While attending the Seminary, I participated in the jail ministry program at the Ozaukee County Jail. As part of that program I regularly led chapel services at the jail. I also had the opportunity to lead a month long Bible Study with ten inmates.
I can’t remember what topic we studied, but I do remember the final discussion. The final day, after we had finished our study, we were waiting for the jailer to come and return the men to their cells. One of the inmates, who was very new to the Christian faith, asked a question. I don’t remember his question. But I do remember the discussion that followed. Muhammed (one of the other participants) responded before I could. Muhammed answered this man’s question by telling him, “We all believe in the same God. You might call him ‘God,’ I call him ‘Allah,’ but no matter what name you use, we worship the same God.”
Is that true? Many people think so. But, knowing that the Bible disagrees with that statement, I responded to Muhammed and asked him, “What do you believe about Jesus?” Muhammed responded that Jesus was a great teacher and a great preacher. He set a great example to follow.
I then asked Muhammed, “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world?” When he said, “No,” I had to tell him that we don’t worship the same God. Consider what Jesus tells us about himself. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Although it sounds nice to say that, even though we use different names, we all worship the same God, it’s not true. Anyone who rejects Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world is worshipping a different god. Jesus also said, “Whoever listens to you listens to Me. Whoever rejects you rejects Me. And whoever rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me” (Luke 10:16).
Later on, as the Apostle Peter continued to witness about Jesus, he said, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it” (Acts 4:12). The only way to heaven is through faith in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world. May God grant us such a faith!
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