ISLAM REVEALED FOR WHAT IT IS!:ISLAM AND THE GOSPEL
By Dave Hunt
The Islamic Curtain separating Muslim countries from the rest of the world is every bit as impenetrable as the Iron Curtain ever was, but who hears a word of it in the media? In Saudi Arabia, for example, which Americans died to protect, there is a total blackout on anything Christian; one cannot carry a Bible on the street or have a Bible study in the privacy of one's own home. Even in our embassy, over which the American flag flies, Christian church services are banned. It is officially the death penalty in Saudi Arabia and some other Muslim countries (and enforced unofficially elsewhere) for a Muslim to convert to any other religion.
Only Muslims can be citizens of Saudi Arabia. Even in Arab countries where shari'a (Islamic law) is not enforced by the government, Islam's influence prevents freedom of speech, of the press, of religion and of conscience. In PLO territories, Christian Arabs, who once had freedom under Israel, now suffer persecution, imprisonment and death for their faith. Yet neither the UN nor our own government ever protests such oppression behind the Islamic curtain.
Muslims build mosques and worship freely in the West, but in their own countries they deny such freedoms to others. Instead of reporting this hypocrisy, the world media covers it up. One Mideast author writes, "Islam is...more antagonistic to the Christian faith than Communism ever was... In Communist China today, Christianity still thrives. But confession of Christ by a national in an Islamic country is regarded as high treason. Not even an official Church that a Communist government could allow is permitted...in an Islamic country. (G.J.O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah? Dorchester. 1994, p. 111)
Islam spread rapidly under Muhammad and his successors through jihad ("holy war"). Muhammad himself planned 65 campaigns and personally led 27 involving naked aggression and treachery. This incredible "evangelism" made "converts" by the millions at the point of a sword. At its peak, Islam had conquered all of North Africa and almost took over Europe.
Islam continues its conquest worldwide. Today's invaders are millions of immigrants who make converts to Islam through misrepresentation. One sees on TV well coifed and fashionably dressed women who claim to be converts to Islam and testify to its joys and peace-loving ways. Yet in a Muslim country they would have to be veiled with only their eyes showing, would have to wear plain black full-length robes, could not drive a car, could be one of four wives habitually mistreated by their husband, to be divorced by his mere denunciation, virtual slaves under shari'a. Oddly enough, Hillary Clinton, National Organization of Women (NOW), and other outspoken champions of women's rights are silent about Islam's notorious abuse of women.
ImageIslam's earnest goal, set forth in the Koran (references given herein are from three versions) and hadith (Islamic written tradition), remains the same: to bring all mankind into submission (that's what "Islam" means) and to kill or enslave all "infidels" (i.e., unbelievers in Allah and Muhammad his prophet - Surah 2:190-192; 4:76; 5:33; 9:5,29,41; 47:4, etc.). Islam (in obedience to the Koran and Muhammad's example) is the driving force behind most terrorism today. Muhammad declared, "The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them."
Westerners naively accept Allah, who inspired Muhammad, as the God of the Bible. Yet Allah has no son, and rejects the Trinity (4:171), is unknowable, and was the pagan idol/god of Muhammad's tribe before he was born. Allah tells Muslims, "Take not the Jews and Christians for friends...slay the idolaters [infidels] wherever ye find them."
"Fight against those who...believe not in Allah nor the Last Day" (5:51; 9:5; 29.41). But the triune God of the Bible wants men to know Him (Jer 9:24), a knowledge essential to salvation (John 17:3). Jews are His "chosen people" (Ex 6:7; Lev 20:26; 1 Chr 16:13; Ps 105:6, etc.) and Christians are His dearly loved children (Rom 8:16,21; Gal 3:26; Eph 1:5; 5:1.etc.)
Instead of conversion by force, Christ said that His disciples did not fight because His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). Indeed, He told His disciples, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you" (Matt 5:44).
Christ gave His life to save sinners, and His followers must be willing to lay down their lives to bring this good news to the world. Biblical salvation is a free gift paid for by the death of Christ, who said, "go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That command includes today's one billion Muslims. They present a tremendous (and inescapable) challenge to every Christian. How can we bring the gospel to those who may be killed for believing it, or who may kill us for offering it to them? To die fighting infidels is the only sure way for a Muslim to gain Paradise. Yet Christ also died for Muslims, and His love compels us.
