Islam and the Forgiveness of Sins

John C. and I met a kind Sunni Muslim lady from Somalia at a bus stop yesterday. She did not want the 1o commandment coin which I hand out. She told me that she is Muslim. “Oh, Muslim, I enjoy to Muslims and I know they often like talking about religion” I replied. I told her about how I have read 81 of the 114 surahs in the Koran. I shared with her how like her –  I too believe that Jesus was a prophet, and that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, and that Jesus performed miracles. These three items are areas of agreement between Islam and Biblical Christianity.

Then I proceeded to tell her, “But there a great difference between Islam and Christianity that I would like for you to consider; well, let me ask you this: if you were to die today, do you believe that God would accept you or reject you?” She said, “He will forgive me.” I responded, “Now I am not trying to be smart with you; I just sincerely want you to think about this question, why do you believe that God will forgive you? Surely, he will not forgive everyone, for even the Koran teaches that many will be punished. Also, think of Hitler; surely Hitler will not receive the forgiveness of sins. Thus, how do you be confident that God will forgive you?”

She said, “I do not know.” Then the bus came. She kindly declined from receiving a copy of the NT. If I had more time with her I would have tried to help her see that God is holy and just and that even though he is forgiving and merciful, he must punish sin. I would have tried to preach the Gospel of Christ’s substitutionary death on this note. I am fully aware of the length of time it often takes Muslims to convert upon first hearing the Gospel. Even so, you never know the way the Lord will use conversations like these. May the Lord have mercy on whom he will have mercy.

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