If there was no cryptonite in the Universe, could you kill Superman?
He does have super powers and can withstand anything.
How about God?
What can kill God?
The obvious question is nothing or no one is able to kill God, something that the Holy Bible is in complete agreement with. Yet, the Holy Bible states that God chose to become man in order to experience "death." The scriptures are clear that Jesus allowed himself to die since no one could take his life away from him if he had chosen not to die:
"'Do you refuse to speak to me?' Pilate said. 'Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?' Jesus answered, 'YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME IF IT WERE NOT GIVEN TO YOU FROM ABOVE. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.'" John 19:10-11
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, YET FOR YOUR SAKES HE BECAME POOR, so that you through his poverty might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME." Galatians 2:20
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, BUT MADE HIMSELF NOTHING, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:5-8
These passages clearly establish the point that Christ chose to die on behalf of sinners. The Lord himself affirms that no one can take his life away, but in his infinite love chose to die on behalf of his people.
The second problem that is implicit in Ghounem's reasoning is his assumption that death means non-existence or annihilation. Hence, since God cannot cease to exist or annihilate himself it is therefore impossible for God to die. Yet, the term "death" means different things in different contexts. As we shall see, when the term "death" is used in conjunction with Christ, it does not imply that Christ annihilated himself or ceased to exist for three days.
A few Jews or Romans?
It was not the Jews or Romans who crucified and killed the eternal Word of God. Rather, it was God who determined that Jesus Christ would die at the hands of these men; men whom God sovereignly controlled to fulfill his set purpose:
"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you BY GOD'S SET PURPOSE AND FOREKNOWLEDGE; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross." Acts 2:22-23
"On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. 'Sovereign Lord,' they said, 'you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: 'Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.' Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. THEY DID WHAT YOUR POWER AND WILL HAD DECIDED BEFOREHAND SHOULD HAPPEN.'" Acts 4:23-28
Then where is the present?
Paul claims God gave us a present so we don't have to do the impossible anymore (Deuteronomy 30:11-18 [English-NIV]
Where is the gift?
The gift is revealed right in scripture:
The gift of God is eternal life that is imparted by God's Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ:
"When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, 'Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.' Peter answered: 'May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!'" Acts 8:14-20
"The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles." Acts 10:45
"So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?'" Acts 11:17
"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." Romans 5:15-18
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
This gift is even available to Ghounem if he humbles himself and repents, embracing Christ as his Lord. This gift cannot be found in Islam.
Since nothing can kill God, than God did not die for us.
It only appeared as though he died.
If God was alive the entire time, then no sacrifice was ever made.
Ghounem now forces his definition of death upon the Holy Bible, as opposed to allowing the Holy Bible to define what the term "death" implies.
According to Scriptures death does not necessarily refer to non-existence, but rather refers to separation. The Scriptures tell us that as a result of man's sin two types of separation have occurred. The first is spiritual "death" where a person is severed from having fellowship with God, being separated from God's holy presence. Hence, instead of God's love abiding upon an individual, it is the divine wrath that rests upon him:
"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'" Genesis 2:15-17
After disobeying God by eating from the forbidden tree, the man and his wife were then banished from the presence of God in Eden:
Scriptures continue to elaborate on this spiritual separation that has occurred as a result of sin:
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear." Psalm 66:18
"Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear." Isa. 59:2 NRSV
"Then they will cry to the LORD, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds." Micah 3:4
"Your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and you cannot look on wrongdoing..." Habakkuk 1:13 NRSV
"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed… But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger." Romans 2:5, 8
The greatest separation between God and man occurs in hell, where sinners are forever severed from fellowship with God:
This is the type of "death" Christ experienced while on the cross, broken fellowship and intimacy. The Father severed his intimate communion with the Son temporarily in order that his wrath would abide upon Christ on behalf of the people he had come to redeem:
"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-" Romans 3:25
According to the NIV translators, the Greek phrase for "a sacrifice of atonement" means that Christ was presented "as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away sin." Hence, Jesus curbed God's wrath by taking it upon himself while on the cross.
The second type of "death" which the Holy Bible refers to is physical death. This is where the soul departs from the body and the body returns to the ground from which it came:
"Remember him-before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:6-7
Yet, the problem is that God is essentially a Spirit, having neither a material nor immaterial body. (cf. John 4:24)
In order for him to experience physical death on behalf of sinners he needed to take on a human nature. This is precisely what God chose to do when becoming man in the person of Christ. At the moment of death, Christ's spirit departed his body. On the third day, the eternal Spirit of Christ, along with his human soul, reunited with his body where he then arose in immortal glory:
"And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.' Having said this, He breathed His last." Luke 23:46
Hence, when we allow Scripture to define death we find absolutely no problems with the divine Son of God dying on behalf of his elect.
