(Transcribed from a series of programs
produced by The John Ankerberg Show. Host: John Ankerberg. Guests:
Dr. Gleason Archer, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Dr. Hussein Morsi, and Dr.
Ankerberg: As we have
done in the other weeks, we are having each side present their
position. This week our first speaker will be Dr. Anis Shorrosh
Shorrosh: I praise the
Lord Jesus Christ for saving me as an Arab Palestinian to teach me
to love my enemies and forgive them; only Jesus can teach that. I
would like also to announce to everybody who is listening that
neither the Koran nor Muhammad can give you an assurance of your
sins forgiven while here on earth. Neither the Koran nor Muhammad
can give you assurance of eternal life while you are here on this
earth that when you die you will have a place in heaven. The
credentials of Jesus of Nazareth, the man from my hometown, are
authentic and overwhelming. The prophets of old predicted His coming
300 times or more, predictions He faithfully fulfilled from His
birth, to His death, to His resurrection. Our heavenly Father
confirmed his relationship to Him as His Son. His miraculous works
affirmed His power. The Holy Spirit clarifies this truth to which
the apostles and the New Testament testify powerfully.
Let me emphasize that God is in reality
Jesus. Man-gods have been numerous throughout history, but this is
the first and only time that the God-man, Jesus the Christ, came to
earth. Let me ask a very serious question tonight. Why did Jesus
Christ come if he were a mere prophet? The world did not need more
prophets, priests, books or miracle workers. The God of heaven gives
us the answer: "You will call His name Jesus because He will
save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Jesus Christ
came to save you and me from eternal death in hell to eternal life
in heaven. He came to save us from darkness and bring us to light;
and from hate to love. He Himself promised, "I have come that
you may have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
Listen to His declaration, "For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). The word
"lost" is the same as "sinner" since Godís
Word states "all have sinned and come short of the glory of
God." All of us become the object of His concern. Jesus came
seeking us particularly when we learned that "the payment for
sin is death. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord."
A secret is revealed when we hear John the
Baptizer, when he evaluated Jesus with these words: "Behold,
the Lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world." Peter
in Acts 4:12 declared, "Neither is there salvation in any other
for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be
saved." You say, "How is that possible?" By
substitution. He took our place. You see, the first Adam fought the
battle and lost, thus all of us, you and I, are sinners. Jesus, the
second Adam, fought and won so that we can become saints instead of
sinners and free children of God. The tragedy of the cross becomes a
triumph of the crucified. He who knew no sin became sin for us that
we may experience the forgiveness of God made available to us
through repentance and faith.
Why did the ancient Jews bring blood
sacrifices to the temple? Why even the Koran encourages sacrifices.
Because "without shedding of blood, there is no remission of
sin" (Hebrews 9:22). Yet, all the animal sacrifices were
pointing to the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus the Lamb of God whose
blood covers our sins and even removes them totally. "For by
grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is
the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph.
2:8-9). Isnít it fantastic? God demands good works as a result of
salvation, not to obtain it. You donít have to go to a holy city,
Jerusalem, Mecca, Romeóthey are too small to contain the majesty
of God. Ceremonial cleansing can wash the stain, but never a heart
full of sin. God is not impressed with your fasting and mine, your
prayers and mine, these often promote self-righteousness rather than
humility and holiness. God loves you and wants to save you by His
grace through your faith in the Savior, Jesus the Christ.
Now, I give it to you in a nutshell:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be
equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon
him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name
which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things
under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians
Thank you and God bless you.
Ankerberg: All right.
Thank you. Our next speaker will be Dr. Hussein Morsi presenting the
case for "What is salvation in Islam?"
