By Jay Rogers
Published April 3, 2008
Islam has been called the most Christian-like, yet most anti-Christian religion in the world.
Muslims believe in one, true God, they acknowledge many truths about Jesus Christ; they accept the Bible as a divinely inspired book; they respect the Hebrew prophets; they believe in divine revelation, heaven and hell, and many other truths which correspond with Christianity.
Yet a close look at the whole religious system of Islam confirms that Muslims are, in fact, lost and need to be brought to the Truth. There are possibly more bridges between Islam and Christianity than any other two world religions, but a close examination reveals that these bridges are actually roadblocks which hinder Muslims from a clear understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Belief in One God
Muslims believe in one God Who created the universe. However, the God of Islam is far removed. He is separate, aloof and impersonal. Islam offers no father-child relationship with the Almighty. Submission to Allah implies a blind surrender of a helpless slave to the tyranny of a ruthless despot.
There is a great gap between Allah, Islam’s unpredictable, arbitrary God, and the dependable, faithful God of Christianity whose promises never fail to the end. Muslims deserve to hear that God loves them, that He seeks them through Jesus the Savior, that He wants to adopt them as children and take them to be with Him forever. This is the good news.
The Nature of Man
This is the greatest point of difference between Christianity and Islam. Muslims are taught that although man is weak, he is intrinsically good. What a Christian calls a sin, a Muslim calls a “mistake.” The good and bad things that man brings about are not due to man’s sinful nature according to Islam. Rather, man is an innocent victim of circumstance within a universal battle between good and evil.
Unless Muslims realize that no one is “basically good,” they can never be saved. Bridging the gap is impossible unless a Muslim realizes that he possesses a sinful nature and can only be liberated from his slavery to sin if he accepts Jesus’ victory on the cross.
Since in Islamic belief, man is basically good and not evil, it follows that man does not really need a Savior. Therefore the death of Jesus is not only misunderstood but rejected as unnecessary. It depicts the Almighty Allah as weak and incapable of protecting His “prophet.”
Muslims can be brought to God only after they realize their need for atonement based on their inability to save themselves and the conviction that Jesus is the only redeemer.
Jesus Christ – a Prophet?
All Muslims believe that Jesus is a prophet of God sent from heaven. The Qur’an speaks of Jesus as the “Word of God and Spirit from Him.” Muslims believe in many of the other facts about Jesus that the Bible teaches. This is a good starting point, but in fact, the Islamic acceptance of Jesus is a great stumbling block.
What good is it to accept Jesus as a prophet, if His claim to be the Savior of the world is rejected? If Jesus claimed to be God and was not, then he must have either been crazy or had evil intentions. A Muslim is not likely to see Jesus in the true light until he becomes aware of this erroneous and contradictory idea, and transforms his convictions regarding Jesus.
Acceptance of the Bible
The Qur’an makes numerous references to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The Bible is considered by Muslims to be divinely inspired. Nevertheless, Islamic teaching rejects many of the claims of the Bible claiming that the original manuscripts are missing and that the Bible has been corrupted. The Qur’an is considered to be the ultimate authority which outshines the Bible.
This belief is a major obstacle in communicating the Truth to Muslims. The Bible is considered to be God’s word, however, any point that diverges from the teaching of Islam is automatically considered to be a corruption. No Muslim can come to know God until he accepts the Bible as God’s true Word.
The very concept of salvation is nonexistent in Islam. The closest idea to salvation is “going to heaven.” Going to heaven is based on the doctrine of balancing good deeds against bad deeds. This decision is made arbitrarily and there is no guarantee that anyone will get to heaven. If God desires, according to Islam, He may allow you into heaven, but if he does not, none of your works will get you anywhere.
Muslims live continually with this insecurity and need to understand that salvation is not a matter of “getting into heaven” but of knowing and loving God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Only in knowing Christ can a Muslim obtain eternal life. This “life” is not based on good works of religious practices; it is a gift from God.
Bridging the Gap
The true “gap” is not between Islam and Christianity at all. Rather the true gap is between God and man. This gap is only bridgeable as Muslims begin to understand that they are sinners; that their sin has separated them from God; and that only in Jesus Christ is there the guarantee of eternal life.
It is not the conversion of Muslims to the Christian religion that we are seeking here, but regeneration – the rebirth and transformation of a Muslim’s heart and mind. Argument and debate between two religious philosophies will lead us nowhere. Rather, the Muslim world is waiting to see a fresh demonstration of the power and love of the Spirit of God moving through His people.
This is the greatest difference between Islam and Christianity. Islam offers us a set of man-made religious rules, but Jesus offers us a relationship with a living, compassionate God Who forgives us and gives us the power to overcome evil.
Islam – Statistics
- There are over 1 billion Muslims worldwide.
- Almost 1 out of every 5 people in the world is a Muslim.
- An estimated 3.5 million Muslims live in the United States.
- An estimated 2% of all Christian workers minister to Muslims.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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