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and His irreconcilability to evil.The Conditions Required
The Bible shows that readjustment of the broken relationship was impossible to man. No act on his part could atone for his guilt. Firstly, repentance could not effect it for the sinful nature reverts time and time again to the first state of lawlessness. Secondly, therefore, it was impossible for an improved life to effect it or cancel previous guilt. Thirdly, sin now affected the whole human race so no fellow man could accomplish it for another mere mortal could never live a completely sinless life. All men share in the guilt for: "All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). This is clear - ALL have sinned! Such views are rejected in Islam which denies the doctrine of the atonement and minimizes the heinousness of sin. Yet the Bible makes it clear that, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God as stated in Romans.Salvation
For the Muslim the route to one*s eternal destiny has been described in various ways, such as:
"When the trial is over those destined to Hell or Paradise will be made to pass over a narrow bridge to their respective destinations. The bridge is so fashioned that the favored will cross with ease and facility while the condemned will tumble off into Hell."
The Muslim concept of paradise for those whose deeds are looked on favourably by Allah has been described as:
"Some will be admitted to paradise, where they will recline on soft couches quaffing cups of wine handed to them by the Huris, or maidens of paradise, of whom each man may marry as many as he pleases. Others will be consigned to the torments of hell. Almost all, it would seem, will have to enter the fire temporarily, but no true Muslim will remain there for ever."
No wonder many chose to die as martyrs in a holy war rather than risk the unpredictability of Allah's fickle judgement, for jihad 'guarantees' immediate access into paradise. This doctrine is a clear source of bloodshed and horror for every area of the world that Muslims can reach!
Salvation in Islam is based on a works righteousness. Each Muslim is viewed as having his deeds weighed on a giant scale and, if the good deeds outweigh the bad, he is allowed to enter paradise.The Person Required
In Islam, it is believed that God judges people by their deeds or works, not by rites or ceremonies such as baptism. Islam further denies that a human can attain religious felicity on the basis of faith alone. Because salvation in Islam is always a goal in this life, not an attainment, religious justification is the Muslims* eternal hope but never a certainty, for even a fleeting moment.
That is apart from the one tragic rider to this belief - the false doctrine of jihad!
The Bible reveals that, because mankind is sinful, the only hope is to trust in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Any good works done by an individual are to no avail if the purpose is to obtain salvation on the basis of merit. The Old Testament Law system was based on works, but merely pointed us towards the need for a Redeemer and was never intended to save anyone (Galatians 3:21-25):
21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
The Book of Romans (and Galatians and others) make it clear that no one will be saved by the works of the Law. Salvation is possible only through the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:19-26):
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Before trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation, mankind is viewed as dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3):
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
To those hoping to be saved by good works, Ephesians 2:8,9 declares:
"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
Good works are important - not as a means of salvation but as an evidence of it. Ephesians 2:10 therefore states:
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Good works are meaningless to God until a person acknowledges his sinful condition and trusts Christ as Saviour.
Islam rejects the Biblical teaching on sin and salvation and does not identify with the Christian conviction that man needs to be redeemed. The Christian belief in the redemptive sacrificial death of Christ does not fit the Islamic view that man has always been fundamentally good, and that God loves and forgives those who obey His will.
In spite of such statements about man being fundamentally good, Muslims clearly see a need for special consideration by Allah. This is evident from their teaching concerning Jihad, or holy war. According to the Quran, those who die during a holy war are considered martyrs and earn immediate entrance into paradise (Sura 3:156-158, Pickthal translation):
3.156 'O ye who believe! Be not as those who disbelieved and said of their brethren who went abroad in the land or were fighting in the field: If they had been (here) with us they would not have died or been killed: that Allah may make it anguish in their hearts. Allah giveth life and causeth death; and Allah is Seer of what ye do. 3.157 And what though ye be slain in Allah's way or die therein? Surely pardon from Allah and mercy are better than all that they amass. 3.158 What though ye be slain or die, when unto Allah ye are gathered?
