How is it possible for those in other religions to come to salvation in Jesus?
How is it possible for people who are holding on to an other religion to
come to salvation in Jesus. I have a lot of friends who are zealous
Muslims. How can I help them ? And what about all the millions of Muslims
around the world, how will they get an honest chance ? Does Romans 2:14-15
also refer to them?
Call it narrow-minded, call it bigoted, call it whatever you will, but
from the Bible and the sayings of Jesus it is clear that the only way you
can help your Muslim friends is to introduce them to Jesus Christ and for
them to accept his as Lord. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the
life, no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). Peter said
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under
heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) It does not
take a theologian to interpret these passages. Absolutely no one is saved
and no one goes to heaven or gains a relationship with God through
Muhammad. It may be hard to accept that your seemingly sincere and
extremely devout Muslim friends are not saved, but the plain truth, at
least according to the Bible is that they are lost.
This should not come as a huge surprise. Sincerity does not equal truth.
If a person had cancer and was offered two medicines, one of which was
sure to lead to a cure, the other of which had absolutely no value
whatsoever to cure his or her cancer, it would do that person a disservice
to keep him or her in the dark about the true situation. A sincere belief
that the bogus medicine will work will not help. Having a nice,
politically correct attitude and refusing to take a stand that only one of
the medicines will work definitely will not help either. The fact is that
the teachings about salvation in the Bible and in the Qur’an are
diametrically opposed. The Bible teaches that salvation is through the
grace of God, the blood of Jesus and the faith, repentance and baptism of
the lost person. The Qur’an teaches that salvation is through obedience
and submission to a set of rules for living. Salvation cannot be both by
grace and by works. There is only one cure for the cancer of sin. It may
seem harsh to be closed minded on the subject, but it is the only way you
will be able to help your friends.
You bring up the subject of Romans 2:14,15. This passage is a fairly
difficult one to know exactly how to interpret. It suggests that for the
person who is completely unaware of the specific teachings of God, there
is at least a possibility that if they strictly obey the truth as they
know it in their conscience, they would not be saved, but they might
somehow make it into heaven. The fact is that although it is difficult to
know exactly what Romans 2:14,15 means, we can know one thing for sure–it
does not apply to the case of your sincere Muslim friends. Surely they
know about Jesus. Surely they have access to the Bible and more
specifically to the New Testament. It would be a grave mistake on your
part for you to give in to sentimentality and hold out hope, either in
your heart or in your discussions with your Muslim friends that they can
be saved as practitioners of Islam.
So, what to do? Introduce them lovingly and patiently to Jesus and to the
New Testament. Let them see your life and your love. In the words of 1
Peter 3:16, do this with gentleness and respect, but in the words of
Ephesians 4:15, speak the truth in love. Good luck.
John Oakes, PhD