Someone is not telling us the truth, either it is Paul or God who is
Giving us false hope and confusion.
If Jesus died, than by definition, he was not a God.
The problem is neither with Paul or God, but with Ghounem's gross misunderstanding of biblical theology. He must assume that death can only mean non-existence or annihilation and hence cannot possibly allow for God to experience death on behalf of sinners.
Yet, interestingly not only is his definition of death unbiblical, it is also contrary to the Quran:
This echoes the words of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." Luke 20:37-38
If he was not a God, then he can not bear the burden of another (II Kings 14:6, Deuteronomy 24:16).
Yet, he is God and hence is able to take our burdens upon himself.
Now if God can't die, and a man can not bear the burden of others, then we must conclude Jesus was a Prophet of God to warn people of sin (Matthew 13:57 also in Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24, John 4:43)
Correction. God did not die according to Ghounem's definition of death. Yet, God the Son experienced biblical death, which is not annihilation or non-existence. Hence, there is no problem to the Christian since the Holy Bible has the answer to Ghounem's alleged paradox.
But did not give Us any gift as some may claim.
It may have appeared to have been a gift, but in fact it was not a gift, but a mere illusion.
It is only an illusion to one who does not understand the Holy Bible. Yet, for those who have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to fathom the divine mystery, the gift is both real and irrevocable.
What does this mean?
Simply that we have to try harder to avoid sin, I know it is hard, but the more we try, the more we will be rewarded, and if we should fall short, just remember that God is never ending in Love and Forgiveness:
Unfortunately for Ghounem, his claim that one simply needs to try harder is not only unbiblical but un-Islamic as well. In pure Islamic teaching, it is Allah who chooses both those who will be saved as well as those who will be damned to hell. In fact, Allah also determines both good and immoral deeds a person must commit:
"Lo! the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceiveth them. When they stand up to worship they perform it languidly and to be seen of men, and are mindful of Allah but little; Swaying between this (and that), (belonging) neither to these nor to those. He whom Allah causeth to go astray, thou (O Muhammad) wilt not find a way for him:" S. 4:142-143
"Those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam; Those whom He wills to leave straying, - he makes their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus does Allah lay abomination on those who refuse to believe." S. 6:125
"Many are the Jinns and men we have made for Hell." S. 7:179
"In truth thy Lord destroyed not the townships tyrannously while their folk were doing right. And if thy Lord had willed, He verily would have made mankind one nation, yet they cease not differing, Save him on whom thy Lord hath mercy; and for that He did create them. And the Word of thy Lord hath been fulfilled: Verily I shall fill hell with the jinn and mankind together." S. 11:117-119
In case, Ghounem objects and claims that the passage states that God does not destroy a town for no reason, we remind him of the following verse:
"Allah leads astray whomsoever He will and guides whomsoever he will." S. 14:4
'Imran bin Husain reported:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
'A'isha, the mother of the believers, said that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was called to lead the funeral prayer of a child of the Ansar. I said: Allah's Messenger, there is happiness for this child who is a bird from the birds of Paradise for it committed no sin nor has he reached the age when one can commit sin. He said: 'A'isha, per adventure, it may be otherwise, because God created for Paradise those who are fit for it while they were yet in their father's loins and created for Hell those who are to go to Hell. He created them for Hell while they were yet in their father's loins. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6436)
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle as saying:
Allah is completely unlike the God of the Holy Bible. In Scripture we are told that every perfect and good gift comes from God whereas every evil, immoral deed comes from the desires of man, not God:
"on account of sins. When our transgressions prevail over us, thou dost forgive them." Ps 65:3
"Thou didst forgive the iniquity of thy people; thou didst pardon all their sin. " Ps 85:2
'The LORD is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression,.' Nu 14:18
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Isa 55:7
Precisely. Yet, there must be a basis in which God's holiness has been met allowing for forgiveness to take place. The basis for that lies in the fact that God himself has made the ransom on behalf of his elect, satisfying his infinite holiness:
"Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak… The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD." Isaiah 59:15-17, 20 (cf. Romans 11:26-27)
"Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? 'It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.' Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? 'I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.'" Isaiah 63:1-6 (cf. Revelation 19:11-21)
"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Romans 3:25-26
Amen. Come Lord Jesus.
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