Is Christian Salvation the same as Islamic Salvation?
In our article Do Christians Believe in the Qur'an we established the fact that Christians believe in the Bible and only the Bible as the Holy Word of God. Still, there are people who point to these two monotheistic religions and claim they are the same. This week, let us examine the greatest difference between them both – the way of salvation.
For a Christian, the facts are these: We, as human beings, are imperfect. God is totally perfect. There is a separation between us and God because of our imperfection. In order for us to approach a completely Holy God, all of that imperfection, also known as 'sin,' needs to be removed. According to the Bible, the wages of sin is death. Because we are sinful, we not only die physically but spiritually as well. We are spiritually separated from God. Also according to the Bible, the only thing which atones for sin is death. Leviticus 17:11 says, "...for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." But this blood could never be our own. If we bled and died for ourselves, the only thing we would accomplish is the extermination of the human race. Our own death would never be good enough and would simply plunge us into an eternity without God.
If there is any hope of being made clean before God, who is the only one who can accomplish this work? We have already established we cannot. We all know, no matter how hard we try, we cannot possibly make ourselves perfect. So who could possibly do such a miraculous thing? For Christians, the only one who could take our punishment, the only one who could possibly make us clean, the only one who could make us into sons and daughters of God, is God Himself.
'Impossible!' you say. Ah, but my friend, for God, is anything impossible? The Bible states that God spoke His Word into existence and his Word came and dwelt among men. This Word, His Son, the physical manifestation of Himself, Jesus Christ, lived a perfect life, doing what we could never do, and died a sinner's death, taking the punishment we could never take. As God, He took the punishment once and for all, for everyone. As God He rose again three days later completely conquering sin and death. It is belief in His work on the cross that grants us salvation because it is through His blood that we receive atonement, or forgiveness, for our sin. "...the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanesth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:7-9. "For God so loved he world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16.
I am sure that every Muslim reading this will start to object. Objections about Jesus' death, objections about God's plan for salvation, objections about what we believe and how very different it is from what they hold to be true. Because it is different! Vastly so. And this is why we cannot possibly be one and the same. No matter what you say and regardless of whether you believe it, Christians will hold to the fact that salvation comes through belief in the work of God through Jesus Christ on the cross alone. There is no other method, way, or path. The Gospel is simple and straightforward. If you would be saved, it is through Jesus Christ. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" Romans 10:9.
I hope by now those of you that believe "we are all one" are seriously rethinking that statement. Do we share some historical figures? Yes. Is there some overlap in where events took place? A little. But the difference, my friends, is far more vast than what little we share in common. The very core of our belief systems are so opposed to one another that we could not possibly, in all good conscience, say they are one and the same.