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Comparing Muslim and Christian Beliefs About Salvation

Muslim Beliefs
Christian Beliefs
The need for salvation Muslims believe that people are born sinless. They do not seek a Savior. They depend on their own good works to please Allah, who they worship. They hope Allah will forgive their sins. Christians believe sin is part of human life (Romans 5:12). Christ died for our sins to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). By the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, people can be forgiven of the sins that separate them from God (Ephesians 2:8).
Asking for forgiveness The Quran is the Muslims’ holy book. It tells Muslims that they can do good deeds to cancel out bad deeds (Quran 11:114). They believe they can ask Allah to forgive their sins. Allah may or may not forgive them. The Quran says, “[Allah] punisheth whom he will and forgiveth whom he will” (5:40). Christians believe all sin is displeasing to God, whether or not it is “balanced” by good deeds. (See Romans 6:23.) But the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
No salvation for works alone Muslims believe Allah will judge everyone on Judgment Day. If they have done enough good deeds, they believe they will go to paradise and be saved from hell. Christians believe that humans are not righteous enough to save themselves through good works. All fall short of God’s standard. God sent Jesus to redeem the lost from sin, so that those who believe in Him may have eternal life. (See Romans 3:22-25.)
Beliefs The Quran says Muslims should believe in: Allah, the prophets of Islam, the Quran, angels, and Judgment Day (4:136). But believing in those things will not necessarily assure Muslims of salvation. The Bible tells about someone who asked, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer is, “Believe in the Lord Jesus” (Acts 17:31; see also John 3:16).
Where is salvation found? The Quran says evildoers will have double doom unless they repent, believe, and do good works. Allah will “change their evil deeds to good deeds” if they do these things (Quran 25:70). However their salvation is still not a sure thing. The Bible says, “Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, NIV).