I will begin with the disclaimer that I am not an expert on the religion of Islam. However, all who are to any degree knowledgeable on the world’s religions will have an understanding of some of the basics of this great religious system. We can likely agree that Muslims reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and deny His eternal deity, His equality with God. Islam teaches that “Allah is one”, believing that tenet excludes the possibility of a God revealed in trinity, or as three in one. It also seems evident that Islam’s deity is not known for the attributes of grace and mercy, but for his exacting justice, particularly in judging infidels and rewarding his servants.
But how might a person who is irreligious determine which religion or “faith” is true? A gospel preacher might inform such a seeker that the Christian gospel of the grace of God must be accepted by faith, and there is no more truthful a statement than that. However, would not an Islamic mullah also instruct the seeker in the need to believe the teachings of the Koran? For it is accepted in Islam as Allah’s words to his prophet Muhammed through the angel Gabriel. In either case, the seeker would be asked to place his trust in persons and principles that he can neither see nor hear nor touch with his natural faculties. So how can the truth be known positively, and not remain simply a matter of religious preference, heritage, or cultural inertia?
If you are a Christian who is trying to follow my line of reasoning, I assure you that there can be no real comparison made between the Biblical gospel of peace and the teachings of the Koran, regardless of how some defend Islam as a “religion of peace”. To emulate Muhammed is to be the very contradiction of peaceable, and God forbid that we should bring the Lord Jesus, that holy peacemaker, down to the level of comparison with so fleshly a character.
But what one thing fundamentally differentiates a true believer in the “living and true God” from a servant of Allah? It is this: the one possesses a new life, a spiritual life, and the other has but the natural life that he or she was born with, nothing more. In my admittedly modest amount of research, I have not found any teaching in Islam on the necessity of new life, or being born again. As with all worldly religion, the whole belief system of Islam appeals to, regulates, seeks to improve, and finally promises rewards to the natural man. In any case, why would its prophet set forth the need for a new life when he was satisfied in his natural life, “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind”?
Man in his natural state is “alienated from the life of God” (Ephesians 4:18). God bestows new life by grace upon the objects of His eternal counsels (Ephesians 1:3-11; 2:5), causing them to be “born of water and of the Spirit” (John 3:5; James 1:18), water being figurative of the Word of God. Jesus is the living Word in whom is life eternal, and receiving Him for the dignity of a place in God’s family flows from a soul’s new birth (John 1:1-13). A believer on Jesus, the Son of God, has “the witness in himself” – the Spirit witnessing to the effect of the water (a new, incorruptible spiritual life) and the blood of redemption (I John 5:8-12). The religion of Islam has nothing like this internal, conscious blessedness to offer the searching soul.