While some have called Islam a religion of peace, not all agree this is true when it comes to accepting Islamic beliefs. Coptic priest Zakariya Boutrus, on Al-Hayat TV, June 16, 2005, said, "Islam, as portrayed in the encyclopedia of Islam, in the Koran, and the Hadith, was spread by means of the sword. The sword played a major role in spreading Islam in the past, and it is the sword that preserves Islam today. Islam relies upon jihad in spreading the religion. . . .  Spreading Islam by means of the sword is a duty incumbent upon all Muslims.”

During the Saudi royal family's counterterrorism conference in February 2005, Saudi cleric Musa Al-Qarni said, "We must realize that Allah obligated us to disseminate this religion all over the globe. And first, it should be spread through outreach and calling people to Allah's word, through pleasing words . . .  However, if we run up against someone who opposes this path and attempts to obstruct the spread of the upright religion, and to obstruct their reaching others, in this case it is a duty to fight such a person.” He also said, "We don't agree with those. . .who say that the religion [of Islam] doesn't use the sword. No. Islam uses the sword when there is no other alternative . . .  If there is need for the sword, then it is wise to use the sword” (

Compulsion may gain numbers, but it does not gain hearts. It’s the same when it comes to obedience to the gospel. Paul reminded the Romans of what led them to faith in Christ. "But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18). The truth of the gospel convicts hearts and leads to obedience. God wants us to be drawn to Him in love, knowing all that He has done for us, and is doing for us. He wants us to obey Him from love (John 14:15), and know the blessings of living faithfully. Viewing faith in Christ as a matter of "have to” misses all that the love of God offers. 

There are those who do not want God to tell them to live the Christian life. There is no drawn sword forcing anyone to obey the gospel. If you want to reject obeying the gospel and living for Christ, that is your choice. God wants hearts that understand His love, and respond in love, to receive all His love has to offer. No one can force you, but you can choose love and life. Standing before God, with eternity before you, is the course you’re now on worth it? "For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Robert Johnson
Longview, TX