THEME: ISLAM VS CHRISTIANITY
SUBJECT: ISLAM’S PLAN OF SALVATION VS JESUS’ PLAN OF SALVATION
The theme of this series of studies is, “Islam vs Christianity”. The subject at this time is “Islam’s Plan of Salvation vs Jesus’ Plan of Salvation.” It is not the purpose of these studies to insult, belittle, embarrass, or make fun of anyone or anything, and certainly Muslims, subjects of Islamic faith. It shall be the purpose of this and any study to present factual evidence for all to honestly consider, that all may come to a just and accurate conclusion. Souls are at stake. The Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20, 21) moved Paul to encourage all to “examine” or “prove” themselves. (2 Corinthians 13:5). “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” (Galatians 6:4). 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.” The opposite is true, telling us to turn loose of that which is not good. John admonished, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1-6).
The writer has a very good Muslim friend with whom he has had many good meals and interesting conversations. It is felt that this man would do anything within his power to help this penman. He has no extremist destructive tendencies, as do some radical professors of Islam. He is a successful businessman. There are many of the Islamic faith like him. There are radicals in every religion.
Please consider a few preliminaries. Jesus was born in Bethlehem Ephrath in Judah, according to Micah’s prophecy (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-8; Luke 2:4, 15; John 7:42), beginning of AD. Muhammad was born in the Arabian Peninsula, around 570 AD, thus, he was born at the wrong place at the wrong time. Jesus died willingly on the cross on Calvary, sacrificially, for the sins of the world, around 33 AD. (Matthew 26:26-28; John 3:16; Romans 5:1ff). Muhammad died of sickness, natural causes, around 632 AD, and not to save anyone. Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day. (Matthew 28:1ff; Mark 16:1ff; Luke 24: 1ff; and John 20:1ff). Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection. (Romans 1:4). Muhammad remains in his tomb, and many of his followers visit his tomb yearly. For these reasons, and many more, the writer has concluded that Jesus is the Prophet of God to be followed, rather than Muhammad.
Are the reasoning and conclusions just set forth correct? Hear further evidence set forth by the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In the Old Testament, God said, “And called my son out of Egypt.” (Hosea 11:1). This prophecy speaks of the children of Israel returning to Canaan from bondage in Egypt (Exodus 4:22, 23; 12:31-51), and of the return of Jesus and His parents from Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-15). Isaiah 7:14 tells all of a baby boy, “Emmanuel”, to be born of a virgin. Matthew 1:21-25 describes the baby as Jesus, saying, “Emmanuel…God with us.” Isaiah 9:6 prophesied, For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” The New Testament pictures Jesus as each of these in Matthew thru John, especially, John 10:1ff; 1:1-3; Matthew 5:9; John 14:27; Acts 10:36. Deuteronomy 18:15 speaks of a prophet like Moses to be heard in all things. Acts 3:19-26 inform us that the Prophet was Jesus. Cf. also. John 1:17. Each of the Old Testament prophecies points to One who was to come, and each New Testament reference shows that One to be Jesus, not Muhammad, Baha’i, Buddha, or any other. God sent His only begotten Son, His only Son of a kind, Jesus, to save the world. (John 3:16; Luke 2:8-20).
The genealogies of the New Testament lead all to Jesus, not any other prophet. Matthew brings one from Abraham to Jesus. (Matthew 1:1-25). Luke traces Jesus back to Adam. (Luke 3:23-38). JESUS!!! Not some or any other!
Consider what God said at the baptism of Jesus when the heavens were opened, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17). Later, on the high mountain where Jesus was transfigured, God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:1-5). HIM!!! JESUS!!! Not any other.
Jesus said, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for is ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24). The Hebrew writer penned these words, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6). God will one day judge the world by Jesus. (Acts 17:30, 31; Romans 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; Acts 10:42). No other person, whatever their gender may be will God use to do this. Read Acts 4:12.