Because Jihad is an innate aspect of Islam, the ambition to conquer the world and subjugate the 'infidels' has never been abandoned by traditional fundamentalist Muslims as proven by the terrorism, high-jackings, random bombings, suicide bombings, kidnappings, and guerilla attacks. The occasional direct military confrontations in which Muslim countries have indulged have always led to defeat when conducted against so-called Christian forces, or Jewish forces, both of whom would insist that they worshipped a different God (if the majority of these armies professed any belief at all!). This alone ought to tell the Muslim world something about Allah and their theology - as the historical record shows (ref. page).
Islam is more than a religion - it is a monotheistic philosophy of religion, politics and daily life. The Islamic state is not actually a state but a world order with a government, a court, a constitution and an army and to enter this Islamic state is supposedly to make a decision for peace with one*s fellow humans in the community of Islam. The whole thinking world would question this last statement seriously after seeing the terrorizing and brutalizing of Kuwait by their 'Muslim brothers' from Iraq as well as the massacre of fellow Muslims brothers in Iraq. This followed on the heels of the Iran-Iraq eight-year war that pitted Muslim against Muslim and cost more than a million lives. We witnessed Muslim mothers in Cardiff streets appealing for money to support this war while families sent their sons of military age to Britain to hide from conscription until 'peace' returned. Sometimes little peace is found in Islam, even though its followers emphasize that the name (partially?) means "peace' - and yet Islam quickly turns on the West when they step in to rescue one Islamic faction from another. Is there anyone who seriously believes that the USA doesn't want to turn Iraq over to Muslims as quickly as possible (bearing in mind the ignorance of Tony Blair and George Bush who don't seem to heard that there has never been one Islamic democracy in the history of the world, for the very concept is a contradiction of the 'meaning' of Islam!)?
Jihad, with its concept of immediate entrance into paradise for martyrs in a holy war, reveals a religious system based on human merit - and that of the most horrendous and costly kind. It is a clear fact that all systems of human merit fail. Some people may merit more than others, but none can merit right standing before a holy God. This is why Titus 3:5 states:
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us."
But we here have clues to the nature of the God of the Bible who only once instructed a human to sacrifice his son to him (Genesis 22):
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you."
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son."
Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!"
So he said, "Here I am."
12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided."
15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son - 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
God tested Abraham in the command to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. That this sacrifice never occurred, but was a type (foreshadowing) of God's Master Plan to save mankind, indicates the difference between Allah and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God in His omniscience had always known the heart of Abraham, but here He gave Abraham an opportunity to demonstrate his faith. Abraham himself had his faith exercised (James 2:21-23) and developed while learning a new lesson - that God would provide (v8, 13). Notice that Abraham told his men to wait (v5) and stated clearly: 'we will come back to you.' He had enough faith in God to believe that He would somehow bring them both back safe and, advancing up the slope, very possibly where Solomon's temple later stood, felt something of the agony of the Heavenly Father sacrificing His only Son, Jesus. At the summit of Moriah, the type changes, and Isaac is a type of all lost and condemned men, for whom a substitute ram, typical of Christ, was sacrificed.
We need, therefore, to inquire who could accomplish what was necessary in order that God might pardon the sinner and clear the guilty?
Firstly, one was required who could entirely apprehend the attributes, the character, and the claims of God.
Secondly, this person must put himself into relationship with the sinner, come under the claims of divine righteousness, and stand its test without failure. To this end, being himself in complete acquaintance with the holy nature and righteous demands of God, he must become identified with human constitution and nature.
Thirdly, such a person must be free from guilt himself, and he must be tested and proved to be free from all taint of sin.
Fourthly, he must himself endure the penalty of sin, bear the curse of the broken Law. If he had any taint in himself he would suffer judgment on his own account and no advantage could accrue to the sinner. But, though sinless himself, it would be necessary for God to deal with him as He would deal with sin.
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