Attempts to evangelize Muslims have had little success. Lately, a new and seemingly more fruitful approach is being adopted: using Muslim scriptures to present Christ. In this regard, several former Muslims have written some helpful material.
The hadith attests to the virgin birth, sinless life and miracles of Christ, who is called "the Word of Allah." Some portions of the Koran, too, speak highly of Christ: that He was born of Mary as a virgin (Surah 3:45-47; 21:91, etc.); He is the highest example (43:57); and He alone is called "Isa," which means Savior (3:45). Whereas Muhammad was unable to perform miracles (17:90-96; 29:50-52, etc.). Christ did so (2:252-253; 3:49): and unlike others such as Moses who did miracles at God's command. Jesus did miracles on His own initiative (26:63, etc.), even raising the dead (3:49; 5:110; 36:78-79. etc.). Further, the Koran declares that Muhammad was a sinner (9:43; 40:55; 47:19; 48:2; 294:1-3. etc.), but Jesus was sinless (19:17-19).
In spite of the honor and reverence accorded Jesus, however, the Jesus of Islam is not the Jesus of the Bible but "another Jesus" (2 Cor 11:4) - so be careful.
While the Koran in its early passages honors at least parts of the Bible as "the Book" and both Jews and Christians as "the people of the Book," it often contradicts the Bible: It denies that Jesus is God (3:59,62; 4:171) and that He died on the cross (4:157-58; 5:116-20) for our sins. Early tradition held that at Christ's request a look-alike disciple rescued Him from the cross by dying in His place. Other passages, however, seem to declare that Christ did indeed die (3:33,55; 5:117; 19:33), and many Islamic scholars take that view today. The Koran denies that one person could die for another (17:13-15; 35:18). Actually, it says that no "soul laden [i.e., sinner] bears the load [sin] of another." Since Jesus was without sin. He would be an exception.
For the sinner to be righteously forgiven God himself had to pay the penalty demanded by His justice; but that concept is foreign to Islam. The Koran breeds uncertainty: "Forgiveness is only incumbent on Allah toward those who do evil in ignorance [and] then turn quickly [in repentance] to Allah... Lo! Allah oneth...all save [except] that to whom he will not..." (4:17,106,110,116). Neither "ignorance" nor "quickly" are defined nor why Allah forgives some and not others. Nor does repentance guarantee forgiveness.
Ayatollah Khomeini declared, "Even if Salman Rushdie (author of The Satanic Verses) repents and becomes the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent upon every Muslim to employ everything he has, his life and his wealth, to send him to hell." In contrast, the Bible offers forgiveness to all. Christ even died to redeem those who hated Him, and asked His Father to forgive those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34).
In real life, Allah's forgiveness never comes in time to prevent a hand, foot or ear from being cut off as the penalty for stealing. Hundreds of Iraqis mutilated by this inhuman Islamic decree flee to camps bordering that country. Yet kidnapping requires no such mutilation because a person is not considered to be property. Fornication requires no such mutilation, while petty thievery does.
The Antichrist (Dajjal) is a major topic of the hadith, which warns of his coming. He is called the "false Christ" who will deceive many near the end of time. The hadith teaches that Christ will return at the end to destroy the Dajjal. Belief in "the Last Day" is an essential part of the Muslim's faith (2:62).
Of course, seeking to win Muslims by quoting the Koran and hadith could imply that these Islamic writings are inspired of God. Even M.N. Anderson, who has done such excellent work, fell into that trap in Proud to be a Muslim at p.6: "Although it was Gabriel [equated in Islam with the Spirit of Allah] that conveyed the Qur'an to him [Muhammad], he was referred to the people of the Book for assurance, when in doubt concerning the Qur'an." Unfortunately, it sounds as though the Koran was inspired of God, and that the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) will confirm its teachings from the Bible. That implication would confirm Muslims in their error.
The Koran's contradictions of the Bible are excused by claiming that the Bible was corrupted. But the Koran was sent to stand "as a guardian" over the Bible (5:48); therefore, if the Bible was corrupted, the Koran failed. The Muslim's Holy Book itself admits that much of its text is ambiguous (3:7); Muslims are even to ask "the People of the Book [Bible]" for enlightenment (21:7)!
