Today I went to an international store and talked with a Muslim named Tim. Tim was probably in his early twenties and speaks both English and Arabic very well. To start a conversation, I asked him about Middle Eastern culture and then shifted into his religious beliefs. Tim talked about his good outweighing his bad and in the end hoping for paradise. I told Tim that I was a Christian and I was wondering if he knew how a Christian gets to heaven. He immediately brought up the Trinity, a major issue with Muslims, and how Jesus is supposed to be God. I explained to him that the Trinity can be described as one "What" and three "Whos" and that Jesus was God in the flesh who paid the penalty of sin. I then asked what would be his number one reason for not trusting in Jesus and becoming a Christian. He told me that he believes in Jesus as a prophet and not a god. He then said that he could not fathom God coming to this earth as a mere man. He leaned towards me as if he had something important to say and commented, "There is no reason why God would come to this earth to be with us." I responded politely, "Unless he wanted to pay the penalty of our sins so that we could be forgiven on the day of judgment." When I said that, he nodded in agreement as if he understood what I was trying to say.
I don't understand everything there is to know about Islam and Muslim culture. That's one of the reasons why I ask so many questions. Each time I get a chance to speak with a Muslim, I look at it as another opportunity to understand what they believe and why. I learned a lot during this encounter and I'm sure Tim did as well.
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