Witnessing to Muslims

In Light of Islamic Eschatology

By Nathan E. Jones

Introduction

For those who happen to employ biblical eschatology as an evangelistic apologetic, as is this author’s role in ministry, it is inevitable encounters will occur with Muslims who claim Islam shares a similar view of the end times and the afterlife. In doing so, the Muslim will also be inclined to erroneously claim that Christianity and Islam share the same God. This false understanding of what each religion believes about the other’s doctrines can impede both the Christian evangelist who is attempting to share the true Gospel with the Muslim and the Muslim to whom the evangelist is witnessing to in understanding the salvific and eschatological role of the biblical Jesus.

In order to deal with this problematic gap in understanding between these two faiths, this study seeks to equip the Christian evangelist with a cursory understanding of Islamic beliefs and their eschatological framework. Next, the Islamic view of the end times will be compared and contrasted to biblical revelation. Finally, with the hope that the reader will then possess a better understanding of where the Muslim is coming from doctrinally, a series of evangelistic methods will be proposed that are meant to open doors by which the Muslim can comfortably enter and connect to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Islam’s Background

This study will now begin with a cursory teaching about Islam’s background and religious beliefs. To be a better witness, the Christian evangelist needs to get into the head of the Muslim. They are not just “crazy people,” as many Westerners have been led to believe. Their seeds of reasoning germinate from their belief system. As explained by former Muslim sniper Tass Saada about the days when he waged a terrorist war, “The craziest, most psychotic people in the world consider themselves to be entirely rational and logical… their logic is well constructed inside the fortresses of their minds.”1

The term Islam means “submission.” Submission is what Islam is all about. And, to be a Muslim means then “one who submits.” The word Muslim is both a noun and a verb, for in Arabic mu plus Islam equates to “someone practicing the act of Islam.”2

We often hear people say that Islam is a religion. But, is it just a religion? No, it is not. A Muslim is taught that Islam goes far beyond religion. Dr. Peter Hammond in his book Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam declares what Islam is not:

Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is foundational for all of the other components.3

That means that Islam is civil, it is cultural, it is military, and it encompasses every aspect of a Muslim’s life. Islam is way more than just a religion to them. Islamic Shar’ia Law embodies the lifestyle of its founding century—the seventh century. As one Arabic theologian notes about Islam:

It is locked into and fossilized in a mindset totally contrary to the 21st century… it opposes the progress and development of the renaissance and enlightenment following the dark medieval ages of Europe and dreams of the distant past.4

Islam’s Founder

Islam was founded by a man named Muhammad ibn-Abdullah. He was born in AD 570 to the powerful Arab Quraysh tribe which ruled Mecca in Arabia. He was raised by a grandfather and later an uncle after his parents died. He began his career as a shepherd and taking care of camels.

At 25 years old, Mohammad met a 40-year-old widow named Khadija. She was very wealthy and when he married her his money problems were over. Mohammad and Khadji had six children. After Khadji died, Mohammad ended up marrying a total of 15 women, one per year. He would take these wives as spoils of war. He would take first cousins. Mohammad even forced his adopted son to divorce his wife Zaynab Jahsh, for after seeing her naked, he lusted after her to be his own wife.5 Then, at 54 years old, Mohammad took a little six-year-old girl by the name of Aisha to be his wife, and later consummated the marriage when she turned a mere nine years old.

When Mohammad was little, his nurse Haleemah claimed that he had fits from jinns, which is the source for the Arabic legends about genies. Jinns are evil spirits—demons—that the nurse reported tormented Mohammad constantly. By age 40, his torment was so intense and made him so crazy that he fled into a cave to commit suicide.

Before Mohammad could kill himself, the legend goes that the angel Gabriel appeared to give Mohammad a message. Gabriel told him that his hometown of Mecca was too idolatrous. The people worshiped 360 different idols, one for each lunar calendar day, and the worship of these idols centered around a fallen meteor called the Kaaba. Mohammad’s family god was al-Ilahi or Allah, both the mood god and war god, which even today is represented by the crescent moon symbol.6 Gabriel supposedly told Mohammad that Allah must be the only god worshiped in Mecca.

In response to the angel’s message, Mohammad obeyed what the spirit told him and traveled back to Mecca. What he basically told the people was, “I’m sorry, you cannot worship all of these gods anymore, but only my god, Allah.” The people of Mecca did not take that message very kindly, and so they drove Mohammad out of their city.

Mohammad fled to a nearby town called Medina, and that date is the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The journey was called the Hijra.

While in Medina, Mohammad became a prophet. He kept sharing his given message. And, to make a living, he pillaged the passing caravans.

Over time, Mohammad raised 10,000 men to join him. With this army, he marched back to Mecca to conquer it and it was said, “As Muhammad’s army advanced, the desert was black with horses and men.”7 He spurred his army on with the promise of plunder, though a fifth of the money remained his. He also promised to pardon the people of their sins, and if his people took Mecca, they would be assured to go to heaven where they would be given many virgins with “very large eyes.” These enticements were most effective in motiving his men to fight. Once Mohammad’s army arrived in Mecca, he gave the populace an ultimatum:

The penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment (Sura 5:33).

Mohammad’s message to the people of Mecca was basically, “You join me, or I’ll chop your hands off, or I’ll kill you.” How did people respond? They joined him! This ultimatum has been the driving force behind Islamic “evangelism” even to this day.

From Mecca, Mohammad branched out and began conquering the Arabian Peninsula. During the last ten years of his life, Mohammad had led a staggering 66 battles.8 In one of these battles, after beheading a thousand defeated Jews, Mohammad’s new religion then became known as the “religion of the sword.”9 Burdened by these long and bloody series of terrible battles, the daughter-in-law Mohammad took as his wife had tired of all of her family members dying, so Zaynab poisoned him. Mohammad managed to spit the tainted food out in time, but he took enough in that, along with pneumonia, the combination killed him. And so, in AD 632, Mohammad was buried in Medina, and Mohammad’s corpse is still there to this day.

