Today, 1.6 billion Muslims trust their eternal destiny to a god that does not exist. Many of these same Muslims assume they worship the same God as Christians -- Emir Caner, a former Muslim
The thought never crossed my mind to even question whether or not Muslims and Christians believe in the same God until I came across an article in Decision Magazine written by former Muslim Emir Caner. Until now, I had only focused on belief in Jesus Christ, God's son, as the main differentiator between religions. Now I know that it also matters who other religions say God is. The God of the Bible is preeminent above all other gods and makes his position very clear:
I am the Lord, and there is no other. There is no God besides Me---Isaiah 45:5
Don't assume, as I once did, that Islam's "Allah" and the "God" of Christianity are one and the same. They're not. In a side-by-side comparison between the Islamic god and the God of the Bible, Caner points out these distinct differences:
- Allah is unknowable (surah 6:103), whereas God invites a personal relationship with you (John 17:3)
- Allah changes as he wills (surah 2:106), whereas God never changes (Malachi 3:6)
- Allah's love is conditional (surah 2:190), whereas God's love is unconditional (1 John 4:10)
- Allah does not forgive sinners (surah 4: 168-169), whereas God promises to always forgive our sins (1 John 1:19)
- Jesus was a prophet and did not die on the cross (surah 4:157-158), whereas Jesus is God's son who was crucified for the sins of the whole world, then raised from the dead (Acts 4:10-12)
These are only a few of the distinct doctrinal differences between Islam's god and Christianity's God, Caner points out:
With such confusion innate within Islamic teaching, it is incumbent on Christians to speak clearly about who God is. We must recognize that Islam is a complete repudiation of the essential tenets of Christianity, including the doctrine of God.
Growing up Muslim in Columbus, Ohio, Caner recalls how his father took him to the local Mosque. As a young boy, he lined up with other Muslims facing toward Mecca. Caner says that they would then bow in reverent unison declaring, "Allah Akbar (God is great)" to a god who never spoke back. As an adult, never once did Caner question his beliefs until the day his eight year old son broke with tradition and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. This opened Caner's eyes. He recalls how his sadness turned to joy during a revival service at a Baptist church in Columbus:
For the first time in my life I heard God speak, and He simply said, "I love you, I died for you." Without doubt, I eagerly repented of my sin and placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
You will know the truth and the truth will set you free -- John 8:32
Islam and other religions will do everything possible to shield its followers from the truth about the God of the Bible, including forbidding contact with Christian believers and threatening death to followers who defect from the faith. Perhaps, what these other religions fear is that their followers will come to know the God of the Bible and be drawn away by his infinite love, mercy and forgiveness. No other god except the God of the Bible can make this claim:
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life -- John 3:16
And what's even more amazing, it carries a lifetime guaranteed that's available to anyone, even a former Muslim like Emir Caner.