Contrast between Christ and Mohammad


Dr. John Hoole – July 10, 2015




In the Middle East, there are three ancient religious faiths:  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  I’d like to give you a one-word summary of each and explain why.


Judaism - Knowledge


The word for Judaism is knowledge.  If you go to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, you will find orthodox Jews there, praying.  You will also find them studying.  Adjacent to the men’s section of the Western Wall, just inside Wilson’s Arch is the Scriptorium.  This is a place where Rabbis and scholars continue the legacy of studying the Torah and Mishnah.  The Mishnah is sometimes called the “Oral Torah,” and the word can be translated “to study, review” or “repetition.”


While secular Jews do not spend much time with the holy books, they study other topics and excel in most.  Jews have won about 20 percent of all Nobel Prizes, even though they comprise less than 0.2% of the world’s population.  That means they have won roughly 110 times their fair share of the awards.


This passion for study trickles down to daily life.  One Jewish woman put it this way: “Typical American mothers say to their children, ‘Don’t forget your lunch.’”  “But Jewish mothers say to their children, ‘Don’t forget your books!”  Regardless of whether or not a Jew is religious, knowledge is at the top of the personal values list.


Islam - Power


For Islam, the word I would offer is power.  Land represents power and is extremely important, especially if it has been lost through wars or peace treaties.  he struggle for power is the reason for the Sunni-Shiite fault line.  The two sides rarely come together – except for their ultimate power struggle against the Jews.  The word “ISLAM” means “submission.”  Whether Muslim groups are fighting Jews, Americans or each other, it is all about power.


Christianity – Love


When it comes to followers of Christ, the word that should jump out to all of us is love.  Jesus performed the ultimate act of love with his sacrifice on the cross.  He washed the disciples’ feet; then He told them something you probably have memorized.  “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35).


People long to see someone living this way for Jesus.  The number one reason Muslims come to faith in Christ is because of love.  In a survey of Muslim-background believers, the love they see between believers and the love offered to them by Christ topped the list of reason they came to Jesus.  Love is the crucial difference.


Today, I want to address one specific thought as it relates to Islam and Christianity.  There are a number of Christian pastors who are attempting to bridge the gap between Muslims and Christians.  They are teaching that the name Allah is simply another name for God, and that Muslims and Christians and Jews all worship the same God, and that we just choose to call Him by different names.


In an age of pluralism, it is not really a surprise to see an attempt to merge Christianity and Islam.  But I will say at the beginning of this lesson, IT IS ABSOLUTELY INCONGUOUS to attempt to make both paths as equally valid paths to the same God.  It is impossible to reconcile the two belief systems and make them compatible.  At the heart of this movement and perhaps the most dangerous issue is that these Christian leaders suggest that because we use similar terms, such as “God” and “Jesus,” there is room for a shared belief.


I would like to say at this time that the words we use do matter.  But, if we do not define our word, it is possible the same term may represents different meanings.  If the two faiths use the same words, but have different meanings for them, that difference should be understood up front.  It is very possible that similar terms have very different meanings.  It is my desire today to show the huge difference between Christianity and Islam.


If Christ is who He claims to be, and is the only way to reconciliation with God, then we can expect that plenty of counterfeits and deceptive substitutes will come along to derail us.  Of course, Jesus warned about exactly that:  many deceivers, phonies and false Christs would come.


For 2,000 years now Christianity has faced all sorts of attacks and all sorts of attempts to subvert it from within or without.  The challenges are never ending, and new ploys are continuously being utilized to render null and void our Christian faith.


One of the newer and more insidious attempts is what is known as Chrislam.  As the name implies, this is a deliberate blending or mingling of Christianity and Islam.  While some Christians may think this is a good idea, it is in fact bad news.  This lesson is an attempt to show the significant differences between Christianity and Islam.


Islam’s Qur’an does not portray the divinity of Jesus Christ, nor do they accept Him as the only begotten Son of God – God in human flesh, nor state that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected from the grave.  Islam denies the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV


6       I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

7       which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

8       But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.


We will come back to this thought.  First, I want to answer this question: Is the Jesus of the Qur’an the same as the Jesus of the Bible?  In some Qur’anic Suras, Jesus is presented fairly accurately, but in others there are contradictory statements.  Some of what I present here is taken from Jeff Morton’s excellent book – Two Messiahs


Qur’anic Statements about Jesus backed up by the Bible:


•  He was born of a virgin.

•  He was the Son of Mary.

•  He had the power to perform miracles.

•  He was called the Messiah.

•  He was given revelation.

•  He had disciples.