The Koran

The Christian evangelist should have some understanding of Islam’s holy books. The first and primary is the Qurʾan, or as transliterated into English, the Koran.10 The Koran is to the Muslim what the Bible is to the Christian. Koran means “recitation.”

Mohammad was illiterate, meaning he could not read or write. So, what he did was while he convulsed in trance-like states—possessions—he would perform automatic writing on bones and strips of linen and anything else he could find lying around. Scribes would surround Mohammad while he lashed about in these fits and recorded what he said. Mohammad also taught excerpts from the teachings of Moses, Jesus, and Zoroaster who was a Persian religious pedagogue. These teachings, along with his own fitful recitations over the years, formed the Koran. Its length became about as long as the New Testament.

Many different collections of these recitations existed before a book was finally compiled into one authoritative version in the Arabic language—the “language of Allah.” Because Arabic is considered Allah’s heavenly language, as Allah supposedly wrote the Koran on a table-sized stone tablet in heaven before passing his teachings on to Mohammad, Muslims believe no mortal man should translate the Koran into anything other than the pure Arabic (Sura 12:2; 13:37; 41:41,44).11

Historical errors are resplendent throughout the Koran, though.12 For instance, it says that Jesus was born of Mary, the sister of Moses. The Koran also claims that Jesus did not die on the cross, rather Judas Iscariot replaced Jesus. The Koran also claims that Jesus is not the Son of God, and to claim otherwise is considered blasphemy. The Koran also claims the Samaritans tricked the Israelites at the Exodus, even though as a people group the Samaritans did not exist until hundreds of years after the Exodus during the Exile. Mohammad also claimed that Alexander the Great was a Muslim, even though Alexander had lived 900 years before Mohammad founded his religion.

Mohammad made some other very interesting teachings concerning women for, despite 15 wives, he often found women offensive. He taught in the Hadith that women are deficient in mind (2:541; 3:826), that a majority of the people in Hell will be women (1:28, 3.01; 2:161; 7:124), and that women are a bad omen (7:30).

The Hadith

The second Islamic holy book is called the Hadith, which means the “report.” Al-Bukhari’s authoritative version is a compilation of 7,000 “genuine” traditional sayings of what Mohammad supposedly once said—supposedly—because the book was compiled some 200 years after Mohammad had died.13

The Hadith helps people act just like Mohammad. So, if a Muslim wants to know what Mohammad believed or thought, they go to the Hadith. Christians live by “What would Jesus do?” Muslims through the Hadith live by “What would Mohammad do?”

Muslims can look to the Hadith to know exactly what Mohammad would have done. So, for example, if Mohammad needed money, then go raid a caravan as he did. If one needed to lie to advance their cause, well that would be okay, for that was what Mohammad did. If one desired to take more than one wife, well Mohammad limited men to only have four wives, even though he had amassed many more.

Mohammad also prescribed medical advice in the Hadith.14 Drinking camel urine will make one healthy (7:590). A fly in one’s drink can cure disease (4:537). Mohammad claimed that fever comes from the heat of Hell itself (7:619). And, if you speak badly about a deceased person, that person will go to Hell (2:448).

Islam’s God

Remember that Mohammad was supposedly told by the angel Gabriel that his family god—Allah the moon god—was the one true God and that all people should worship him alone. Understanding this point is vitally important to the evangelist, for so many people today, especially in the Media, are erroneously claiming that Islam and Christianity worship the same God. It is simple to conclude that Jehovah God of the Bible is not at all Islam’s Allah when their characteristics are placed beside each other.

Allah is described in unitarian-monotheistic terms, meaning he is only one being. Allah is not a trinity consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as is Jehovah. To even say that Allah is trinitarian is to a Muslim shirk, a term which means “idolatry.”

Allah to the Muslim is distant and unknowable. He is unpredictable concerning salvation, and he does not assure salvation. He reveals his will, but never himself. The relationship between Allah and a Muslim is master and slave, not father and son. Allah determines all, so no free will exists in his religion. He created both good and evil. He is feared by his followers, and he has no love for his own people.

It could be concluded based on the Koran’s description of Allah that he has far less of the characteristics of the God of the Bible and more a likeness to the biblical character of Satan. So, should anyone claim that Mohammad was equating the God of the Bible to the Allah of Islam is not speaking the truth. Jehovah and Allah are totally different entities. As missionary-evangelist Lester Sumrall compares:

Muslims worship one god and we (Christians) worship one God, but there all similarity ends. Mohammed’s “god” is radically different from God as He is revealed to us in the Bible. Mohammed’s god is a spiteful, selfish autocrat who must be placated with a monotonous routine of holy motions. The God we worship is a loving, compassionate Father who asks only that we love Him in return and obey Him (John 14:15).15

Islam’s Doctrines

The Islamic belief system consists of five main areas of doctrine. The first concerning Allah has already been addressed.

The second doctrinal area involves angels. Islam teaches that there is a hierarchy of angels. Each person is assigned two angels. One records all of the good deeds one does and the other records all of the bad deeds.

The third area of doctrine involves Islam’s holy books—the Koran and the Hadith—which also has already been addressed. Though, Islam does also consider the Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David, and the Gospel of Jesus, along with the Koran, as all holy books. Of course, Islam teaches that the Koran supersedes all other holy books.

The fourth area of doctrine involves the prophets. While the Koran mentions 28 specific prophets of Allah, Islam identifies with over a hundred-thousand prophets.16 The list even includes Adam, Noah, and Jesus, though Muslims consider Mohammad the greatest prophet of them all.

