A Few Simple Questions for Muslim Visitors
1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The Jesus of the Qur’an, or the Jesus of the Bible — which is correct? The Islamic Jesus (Isa) is viewed as nothing more than an “apostle of Allah”, a mere man whose virgin birth, life and death had no real significance other than to simply be a slave and messenger for the god of Islam. The Messianic-Christian Jesus (Yeshua), a Jew from Nazareth, is viewed as the fulfillment of ancient Jewish Messianic prophecies, as the eternal Word of God manifested in the flesh who came into the world as the Lamb of God to be the final sacrifice for sin, the only way of salvation and fulfillment of the Law. We don’t need to perform detailed comparisons before we begin to realize that the Jesus of the Qur’an is not the same Jesus of the Bible. Although two opposing views can both be wrong, two opposing views cannot both be right.
False Prophets, False Teachings, False Signs and False Miracles Foretold
As a Christian, I have been forewarned by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:4 against accepting the teachings of those who “preach another Jesus” or “another gospel” than that which we have already been given by the Apostles of Biblical Scripture. Whether it be the Jesus and teachings of Mormonism, or the Jesus and teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Jesus and teachings of Islam, they all fall well short of the Jesus and teachings of the historic Christian faith that was delivered to the saints. In fact, if anyone “or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:8). Yet according to Islam, the angel “Gabriel” gave another gospel to Mohammed which, instead of rejecting, he decided to accept.
Jesus forewarned His believers that “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” who would even “perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible” (see Matthew 24:11,24). The Apostle Paul calls them “counterfeit miracles” or “lying wonders” in his epistle to the believers in Thessalonica (2 Thess 2:9) whereby many would be deceived. Not just a few, but a large number of people would be lead down a road of serious theological error by the false teachings, false signs and false miracles of false prophets. Have you wondered why Islam teaches that the Qur’an itself is a “living miracle”? Or why it is taught that Mohammed’s war victories and his ascent into Heaven during the “Night Journey” were “great signs”? Questioning these “great signs and miracles” and viewing them through the lens of critical thinking is paramount to questioning the “Word of Allah” to the Islamic mindset, and the history of Islam has been one of “anti-intellectualism” where Muslims are discouraged from asking difficult questions about Mohammed or about the Qur’an and its teachings. Why?
The teachings and commands in the Qur’an and the Hadith are diametrically opposed to the teachings and commands of the Biblical Jesus. In Matthew 5:44-45b Jesus says, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven …”. Does the Jesus of the Qur’an also teach this? Does even Mohammed — the prophet of Islam — teach anywhere in the Qur’an or Hadith to love and pray for one’s enemies? To the contrary, the Qur’an teaches that Muslims must war against non-Muslims. That Muslims are not even permitted to befriend Jews and Christians. The Hadith teaches that Jews and Christians can and will be forced to submit to Islam, or one day experience mass slaughter for the glory of Allah if they refuse. It is no coincidence therefore that Jesus also forewarned us that “the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God” (John 16:2b). Christians are being persecuted and killed by Muslims in increasing measure today in the name of Allah, yet even despite this many Christians still choose to respond to their Muslim aggressors with forgiveness time and again.
The Bible and the Qur’an — Which is More Reliable?
Archaeological discoveries have repeatedly confirmed what Christians have already believed, that Biblical manuscripts and fragments dated even hundreds of years before Mohammed are virtually identical to the canonized Biblical texts we have today. The same cannot be said for the Qur’an, however, where even Muslim archaeologists acknowledge that many aberrations exist in old Qur’anic texts, a forthright admission that runs counter to the Islamic claim that the Qur’an is unchanged and eternal. Contrary to the claims of Muslim apologists, not only does the Qur’an distort and incorrectly define some very basic Christian doctrines, it is also at odds with factual and observable science by presenting a flat earth model for the earth and universe, for instance. Moreover, when Muhammad recited the Qur’an, he clearly stated that he did not believe that the Bible was corrupt at that time and called upon Christians to adhere to the Scriptures that they already possessed. But this begs the question: Since the Scriptures we have today are the same Scriptures that Christians had even well before the time of Mohammed, when do you believe the Bible could have possibly been corrupted, who corrupted it, and how was it corrupted?
The Son of God – What Does It Mean?
The Qur’an teaches that, according to Christianity, God acquired a son through procreation with Mary. In the eyes of Muslims, the term “son of God” is believed to be, and is therefore understood, in a literal sense. But this misrepresentation is so far from the basic tenets of Christianity that any serious student of the Qur’an should begin questioning the veracity of some of the teachings of Islam on this error alone. The term “son of God” in the Bible is an anthropomorphism and is intended to be understood in a figurative sense, not in a wooden literal sense. It is a metaphor to describe a relational identity. In John 3:16, Jesus is called the only “begotten” son of God (the Greek word monogenēs) which means “unique” or “one of a kind” or “one and only”. As Christians, we are all called God’s children (Matthew 5:9; Romans 8:16; Galatians 3:6; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5, etc.). But this term is an analogy to describe our relationship to our Heavenly Father. We are not literal “sons” and “daughters”. Even the angels are called “sons of God” in the Bible (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). Adam is also called the son of God as well (Luke 3:38). But Jesus is called the only “unique” son of God in Scripture for a very good reason. In the Old Testament, before Jesus came as a child into this world, He appeared before His people as the “Angel of the Lord”. He revealed Himself in the burning bush that spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. He appeared before Joshua as the Commander of the Hosts of Heaven. And in the New Testament He is the eternal “Word of God”, called the “unique son of God”, because He is God in the flesh and there is no one else like Him.
John 1:1,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten [monogenēs] of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Trinity – Monotheism or Polytheism?
Because of Mohammed’s misunderstanding of what Christians believed and practiced, Islam teaches that the Christian belief of the Trinity is a polytheistic teaching of “three gods”, characterized as the “Father”, and the “Son” and the “Virgin Mary”. Not only does the “Virgin Mary” have nothing to do with the Trinity (it is the Holy Spirit, not Mary), we believe in One God only and One God that is Triune. Not three gods. To use an analogy to illustrate this, consider fire. When we observe the fire of a candle, for example, we observe three distinct things: light, heat, and a flame. Yet, the light is fire. The heat is fire. The flame is fire. Although these three are fire, are there three fires, or only one? Likewise, the Father is called God in Scripture (Phil 2:1), and so is the Son (John 1:1,14; Col 2:9), and so is the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). Even though there is a clear distinction, there is only One God. As Deuteronomy 6:4 declares, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” Literally translated, “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh and our Elohim are a united one.” The Old Testament demonstrates a plurality in the Godhead that is a united One, and this distinction is reaffirmed in the New Testament: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).
One Messiah — One Truth — One Way of Salvation
There is only one true Jesus, and we believe that it is the One that the “People of the Book” believed in many centuries before Mohammed, and still believe in to this very day. He is our Messiah. He is our Deliverer. He is our Salvation. And He can be yours, too. Any teachings that claim to be the “truth” or another “revelation” or a new “gospel” that denies or opposes the Scriptures that ‘the people of the Book’ had already been given — the true Word of God whom the Lord has protected from corruption (Isaiah 59:21) throughout the ages — is to be rejected. Islam teaches another “Jesus”. Islam teaches another “revelation”. Islam teaches another “gospel”. Islam is to therefore be rejected.
This is by no means an exhaustive comparison between Islam and Christianity, but please think about this very carefully. In light of the fact that even Mohammed himself did not know for certain what would happen to him in the afterlife, why should I — or any other Christian who knows beyond a doubt that they are guaranteed eternal life through faith in the Jesus of the Bible — give up the Christian faith of Jesus for the Islamic faith of Mohammed which we know will guarantee us nothing? You, too, can have the same guarantee that we as Christians share. All you have to do is believe in and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Would you be willing to pray with an open heart and ask God to guide you to His truth, even if that truth is found in the Jesus of the Bible, and not in Islam?
Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Matthew 1:21, “She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name YESHUA, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”
Isaiah 12:2-4, “Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD, the LORD, is my strength and song; and he has become my YESHU’AH. Therefore with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of YESHU’AH. In that day you will say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD! Call on HIS NAME. Declare his doings among the peoples. Proclaim that HIS NAME is exalted!’”
John 4:14, “… whoever drinks of the water that I [YESHUA] shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Isaiah 62:11, “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy YESHU’AH cometh; behold, HIS reward [is] with HIM, and his work before him.”
Revelation 22:12, “And behold, I [YESHUA] am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”
John 14:6, “YESHUA said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.’”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
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