“No, Jesus did not die on the cross, and he did not die for our sins.” Mohammad said to one of the guys from the Ohio team. “If we have more good deeds than bad deeds, then God will pardon us on the day of judgment”.
This is the Islamic view of salvation. Mohammad was a very knowledgeable and articulate man, and he had a lot of arguments against Christianity. Hearing their discussion, I said, “Excuse me, I’ve been listening to your conversation and I just have one question: you believe in a Holy God, you believe in a day of judgment, and you believe in hell fire, but even if you have more good deeds than bad deeds, you’ve still lived an imperfect life. Now tell me, how can a Holy God be impressed or satisfied with your imperfect and only partially righteous life?” I followed up by saying, “You have not lived up to God’s standards, and you know it. If God is going to accept your imperfect life, then He must lower His standards and become unholy.” This led to a very deep and meaningful discussion about what it means for God to be “holy” and how sinful men can be made righteous in His sight. I ended by saying, “Mohammad, we both believe in a Holy God, a day of judgment, and hell fire. The difference between you and I is this: I believe in a mediator – Jesus Christ, the Son of God - who has fulfilled the righteous requirement of God’s law, who has suffered the wrath of God in my place, and who has made his righteousness available to sinners so that we can be righteous, not by our works, but by his.” He confessed that he has never thought about these things, and he thanked me for sharing. I gave him my contact info and I hope to hear from him again soon.