The fifth area of doctrine concerns the belief in a future judgment, which will be addressed shortly.

Islam’s Pillars

For Muslims to work towards attaining entry into Paradise, they must follow what is called the Five Pillars of Islam.

The first pillar is called the Creed, or the Shahadah, which means “to bear witness.” The following creed is what a person must say in order to become a Muslim: “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet.” This is the Islamic version of the Christian believer’s prayer.

The second pillar involves prayers, called the Salat. A Muslim will pray five times a day: dawn, noon, afternoon, evening, and nighttime. They will always pray kneeling face down and towards Mecca.

The third pillar involves giving alms to the poor, which is called Zakat. One-twentieth of a Muslim’s income goes to benefit orphans and widows and for building mosques.

The fourth pillar involves fasting, called the Sawm. Sawm came from Islam’s pre-cursor religion, Sabianism, which worshiped the moon and other heavenly bodies by fasting.17 During Ramadan, which is the ninth month of their lunar year, Muslims will abstain from all food and drink and sex during the daylight hours, but when night falls, they can indulge in whatever they wish.

The fifth pillar is called “The Pilgrimage,” or the Hajj. Every Muslim must travel at least once during their life to Mecca to walk around the Kaaba Stone. Should a Muslim be too infirmed, he can send a representative to take his place. Muslims must make a pilgrimage to Mecca in order to attain entry into Paradise.

Many Muslims, especially the Kharijite sect, would also argue that there is an unspoken sixth pillar, which is called Jihad, meaning “the struggle” or “to strive.”18 Allah wills that the Muslim take up the armed struggle for Islam against what they call the infidels and apostates, meaning the unbelievers (Sura 2:186-190).

Islam’s Divisions

Three main divisions and some 150 sects are incorporated into Islam.19 The first division is the Sunnis who number about 80% of the Islamic population. Sunni means “the trodden path” or “tradition.” They desire to live a life in the pattern of Mohammad. They elect leaders. And, they follow the Islamic code to the best of their ability.

The second division consists of the Shi’ites. They number much smaller than the Sunnis. This division bitterly broke away after the death of Ali, the fourth caliph, meaning the “successor to Muhammad,” because they believe that a descendent of Mohammad must be their leader.20 The Shi’ites believe that authority derives through Mohammad’s family line alone through Ali’s descendants and that this family line of imams, or “leaders,” are viewed as almost sinless and can be the only interpreters of the Koran.21

The third division is called the Sufis and they are the mystics. They believe God must be experienced.

Islam’s Spread

A mere few decades after Mohammad had died, the warriors of Islam blitzkrieged across the Middle East and Northern Africa, conquering those lands in Allah’s name. With the strategy of marching an army into a town and declaring, “We will kill you unless you convert,” formerly Christianized lands evaporated almost overnight. Islam spread so fast that their armies were on the doorsteps of France in AD 732 and Vienna in AD 1529.22 Islam has consistently through the centuries yearned to fly their flag over all of Europe.

Today, Islam stands out as the second fastest-growing religion and is well on its way to becoming the largest religion in the entire world, second only to Christianity in all of its forms. Some 20% of the global population, or 1.2 billion people, claim to be Muslims. In the last 50 years alone, Islam has grown 500% as its birth rate dwarfs the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews.23 Islamic dominated nations now number 65. Some 1,400 mosques have been built in the United States, with 90% of those funded by the militant jihadists Wahhabi Sunnis based in Saudi Arabia. This has led one Egyptian expert on Islam to note, “the spread of Islam today is greater than it has been at any other point in history,” so much so that: “Islam is no longer ‘over there’ in the Eastern hemisphere. Now it is on our doorstep.”24

Islam grew so quickly across the world that the Catholic Church had to concede that there are now more Muslims than Catholics.25 Islam achieved this by employing two primary growth strategies.

The first strategy, and the one most people recognize in the West, is the strategy of Jihad. Jihad, as stated earlier, means “the struggle” or “the strive to do the will of Allah.” In its essence, jihad is the armed struggle for Islam against the infidels and apostates. In 1938, the Islamic Brotherhood’s Hassan al-Banna explained that in jihad a true Muslim will “love death more than life.”26

There are 123 verses in the Koran that talk about jihad, leading a member of the Islamic Liberation Party to note at a London rally in August 1994: “There are 123 verses in the Koran about killing and fighting. Ours is not a passive religion.”27 Some Muslims will claim that the earlier verses in the Koran are more peaceful and those are the ones Islam truly follows. But Islam teaches that later verses abrogate, or replace, earlier verses. The reason why these verses called for peace was that, in the beginning, Mohammad was attempting to get Christians and Jews to join his cause. They refused, so in response, he fostered a virulent hatred of both. So, the later verses which talk about killing Jews and Christians are the actual verses Muslims are supposed to follow and teach due to the practice of abrogation.

Sura 9:5 provides an example of the Koran commanding the death of the infidel:

Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them and seize them and beleaguer them and lie and wait for them in every stratagem.

Sura 2:191-192 teaches that a Muslim must kill the unbeliever:

And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter… if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

Sura 9:29 teaches that conquered infidels can be allowed to live as long as they become second-class citizens and pay a special tax:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His prophet, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book [the Christians], until they pay the Jizya [a tax] with willing submission, and find themselves subdued.

The Hadith, in Book 041 Number 6985, also commands the killing of the Jews:

The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves… behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: “Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.”

What fuels jihad? The answer—the promise of Paradise. The only assurance a Muslim has been given that they will make it into Paradise is by killing the infidel. Sura 47:4-7 teaches:

When you meet unbelievers smite their necks, and then when you have made wide slaughter among them tie fast… And those who are slain in the way of god, he will not send their works astray, he will guide them and dispose their minds alright and he will admit them to paradise that he has made known to them.