Qur’anic Statements about Jesus not backed by the Bible:


•  He was only human and had no divine nature. (4.171)

•  He was a created being and not the Word of God. (4.171)

•  He was a messenger for Israel only and not the Light of the World. (3.49-51)

•  He was raised to Allah rather than dying on a cross.  (3.55)

•  He was a Muslim.  (42.13)

•  He is not equal with Allah.  It is blasphemy to say He is equal with God. (5.17)

•  He spoke from the cradle. (3.46)


What’s Missing in the Qur’an?


•  Jesus’ connection to the temple, the Torah and the kingdom of God.  These are not mentioned even once.

•  Jesus’ messages that address reconciliation, forgiveness, restoration, covenant, and many other major Bible themes.

•  Jesus speaking of God as His Father.

•  He is not called Immanuel, the Lamb of God, Son of God, Son of Man, or other biblical names for the Messiah.

•  Jesus neither died on the cross nor rose from the dead.


The reason for presenting these descriptions of Jesus is to show that when speaking to Muslims about Jesus, we don’t both have the same Jesus in mind. If you ever try to witness to a Muslim, one needs to keep this in mind.


Although some similarities exist between Muhammed and Jesus, their differences are far greater.  Let me present some of the basic differences between Christ and Mohammed.


1.  Mohammed’s disciples killed for the faith.

         Christ’s disciples were killed for their faith.

                   Acts 12:2 – “And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.”


2.  Mohammed practiced Force.

         Christ preached Faith.

Mark 2:5 – “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”


3.  Mohammed was a Warrior.

         Christ is a Deliverer.

Colossians 1:13 – “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”


4.  Mohammed conquered his enemies with the sword.

         Christ is conquering his enemies with the sword of the Spirit now.

Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,…”


5.  Mohammed said to the masses, Covert or die.

         Christ said, Believe and live.

John 6:47 – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”


6.  Mohammed was swift to shed blood (Romans 3:15-17).

         Christ shed His own blood for the salvation of many.

Ephesians 1:7 – “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”


7.  Mohammed preached Death to the Infidels.

         Christ prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34).”


8.  Mohammed constrained people by conquest.

         Christ constrained people by love.

2 Corinthians 5:14 – “For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.”


9.  Mohammed ordered death to the Jews.

         Christ ordered that the gospel be preached to the Jew first.

Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”


10.  Mohammed’s Tomb:  Occupied!

          Christ’s tomb: Empty!


Along with the thought of the death of Mohammad and Christ, let me make this statement.  On the third day after his death, Muhammad was buried.  On the third day after the Christ’s death, He was resurrected from the dead and came out of the grave.


A)  Jesus and Muhammad made different claims.


Muhammad said he was just a man.


         Jesus claimed to be God.


In fact Muhammad never claimed to be more than a man, a prophet of Allah.  He prayed: “O Allah!  I am but a man.”  There have been conspiracy theories – one being The Da Vinci Code, that have asserted that the church invented the divinity of Jesus long after the first century.  But historical records indicate the very earliest Christians believed that Jesus is both God and man.  And the overwhelming evidence points to the fact that all the disciples totally embraced his deity.


B)  Different Character


As a mortal man, Muhammad sinned like us.


         Jesus was said to be “without sin” (John 8:46).


Even the enemies of Christ were unable to accuse Him of breaking any of God’s commandments.  But Muhammad admitted he had erred and asked Allah for forgiveness three times.  (Sura al-Ghafir 40:55; 47:19; al-Fath 38:2).


C)  Different Credentials


Jesus fulfilled ancient Hebrew prophecies.


         Muhammad did not.


Muhammad offered no credentials but his revelation.  Yet, nearly 300 Old Testament prophecies with 61 different specific details were fulfilled by Christ.  Only the true God could have brought all those details to pass.  Jesus’ divine credentials were established by his fulfillment of God’s prophetic Word.


D)  Different Message


Jesus taught love and grace.


         Muhammad taught submission and rules.


Muhammad taught that a person must attain salvation by adhering to Islam’s Five Pillars of Faith.  In other words, one’s salvation depends on our own efforts.  Even then, according to Islam, one has no assurance of salvation.


These are but a few of the differences between Christ and Muhammad.  Both Islam and Christianity believe in God, but what we believe about God is dramatically different.  There are also huge differences between the Bible and the Qur’an.  Here are but a few.


1.  The Koran says, “Fight and slay Pagans wherever ye find them (Qur’an 9.5).


         The Bible says, “Preach the gospel to every person” (Mark 16:15).


2.  The Qur’an says, “I will inspire terror into the hearts of unbelievers (Qur’an 8.12).


The Bible tells us that God inspires His love into the hearts of believers for the unbeliever so that they would be saved (2 Corinthians 5:14).


