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Are Muslims destined for hell?

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    Are Muslims going to hell? Okay, so some of you may gulp at my asking that question so bluntly. But actually, that question was asked of me! I was being interviewed by a reporter with one of the secular news media about the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum attractions, and the first question the reporter asked was, “Are Muslims going to hell?”

    That caught me a little off guard, but I’m sure that was the reporter’s intention. I’ve had quite a lot of experience dealing with the secular media and realize that the majority of times I’m interviewed, the reporter has an agenda, wanting to attack and denigrate Christianity. I’m sure this reporter wanted me to say outright, “Yes,” so they could put the headline “Ken Ham Says Muslims Are Going to Hell” to portray us in an unloving, negative light.

    When I am being interviewed by such reporters, I want to give answers for the sake of those who will be listening to or watching the program, but I also want to be a witness to the reporter.

    So, when asked this question, how did I respond?

    When I am being interviewed by such reporters, I want to give answers for the sake of those who will be listening to or watching the program, but I also want to be a witness to the reporter.

    I said something like, “Well, it doesn’t matter if one is a Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, Mennonite, Muslim, Methodist, Hindu, Sikh, Orthodox Jew, or any other denomination or religious group—if a person has not repented of sin and received the free gift of salvation offered through the Lord Jesus Christ (being “born again”), they will be separated from God for eternity in a place the Bible calls hell. And sadly, the majority of people will go there as Jesus warned, ‘Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many’” (Matthew 7:13).

    I made sure the reporter understood that everyone needs to be born again, including the reporter, as I referenced the passage in John 3 about Nicodemus.

    Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:1–5)

    Water is often used in Scripture as symbolic of the Word of God. Jesus is telling Nicodemus he must be “born again” or redeemed by the Word of God and the work of God’s Spirit on his heart to save him for eternity. This is consistent with, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). And, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).

    In other words, Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus that we are born as human beings—born of a woman—but we need to be born again—to be born from above!

    In summary, the message about being born again is,

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
    Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
    Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:19)
    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)

    Instead of the hell we deserve for our sin against a holy God, by repenting and believing, we receive new and eternal life with Christ. What a glorious message of mercy, grace, hope, and love!

    Instead of the hell we deserve for our sin against a holy God, by repenting and believing, we receive new and eternal life with Christ.

    But anyone who is not born again, regardless of what label they have, will be separated from God in hell for eternity.

    But there’s another aspect of this question for us to consider. We also need to judge what people believe against the absolute authority of God’s Word and challenge them if their beliefs are incorrect. For instance, with Muslims we need to be aware of their beliefs on salvation, the nature of God, and Jesus so we can lovingly point out the problems with these beliefs when judged against God’s Word.

    As this article points out,

    The Quran’s teachings regarding salvation are inconsistent. On the one hand, the Quran teaches that salvation is based on purification by good deeds (Quran 7:6–9). A Muslim can become righteous through prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and living according to the Quran. Yet the Quran also teaches that Allah has predetermined every person’s destiny, and one’s righteous acts may or may not affect Allah’s decision (Quran 57:22). It teaches that everyone, both the righteous and the unrighteous, will be led into hell by Allah, before the righteous will enter heaven (Quran 19:67–72). Therefore no Muslim can know his or her eternal destiny in this life. Even Muhammad himself was unsure of his salvation (Quran 31:34; 46:9).

    Islam also presents a radically different God than the God of the Bible.

    Allah loves only those who first love him (Qur’an 3:31–32) or who do good deeds (2:195). God first loves us while we are yet sinning (I John 4:10; Romans 5:8). The Koran’s Allah and the Bible’s Yahweh are simply not the same deity with the same attributes.

    And on the subject of Jesus,

    Muslims believe Jesus was a real person, but they think he only came to teach and do miracles like any other prophet. They don’t believe he’s the true Son of God.

    But Jesus is God—he’s the Creator (Colossians 1:16).

    As Christians, we need to show love to everyone and share the vital news of the gospel with them.

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

    As Christians, we need to diligently study God’s Word, know how to defend the Christian faith, and study to know what others believe so we can point out what God’s Word clearly teaches compared to what they believe. And we need to lovingly point out we are all sinners in need of salvation through Christ. And yes, we can know where we will spend eternity.

    I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)

    Hell is a real place. We don’t want to see anyone go there! Receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

    Oh, and if you’d like to learn more about what Muslims and others believe so you can more effectively share the gospel message with them, I encourage you to check out our three-volume set World Religions and Cults or consider enrolling in our excellent World Religions and Cults online courses.

    Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

    This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.


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