The Muslim is also taught never to make a covenant or an agreement or a treaty with an infidel, as Sura 4:89 commands:

They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.

These are the marching orders for Muslims as taught by the Islamic holy books.

Islam’s second growth strategy involves immigration. When unable to defeat a people group or nation militarily, then the second-best strategy is to defeat them by moving one’s population into an enemy’s land. As Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya once said:

There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest. We don’t need terrorists, we don’t need homicide bombers. The 50 plus million Muslims in Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.28

Jihad and immigration—these are the two main strategies Islam is using to take over the world for Allah. As one expert on Islam notes, “For Islam, the idea of ‘mission’ is not to seek to bring about the mere intellectual and religious conversion of people; instead, it is more concerned with the territorial expansion of Allah’s kingdom.”29 These strategies for territorial expansion are being played out today, just as they were some 1,400 years ago when Islam was founded. Population statistics project that Muslims will exceed 50% of the world’s population by the end of the twenty-first century.30 Such staggering numbers have led historian Robert Payne to warn an apathetic West that Muslims “are ruthless and at ease in a world where we are increasingly restless and incapable of decision,” therefore, “sooner or later we shall have to learn to live with them.”31

Islam’s View of Christianity

It is vitally important that the Christian evangelist understand how Muslims view Christianity, for their understanding of the Christian faith has been convoluted by the teaching of Mohammad and the Islamic imams. They view Christianity through the colored lenses of Islam.

For instance, Muslims believe the Bible as a holy book has been corrupted by Jews and Christians and so cannot be trusted (Sura 2:75,78-79). Ironically, Muslims are fine with reading the Bible, and in fact, Mohammad endorsed doing so (Sura 5:50,68). But Muslims may be allowed to read the Bible, but they consider it corrupted, so not worth their time reading and will merely dismiss any verses presented to them. This response will require the evangelistic apologist to first point out the biblical claims of being the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). The apologist can also provide historical and archaeological evidence, such as the existence of 5,300 near-first century copies of New Testament manuscripts and 86,000 references by early Church Fathers and the Dead Sea Scrolls, which will corroborate the Bible’s authenticity and shows that today’s translations have not been corrupted whatsoever.

Muslims also hold that God is only one being and that there is no Trinity, so that any person who holds to a trinitarian view of God is distastefully viewed as idolatrous. Muslims look at Christians as idolaters. The apologist will point out that the Bible reveals that God is three-in-one, yet co-equal (Mathew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

Islam also holds to a Genesis-type story. Mohammad taught that humanity and everything else was created by a blood clot (Sura 23:14). The apologist will then point out that the Bible reveals that by the dust of the earth and the breath of God mankind was created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:6-7).

When it comes to the doctrine of original sin, Muslims hold that people are born good. Islam even denies that mankind is plagued with a sin nature whatsoever. This flies in the face of Romans 3:23 which reveals that mankind is indeed born in sin and live with a sin nature.

Muslims believe that salvation towards Paradise only comes through submission to Allah and by performing good works. Islam vehemently holds to a works-based salvation. No saving faith nor grace is involved in salvation in Islam, so the Christian account of God’s grace is a very difficult concept for the evangelist to convey.

Interestingly, Muslims do actually hold to a belief in Jesus, whom they call Isa al-Masih. Muslims claim that Jesus is sinless, even though Mohammad ironically had to confess his sins, though this point is debatable within Islamic circles.32 The evangelist can discuss Jesus freely with a Muslim, but they see the Christian account as a corrupted version of what Mohammad clarified.

Islamic Eschatology

Contained within Islam’s religious beliefs is its own system of eschatology, meaning its own particular view of future events. The following is what Islam teaches concerning the end times, primarily understood from the Hadith, which has incorporated elements of the Torah, New Testament, and Zoroastrianism.33 Not all Muslims believe in every, or even some, of these eschatological elements, just as in Christianity there are widely divergent views concerning the last days, but a belief in eschatology remains essential to a Muslim’s belief system (Sura 2:177).34

Bear in mind a number of prophecies and prophetic characters taught in Islam were incorporated from other religions, so some of these will sound familiar from the Bible. As Islamic professor Samuel Shahid points out:

The Hadith was compiled at a time when Islamic authorities knew much more about the Bible and Christian traditions and literature. Thus, many Hadith passages were manufactured and embellished and were heavily influenced by Christian sources.35

Christians should not forget, though, that Islam is a man-made religion. Satan does not know how the end times are going to turn out except what he reads in the Bible. So, as Islam’s end-time views are delineated, Christians should not be concerned that any of these events as foretold in the Hadith are actually going to happen.

Islam generally believes in a savior called the Mahdi. He will arrive during a time called “The Hour.” There will be several very interesting major and minor signs that surround his coming, with the major signs standing absolutely non-negotiable in the Muslim mind.36 Some of the more fantastic minor signs include women outnumbering men 50 to 1, men will eat with their tongues like cows, time will contract, wild beasts will speak, and the Euphrates River will uncover a mountain of gold.37 And, the Islamic world will be locked in a full-scale war of annihilation against the Jewish people.38 When that happens, the Mahdi will reveal himself.

Islamic eschatology also has an Antichrist figure called the Dajjal. Of course, since Islam teaches its adherents to hate the Jewish people, the Dajjal is supposedly going to be Jewish. The Dajjal is prophesied to be born in Iran. He has one eye and the word “Infidel” is actually tattooed right on his forehead. He will lead an army of Jewish people.

In response to the threat of the Dajjal and his army, the Mahdi shows up. Those Islamic sects led by the Iranian Ayatollahs call the Mahdi the Twelfth Imam. He was an infant who supposedly was hid in a well during the ninth century, yet he returns to fight to establish a millennium of perfect equity.39 The Twelfth Imam is a direct descendant of Mohammad.

