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Question 107

Q: I’ve become friends with some people of the Islamic faith.

I found out that salvation in Islam is founded on believing in and surrendering your will to God and nothing more. They say that God doesn’t need to sacrifice himself to atone for the sins of mankind because he can forgive anything he wants.

Will God forgive someone who doesn’t trust Christ and receive Him as their Savior—including Muslims who just submit themselves to God?

Asked by: Joseph, Illinois

A: Good question, Joseph. I have a couple of comments for you. Yes, it is true that Muslims submit themselves to Allah as they understand him.

Muslims also accept Jesus Christ as a teacher, but they do not believe that He is divine. In fact, they consider belief in the divinity of Christ to be the greatest sin. And this highlights just one difference between Christianity and Islam, and many differences between Allah and Jehovah.

In the Bible, God does need a sacrifice in order to forgive sins. God simply cannot allow bygones to be bygones. Being immanently just, He cannot simply forgive, sin must be paid for. In Islam, you pay for your own sins, and I’ve talked to Muslims who have told me that. Every time I ask them, “Do you think that you have enough good deeds to get to heaven?” I’ve never yet met one who has said yes. They all simply hope that eventually they will have enough.

The bottom line is that the God of the Bible is different from Allah. And by the way, did you know that in the Qur’an Jesus Christ does not die on the cross? Someone else is crucified in His place. So the very heart of Christianity is denied in Islam.

Well, there’s so much more that I could say Joseph, but the bottom line is simply this: that when Muslims believe that they will stand before God on the basis of their own record, someday they will get their wish. They will be there based on their own record, but as the Bible indicates, “because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” they will fall short of receiving God’s acceptance and God’s forgiveness. Keep in mind, Christ alone can give us the righteousness we need to stand in God’s holy presence.

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