            Therefore, God of the Bible is both transcendent and immanent. He is above our ways, and yet reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:20). This is only possible because God has chosen to reveal himself by the Trinity. Christians not only have the ability to know the will of God, but also to know His nature. The manifestation of God in a Christian’s life is evident by an intrinsic desire to love and care for others. This comes from the experience of knowing God’s love, which can only be revealed to them by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Christian has a relationship with their Creator as a result of His love for His creation—a love that not only allows Him to reveal Himself, but also allows Him to give believers the revelation of His Son, Jesus Christ, through His work in atoning for their sins, as well as the impartation of eternal life given by the Holy Spirit.
            The reality is there are commonalities in both the Islamic and Christian faiths. Yet, at the same time, there are sharp differences too. As one who desires to reach the Muslim community with the good news of Jesus, they must focus on the common ground in the Muslims faith, such as the Torah (Law) and the Injeel (the gospel). By focusing on the similarities of their faiths we pray and trust this will open the door in sharing the gospel. As the Muslim denies the Trinity, the Christian embraces, Him trusts and relies on Him to open the Muslims heart, ears, and eyes to see and make the gospel effectual. This is where the Christian does not have to force or manipulate but simply share and trust the Holy Spirit to do the work only He can do.
            Christianity and Islam can masquerade themselves as being superficially similar since they believe in the worship of one God. However, when further investigated one finds there are vast doctrinal differences pertaining to God’s Oneness, transcendence, and knowability. These doctrinal differences are not minor points, but are vast distinctions in the reality of one knowing and understanding God. Therefore, to try and understand God’s oneness, transcendence, and immanence apart from the revealing work of the Trinity leaves one not knowing God or His nature whatsoever.

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                  [1] Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, 527.
            [2] Surah Al-Adid 57:4.
            [3] Surah Qaf 50:16.
            [4] Sahih Muslim, Book of Masjid and Places for Salah, Book 8, no.537.
            [5] A.J. Arberry, Muslim Saints and Mystics, 304.
            [6] Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:18.
            [7] Grudem, Systematic Theology,
            [8] Genesis 1:27