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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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Rick Beckman