Jesus also plays a part in Islamic eschatology and is sometimes confused with the Mahdi. The Mahdi will lead Muslims, along with Jesus, against the Dajjal. Islam teaches that Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives, which they clipped from the Bible, and he will defeat the Dajjal near Tel Aviv. He also defeats the Gog-Magog invaders, a theme from Ezekiel 38-39, which they call the War of Yajuj and Majuj (Sura 18:96; 21:96).40 Jesus then converts the world to Islam, breaks all the crosses, kills all the pigs, and he marries, has children, and then he dies.

The world during these battles will suffer through many natural disasters and assaults by dangerous beasts. Smoke will engulf the world. There will be landslides. The sun will begin rising from the west. Fire will round up all the people in Syria.

Islamic eschatology also foretells a series of resurrections, three to be exact: The Trumpet of Terror, The Trumpet of Swoon, and The Trumpet of the Resurrection.

That brings the world up to the Day of Reckoning. For a Muslim, the Day of Reckoning is like Purgatory. Should a Muslim be considered the most faithful, even being the most devout of teachers, no matter what level of holiness a Muslim attains to, they are going to end up suffering for at least a little while. A Muslim must suffer because Islam believes in a works-based salvation.

Allah arrives to judge each person based on their works. The two angels assigned to each person will lay their assigned person’s deeds onto scales. Should the deeds be found worthy, the person is allowed to cross a bridge. Those who are unfaithful will fall off the bridge right into Hell, though there are still some chances to be saved after that and so later be rescued from Hell.

Islam calls their Heaven “Paradise.” Seven levels exist in the Islamic Paradise. Sura 4:56-57 explains:

But those who believe and do righteous deeds, we will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide forever. For them therein are purified spouses, and we will admit them to deepening shade.

This sura and others explain that the martyrs who were slain in life for the advancement of Allah are promised in Paradise to receive 72 voluptuous virgins for their huris, or harem. Unlike Christianity, Paradise is not a place of spiritual delight and communion with God. Rather, Allah remains off in the distance, aloof, and unapproachable. Paradise for Muslims is all physical, all sensual, really all sexual, where women remain as they were in life—mere chattel and playthings for men.41 One would wonder then why any woman would be interested in becoming a continual concubine throughout their eternal life. Some say it is worth it for the price of gaining eternal youth.

There is a Hell in Islamic eschatology. For those who go to Hell, Sura 4:56-57 says:

Indeed, those who disbelieve in our verses [the infidels], we will drive them into a fire. And every time their skins are roasted through we will replace them with other skins so they may taste the punishment. Indeed, Allah is ever exalted in might and wise.

Hell, like Paradise, in Islam also contains seven levels. An entire level of Hell has been reserved just for Christians and another level of Hell reserved for the Jews. In keeping with Mohammad’s disdain for women, there’s a level of Hell primarily reserved for ladies. Not many women are going to make it into Paradise because they are utterly dependent on strict obedience to their husbands in life, unless she is one of the eternal virgins.42 Although, at a 72:1 ratio, it is quite questionable how this works out. Unfortunately, for the Muslim female, Hell exists primarily for women.

Islam’s Role in Biblical Eschatology

When considering the rapid advancement of Islam around the world, a frequent question arises: “Will Islam inevitably conquer the world?” Based on all indications and by every statistic, Islam appears to be well on its way to indeed conquer the world. That would result in churches eventually becoming mosques and children of every faith being forced to convert to Islam or die for refusing. That is the direction the world is plunging towards right now.

Or, is it? Bible prophecy would argue—no. Praise the Lord! The world’s children will not eventually be forced into converting to Islam for a few reasons. Islam has an end according to the Bible.

The Regathering of the Jewish People

One of the things about Islam growing more and more powerful in the world is this—no matter how much Satan uses Islam for evil, God will turn its deeds to good. For example, one of the side effects of Islam becoming more influential in the world and greatly increasing the persecution of the Jewish people has been the resulting regathering of the Jewish people back into the nation of Israel. This is in fulfillment of God’s promise that the Jews would one day return to their land in two predicted eschatological regatherings of Israel: one in unbelief in preparation for the Tribulation period, which is well underway today, and the second one in faith in preparation for millennial blessing (Isaiah 11:12; Micah 2:12).43 It could be argued then that Islam is unintentionally helping Bible prophecy be fulfilled. God is using Islam to force the Jewish people to leave some 80-90 different nations and trek back to their homeland, for He says:

When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. (Ezekiel 28:25 NKJV).44

With the Jewish people making aliyah by the tens of thousands and returning to the land that God has promised them, Israel as a nation was at last reborn on May 14, 1948, and took back control of Jerusalem during the Six Day War on June 5-10, 1967. The result was the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:2-3 which prophesied the Jewish control of Jerusalem would become a cup that causes all of the surrounding neighboring nations, which all happen to be Islamic today, to become intoxicated with a religious passion to possess it.45 Israel would then face three prophetic wars, according to the Dispensational and Premillennial eschatological framework, that would appear to absolutely remove Islam as a viable religion in the end times.

