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Yesterday I finished by telling you the difference between Christianity and Islam concerning the way of salvation. We see that in Christianity salvation is by God’s grace, through faith, without works (Ephesians 2:8-9). In Islam it is all about works and that there is no promise of Paradise apart from becoming a martyr.
We saw that in Christianity our sins are washed away by the blood of Christ and they are put as far away as the east is from the west. They are no longer remembered by God. We also saw that in Islam there is no way to deal with our sin. The Qur’an is silent on how to get rid of the guilt of sin.
Today I would like to continue on that same theme.
Islam is a religion where man is trying to reach up to their god and earn his favor with their works, with their obedience, with their submission and dedication, hoping that their god might smile upon them and grant them a place in Paradise. There is no guarantee that they will enter into Paradise unless they die as a martyr for the cause of Allah. It is a works based religion with absolutely no assurance of salvation without martyrdom.
Christianity, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. The Bible makes it clear that it is not by our works because, if it were by what we do, then we would have reason to boast. We would get the glory instead of God getting the glory.
Works based salvation results in pride, and the Bible makes it very clear that God abhors pride. Pride was the original sin. Lucifer, Satan, was lifted up with pride thinking he could be like God. It was also pride in the Garden that cause Eve to sin. She was told she would become like God.
Here is an important question. If we could work our way to Heaven, why did Jesus need to come and die on the Cross? If your works could earn your way to Heaven there would have been no need for His death.
Isaiah 64:6 says “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” In God’s sight, our righteous works are not worth much, the have the value of filthy rags.
The great difference between Islam and Christianity concerning salvation is the Islam teaches you can earn it, while Biblical Christianity teaches something completely different.
Notice that I said “Biblical Christianity.” There is much done in the name of Christianity that is not biblical. For example, much that was done during the crusades in the name of Christianity was contrary to the Holy Scriptures.
There are some who claim to be Christians who teach that works are necessary for salvation. This, as we have seen in Ephesians 2:8-9, is not biblical.
Lets talk a little about what makes us a sinner. First we are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. The proof of this is that we all sin. The Bible says that not one of us is righteous (Romans 3:10) and all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23).
How many sins does it take to make one guilty before God? How many sins did it take for God to kick Adam and Eve out of the Garden? Only one!
James 2:10 tells us that if we break one point of the law we are guilty of all. If you break one law you are a law breaker. It only takes telling one lie to make one a liar.
Biblical Christianity teaches that because of our sins we deserve the wrath of God and we must humble ourselves, admitting our sin and our inability to save ourselves. We must repent toward God. This means turning from our dead works as a means of salvation and turning to God for mercy (Acts 20:21, Hebrews 6:1). Then we must trust Christ and receive His grace by faith, without works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Think about what God has done. He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to pay the price of our sin (John 3:16). Jesus Christ took our sin, yours and mine personally, upon Himself so that His righteousness could be imputed to us (2 Corinthians 5:21). This makes us heirs of God with and in Christ (Romans 8:17) and an inheritance in Heaven (1 Peter 1:3-5).
One of the main purposes of this ministry is to show that Islam will keep people out of Heaven. It will not keep them out of Heaven because the commit jihad or other atrocities, but because it causes them to reject the only way to Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12).
In Islam they deny the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Qur’an says the before Jesus was crucified God saw that He was in trouble and he rescued Him. He took Jesus into Heaven and took Jesus’ image and put it upon someone else who was crucified in His place. Many Muslims think that the image was put upon Judas because he went missing after the crucifixion. In other words, they think that Judas died on the cross instead of Jesus.
Islam is designed to keep people out of Heaven. Who do you think is behind all false religions? The answer is obvious, it is Satan. The Devil has masterminded this religion to deceive people and keep them from the salvation of God.
In Matthew 7:13-14 we are told to enter at the strait (narrow) gate because the gate that leads to destruction is wide and so is the way. Many choose to go that way. The gate that leads to life is narrow and few find it. Many are deceived by the wide gate. Who do you think is the gatekeeper of the wide gate? Who do you think wants you to go through the wide gate? It is the great deceiver, Satan. Do you suppose that he has a sign on this gate that says “This way to Hell” or “This way to destruction?” Of course not. He makes the gate as appealing as possible.
Satan has created many false religion to deceive people and keep them from Heaven. He makes them very attractive. Sometimes the attractiveness is in the pomp and ceremony. Sometimes it is in the disciplines necessary to earn Heaven. Sometimes it is in other ways. Different people are attracted to different things.
We might also call the wide gate the “gate of religion” because it makes people feel that they are in the right way because they are religious. They think they have followed a way that leads to Heaven.
One of the basic teachings of Islam is that they are to “follow the way.” When a Muslim dies he will learn that the way he followed was not the right way. He will learn that the Jesus he fought so hard against, that he even may have given his life to defeat, is, in fact, the true God. He will learn that Muhammad was a false prophet. He will learn that Islam was a false way that led him to destruction.
One of the main purposes of this ministry is to show the Muslim that Islam is a false way. It is not our purpose condemn the Muslim, but to lead him to the true way, the way of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16, John 6:69).
We want Muslims to know that there is hope. All they have to do is turn from their religion of works, and turn to God for mercy. They must receive the grace God freely offers them by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.