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Did Jesus Die for Muslims?

Examining where Muslims fit in God's plan of salvation
Did Jesus Die for Muslims?

Theme Scripture: Romans 5:18

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As Christians, we pin all of our hopes on the belief that Jesus was crucified and died for our sins. This is the bottom line core reason for our coming to Christ for it speaks of him doing something for us out of pure love that we in no way could do for ourselves. To us the sacrifice of Jesus represents the ultimate gift. Those outside of Christianity often look at this belief with disdain and even sarcasm for to them it is foolishness and evidence of a blood thirsty god. One question that is probably not talked about much is about the breadth of Jesus’ sacrifice – who did it cover and how do we know? In the present conditions of our world, the Muslim faith is often thought about and referenced. What do Muslims think of Jesus? While they do believe in him, they don’t see him as a redeemer. Does this mean that they are not covered by his sacrifice?

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This is obviously a touchy subject, because like it or not, discussing Islam even in the brightest and most positive way can easily lead a variety of emotional responses from upbeat and accepting right down to angry and condemning.  So, to try and avoid the emotional rollercoaster, we laid a foundation. We said from the very beginning that:

  1. Our representations of Islam would only be done through the words of Muslims themselves or from third party reporting that we deemed objective.
  2. We would view Islam in a positive light and therefore make no room to entertain the interpretations of the minority radical and hateful sects that seem to get all of the attention.
  3. We have no plan or desire to attempt to translate the meaning of the Quran – we leave that to those who have studied it and believe in it.
  4. Our beliefs regarding Islam are straightforward. We believe that it is not an accurate representation of the God of the Universe or his plans and purposes – but – we do not discount the positive examples of moral living and principles that are shown to us by so many upstanding moral and peaceful Muslims.

With the previous foundation in place, our objective was to compare how Muslims view God, Jesus and the Scriptures of the Bible with our own take on these matters as those who believe in that the Bible is the inspired word of God.  As we approached the similarities and differences, we began to be able to clearly view not only perceptions of Jesus’ role but the scripturally-explicit guidelines of his role.  One glaring reality we discussed was the absolute inability to  have both perspectives “be right.”  In the case of these two belief systems, one really does have to choose which perspective (if any) they see worthy of following.

In short, we attempted to have a frank conversation about differing beliefs without going down the road of condemning or insulting.  We would encourage you to check out our January 30, 2017 podcast, “Did Jesus Die for Muslims?” and see for yourself why we gave an answer that some may consider surprising to that question.  Hopefully you will listen and tell us what you think!

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Comment(7)

  1. The question is somewhat invalid. Asking if Jesus’s death and resurrection provide salvation to a group of people is fundamentally unanswerable. Salvation is personal. It is the individual’s decision that they will trust Jesus with their lives and their salvation. It is not just accepting His teaching or example. The only biblically accurate answer is “If a Muslim accepts Jesus as God’s Son and that His sacrificial death, resurrection, and ongoing Lordship, that person is no longer a Muslim, but a Christian. If they continue to deny Him, He will deny them before the Father. He will do so because He died for all who will accept Him. There are no “blanket style salvations”.

    1. Thank you very much for writing. We hope you get a chance to listen to this podcast, as our understanding of the matter is a little different based on the different roles described for Jesus as the Advocate (1 John 2:1-2) on behalf of his footstep followers now (just as you said – it is the individual’s decision to trust in his salvation), but Jesus takes on the role of the Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5-6) for the entire world after their resurrection. For the majority of all mankind who ever lived (including those who died before Jesus became a man so they would have no way of “knowing” him, those who do not have the mental capacity to comprehend his sacrifice or died in childbirth and yes, even those who openly rejected him), we believe he died for ALL, giving ALL an opportunity for resurrection in the kingdom. A that time, Satan will be bound and they will finally have an unblinded opportunity to get to know God and His ways of righteousness. If after full knowledge (in contrast to today when we must walk by faith and not sight) they STILL reject Jesus’ sacrifice, they will go into what Revelation called “the second death,” from which there is no resurrection or additional ransom price paid by an redeemer. For those who believe in Jesus NOW and are trying to follow in his footsteps in a life of sacrifice, he is our Advocate – he sits beside us when we approach the Father. To the world of mankind later, he is the Mediator, a go between to reconcile the world back to God – restoring all that was lost from Adam’s sin.