The Psalm 83 War

The first end-times war strikes at the geographical heart of Islam and is commonly titled by its main proponent, Bill Salus, as the Psalm 83 War.46 This war centers on Israel dealing at last with its hostile bordering neighbors of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Jordan, which Salus calls the “inner ring.” The continuous skirmishes and strenuous status quo tenuously balanced between Israel and her neighbors cannot provide lasting peace. No nation desires to exist under the daily threat of calls for annihilation by an imminent missile attack. And so, according to Asaph the Seer’s prophecy in Psalm 83, once his imprecatory prayer calling down judgment and justice upon Israel’s enemies is finally fulfilled, Israel should control those bordering nations and gain a brief peace. This peace stands as a vital prerequisite for Israel entering the second prophetic war—the Gog-Magog Battle of Ezekiel 38-39—placing Israel into a peaceful and unsuspecting state. Since 1948, Israel has had to engage in many wars and ongoing skirmishes with its bordering neighbors and has not yet reached that peaceful precondition, therefore Psalm 83 is a prophecy still yet to be fulfilled. Once this prophetic war is over, Islam’s dominance in the Middle East will be severely curtailed.

The Gog-Magog War

The second prophetic war which follows is found in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The Gog-Magog War is one of the best described prophetic wars in all of the Bible, covering two whole chapters. This catastrophic war will cause the world to radically change geopolitically.

Briefly explained, the Gog-Magog War foretells how Russia (Ros) along with Iran (Persia), Turkey (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Beth-Togarmah), Libya (Put), and other Islamic-dominated countries will form an “outer ring” coalition of nations.47 This coalition will be led by a personage called Gog who will seek war against Israel to plunder her, likely for obtaining the vast gas reserves off of the coast of Israel.48 Gog rises from the former Soviet bloc nations, those which the first-century Jewish historian Josephus identified as settled by Magog of “the Magogians, thus named after him, but who by the Greeks are called Scythians.”49 Israel appears undefeatable after the Psalm 83 War, and so all of those nations combine into a juggernaut coalition in order to attempt to plunder and destroy Israel.

Due to the uncountable number of soldiers which comprise these joint armies—these hordes—leave Israel with no military possibility of standing up against them. By sheer numbers, the nation of Israel appears doomed. But, no, Ezekiel’s prophecy reveals that God will make His grand appearance back on the earth, not physically, but He personally annihilates the invading hordes. His direct reentry into world affairs is for the purpose that there will be no denying God was behind this divine rescue. God intervenes against the invading coalition using biblical types of judgments such as fire and brimstone, turning the armies against each other, and decimating them by earthquakes. God even rains fire down on the homelands of these invading nations. The entire coalition of Islamic armies, along with Russia, are practically utterly destroyed. The resulting Islamic world map after the Gog-Magog War shows the Islamic influence gutted throughout the entire Middle East and Northern Africa.

The Conventional War

The third prophetic end-times war should hammer the nail in the coffin of Islamic influence. Revelation describes a horrific time period coming called the Tribulation. This seven-year time period will experience God pouring out his wrath upon the earth. God’s judgments during the Tribulation include the rise of a global dictator whom the Apostle John calls the Antichrist (1 John 2:18).

Daniel prophesies that the Antichrist would rise to power out of the people who currently comprise the European Union (Daniel 9:26-27). Russia and the Middle East would no longer be world players due to God’s crushing hand during the Gog-Magog War.50 And, since the world’s current superpower—the United States of America—appears to have sat out the Gog-Magog War, this shows a weakening in the West, possibly due to the Rapture or a financial collapse (Ezekiel 38:13). China’s strength is only foretold to rise at the end of the Tribulation, so that leaves a power vacuum in the world at the onset of the Tribulation (Revelation 16:12). The remaining world power could only be the Revived Roman Empire waiting right there to fill the power vacuum, as Daniel 2 prophesied.

The Bible describes that during the Tribulation there will be four dominant religions. Christianity will continue, made up of those Tribulation Saints who accepted Christ after the Rapture of the Church. Then there’s Judaism, for the Antichrist spends much of his time persecuting both the Tribulations Saints and the Jews. Revelation describes a Harlot religion, potentially a conglomeration of world religions that ride on the “back” of the Antichrist, so to speak. She seems in charge, but the Antichrist is just using her for his own ends. True to form, halfway through the Tribulation, the Antichrist violently embarks on stomping out all competing religions and he sets himself up solely to be worshiped.

Surprisingly, considering Islam’s might in the world today, no mention of Islam is made during the Tribulation. For a religion that is based on having to destroy one’s enemies for Allah’s honor, and then Allah so conclusively loses every single end time war, a strongly viable case can be made that these three end-time wars are going to gut the faith of many Muslims before the Tribulation begins.

And, that third and final war that should end Islam is called the Conventional War. Revelation 6 reveals that the Antichrist, after he assumes power, begins annihilating a quarter of the world’s population, which would be nearly two billion people in today’s numbers. When one religion cannot have other religions competing with it, especially a militaristic religion like Islam which demands no other religion exists besides itself, the only path ahead is to annihilate all competition. The biggest populations of Muslims in the world live not in the Middle East, as many believe, but in the Asian nations of Indonesia and Bangladesh. A likely scenario explores how the Antichrist spends the beginning of his reign annihilating Islam’s influence within these largely populated regions so that no competing religion sets itself up against a truly global ruler.51

How tragic that two billion people will die from the Antichrist’s Conventional War and the horrible consequences of consolidating his global empire (Revelation 6:8). But after that war, Islam’s dominance will have disappeared from the world map.

In following these three biblical end-time wars to their ultimate end, the conclusion reveals that Islam as a force in the world does not have much of a future left to it. Should even this prophetic scenario not play out as the framework proposes, the inevitable return of Jesus Christ will put an end to all competing religions but the worship of Jehovah God alone.

A Psalm 83 War could break out at any minute, along with the destruction of Damascus as prophesied in Isaiah 17. These world-shaking events could occur at any minute. The Gog-Magog alliance of nations already exists. Europe is so fragile that they are ready for a strong leader to take over. Every prophetic piece has fallen into place. And so, according to biblical eschatology, Islam has very little time left to it.

