Does it Matter What I Believe? – Christianity & Islam

Ours is a world where many would contend that truth does not matter. There are some who want to suggest that the most important concern is the sincerity of belief of the believer. As long as you genuinely believe, then you have received what belief can give to you, because what is within you is more important than any external reality.

Today, and the 3 weeks that follow, I want us to engage those perspectives head-on. I want to demonstrate to you and strengthen for your understanding several principles that literally mark the boundaries of a healthy worldview. Throughout our 4 weeks series, I’ll be coming back to these four points:

A Healthy Worldview

1) Truth matters
2) Faith alone is not enough
3) The object of your faith makes the difference
4) Jesus Christ is the only worthy object of faith

Each week I will also be putting the focus on a particular religious system; today I will be looking at the belief system of Islam after we have had a few moments to establish the importance and reliability of our truth markers.

I will be using the Bible throughout our series. My first presupposition is that the Bible is the revelation of God to us. It is a trustworthy record of God’s will, God’s ways, and His truth in our world. If you are in the place where you really question that, then I want to be a help to you. There is a tape series available in the Resource Center entitled, “ “, which will help you to grapple with the topic of whether the Bible really is true, reliable, and trustworthy. There are also some printed resources including Josh McDowell’s book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict that will be helpful to you in your search for truth.

Truth Matters
Faith Alone is Not Enough
The Object of your Faith Makes the Difference
Jesus Christ is the only worthy object of faith

Truth matters because beliefs bring about behaviors. Behaviors have consequences. Wrong beliefs bring about wrong behaviors. Wrong behaviors bring about wrong consequences. Truth matters.


Pharmacist wrongly believing prescription (It’s a Wonderful Life…despondent pharmacist)

This chair is dependable

Other common wrong beliefs:

-Material things will bring me happiness
-Sex is just a casual thing
-Quality time with kids is more important than quantity
-Marriage and Family don’t matter

Being genuine in your faith or belief is simply not enough. You can be as genuine as the day is long; if the object of your faith is unworthy, then your genuine and sincere beliefs are worthless. There is only one object of faith that is dependable and trustworthy; Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. It is our aim in this series to equip you to understand that it does matter what you believe. If you place your faith in Jesus Christ you have made the only faith decision that will never fail you. Furthermore, we want you to be equipped to reach and answer those who have placed their faith in some other object or system of belief.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15)

Inherent physical laws are true and inherent spiritual laws. Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find food

Background About Islam
Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in America, and the massive number of African-American converts–in prisons, colleges, and inner cities–is a key factor. There are more than 2 million black Muslims in the United States, and if current trends prevail, that figure will continue to swell. Between 1989 and 1998 the Islamic population in Europe grew by over 100 percent, to 14 million (approximately 2 percent of the population), according to United Nations statistics. During the same period, the Muslim population in the United States grew by 25 percent. Islam is the second-largest religious group in the world, with more than a billion members worldwide (some estimates put it closer to two billion). An estimated 4 to 6 million Muslims live in the U.S. today, and that number is growing. Islam could be the second-largest religion in America by 2015, surpassing Judaism, according to some estimates. By other estimates, Islam has achieved that rank already.

Muhammed born in A.D. 570 in Arabia, called to preach belief in Allah, the God to the Arabs. He organized a community of faith at Medina, later taking over Mecca and making it the Holy City. By the time of his death in 632, the conquest or conversion of vitually all Arabia was complete. Muhammed was orphaned at an early age; at age 25 married his employer, a 40 year old widow who was walthy. Muhammed was a trader and met many Jews and Christians; he often lamented that his people had no “book” of their own.

Tradition says Muhammed received a call at age 40 while meditating in caves above Mecca. Visions became the Quar-an, most given by angel Gabriel. First converts were families and slaves of traders he met. Public preaching in Mecca met with strong resistance, as it began to affect idol trade and rebuke to ancestors of people. His wife and uncle died; in grief his persecution became even more difficult. Almost assassinated, left to Medina; formed a religious community where he became responsible for religious, social, and civil law. Eventually attracted enough followers to return to Mecca triumphant and subdue the city in battle. His primary mission was to subdue the idolaters (which meant non-Jews and non-Christians…in fact 124 verses in the Quaran stress peace and toleration among Muslims, and Christians and Jews)

Beliefs in Islam

1) One God(Allah)
2) Judgement on Works
3) Good & Evil Angels
4) Five Pillars or Practices(creed, prayer, alms, fast, pilgrimage)

-Creed: There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet”
-Prayer: Prayer five times a day, and if possible ritual purity before prayer
-Alms: Required giving to support poor
-Fast: Liturgical month of Ramadan, all pious Musims must fast during each daylight time period.
Pilgrimage: Visit to Kaaba at Mecca , those who make the pilgrimage are considered representatives of all Muslims to gain forgiveness of sins and assurance of salvation.

“Every Muslim is afraid of the judgment day because, in their concept of good deeds and bad deeds, the bad angel is gloating: ‘Your bad deeds are a lot greater than your good deeds’. Every Muslim lives under that condemnation and there is only one way out-and every Muslim knows it: to die in jihad” (Brother Andrew, quoted in “Christianity Today”, October 5, 1998)

Islam denies:
-the Bible
-the Trinity
-the Deity of Christ
-the Power of the Cross
-the Grace of God
God’s Truth…

God reveals Himself through Jesus Christ

“From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (John 1:16-18)

Jesus is the only way to God

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (I John 2:20-23)

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)

Salvation only comes through faith by grace

“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)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”(Ephesians 2:8-9)

In other religions, works are a “in order to”, in Christianity they are a result of..

Lost People Matter to God

“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:13-17)

Islam can be “I sincerely love all Muslims”

CVC exists to see unchurched people become disciples of Christ. As Christ followers, we have the opportunity to share the love and light of Christ with those who are outside the family of God. You today may be in place where you have believed wrongly. Perhaps the object of your faith has been your works, and not God’s grace. Today can be the moment that changes the trajectory of your life forever.

Dr. John Jackson is the President of Jessup University. He’s the author of 10 books, the most recent being “Grace Ambassador”. He’s a transformative leader, committed to equipping believers and fostering change in their local communities… Read more

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