The Koran also contradicts itself: Allah created everything "in the twinkling of an eye" (54:49,50), "in two Days" (41:9,12), "in four Days" (41:10), "in six Days" (7:54; 10:4; 32:4); "a Day," equaling "a thousand years" (32:5) and also "fifty thousand years" (70:4); Jesus is not the Son of God (4:171) yet He is (19:17-21), etc.
There are scientific errors in the Koran. Even Arabian legends are recounted as actual happenings. The Koran contains much superstition and occultism, especially its references tojinn (genies).
In quoting the Koran and hadith we must avoid the impression that we are endorsing these writings. Consider Paul's discussion with the philosophers on Mars Hill: "...as certain also of your own poets have said" (Acts 17:28). Paul was not suggesting that these writers were inspired of God - and he went beyond them to present the gospel. Likewise, we must be careful to go beyond what the Koran and hadith say about Jesus to present the true gospel; otherwise there is no basis for salvation.
For a Muslim to become a true Christian he must renounce Islam's false god, Allah, and its false gospel of salvation by works. Unfortunately, the gospel is being compromised to make it appealing to Muslims. (In the West it's being made appealing to everyone.) Many "converts" have never understood the gospel and thus have not believed that which is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom 1:16). The gospel is definitely not in the Koran. Yet Muslims are supposedly being saved by heeding it. The author of Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam (NayPress, 1997) gives the testimony of a "converted Muslim" in Pakistan (p.27): "As I was listening to the Qur'an read on the radio day after day, I heard that Christ was highly honored...and near-stationed to God. I said to myself, 'If I wanted someone to intercede for me to God, who would be better than someone like Christ...?' And so I prayed, 'Lord Isa [Jesus], please come to my help. I want to devote myself to God through you. Since you are highly honored and sitting near Him, you can do it.'" The author then comments, "After that, he felt like a changed man, much happier than before..."
This is a delusion similar to that of those who say, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?...and in thy name done many wonderful works?", to whom the Lord responds, "I never knew you: depart from me..." (Matt 7:21-23).
Asking Islam's Isa to intercede for oneself will not save. One must believe the gospel to be saved: "How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor 15:1-4); "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:15). That gospel is not in the Koran, and there is nothing in this "convert's" testimony to indicate that he knew or believed it.
The same author declares that "60 percent of Muslims who are approached with the methods explained in this book put their trust in Christ..." Yet Christ and His apostles experienced no such percentage of converts. Jesus said that few would be saved (Matt 7:13-14). The author enthusiastically refers to Muslims converted to Christ "while remaining [for years] in the fold of their Islamic community...without becoming detestable to their own communities" (p. 10). But Jesus warned His disciples, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake..." (Matt 10:22; John 15:20). All men, except Muslims?
We want to be wise, and not to needlessly offend in our presentation of the gospel (1 Cor 10:32), whether to Muslims or anyone else to whom the Lord gives us the grace to present the "unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph 3:8). But there is an unavoidable offense to Christ (Rom 9:33; 1 Pet 2:8) and to the Cross (Gal 5:11). We must be careful that we actually present the gospel, which one must believe to be saved. It will only damn souls if in our zeal to get the world to accept the gospel we preach another gospel acceptable to the world
The FALSE GOSPEL of ISLAM
By Ric Llewellyn
FOR CENTURIES, Christians have recognized Islam as a false religion. Until recently Muslims (or Mohammadans as they have been known in the past) have been the focus of evangelistic outreaches. But today many people are considering Islam from a more ecumenical point of view. It is often said that Christians, Jews, and Muslims are worshipping the same God, but in different ways. Muslims have capitalized on this misconception and now urge Christians and Jews to worship the one God with them, and work together for solutions to the world's many social problems. It is important to know some of the history and false doctrines of Islam, and to reject the new approach of this fast growing religion.
Islam began about 600 A.D. in what is modern Saudi Arabia. Muhammad, the "prophet" of Islam, received what is purported to be a revelation from God. This revelation is known as the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. From its dubious beginnings, Islam has grown to approximately a billion adherents worldwide. For centuries Islam has exerted a great deal of influence over the people of the Middle East and Africa, even dominating southern Europe for a time. Today Islam is endeavoring once again to have a significant influence upon the culture and society of the Western World.
