A Response to Mr. Agbati’s Dubiety Regarding Christ’s Resurrection
By: Matthew Shotola
On the night of August 31st, 2020, Uncle Deji sent me an article he wrote regarding Islam. This is no surprise to me because he had told me when we last met about his recently-found penchant for evangelism to Muslims. Uncle Deji did not stop at merely getting a Quran on his phone, to show how committed he was to this outreach, he reached out to a Muslim lady whom I happen to know. I remember asking him about the progress of his evangelism especially to this particular lady. My earnest prayer is that the Lord would bring the lady to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Honestly, while reading the article, I remembered, though flimsily, Uncle Deji’s background. He is “Yesufu” and that means a lot. I followed the thread of the article on Facebook. I saw how his father had engaged and is still engaging Uncle Deji and his friends. The thread remains some kind of war. I decided deliberately, to stay away from responding because trained apologist like Korede Olawoyin had already engaged uncle Deji’s father. What do I know on Islam? Dr. Motunrayo did a good job too and uncle Deji himself a few things to say on that thread.
This particular article is a rejoinder to Agbati Yusuf Bamidele’s response to Uncle Deji’s essay on Islam. I’m an apologist, unlike Me. Agbati, [1Peter 3:15] but not a trained one. I will try as much as possible not to write much because I might end up writing a book as I don’t want to bore the reader.
The authority of scriptures is a core doctrine in the Christian faith, such that true Christians do not joke with. It simply means that what Christians find in the Bible is what must dictate their doctrines and practices. Christianity would be no more than a mere joke if those who read the Bible impose doctrines on it that are not contained in it. It appears to me that Mr. Agbati does not know this. I will be responding directly to Mr. Agbati’s claims in his rejoinder with a number of points. Here is the first:
These are Mr. Agbati’s words:
“In this vein, I would like to comment on the question than responses. According to the question, did God ever promise that the blessing of eternal life is assured if you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? If God made such direct claim in the scripture then, your position would have more weighty but if not then, your position is feeble. If there’s any portion of the scripture that explicitly answer this, I would like to have it for knowledge. Instead of looking for the word of God (Deji) rather ran to the teaching of Paul as stated in 2 Corinthian 15:11. Even Jesus does not make such claim (beware of using John 11:25). No wonder, it is believed that Paul is the founder of most of the faith in nowadays Christianity.”
“Also, I would like to let you know that neither God nor Jesus explicitly say that your Saviour and blessings of eternal life lies on the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. At least God if not Jesus should be aware of the event before it happened (if it happened at all) but the belief is mere impositional statement by Paul.” (bold by me).
I will want my readers to take note of the bolded statements by Mr. Agbati.
It is more than obvious that Mr. Agbati does not believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is what grants Christians life. Mr. Agbati also doubted the resurrection of Jesus. His own words prove this: if it happened at all”.
The denial of Christ’s resurrection is not a new thing. Jesus’ resurrection was denied the very day He rose from the dead. We read in Matthew 28 about how the elders consulted with the guards to deny His resurrection. The elders would not admit that Jesus resurrected so they conspired with the guards to say that his body was stolen. I will encourage the reader to read the whole of Matthew 28.
Mr Agbati said he would like to know where Jesus or God explicitly said eternal life lies in the resurrection. Both the Old Testament and New speaks about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, I will be hurling just one text which I believe will answer Mr. Agbati’s question.
John 14:19: Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
That was Jesus speaking, saying that because He lives we would also live. I would have just loved to stop here and do no further exegesis but I will do just a little. Christ in this text promised life to all who would believe Him. He says the reason they would live is because He himself is living. If Jesus does not rise from the dead then all hope is lost for the Christian. The resurrection says that God has accepted the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. Had God not raised Jesus from the dead, all Christians would still have remained in their state of deadness having no hope for afterlife.
So, Mr. Agbati, I hope you can now see where Jesus promised Life based on resurrection?
Finally, Mr Agbati, mentioned that he is a Muslim. I am a Christian and before I conclude this piece, I will do what all Christians are called to do, I would witness to him.
Sir, Christ is the only hope for afterlife. There’s no other one who can save. Islam teaches that your good deeds would procure paradise for you. I cannot imagine the folks in such paradise, inasmuch as you can do good deeds just forget your sins against a holy God. Sir, I believe you believe that Allah is holy. But if truly he is, how do you hope to stand before him with your sins; or have you not sinned? Christianity offers hope to everyone who would lay down his/her weapons of rebellion and trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ. Christianity teaches that we have all sinned and that is no lie. I have sinned and you have sinned against a holy and righteous God. Christianity says your only hope is to trust the finished work of Christ on Calvary. Christianity teaches that all the punishment we deserve has been released on God’s Son on the cross and that those who repent and admit their sinfulness to a holy God would have eternal life for reward.
Dear Mr. Agbati, I end this article offering you eternal life in Christ Jesus.