Islam’s Salvation

Some Christians struggle over whether it is “Christian” to hate Islam, not its adherents naturally, but the system. After all, look at what the system of Islam does to its people. It enslaves over a billion people to a religion that tells them that they must kill themselves to be assured of going to Paradise. Satan rules Islam, and so far, he has gotten away with countless murders and atrocities committed in vilifying the name of God. Islam has been a driving force in the murder of Christians and Jews all in the name of Allah. God’s magnificent and holy name has been tarnished by the teachings of a demonically-possessed false prophet who has inspired fourteen centuries of blood and violence. Islam even subjugates its own people. And, should Islam gain true dominance in the world, it would plunge society back into the Dark Ages. Islam has sent people to Hell by the billions.

As terrible as Islam is, it also presents the Church with some of the greatest opportunities for evangelism in all of world history, if the Christian knows how to evangelize the Muslim. After all, as a missionary to Muslims John Wiertzema points out, “Let’s understand that God’s desire is for all men to be saved, including all of the Muslims of the world.”52 Many Muslims are truly seeking to understand God, but greatly fear that in searching outside of Islam they will be accused of apostasy, which is the equivalent of treason, and risk being ostracized from their family and community, disinherited, unable to find work, written off as dead, pressure placed on their families, risk torture, and even face a grueling death.53 When Muslims approach Christians in the hopes of converting them to Islam, the door of opportunity opens to the Christian evangelist for sharing the real Jesus and the Gospel. The following are six different ways a Christian can reach a Muslim for Christ.

#1. The Bible Is Okay to Read

Mohammad permitted Muslims to read the Bible, and the Christian evangelist can tell them that (Sura 5:46-47, 68). Give anyone the Word of God, and they read it, and the Holy Spirit will speak through the Scriptures. In the experience of a former missionary to Muslims in southeast Asia, J.D. Greear, Muslims most frequently cite exposure to a Bible as instrumental in their conversion.54 Another church planter in Muslim lands, Greg Livingstone, also champions the establishment of the allowed reading of the Bible as the basis before any Gospel message is shared; adding that in doing so the evangelist must also present no threat, be respectful, open, sincere, frank, with freedom, and in trust.55 Give a Muslim a Bible in their own language and let the Holy Spirit lead them to a life in Christ.

#2. The Life of Christ

When the life of Mohammed is exposed—a killer, a murderer, a wife stealer, a child molester, a liar who was exhorted to seek forgiveness for his faults (Sura 16:61; 40:55; 42:5,30; 47:19; 48:1-2)—when put up against Jesus Christ who is sinless, loving, holy, and died for humanity (Sura 3:45,49; 4:158; also 2 Corinthians 5:19-21)—the Muslim is shocked. They cannot believe the differences. The Isa of the Koran is not at all the Jesus of the Bible. Of course, anyone is attracted to someone who lays down their life for them. Tell what Jesus did for them by dying for their sins. As a missionary to Muslims Carl Medearis concludes, “The person of Jesus—knowing him and understanding the Father—is the most positive force for change in the world.”56

#3. The Love of God

God is love. But for Muslims, they never know love from Allah whatsoever. They see these mullahs on TV who are angry and yelling all the time. It is a religion of hate. As Palestinian Christian scholar Anis Shorrosh points out, there are “99 excellent names of God in the Koran, but not one is Love or Father.”57 Brothers Ergun and Emir Caner, both converts from Islam to Christianity, note that the only use of “intimacy” in the Koran refers to the threat of judgment and so quote the Koran as saying, “Allah is as ‘close as your jugular vein'” (Sura 50:16).58 A Muslim, like any person, wants to know love, and Christians can reach them by telling them about the love of God. As Shorrosh adds:

In the Bible, you are not introduced to a God who is a dictator, who demands that you become His slave. God, instead, is presented as a loving Father who wants you and me and the whole world to become His Sons.59

#4. The Assurance of Salvation

Muslims have no assurance of salvation except for one thing, and that is to die a martyr. To kill infidels by one’s death is the only assurance they have of salvation. Why wonder why certain Muslims are willing to blow themselves up in the name of Allah? Martyrdom is the only way they can be assured of entering into Paradise.60 Christians can instead assure them that through Jesus Christ, who died once and for all for their sins, that they can have the assurance of living in Heaven forever with their loving Father (John 5:24; 6:47; 10:27-28; 17:3; Romans 6:23; 1 John 5:9-13).

#5. The Grace of God

Islam is like wearing shackles to a Muslim. They feel it. They know it. The reason for this, as one Muslim who converted to Christianity, explained:

Islam, however, is fundamentally a theology of deeds and not redemption [than Christianity]. There is no Jesus Who atones for the sins of man to free them from the bondage of their old nature. Their salvation depends on their deeds and the Mercy of God. Actually, Islamic theology advocates a reward-based eschatology where man’s eternal life is determined by his human effort.61

But, when Christians teach them about the grace of God—”a magnificent doctrine”—that there is nothing anyone can do to save themselves, that God did it all, and that Jesus Christ paid for mankind’s sins on the cross, then they feel relieved. As the Caner brothers know first-hand, “For most converts from Islam, the finished and atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross speaks powerfully [to Muslims].”62 Christians can look back at the time when they had become saved and remember how it felt to have the weight of their sins and works lifted. A Muslim is looking for that weight to be lifted off of them as well.