Morsi: Thank you,
John. We, the Muslims, believe in one merciful God. Only one
merciful God, the God of Adam, the God of Noah, of Abraham, Moses,
Jesus and Muhammad. We also believe that this life is temporary; is
a test, and that the true life, the real life, the eternal life is
the one that comes after we die and are raised by our merciful
Therefore, we are particular, we are keen, as
a matter of fact, we are very fussy to search for the true teachings
that came from the true prophets that came from God. And we are also
very keen to reject all man-made theological doctrines established
by councils, theologians, priests and brokers for salvation. Islam
rejects the dogma of original sin. From the Koran we learn that Adam
and Eve sinned, but they repented. And God Almighty accepted the
repentance in His mercy and in His grace. Islam also rejects the
dogma of blood sacrifice which was partially based on the teachings
of Paul, "without the shedding of blood there is no remission
of sin" (Hebrew 9). Islam declares that the forgiveness of sin
cannot be obtained by the suffering and sacrifice of any other
person, human or divine. It can only come by the grace of God. It
can only come by the mercy of God. Islam also teaches that you
cannot gain acceptance by giving God lip service, hanging a label on
yourself, or suffering from the hallucinations of the cult of
reassurance by declaring that you have gained your salvation in this
life at a particular moment and based on a particular experience.
The Koran describes the same exact formula
that was taught and practiced not only by Muhammad and Jesus, but by
all the prophets. Work on your righteousness through faithónumber
oneófaith in God. And then your deeds and your actions, if you
have true faith in God, will be a reflection of this correct faith.
As a Muslim, I am comforted and assured to read that Jesus practiced
and believed in the same exact salvation. In the book of Matthew
chapter 5 we are told that Jesus said, "Unless your
righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees and the
scribes, you will never enter into the kingdom of God." In the
book of Matthew again, in chapter 19 we read a story, a young man
comes to Jesus, "Good master, what thing shall I do to gain
salvation for my soul?" First, Jesus corrects him, "Why do
you call me good? There is only one thatís good and thatís
God." You want to gain salvation for your soul, you want to
enter into the kingdom of God, two criteria againófaith in God and
follow Godís commandments. He did not speak about the shedding of
As a Muslim I am further comforted and
assured to read the same exact message on the lips of David advising
his son Solomon in the Old Testament. In the book of Ecclesiastes,
chapter 12, "now let us hear the conclusion of the whole
matter. Have faith in God and follow Godís commandments for this
is the whole entire duty of man." Indeed, brothers and sisters,
ladies and gentlemen. This is the whole duty of man, to have faith
in God and to follow Godís commandments, not only according to
Muhammad, not only according to the Koran, but according to Jesus
and according to the prophets in the Old Testament.
In the Koran we read the same message loud
and clear in chapter 2, "For those who have faith in God,"
faith again, faith in God, "and do righteous deeds, there will
be no fear to come upon them, neither shall they grieve." So,
as a Muslim, as a true believer in God, and a true believer on all
the prophets, including Jesus, may the peace, mercy and blessings of
God be with them all, then I am assured that I am on the right
track. Thank you.
Ankerberg: Thank you
very much. Dr. Shorrosh, let me ask you a personal question. What
convinced you, as a Palestinian Arab surrounded by Islam, to one day
believe that Jesus was God and that He had actually died on a cross,
risen from the dead? What made you believe that and place your faith
homeless, fatherless as a result of the war in 1948. I was seeking
an answer. And the Holy Spirit of God convicted me. This is His job.
This is His work. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and
judgment. And in the privacy of the room where I was staying, I
knelt down and I asked God if He is real to show that to me. And if
He really can help me, would He show me how? And He led me to open
the Bible, my motherís Bible, and I opened it and my eyes fell on
the words "seek ye first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness that all these things shall be revealed unto
In contrast to what our friend was saying,
righteousness is the righteousness of God. You see, our works are
filthy rags. We cannot be saved by our works. If we could, there was
no need for Jesus to come, no need for the cross, no need for
sacrifice, no need for anything. You see, if we can do it. If a
drowning man can save himself, there is no reason for him to cry
out, "save me, save me." So, I asked God to save me and
through His Holy Spirit He came into my life and I was born again,
born from above. My life was changed. And so changed that I could
love and forgive. I learned a lesson of praying for my enemies and
learning to love them. It was Jesus and Jesus alone who said
"it has been said of old, love your neighbor and hate your
enemy, but I say unto you, as God, I say unto you, love your
enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully
use you." And God changed my life so I can love others and care
for others, and as a result of that, Iím a changed person, not a
perfect person. And I have the assurance of eternal life because He
As Jesus said with the words that are so
ringing throughout the centuries, "For God so loved world that
He sacrificed His only son that anyone believing in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life." So, I found in Him eternal
security, salvation cleansing from sin and a promise of living
Ankerberg: Thank you.
