|By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John G. Weldon; ©2001|
|This month Drs. Ankerberg and Weldon point out three additional ways in which the Islamic concept of salvation is very different from the biblical concept.|
As we have indicated, the God of Islam, Allah, is not a God of love. In Islam, Allah’s “love” is not based on unconditional commitment and self-sacrifice, as is biblical love (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13). Rather, what passes for love is based on conditional performance and arbitrary decree. In Islamic theology, much as in Buddhist philosophy, the concept of love is primarily that of “mercy.” It is far more impersonal than personal.
Dr. J. Christy Wilson observes that the concept of God’s love is foreign to the Muslim because of the extreme emphasis placed upon Allah’s sovereign power and utter transcendence:
John Elder, cited above, comments, “In addition to the idea that God does not need men and therefore cannot love, the Muslim commonly cites two main problems in believing that God is love: the existence of sin and pain, and man’s insignificance in the vastness of the universe.”
But again, the Bible teaches the Islamic view of God is wrong when it declares that “God is love” (1 John 4:16).
We have discussed the fact that the Muslim concept of forgiveness is conditioned upon good works. On the one hand, we find in the Koran the “promise” of heaven for those who do good. But on the other hand, the promise is conditional: One must possess the true religion of Islam, obey its precepts, and also find favor with Allah. But at this point Islam becomes fatalistic.
The largest indeterminacy in the Muslim concept of salvation is Allah’s predestination. The Koran teaches, “All things have we created after a fixed decree....” Further “God leads astray whomsoever He will; and He guides whomsoever He will....” Abdiyah Akbar AbdulHaqq observes:
Dr. Wilson comments; “The fifth article of [Muslim] faith is predestination... the fact that everything that happens, either good or bad, is foreordained by the unchangeable decrees of Allah. It will be seen at once that this makes Allah the author of evil, a doctrine that mostMuslim theologians hold.”
At first glance there does appear to be one way a Muslim can guarantee his salvation. This is found in connection with the Muslim concept of jihad or holy war. Achieving security of salvation requires death in battle: “If you are slain or die in God’s way... it is unto God you shall be mustered....”
Consider the following statement endorsing jihad (It could apply to the killing of Christian missionaries attempting to convert Muslims to faith in Christ.):
Finally, the Koran teaches:
In the above material, it first seems that the Muslim is promised heaven for death in battle. But we discover that even this security of salvation is conditioned on something else—in this case, bravery:
So even in the “guarantee” of heaven through death in a holy war, the Muslim promise of salvation appears to remain conditional. And no one can deny that millions of Muslims, trusting in Islam to save them and take them to heaven, have instead been sent to their deaths. Lamentably, they have been sent to eternity without Christ.
Some have claimed that Christians can remain Christians and still inherit salvation, according to Islam. They also claim that the God of Islam and the God of the Bible are the same God. But to the contrary, the Koran teaches that only if Christians convert to the Muslim faith and remain good Muslims will they have the opportunity for salvation. Because Christians reject the Koran, they are classified as “unbelievers” and their destiny is therefore eternal hell. For example:
In the above citation, we see that 1) Christians who believe that Jesus is the divine Messiah are classified as unbelievers; 2) those who believe in the trinity (that “God is the Third of Three”) are unbelievers, and 3) Christians who believe that Christ is God (those who “associate” God with Jesus) will be consigned to hell. Therefore if Christians do not repent of their evils they are subject to the strictest judgment:
If Christians do not repent, not only may they be killed in this life, but they will go to hell in the next life: