***DISCLAIMER*** If you know a Muslim, please don't think you are going to win them to Christ by beating them over the head with your Bible or winning a debate. Even though having a grasp on your theology is important, the most important thing to do is to show them the love of Christ. Showing that you care about them will get your foot in the door to share your faith. Good luck!
Over the last week of May, I am taking a workshop entitled “Jesus and Islam.” One of the main reasons I was interested in the class was to be able to engage Muslims in Christian apologetics surrounding the work and person of Jesus Christ. The Muslim religion is the fastest growing in the world, so knowing what they think about Jesus and being able to refute it biblically and intelligently is no doubt important for all Christians to know.
As I research the nation of Islam, Muslims, and other world religions, I have noticed two main differences in theology between them and Christianity. First and foremost is that Christians worship a living, risen Savior. Jesus Christ died and was resurrected. He is alive today. We don’t have shrines or images of Christ that we worship because we know he is alive at the right hand of the Father in heaven, not a spirit that is trapped in a little wooden idol.
With Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and all other world religions, their founder/savior is dead. In fact, you can even go to their tombs and see where they were buried. They have idols or other beings that represent their god, because their real god is buried in the ground.
(The Green Dome rises high above the tomb of the Prophet Muhammed)
(Makutabandhana, The cremation site of Buddha's Body)
A second major difference is that Christianity does not focus on the “do” of salvation, but the “done.” Let me explain. Other world religions have a long list of requirements that their followers have to accomplish before they die in hopes of getting into heaven. Some sects believe that a person could die three or four times, reincarnate as another animal or person, before they finally do enough good to get into heaven. It’s all about what man has to “do” in order to be seen as good enough in the eyes of God.
Christianity is quite different. Instead of focusing on what we need to “do” to get to heaven, our faith stands firm on what Christ has already “done” for us. Christ died on the cross as a sacrifice for us. When God looks at man, He sees sin, rebellion, and ultimate damnation as a result of separation from Him. However, when a person accepts the gift and sacrifice of Jesus and what he did for them on the cross, God looks at believers in a totally different way. When he sees us, he doesn’t see sin and shame and death, but sees his Son and the sacrifice he made to pay for our sins. His wrath was taken out on Jesus on the cross so that we could spend eternity with Him in heaven. It’s not about what we do, but what Christ has already done for us.
When you have Christ, your salvation is secure and we have confidence that death is not the end for us or merely a new beginning here on earth, but results in an eternity of celebration and worship of the one true God.
If you are interested in learning more about Islam and their view on Jesus Christ, I recommend the following texts:
("More Than a Prophet" by Caner and Caner)
("Jesus and the Muslim" by Cragg)