The new image Islam is trying to present in the West is a far cry from the fanaticism and violence advocated by many Muslim leaders. Nevertheless, the devotion of Muslims in the West to Islamic principles is as uncompromising as any in the world. The presentation of Islam in Europe and North America is characterized by intellectualism rather than emotionalism. The irrational religious frenzy by which Islam has become recognized worldwide is covered by a facade of civility. Yet, Muslims around the world concur that Islamic laws and principles take precedence over the decency and morality of civilization.
No matter how intellectual, civilized, or scientific Islam is made to appear, it is still a religion which embodies "another gospel.- which is not another" (Gal. 1:6-7). The Lord declares it accursed (Gal. 1:8). Christians must be prepared to present the one true Gospel of salvation to Muslims, desiring that they be delivered from their religious bondage.
The most important thing for Christians to know when confronted with the teachings of a false religion is the Truth. It cannot be too forcefully stated that Christians must know the Scriptures. In evangelism, therefore, we must know the Evangel.
Our message to Muslims is that they, like all men, are lost. All are naturally at enmity with God (Ps.14:2-3; Jn. 3:36b; Eph. 2:1-3). There is no good in us that can merit God's favor and there is no good we can do to endear ourselves to Him (Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:12, 19-20; Titus 3:5). But, being lost and unable to effect our own salvation, God did all that is required to reconcile men to Himself. Christ bore our sin, died on the Cross shedding His Blood as a completely propitious sacrifice for sin, and He rose again bodily from the dead. Believing this testimony and wholly trusting Jesus Christ for salvation is all that is necessary to be saved (1 Cor. 15:1-41, Rom. 5: 1, 6-9; Col. 1:12-22; 2 Cor. 5:18-21).
The "gospel" of Islam is something quite different. Similar to many modern cults, Islam claims to revere the writings of all the prophets. Yet, Muslims unequivocally subjugate the Scriptures to the "prophecy" of Muhammad.
A leaflet prepared by the Institute of Islamic Information and Education titled "Introducing Islam to Non-Muslims" states, "Muhammad is the very last Prophet of God to mankind. He is the final Messenger of God. His message was and is still to the Christians, the Jews and the rest of mankind. He was sent to those religious people to inform them about the true mission of Jesus, Moses, David, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham."
The leaflet continues, "Muhammad is considered to be the summation and the culmination of all the prophets and messengers that came before him. He purified the previous messages from adulteration and completed the Message of God for all humanity. He was entrusted with the power of explaining, interpreting and living the teachings of the Qur'an."
Believers must recognize that Joseph Smith (Mormonism), Charles T. Russell (Jehovah's Witnesses), Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science), and Ellen G. White (Seventh Day Adventism) have all claimed that same transcendent authority. And along with these, Muhammad was the bearer of wicked doctrines that have plunged many into the outer darkness of eternal torment.
Among the insidious doctrines of Islam is the rejection of the doctrine of imputation. "Introducing Islam to Non-Muslims" explains, "Muslims believe that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of puberty, and it is only after they commit sins that they are to be charged for their mistakes. No one is responsible for or can take the responsibility for the sins of others."
First, this is a denial of the Biblical teaching that all mankind sinned in Adam, that is, Adam's sin has been imputed to the whole human race (Rom. 5.12-14). Second, this is a denial of the Biblical teaching that the sin of man is imputed to Christ, that is, Christ became sin for us on Calvary's Cross (2 Cor. 5:21). Third, this is a denial of the Biblical teaching that the righteousness of God is imputed to men upon believing, that is, believers possess the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21;Rom. 5:15-19).By denying these truths which are fundamental to the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone, Islam has laid the groundwork for a "gospel" of self righteousness and salvation by works.
The Bible teaches that salvation is NOT a reward. Heaven is the eternal abode of those who have received Christ the Saviour. Islam teaches that salvation is indeed a reward for a life of relative piety and righteousness. The Qur'an states, "Then those whose scales are heavy, they are successful. And those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls…" In fact, Muslims are encouraged to "vie with one another to attain to your Sustainer's forgiveness and to a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which awaits the God-conscious, who spend for charity in time of plenty and in time of hardship, and restrain their anger, and pardon their fellow men, for God loves those who do good."