Having laid out these few things, we are now ready to compare the plans of salvation of Islamists, as revealed by their prophet Muhammad, and the plan of salvation set forth by Jesus. This study is the compilation of statements or conclusions drawn from or in the Koran (Qur’an), the sacred book of Islam. They believe it to be God’s additional and final revelation to man, revealed to man in Arabic to and through Muhammad, called the Apostle or Prophet, by the angel Gabriel. They believe that it replaces anything written prior to it, including the Bible. Islamists believe in the prophets of the Bible, including Jesus. However, they believe that Jesus was no more than a prophet, and that Muhammad was and is God’s greatest and most important prophet. Make sure that you understand that Muslims believe that Muhammad is not to be worshipped, since he is God’s prophet. However, they hold him in great reverence, coming close, if not fully, to worshipping him. They do, however, believe that every word he wrote or spoke should be followed exactly as he set it forth.
Generally, all Islamists set forth Five Pillars of Islam, namely, (1) A declaration of faith; (2) Prayer, 5 daily prayers, at specific times; (3) Compulsory giving; (4) Fasting in the month of Ramadan; and (5) a pilgrimage to Mecca for those who can afford it. The first, is called a declaration of the testimony (Shahada), which makes one a Muslim. It is the proclamation of one’s conviction that there is but one Deity to worship, God, whom they generally call Allah, and that Muhammad is God’s prophet. Thus, to become a Muslim, a member of the Islamic faith, one must testify, “La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.” Simply saying those words, if one is serious and convinced that they are true, makes one a Muslim. The other four pillars should then be done. Based upon what this writer has heard and read from those of the Islamic faith, their plan of salvation is one of “faith only”, with a confession of Allah (God) as Deity. That sounds like most denominational churches of this day, except for the inclusion of Muhammad. For example, the sinner’s prayer.
What saith the “engrafted word” of God (2 Timothy 4:2; James 1:21; Acts 8:14), the gospel or doctrine of Christ (Romans 1:16; 2 John 9-11), the perfect law of liberty? (James 1:25). The “holy scriptures” (Romans 1:2) should be searched daily to determine if things said are so. (Acts 17:10, 11). What, then, does one find in the plan of the author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:8, 9), that one must do to be saved? Jesus told His apostles, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15, 16). One might ask how one becomes a believer. Paul said, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). Those on the day of Pentecost upon being convinced that they had sinned, that is, “were pricked in their heart”, became believers, and asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:14-37). They were told, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38). The eunuch was taught by Philip, and when he saw water, said, “See here is water; what doth hinder me that I should not be baptized?” (Acts 8:26-39, especially verse 36). He was told that he first needed to confess his faith, what he had come to believe, which he did, saying, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’” (Verse 37). Immediately, the chariot was stopped, “and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water,….” (Verse 39). Someone asks, why go to the trouble of baptizing a believer who had made such a confession? Again, let the Savior (Luke 2:11) answer the question. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16:16). Jesus told Nicodemas, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (John 3:1-5, 23). The inspired apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:20, 21), speaking of Noah and his family, said, “eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us….” (1 Peter 3:20, 21). Paul was told, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16). The Galatians were told, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” The Corinthians were reminded that “by one spirit are we all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13), which is the church. (Ephesians 1:22, 23). See chart by Bob Bryson at the end.
This brief study of Jesus’ plan of salvation all centers in and around Jesus. There is not one reference to Muhammad, Baha’i, Buddha, or any other person or god. Faith is in Jesus. Repentance is toward God, and at the command of Jesus. Confession of one’s faith is in Jesus. Baptism is into and in the name of Christ. The church into which baptism puts one is the church belonging to Christ. (Ephesians 1:22, 23; Romans 16:16; Matthew 16:13-19; Acts 2, especially verses 41, 47).
A popular CSI program on TV says, “Follow the evidence.” It is certainly believed that all who follow the evidence should become believers in Jesus and follow His plan of salvation. Will you do so now?
A Note to Muslims: As you hold strong beliefs, and I respect your right to do so, so do I hold firm the beliefs set forth herein, and hope you can respect my right to do so. In the words of Isaiah, in chapter 1, verse 18, “Come now, and let us reason together.” Life is too short, and eternity is too long for either of us to die honestly thinking we are right. Let’s study to find out WHAT (not who) is right. The WHO will take care of itself when we find the WHAT.