3.  The Qur’an is a terrorist manual, which advocates fighting, conflict, terror, slaughter, and genocide against those who do not accept Islam.


         The Bible is a missionary manual to spread the gospel of peace to all the world. (Romans 10:15).


Christianity and Islam are two fully incompatible belief systems.  The very center of the Christian message is denied outright by Muslims.  Christianity is Christ and what he did on the cross.


Christianity teaches that God became man who lived among us, and then died on the cross for our sins and rose again.  Islam utterly rejects the notion that Jesus is God, of even the Son of God.  Islam directly condemns the idea that He died on the cross and rose again on the third day.  Islam denies that the death of Christ was for mankind’s sins.  Any attempt at molding the two faiths simply compromises the Christian gospel.  It waters the gospel down so much that there is nothing recognizable left.


Let me repeat the Bible passage we read earlier.


Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV


6       I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

7       which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

8       But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.


The apostle Paul, in writing to another church, gives us the definition of the gospel.


1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NKJV


1       Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,

2       by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.

3       For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4       and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,…


We read here, “Christ died for our sins,” but Islam denies that.  We also read, He died as prophesied in the Scripture.  We are also told, “He rose again the third day,” which Islam also totally denies.  Attempts to merge Christianity and Islam into one faith only destroys the Scriptures.


There is one more difference between Christianity and Islam that I want to cover.  I mentioned it in the first paragraph of the first lesson in this series.  Allow me to reset the story.


Omar Aziz walked all the way from one country to the other, across minefields and mountains and deserts – for the funeral of a friend’s teenage son.  He sat between the boy’s parents, Nik and Ruth Ripken.  And what he heard and saw was shocking to him.  He says people were singing and crying.  “But everyone there seemed to know that Tim was in Paradise,” said Aziz, a devout Muslim.  He questioned: “Why can’t we Muslims know that our loved ones are in paradise when they die?  Why is it that only these followers of Jesus know exactly where they are going after death?”


The single greatest challenge that we hear from former Muslims is the absolute lack of any assurance of paradise for any Muslim.  And this is true, regardless of how devout their life may have been.  Even Sheikhs and Imams are troubled by the fact that they have absolutely no assurance.


Even part of the prayer they must recite five times a day causes them to wonder.  One part of the Arabic prayers is “Lead me in the right way.”  Many Muslims come to the point and ask “why do I have to continue praying this if I am already on the right way?”


One of the most serious problems in Islam is Mohammad’s own dying confession.  Let me tell it through the life of a young Muslim man – a former Imam.  He said, “I come from an area that is 98% Muslim.”  Both his father and grandfather were Imams.


When he was young he, his father and his grandfather would read the Qur’an every morning.  And one day they were talking about the death of Mohammad the prophet.  When Mohammed was dying, his daughter Fatima was standing close by.  She asked her father, “Father, you are dying, but where are you going from here and what will happen to us?”


Mohammad said, “Ask me anything from my wealth, but I cannot save you from Allah’s punishment.  By Allah, though I am the apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me”


This young boy became an Imam, but he never quieted the thought of no assurance of paradise.  As an Imam, he wanted very much to challenge Christians for what they believe.  He knew a Christian pastor who was willing to give him a small NT Bible.  The pastor suggested he start reading the Bible from the gospel of John.  This young Imam wanted to read it so he could pick some things to challenge Christians with.


But as he was reading it, he came across the passage where Jesus said, “I am going to the Father.”  And he read that Christ told his disciple He was going to prepare a place for them, and that He “would return again and receive you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.”


After reading that, he ran to his still living grandfather and said, “What did Mohammad say when he was dying?”  His grandfather repeated what they had discussed when the young Imam was yet a boy. He turns to his grandfather and said: “Look at Jesus.  He said he was going to his Father and he would prepare a place for his followers, and he will come back..  But Mohammad doesn’t know where he is going.  So which one would you follow?” And his grandfather said, “I would follow the one who knows where he is going.”  He tells his grandfather, “I am going to a church!”  And he became a follower of Jesus Christ.




To summarize this lesson, attempts to merge Christianity and Islam require a repudiation of the central core of Christian doctrines.


         Is the Qur’an equal in authority with the Bible?  No!


         Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?  No!


         Is Allah the same God as Yahweh?  No!


         Is Mohammad equal with Jesus?   No!


         Is Jesus the Son of God?  Yes!


         Did Jesus shed His blood and die for our sins on the cross?   Yes!


         Did Jesus rise from the grave on the 3rd day?   Yes!


         Can the Christian be absolutely assured our destiny is Heaven?   Yes!


The answers to these questions should settle the issue in the hearts of all Christians.