I would like to ask Jamal Badawi. How can Allah, who admits that man
is sinful, or has broken his law, if he is just, and if he does have
laws, which you say that he does, when a person breaks those laws,
how can Allah let people off and still be just?
Badawi: See, the main
issue really, and itís a legitimate questionóhow God reconciles
His mercy and justice because both of these are attributes that are
accepted by Muslims and their Christian brethren. There is no
difference in that. There is no difference, by the way, unlike many
people say, that in Islam salvation is only by works or
righteousness, not by grace. The prophet did not say that. The
prophet said the opposite of that. Grace is above all. But
righteousness, of course, is needed. Belief, also, and faith in God
is needed as well. But the reconciliation in Muslim understanding is
quite different. We believe he is the God, just and merciful, but
according to our Writings, God says that "my mercy prevails
over my wrath and my anger." Number one. In another writing
also God says that if you as son or daughter of Adam come to me with
an earth full of sins, but you come to me sincere and associate none
with me, I will forgive you and it shall not mind. And Muslims see
that as good reconciliation between justice and mercy. Number one.
It is justice because God who created us created us with weakness,
with inclination to sin, and He knows that. How could He expect us
to be perfect? On the other hand, because God is merciful, He should
be willing to forgive us if we repent to Him and really change our
lives and get that new strength and new power to follow the path of
God. And thatís why the Koran says whoever believes in God and has
faith in God, God will guide his heart. So, to us, the
reconciliation is very simple through repentance and sincere change
in our attitude and behavior.
Ankerberg: All right,
let me just throw one on the table, then. Jesus said, "This is
what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be
fulfilled that is written about me in the law of Moses, the Prophets
and the Psalms. Then, he opened their minds so they could understand
the Scriptures. He told them, ĎThis is what is written, the Christ
will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and repentance
and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations
beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.í"
Thatís Luke and that is Jesus.
Morsi: It says the
Christian problem now is that you have two contradictory statements.
In one passage, it tells us that Jesus taught about salvation
through faith and following Godís commandments. The one that you
are quoting tells us that Jesus taught through the shedding of His
blood. Now, it is the function of the Christians to tell us which
one is correct.
Ankerberg: Do you
think that is a contradiction?
Morsi: Obviously, it
is a contradiction.
Ankerberg: You have
said that God perfectly protected and gave the Koran. God, you said,
was also the author of the Bible. Now, if God is the author, as you
say, of the Bible, and He could protect the Koran, why didnít He
correct and why didnít He protect the Bible itself that He gave?
Badawi: The answer is
right in the Koran. The Koran, when it says that the people of the
book were given the opportunity and the duty to preserve the Bible,
they could not fulfill it. But when it speaks about the Koran in
Sura 15 it says we reveal the Koran, and we are going to take care
of it because the other people who were given the responsibility
failed. Number one. Number two: We cannot say even that God did not
protect the Bible. As I said earlier, we Muslims believe that the
Bible contained, in part, the word of God the parts that are
consistent with the final revelation, the Koran. So ultimately, at
the end of the game really, the word of God as revealed to all
prophets has been protected through the Koran. God corrected the
previous Scripture by the Koran.
Archer: This is a very
interesting game of back and forth. We affirm that everything in the
Koran that agrees with the Bible is trustworthy.
Badawi: Only we look
at it the other way around.
Shorrosh: And the
question is how one true God gives us two holy books that contradict