60 Questions from a Muslim to Christians … Answered! (Part 2: Salvation)

Mr. Hussein Khalid Al-Hussein has written an interesting list of 60 Questions for Christians, which I will endeavor to answer here. If you have an apologetics blog or have an interest in defending the faith, answer these questions for yourself as well, and share the answers with your brethren. The more defense of the truth that we have, the better off the church will be.

The questions are divided up into different groups based upon topic, and the second group is about salvation. I’ll only be answering one section at a time in order to keep the content focused and the length of the posts at a manageable (and readable) length.

Christians say that “GOD LOST His only son to save us”. To whom did God lose Jesus if he owns the whole universe?

I’ve never heard that before; God forsook His Son, but Jesus did not cease being God’s Son. And though “The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them,” God is not the Father of the lost, nor does the fact God “owns” everything necessitate that He be the Father of all.

15. If it was agreeable with God’s Majesty to have sons, He could have created a millions sons the like of Jesus. So what is the big clear deal about this only son?

Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. God has many sons (including Adam, the angels, and born again Christians), but only Christ is unique among all others. Every other son of God was made created as one (Adam and the angels obviously; Christians are born again–or spiritually recreated–as sons), but Christ is the only “begotten” son of God. Christ eternally proceeds from the Father as His eternal Son.

God, however, does hope to create millions of sons like Jesus Christ. Each and every time a person is born again by believing in Christ, they become predestined to conform to the image of Christ.

16. Why does the Bible say that Jesus wanted to die on the cross, when the one on the cross was shouting “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” according to Matthew 27:45 and Mark 15:33?

Christ bore an infinite amount of torment before and during His crucifixion. In Gethsamene before being arrested, He sweat blood in anxiety of what was to come. He prayed that if it were at all possible, that the cup of judgment which He was to drink would pass from Him.

Also, the cry on the cross fulfilled the prophecy of Psalms 22:1. If someone claimed to be the savior but did not cry out as he was forsaken by God, then that someone is a liar.

17. If God had wanted to save us, cuoldn’t He have done that without sacrificing Jesus?

Obviously, no. The forgiveness of sins requires the shedding of blood, and the only person with blood pure enough to forgive the sins of every man, woman, and child of all time is Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh.

It is worth noting that every other religion claims that man’s sins are not forgiven or that that penance or good works must be done. Jesus Christ is the only God which provides forgiveness hear and now based solely on who He is. Jesus Christ is the only God capable of providing universal forgiveness, for the way is as simple as belief.

18. God is Just, and justice requires that nobody should be punished for the sins of others, nor should some people be saved by punishing other people. Doesn’t the claim that God sacrificed Jesus to save us because He was Just, contradict the definition of justice?

God is both just and merciful. In His mercy He provided a sacrifice which could satisfy divine justice. Yes, it is paradoxical. Yes, it is contrary to what is expected. But it is true.

Imagine being in court because of some fine you’ve incurred, say for a few hundred dollars. Justice demands that the fine be paid. However, if the judge reaches into his own pocket and pays the fine for you, you have been shown mercy yet justice has been served.

Jesus chose to pay our penalty for us that His justice would be satisfied. And He offers that to us freely.

19. People sacrifice things they have to get something they don’t have when they can’t have both. Christians say that “God SACRIFICED His only son to save us”. We know that God is Almighty; to whom did He sacrifice Jesus?

To sacrifice an animal (i.e,. in the offerings to God in the Old Testament) was to slaughter or kill the animal. A slaughter aptly describes what was done to Jesus. He was killed for us. He died for us. The Bible answers the “for who” for us in Ephesians 5:2. The Son was sacrificed to the Father for mankind.

20. A real sacrifice is when you can’t get back what you have offered, so what would be the big deal about such a sacrifice if God could recover the same offering? (according to the Christians’ terminology)?

A sacrifice isn’t necessarily something which you never get back. Jesus died; that was the sacrifice. His blood shed in that death provided cleansing and forgiveness of sins. Christ does not stay perpetually dead to provide that; He has been resurrected and resides in glory to this day.