      Please also download the (free) CQ Rewind written transcript of this program so you can see our reasoning laid out as you listen. Feel free to write back with any comments at any time. We wish you the very best in your studies as we all continue to search for God’s will in lives. – Christian Questions

  2. if they ACCEPT him as the SON OF GOD and not just a Prophet and ask HIS forgiveness they CAN be saved….but if they DENY him and who he is {God in the Flesh} then they have turned their back on salvation and are lost

  3. “Christian Answers” have no answer at all. As there was only one door to the Ark, there is only one door to the Father, Jesus Christ, born, crucified and resurrected. Scripture bears this out with no loopholes, no way over it, under it, or around it. Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and your God, Everlasting Father, and Savior. Repent, everyone of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for their is NO OTHER NAME given among men whereby you must be saved. We have a mediator and an advocate with the Father, only if you have received Jesus Christ as savior. Everything else is false and satanic vitriol!

    1. We appreciate your comments and thank you for taking the time to write and share your views. We believe the Bible is the absolute word of God, so when we started asking some specific questions about salvation that didn’t make sense and seemingly contradicted, we spent time doing an in depth study to see if the Bible satisfactorily addressed and harmonized them.

      1. If salvation is through the name of Jesus only, as the Bible says, (Acts 4:10-12, Romans 10:9-10), what about the promises given to the Jews? Where do they fit in? What about the faith of Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Noah – all those listed in Hebrews 11 who were friends of God and are promised a reward because of their faithfulness?
      When Jesus was refuting the Sadducees and their non-belief in a resurrection, he reminded them in Matthew 22:32 that God was “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living,” quoting from Exodus 3:6 (from one of the five books of Moses that were the only writings accepted by the Sadducees). Jesus was saying, “You, Sadducees, recognize Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as faithful, holy men. God is going to reward them in the resurrection. If you are faithful to God, He is not going to leave you in the grave.” In other words, these holy men of God, which the Sadducees accepted as such, must receive a resurrection because a principle of God is to give life to those who serve Him. Jesus used this to prove there is going to be a resurrection. How do we harmonize?

      2. If salvation is through the name of Jesus only, as the Bible says, what about the billions of people that have lived and died without ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ? Salvation is a gift (John 6:44) and one can only come to Jesus through the Father’s drawing (1 Corinthians 1:26-30, Philippians 3:12-14) – so not only is it a gift, but it seems to be by invitation only! What about the billions who were never invited? If you are one of the lucky few to be invited, does it negate personal responsibility – does it matter what you do from that point on? What about the many with mental illness/handicap that, through no fault of their own, have no comprehension of the name of Jesus? It would seem the grace of God is quite arbitrary and malicious – if you are not one of the lucky few born in the right time, in the right place, under the right government, to the right family, who come in contact with the right message, you are lost. This contradicts the character of a loving God who (1 Timothy 2:4) desires all people to be saved. How do we harmonize?

      3. And if God truly desires all people to be saved, we run into another contradiction – Jesus said he purposely spoke in mysterious parables to hide the truth! Mark 4:11-12: (KJV): And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables; that seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Jesus specifically did not want his teachings to convert the masses. Then why does 2 Corinthians 5:15 say that Jesus died for all? Why does 1 Corinthians 15:22 say In Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive? Who did Jesus actually die to save – just a select few or all?

      According to http://www.statisticbrain.com/baptist-missionary-statistics/, $250 million is spent annual on Christian foreign missionary work, and yet 1.629 billion people have never been evangelized to. Lost? Doomed through no fault of their own? How could they believe in something they never heard of?
      By the numbers, it is clear that Christianity has been a miserable failure. Has God failed? Was Jesus’ sacrifice not powerful enough to raise all mankind? Are we not spreading the word effectively?

      4. Another problem. What do we do with Revelation 12:9: (NASB) And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth and his angels were thrown down with him. We know that Satan controls this present evil world – he even offered Jesus a place in ruling this world in Matthew 4:8-10. So if God is going to apply salvation in a just manner, could it ever be fair if the majority of mankind is under the deception of Satan, a being much more powerful than man with a mission to specifically keep us out of favor with God? How do we harmonize?

      This list of seeming inconsistencies goes on. We wanted to really dig deep and find out what is going on – not just believing something we were told as children or heard from the pulpit and told to “believe or else,” or that we just wanted to be true, knowing we were “safe” as part of those lucky chosen ones and so sad for everyone else.
      What we found after many years of study is more beautiful and harmonious than we could have imagined, reaffirming that our great God and Creator is bigger and wiser and more loving than we thought possible.

