Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Real Difference between Islam and Christian Faith

By Dallas M. Roark, Ph.D.

So much of what I read from Muslims involves the goal of destroying credibility for Christian faith. There is much written by Christians to refute Muslim claims.

For the moment, let’s not go to either option. Let’s just look at the real issue of what is going to happen to you and me when we die.

Many Muslims I have heard describe their activities of going to the Mosque on Friday, praying 5 times a day, keeping Ramadan, following the teachings of Mohammed in the Qur’an and the hadiths. … You do good deeds in hope of getting closer to Allah, and hope for the best. The question, "are you going to paradise?" is answered "if Allah wills." but one never knows... "Inshallah" God will decide – whether it be hell or paradise.

The word "hell" appears scores of times in the Qur’an. Another fearsome word the Qur’an uses to describe hell is "fire." The unbelievers are clothed with fire of which there is no end. ... If Allah wills, believers may be taken to the gardens of delight where underground streams flow but no one knows what Allah will ultimately decide to do with them.

Often Muslims are discouraged from asking questions about ideas in the Qur’an that bother them. One should not question Allah! In Islam Allah is viewed as a far off distant God, a being to be feared, who is always ready to punish wrong doers.

Do you know where you are going? There is no assurance whatever offered in Islam concerning where you will end up. I have heard Muslims say that they are doing good works, trying to live a life pleasing to Allah, but Allah offers no peace, no assurance that they will avoid hell. Their good deeds may never be enough. If you are a woman it is more hopeless.

Let me share with you the great story of the Bible. It begins with the story of God’s creation of the world and the first man and woman. This is an act of love. The world God created for us is a world that provides all that is needed for life.

Unfortunately, man’s sin has alienated him from God. How do we get back to God?

The Old Testament foretold a Messiah that would come who would bless mankind. Who is this blessing? Jesus the Christ! What does that mean for us? It is written, "... God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us (those who have asked Christ for forgiveness and received it and experienced his great love for us all) the work of sharing his message about peace. We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God." (2 Cor.5:19-20 CEV)

It means that God loves us so much that he sent his Son to reveal what He is like. He sent his Son to bring forgiveness to us. He sent his Son to promise us life in His presence forever. The most awesome truth in the world is that while all people have sinned, God still loves us so much that he made it possible for us to be forgiven and to know Him. Are you bothered by a hollow feeling, an empty feeling, that Allah is distant and you can’t find him? Do you long to be saturated with God’s peace and love?

You see, Islam is a religion. Religion involves doing things, saying prayers, keeping rituals. However, Christian faith is not a religion but a restored relationship. You can have a relationship with Jesus right now. There is no waiting to see what will happen to you at death. You can claim the promise of eternal life now and know that you are going to heaven when you die. Jesus told a religious man, Nicodemus, that he must be born again. A spiritual rebirth must take place now. (Don’t assume all Christians have this relationship. There are cultural Christians.)

You can have this relationship, this new birth, right now, by praying to Jesus to come into your life as your Lord and Savior. If you are searching for peace, forgiveness, and eternal life you can have it by receiving Jesus as your Lord right now. As I write this, my hope and prayer is that you will do that for your own sake, your own future. Remember the words of the Gospel:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Mohammed said, here is the way of obedience, you must follow it. In contrast, Jesus said, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 ESV) Jesus declared, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Do you think your works can compare with God who loves you so much that he has promised to forgive you if you come to Jesus. Which do you think is wise to chose: the way of works that ends in failure, or the way that leads to life. You have to chose between a religion in which you must earn God’s approval or a relationship with God who forgives and promises everlasting life in His presence.

If you would like to hear the experience of other Muslims who have found love, peace, forgiveness, and the gift of eternal life in Jesus, click here: A Muslim Journey to Hope (audio and video testimonies). Plenty of written testimonies are also found here.

We have nothing to offer God, but He has every thing to offer to us.