by Larry Rouse
I received an e-mail from Mr. Husain, a professed Muslim, under the subject title: If you do not know “the ever truth (Islam), verily, you would be eternally lost!” He obviously wants to convince me and others to become a Muslim. He begins by making numerous futile arguments to discredit the Bible. He then reasons that since the Bible cannot be trusted, the only other path that remains is to submit to the Koran. Interestingly, he provides no arguments to show the superiority of the Koran or the way of life it produces. He only gives the threat of eternal damnation as an incentive to become a Muslim.
There is a huge difference between winning the hearts of men and forcing their outward conformity. The one true God knows the hearts of men and how to win them. Ruthless governments, man-made religions and domineering individuals throughout history have captured others and intimidated them to outwardly conform to a random human standard. This kind of slavery causes the men under it to desperately look for a way of escape. For a few, however, this system provides a position of power from which they can cruelly dominate others and feed their own pride.
What is the nature of the one true God?
Mr Husain does mention that God is “gracious” and “merciful” but fails to give us any examples from the Koran of His nature. When men pervert God’s true nature and change it into an image of their own imagination, the results are disastrous. The Psalmist aptly warns of the consequences found in all forms of idolatry: “Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them” (Psalms 115:8). Let us examine both the teachings of Muhammad and Jesus as they pertain to the true nature of God.
Jesus displayed the love and mercy of God
Throughout His ministry, Jesus pointed to God’s love as the motivating power to change men. He emphasized the quantity of God’s love in His teaching and would ultimately demonstrate the magnitude of God’s love by sacrificing His own life to save mankind. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, Rom 5:6-8). Jesus gave men what they needed and not what they deserved—aptly demonstrating the purity of God’s love.
On one occasion Jesus’ disciples displayed a typical weakness found in men. In their anger, they wanted to call down “fire from heaven” to destroy a Samaritan village. “But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them”” (Luke 9:55-56).
Muhammad gave a law that reflects the nature of men
As you examine the life of Muhammad and his writings, you will find that he had contradictory attitudes towards those who rejected him as a prophet. Towards the end of his life he was openly hostile to those who could not consciously believe his claims. Hear his words as written in the Koran: “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom (5:33.8).” For those who want to argue about what Muhammad meant by these things one only need to look at the examples in his life. Consider this event in the life of Muhammad: “Because of the resistance to his proselytizing attempts, he returned to Friday as the day of worship. He began attacking Jews. At first it was one at a time; then later whole villages. After one Jewish town had surrendered, he had 700 to 1,000 men beheaded in one day, and all the women and children sold into slavery.”
Jesus showed the way to forgiveness and salvation
Jesus plainly showed that forgiveness was never within the ability of men alone. They need a Savior—one who could provide a sufficient sacrifice for sin. No Law system could provide forgiveness. While showing the way of truth and righteousness, the Law of God also convinces men of sin. Law alone could only condemn! Jesus gave Himself to meet the righteous requirement of God for forgiveness. When men understand the nature of this great gift and their hearts are melted by it, they will choose to give their lives to the One who gave His life for them. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:20-21).
Muhammad’s view of forgiveness and salvation
In the Koran salvation is wholly based on the efforts of men. “Muhammad utilized the Testament of Abraham to teach that a scale or balance will be used on the day of judgment to weigh good and bad deeds in order to determine whether one goes to heaven or hell (Suras 42:17; 101:6-9).”He also taught that sins could be covered by doing good deeds such as prayer and helping the poor. “And keep up prayer in the two parts of the day and in the first hours of the night; surely good deeds take away evil deeds this is a reminder to the mindful [11.114].”
In Islam there is no assurance of salvation. How good is good enough? How can you ever know if you have done enough good deeds to outweigh the bad? The only exception to this is the one who dies as a martyr in a jihad.
Is there any wonder why men escape the present system of bondage to “paradise” by wearing explosives and detonating it among the “infidels?”
Those governments that are guided by Islamic law logically try to force people into praying and other good works. In some countries there are religious police that forcefully clear out the shopping malls and force everyone to go to the Mosque to pray at the designated time. Many have been beaten and imprisoned because they dared to resist such authority.
The spread of the Gospel and the spread of the Koran
Jesus gave a commission to His apostles to spread the gospel (good news) of His love so that men might willingly believe it and be baptized into Christ (Mark 16:15-16). When this simple message is preached, men respond. In Islamic countries the preaching of this powerful message is forbidden and Christian literature is banned. Their leaders how powerful Jesus’ message of salvation is (Romans 1:16).
Islam has not spread because people read the Koran and are moved by it alone. This religion has spread by physical conquests. “That is still the objective of Islam. That conversion to Islam can be by persuasive means, or by intimidation, torture, and jihad.”
The one true God wants us to choose to serve Him. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
What will you conclude?
Which message is from God and which message is from man? You alone must choose. One thing is certain; God will never force you to serve Him.
- Bruce, F.F. (1953), The New Testament Documents—Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), fourth edition.
- The Reality of Copyists’ Errors, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/608
- J. W. McGarvey (1886), Evidences of Christianity, Pages 13-15
- The Hutto – El Dareer Debate, Birmingham, Alabama October 21-25, 1974
- Edited by Ibn Warraq, The Origins of the Koran: Classic Essays on Islam’s Holy Book, Prometheus Books, 1998, http://debate.org.uk/topics/books/origins-koran.html
- Ney Rieber, The Compilation Of The Qur’an As Recorded In The Hadith, http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-quran-changed-editing-process.htm
- Muhammad, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, http://www.carm.org/islam/muhammad.htm
- Dr. Robert Morey, “The Islamic Invasion”, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene OR
- Dr. Robert Morey, Islam: Truth or Myth? http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-koran-fairy-tales-dr-morey.htm
- Silas, The Spirit of Islam, New York, Madrid, Beslan, http://answering-islam.org/Silas/spirit_of_islam.htm