Can Muslims be Saved?

Can Muslims be Saved?

Can Muslims be Saved?

Just here we might let you know that we find many positive qualities among those who are devoted Muslims and who follow the way of Islam. We have acquaintances to are Muslims and they indeed do have good qualities, a generous heart, and great hospitality. But our short discussion here will not involve the good characteristics that we may find, but it pertains to truth, the very truth that will set us free from sin (John 8:32-36).

This can be answered in a very brief way, without an elaborate and detailed exposition of Islam. Although the latter would be good and surely does have an important place in our study of other religions, it is sometimes good to address this sort of question in a very short way—brief and to the point.

First, we must point out that when we answer the question above, our answer would be largely true of other world religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, and others. But let’s specifically address Islam here. Can Muslims be saved?

The short answer is Yes, they can be saved. Anyone can be saved if he is willing to repent and place his faith in God through Jesus Christ, and express this repentant faith as Scripture dictates. If anyone refuses to do this, No, he cannot be saved.

The Scriptures say that the gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Thus, salvation is freely offered—but it must be received by means of faith. If one refuses to believe in Christ—as He is presented in the Scriptures—then he cannot be saved.

In another passage, we read that the gospel brings us salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-2). But what is the “gospel”? It includes this faith statement: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (v. 3). This brings us face-to-face with a truth that we cannot avoid: The Muslim refuses to believe that Jesus died for our sins. They think that this would be beneath that of a Prophet of God. Yet, the only way that one can be saved from sin is to firmly believe that Jesus died for our sins. This shows that the unbelieving Muslim cannot be saved from sin.

Can Muslims be Saved?

In the same book, Paul the apostle, says, “The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Elementary students of Islam know that the Muslim refuses to believe that Jesus died on a cross. They would say that a substitute (perhaps Judas) died on the cross but they think that it is unthinkable that Jesus, the “Prophet” of Allah, actually died a despicable and shameful death on a Roman cross. As the verse above says, this “word of the cross is foolishness” to the Muslim, and thus the unbelieving Muslim is “perishing” rather than receiving salvation.

In the earlier passage of 1 Corinthians 15:4, we read: “He [Jesus] was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Those who are active Muslims know that Islam plainly teaches that Jesus was not raised according to the Scriptures. But God says that the only way to be saved is to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead after He died on a cross for our sins. Once again, we can see that the Muslim cannot be saved from sin as long as He remains in His unbelief and opposes the truth of God.

One more Biblical passage will do. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). First, notice that one must confess with the mouth that Jesus is “Lord.” The Greek kurios means that Jesus has all authority (cf. Matthew 28:18), that He owns us, that He is over all. Further, one must believe in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. In this way, one can be saved from sin. As we have seen, the Muslim adamantly denies this.

Can Muslims be Saved?

Further, one must confess with the mouth that Jesus is the Lord and was resurrected from the dead. To the Muslim, Jesus is a Prophet and Teacher, but surely not divine Lord. To them, this is blasphemy! We might also notice that in this same context, Paul quotes an Old Covenant passage (“Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved,” Romans 10:13) that originally applied to Yahweh God of the Hebrew Scriptures. Here, Jesus is the Lord—which the Muslim denies. Further, once again we see that one must believe with the heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. Again, we notice that Islam strongly denies that Jesus was resurrected from the grave after suffering death on a cross. Thus, the Muslim cannot be saved from sin, death, and hell.

We know that some might say that this Biblical stance is bigoted, that is refuses to accept all religions as equally valid, and that God surely would not condemn very religious people to an eternal hell. Yes, this is what a growing number of people would say. However, as always, we must be more concerned about what God says and not what man says. And, as we have already noticed, God has spoken “loud and clear” about this matter. Only those who believe in their heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world, and only those who are willing to turn away from all unbelief and sin to the Savior, and only those who truly place their faith in the crucified, sacrificial, Savior from sin and believe that God raised Jesus from death three days later can be saved. As we know, the Muslim adamantly refuses to believe the truth of Scripture about God and the Lord Jesus. Therefore, the Muslim cannot be saved, forgiven, born again, or reconciled to God—unless he is willing to repent and come to God on His terms.

We are living in a pluralistic age, with many different religions claiming superiority. The secular and pluralistic present age would say that we should just accept everyone and that God (if there is a God) will accept everyone who sincerely holds to a certain religion, whether or not it is true. In fact, some would go so far as to say that everyone is fine, that there is no wrong, and that as long as we sincerely hold to some belief, we all are safe and fine with God. Virtually everyone will be received by God in heaven.

Yet, as we have noticed, the Bible teaches something dramatically different. Only those who accept the truth and live by it will be saved. All others will be lost. And this would include those who continue in the false religion of Islam.

–Richard Hollerman



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