      We appreciate that you brought out that Jesus is both an “advocate” and a “mediator,” because that is one of the puzzle pieces! He is both, but for whom is he an advocate (one who sits with you on your side, one who pleads another’s cause before a judge) 1 John 1:1-2, and for whom is he a mediator? (A mediator is a translator, someone who intervenes between two sides at odds to bring them together) – 1 Timothy 2:5-6
      1 John 2:1-2: (NASB) My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he himself is the propitiation (meaning “satisfaction”) for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

      There are two groups here – “us,” the believers, and “those of the whole world,” the “everybody else.” We, the believers now during our lifetime, have an Advocate, sitting with us on our side, presenting us to the Father. We are covered in his robes of righteousness, protected, as we try to follow in his footsteps and develop our characters to be as closely to Jesus’ as possible.

      1 Timothy 2:5-6: (NASB) For this is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

      Jesus as a mediator is “in between” God and the sins of man. It is a different role for two distinct groups of people. The “believers” have an Advocate, because they have accepted Jesus. The “unbelievers” have a Mediator because they are at odds with God.

      There is definitely an invitation, a call, an exclusiveness to the believers, but not to the exclusion of the rest of the world. It is actually to the benefit of the rest of the world:

      2 Corinthians 5:17-19: (NASB) Therefore is anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us (the believers) the ministry of reconciliation, namely that God was in Christ reconciling the world (the non-believers) to himself, not counting their trespasses against them (the non-believers), and he has committed to us (believers) the word of reconciliation.

      1 John 2:2: (NIV) He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours (the believers) but also for the sins of the whole world (the unbelievers).

      Romans 8:19-22: (NASB) For the anxious longing of the creation (the unbelievers) waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. (the believers)…in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

      Those, like yourself, who are following after Jesus now are on trial for their lives now.
      1 Timothy 5:24 – Those of us following after Christ are accountable right now for what we say and do in our lives. To these overcomers, it is promised a reward in heaven.

      There are many people who walk in ignorance of the plan of God – because of Satan’s deceptions, failed understanding of Jesus’ own teachings purposely kept hidden, being born before he lived, being born under an oppressive government that does not allow religion, or any other myriad of reasons. These are not accountable now but will be later. And any living in an evil or sinful manner now will have future consequences, as it will be much more difficult for them to “get with the program” in God’s kingdom after they are resurrected. Salvation for the masses will come, but with accountability, learning and rehabilitation. To the “everybody else,” they are promised a resurrection on earth with judgment for the sins they are responsible for and the opportunity to walk up “the highway of holiness.” (Isaiah 35:8)

      We look forward to the “times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began,” Acts 3:20. “All the ends of the earth” will be saved and “every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. Isaiah 45:22,23.

      Acts 4:12: (NASB) And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

      Jesus did die for all just like the Bible says, and the merciful plan of God allows for a resurrection and rehabilitation of all. Sinners are given the opportunity to be judged according to what they did and be responsible to either make their lives right or be punished with eternal death (not torture). God’s kingdom is promised to be glorious and all-encompassing for all who choose to obey God and live righteously, after being given a period of time to remove the influence of Satan and inherited sin from Adam. They will be given knowledge and options for reconciliation, able to make a fully informed decision to obey or continue sinning. All will have to recognize Jesus as the ransom sacrifice on our behalf in order to continue living after they have been resurrected. Is this some sort of “second chance”? No, because most never even had a first chance for the various reasons we discussed.

      God’s desire for all mankind is the opportunity for salvation. Christianity has not been a miserable failure – it is a matter of “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), recognizing that all Scripture does not apply to all times frames or all groups of people. We must harmonize the Bible with itself and God’s character.

      Here are some past Christian Questions programs that we hope you will incorporate into your further study of this important subject. Please be sure to download the corresponding CQ Rewind and you can follow along visually with every Scripture quoted and a lot of the commentary. – Christian Questions
      http://christianquestions.com/doctrine/641-who-gets-saved/ Who Gets Saved? 1/9/2011

      http://christianquestions.com/doctrine/723-did-jesus-die-for-all-or-just-a-few/ Did Jesus Die for All or Just a Few? 8/19/2012

      http://christianquestions.com/doctrine/838-how-many-resurrections-will-there-be/ How Many Resurrections Will There Be? 11/2/2014

  4. Jesus is in the Qur’an, so no excuse there. Too bad Christian Questions doesn’t give Christian answers.

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