From these denials of fundamental Biblical teachings and the establishment of a religion of self righteousness follows the Islamic repudiation of the Saviour. The following is so important to Islam that it was printed in very bold type in the leaflet "Prophethood in Islam"--"The Quranic account of Jesus emphatically rejects the concept of his 'Divinity' and 'Divine Sonship…" The Institute of Islamic Information and education publishes a leaflet entitled "Is Jesus Really God?" In it they totally reject the Biblical teaching that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh.
Nevertheless, the Word is plain: "God was manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim. 3:16). Jesus is the self existent I AM (Jn. 8:58). The Creator dwelled as a man among men (Jn. 1:1-3, 14). Jesus Christ is the Forgiver of sin (Lk. 5.20-21). In short, the Son and the Father are one (Jn. 10:30). The Lord Jesus Christ said to the religious of His day who rejected His deity, :... if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (Jn. 8:24).
Islam unashamedly rejects these truths which comprise the Gospel. While many people today say that Christians and Muslims worship the "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD" (2 Jn.9). An even greater condemnation is pronounced by God in verse seven. Denying the doctrine of Christ reveals Islam as a deception and an antichrist religion. The Qur'an has substituted false doctrines which present another gospel. Islam purports to be "the way of peace," but the end of Islam is the way of death. Bible-believers must not yield these eternally important points merely because Islam claims to esteem the patriarchs and the prophets. It is our responsibility to testify to the Truth, even as we cry out against the error of any false religion.
It is important for God's people to be aware of the fact that many so-called Christians are willing to compromise the Truth of God's Word in the interest of building bridges with various religions. Islam seems to be asserting itself in the area of religious dialogue, and men and women who claim to represent Christianity are quickly building the credibility of Islam as a true religion. Instead of witnessing, Christians are encouraged to discover common ground with Muslims. Rather than exposing its errors, Christians are told to search for the truth in Islam. Thus, Islam is gaining a respectability that is simply not deserved.
While "Christians" are manifesting their "open mindedness," Muslims aye spreading their false religious propaganda under the cover of dialogue. Muslims believe that all mankind must be brought into subjection to the spurious teachings of the Qur'an in order to experience peace and blessing. They will not compromise that belief. Muslims believe that the doctrine of the Incarnation of God is blasphemy. They will not compromise that belief. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the prophet who fully revealed the final truth. They will not compromise that belief. Muslims are "devoted to their ideals,... and uncompromising with falsehood" ("Moral System of Islam"). Only the glorious, liberating light of the one true Gospel will be able to break through such darkness.
Although those who practice Islam profess "to respect all those who are faithful and God conscious people," it is their contention that the one true religion is Islam. Muslims trace the "true religion" from Abraham through Ishmael, but the Bible absolutely contradicts this notion. Genesis 17:15-21 makes it clear that God rejected Ishmael, con6rming the covenant blessings--including the fulfillment of the true religion to Isaac alone. In chapter 21 Hagar and Ishmael are cast out of Abraham's house with the sanction of God, "Let it not be grievous in thy sight" (v. 12).
Galatians chapter three deals with this subject of the true religion and directly references the events of Genesis 17 and 2 1. Galatians 3:8 says, "And the scripture, farseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." The promise of salvation for Jew and Gentile was prophesied to come through the seed of Abraham. Verse 16 clearly relates the true religion, the only Gospel, to the promise made to Abraham in Genesis 17:15-21: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. [God] saith not, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." The Gospel preached to Abraham was the Gospel of Christ delivered through Isaac, not the gospel of Islam delivered through Ishmael.
Islam claims to be a religion of peace and tolerance. It is, in fact, characterized by instability and religious bigotry. It is our duty to stand for the Gospel and against all other gospels. Islam has rejected the essential teachings of the Word of God. The "prophet" Muhammad brought a message from a false spirit that totally opposes the Gospel of grace. The message of Islam is a curse, not a blessing.
Islam is being presented as a practical, modern religion though it holds its adherents in spiritual bondage. Christians must be diligent to witness to-not dialogue with Muslims. This is God's way of presenting the glorious light of the Gospel. There is only one true religion. It was prophesied in the Garden of Eden, typified in the days of Noah, confirmed to Abraham and Isaac, and realized in Jesus Christ.
Fundamental Evangelistic Association P. 0. Box 6278, Los Oscs, CA 93412