21. If all the Christians are saved through Jesus and are going to Heaven no matter what they do, then the teachings of Jesus are irrelevant and the definition of good and bad are also rendered irrelevant. If this is not so, then do Christians who believe in Jesus yet do not follow his teachings nor repent go to Hell?

No, Jesus’ teachings are not irrelevant. Salvation is one thing. Living a life which is honorable to God is another thing completely. The instructions given by Jesus and through the apostles are for our benefit as children of God. Does a disobedient child cease being a father’s son? Of course not! But a father gives instructions, right? Of course! The instructions of Jesus and the apostles are given that we may live in a manner which not only pleases our Father but which will be “good” for us as well. Obedience as a son here on Earth will bring reward in Heaven.

22. How can Christians take deeds as irrelevant after becoming one when Jesus says in Matthew 12:36; “But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by the words thou shalt be justified, and by the words thou shalt be condemned”?

Jesus settles this issue for Christians when He says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

God will allow us entrance into Heaven or cast us down into Hell based solely upon what we do with Jesus Christ. Either we believe on Him or we do not, there is no other way.

On that day of judgment, a Christian’s words will be able to be similar to, “I plead the blood of Jesus, which has cleansed me of sin, Lord!” The unbeliever will be able to make no such plea, and thus even his words will condemn him.

23. Christians say that people go to Heaven ONLY THROUGH JESUS, yet Paul says in 1 CORINTHIANS 7:8-16 that the unbelieving husband is acceptable to God because he is united with his wife and vice versa, and their pagan children are acceptable to God. So people can go to heaven without believing in Jesus according to this.

No they can’t. Let’s look at what the verses in question actually say: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. … For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” (1 Corinthians 7:14,16).

In verse 14 we see the words “sanctified” and “holy.” Neither of these necessitate salvation, but are rather terms which mean “separate from sin.” If there is a true believer in Christ in the family, there will be less sin! That person will be able to shield the children from sin and keep them holy, as well as their spouse.

For this to be salvation, the believing partner would have to be able to impart much more than sanctification, such as justification, forgiveness, and the adoption of sons to name three. Who can save but God alone!

But then we see in verse 14 that the word “save” is used. The word is used similarly in Jude 23 which says, “And others save with fear…” Paul and Jude are not teaching that a mere man can save–they know better! Rather, men can impart the means of salvation–the sharing of the word of God and the expounding of the gospel message. A believing spouse should stay with an unbelieving because by their testimony, that unbeliever may come to a point of belief. And if that should happen, it would be worse all the “bad marriages” the world has ever known to see that one soul pulled from the fires of Hell and the condemnation of their sins.

24. How come the Bible says that ALL Israel is saved although they don’t believe in Jesus? Doesn’t that contradict the claim in the Bible that the only way to heaven is through Jesus?

Israel is nationally saved, as Paul attests to in Romans 11. God’s covenant with them ensures this. Israel is the one nation guaranteed entrance and blessing during the Millennial Reign of Christ.

However, Israelites personally are just as responsible for what they do with Christ and the gospel message as any Gentile. Romans 10:1 contains Paul’s pleading prayer that Israel would be saved, though he knew well that only a remnant would be (Romans 9:27).

25. According to Christians, those who have not been baptized will go to Hell. So even the infants and babies go to Hell if not baptized, since they are born with an inherited original sin. Doesn’t this contradict the definition of justice? Why would God punish people for sins they never committed?

He doesn’t. The unborn, infants, young children, and others who cannot understand their responsibilities toward sin and the gospel are not going to be held accountable for it. Second Samuel 12:23 affirms that, for David’s newborn child went to a place where David could confidently believe he was going as well. As a man after God’s own heart who knew the meaning of salvation by faith (even while living under the Law; Psalms 51), he had confidence he had a home in Heaven.

Inherited sin is not what condemns us to Hell; we live eternally or die eternally based solely upon our acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ. The unborn, infants, young children, and mentally handicapped do not have the mental abilities to make that decision. And so, like David’s own child, they go to Heaven, innocent, as Adam originally was.

Thus concludes part 2. Feel free to add your own answers in a comment if I’ve left out a good response.

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