#6. A Relationship With God

Learning one can have a personal relationship with God is one of the best ways to reach a Muslim for Christ.63 The Islamic doctrine of tawhid declares that there is an impassable gap between Creator and creation, so that man can neither know God nor describe him by human language.64 But Christians enjoy a relationship with God and not some distant unknowable being who could care less about them and wants their death to prove their faith, but a Heavenly Father who loves them and cares for them. As Abd Al-Masih reveals, “The redemptive act of Christ on the cross that reconciled man and creation with God and recovered the lost relationship, restored also the eschatological hope of all the redeemed.”65

Conclusion

Christians often fear sharing the Gospel with Muslims. But, believers in Christ can find courage and confidence when knowing what Islam believes and how to properly evangelize the Muslim. As Bible prophecy reveals, the false Islamic system will inevitably be destroyed, Muslims will put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ by the multitudes, and the entire world will finally meet the real Jesus of the Bible upon His return. Until then, Christians will continue to be a witness, sharing the Good News of the Almighty God and Savior and His great salvation.

End Notes

1. Tass Saada, The Mind of Terror (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishing, Inc., 2016), 37.

2. James K. Walker, What the Qur’an Really Teaches About Jesus (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2018), 111.

3. “How Islam is Taking Over the World: Islamization Explained,” https://youtu.be/YpM6QKaAgP0. (Note: based on the work of Dr. Peter Hammond’s book Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam.)

4. Victor Mordecai, Is Fanatic Islam a Global Threat? (Taylors, SC: Self-published, 1997), 38.

5. Alan Franklin and Pat Franklin, Cults and Isms: True or False? (St. Louis, MO: Banner Publishing, 2009), 57.

6. Mordecai, 37.

7. Mark A. Gabriel, Jesus and Muhammad (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2004), 59-60.

8. Anis A. Shorrosh, Islam: A Threat or a Challenge (Fairhope, AL: Nall Printing, 2004), 16.

9. Ron Carlson and Ed Decker, Fast Facts on False Teachings (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1994), 110.

10. Qur’an, http://quran.com.

11. Robert Morey, The Islamic Invasion (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1992), 117.

12. Walker, 108.

13. Muhammad Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith Collection. (Sunna.com, 870).

14. Richard Booker, Radical Islam’s War Against Israel, Christianity, and the West (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2008), 36.

15. G.J.O. Moshay, Who Is this Allah (Bucks, UK: Dorchester House Publications, 1995), 155.

16. Booker, 34.

17. Carlson and Decker, 108.

18. Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, (tenth ed.) (New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1970), 133.

19. G.J.O. Moshay, 7.

20. Michael Youssef, America, Oil & the Islamic Mind (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991), 94.

21. Ibid., 96.

22. Hitti.

23. Nathan E. Jones, “The Mysterious Role of Islam in the End Times,” Lamplighter, https://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-mysterious-role-of-islam-in-the-end-times/.

24. Ishak Ibraham, Black Gold and Holy War (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983), 8.

25. “Muslim Demographics,” FriendofMuslim YouTube channel, https://youtu.be/6-3X5hIFXYU.

26. Erick Stakelbeck, The Brotherhood (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2013), 74.

27. Paul Fregosi, Jihad (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998), 18.

28. “How Islam is Taking Over the World: Islamization Explained.”

29. Elishua Davidson, Islam, Israel and the Last Days (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1991), 82.

30. “How Islam is Taking Over the World: Islamization Explained.”

31. Robert Payne, The History of Islam (New York, NY: Dorset Press, 1959), 14.

32. Ron Rhodes, Islam: What You Need to Know (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2000).

33. David R. Reagan, “Islamic Eschatology,” Lamplighter, https://christinprophecy.org/articles/islamic-eschatology/.

34. Joel Richardson, The Islamic Antichrist (New York, NY: WND Books, 2009), 18.

35. Samuel Shahid, The Last Trumpet: A Comparative Study in Christian-Islamic Eschatology (Xulon Press, 2005), 21.

36. Richardson, 97.

37. Reagan.

38. Muhammad Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith Collection. Book 041, Number 6985 (Sunna.com, 870).

39. Youssef, 96.

40. Mark Hitchcock, The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2002), 33.

41. John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts on Islam (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001), 54-57.

42. Ankerberg and Weldon.

43. Andy Woods, The Middle East Meltdown: The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel, (Taos, NM: Dispensational Publishing House, Inc., 2016), 55-56.

44. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events (San Antonio, TX: Ariel Ministries, 2004), 121.

45. Hal Lindsey, The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad (Murrieta, CA: Oracle House Publishing, 2002), 229.

46. Bill Salus, Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East Policy (Crane, MO: Anomalos, 2008).

47. Tim LaHaye & Ed Hindson (Eds.), The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2004), 119-120.

48. Luke Baker, “Israel Asks Itself the $150 Billion Question,” Reuters, (May 25, 2011), https://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/25/us-economy-israel-steinitz-idUSTRE74O38R20110525.

49. Flavius Josephus, Antiquities, 1.6.1.

50. John Phillips, Exploring the Future: A Comprehensive Guide to Bible Prophecy, (third ed) (Grand Rapids, IL: Kregel, 2003), 347-348.

51. Hitchcock, 91.

52. John Wiertzema, The Coming Judgment of Islam (Xulon Press, 2007), 165.

53. Ernest Hahn, How to Respond: Muslims (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1995), 58.

54. J.D. Greear, Breaking the Islam Code (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2010), 28-30.

55. Greg Livingstone, Planting Churches in Muslim Cities (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1993), 235-236.

56. Carl Medearis, Muslims, Christians, and Jesus (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2008), 160.

57. Anis A. Shorrosh, Islam Revealed: A Christian Arab’s View of Islam (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing, 1988), 270.

58. Ergun M. Caner and Emir F. Caner, Unveiling Islam (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2002), 229.

59. Ibid.

60. Ankerberg, 114-116.

61. Abd Al-Masih. The Gospel Questions the Qur’an (Villach, Austria: Light of Life, 1998), 21.

62. Caner and Caner, 228.

63. Rhodes.

64. Greear, 132.

65. Al-Masih, 21.

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