This Commentary on “Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God” is 103.9 Times Longer Than the Actual Video
All religions lead to the same God. Now, before you break into my house, tar and feather me, and leave me on the doorstep of the nearest Unitarian Universalist church, let me clarify. What I mean is this: Because there is only one God, we will all stand before Him on the Day of Judgment, which means that, in a sense, the various religious paths we all take will eventually lead to the only God who is. But, for lack of a better way to put it, not all paths lead to the same side of God. You see, God has two sides—a Gospel side and a Law side, a side of mercy and salvation and a side of wrath and condemnation. One religion leads to the Gospel side, the side where God welcomes us into His arms and grants us eternal life. The rest lead to the Law side, the side where God condemns us for eternity.
So how do we know which religion will lead to God’s grace and which will lead to His wrath? God, being merciful this way, makes it easy for us. He tells us. He reveals it to us by revealing who He is in the words of the Scripture. The Bible tell us that God is our creator, our redeemer, our sanctifier. Through the Word, God reveals to us that He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, reveals that the Father created us without sin, that the Son set us free from our sins through His death and resurrection, and that the Holy Spirit has placed that freedom into our hands through faith in Christ. God tells us that the path leading to His love is the path where we follow Jesus, true God and true man, the one who was crucified for us and rose from the dead in order to declare us worthy of eternal life. God tells us that all men will find Him on the Day of Judgment, and that, if we want to find His love, we will find it in the light of Jesus Christ. But any path that diverges from the footsteps of Christ, God tells us, will lead to condemnation and He will not listen to you insist that your path really should have led you to His love.
Likewise, in the same way that all religions lead to the same God, all worship leads to the same God, as there is nowhere else for it to go. But just as before, not all worship lands on the same side. Some worship lands on the merciful side of God and God rejoices in it, cherishes it, views it the way a loving father views the gifts offered to him by his loving children. Other worship, however, lands on the wrathful side of God. And God hates this worship. In fact, He doesn’t even accept this worship as offered to Him. Rather, He views it the way that a man named Steve would view the ring his wife handed him, engraved with the words, “Bob, I’ve really enjoyed having an affair with you. Here’s hoping my husband never finds out.”
So how do we know which worship God will accept and which He will reject? Again, God tells us in the Bible. God accepts the worship of those who believe what He has revealed about Himself and He rejects the worship of those who don’t. When, for example, God revealed in the Old Testament that He was the God who would save His people through the promised Messiah, the serpent-crushing offspring of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the son of David sent to take away their sins, He declared that those who believed this worshipped Him and that those who didn’t didn’t. Likewise, when God revealed in the New Testament that Jesus of Nazareth was this Messiah, God recognized the worship of those who believed this revelation and He rejected the worship of those who didn’t.
When we ask the question “do Christians and Muslims worship the same God,” I think some of our disagreement comes from the fact that there are two ways of understanding this question. With these words, some people are asking “do Christians and Muslims believe that they’re worshipping the same God,” while others, like me, are asking “does God believe that Christians and Muslims both worship Him?” And while there may be some value in the former question, the latter is the one that I’m seeking to answer in this video because it’s the more important question. As it turns out, being rather almighty, God thinks that His declarations are more important than man’s intentions. So even if Muslims say “our aim is to worship the God of Abraham,” what matters is not what they think they’re doing but what God says they’re doing.
And God says they’re not worshipping Him. Because they don’t believe what God has revealed about Himself, God does not recognize their worship. In the Old Testament, God revealed that He was Triune, that when His Son took on human flesh, He would be fully god and fully man, and that He would win salvation for all mankind through His death. In the New Testament, God declared that all of this has now happened through Jesus Christ. But when God says, “this is who I am,” Muslims, those who believe the words of the Koran say “no, you are not.” So while, like Christians, their worship leads to God, unlike Christians, God rejects it. He says that this worship is offered not to Him, but to demons. And if God says that Muslims don’t worship Him, Muslims and Christians don’t worship the same God, no matter how much Koran kissing popes say otherwise.
We see something similar with regard to the Jews. Obviously the saints of the Old Testament were not called Christians as Christ, the Messiah, had not yet arrived. But as we see repeatedly in the Scriptures, when God encountered the worship of those who trusted in the promise of the Messiah, He accepted their worship as directed at Him and called them His children. When God encountered the worship of those who turned away from that Messianic promise, however, He rejected their worship and called them idolaters. After all, when the Israelites made the golden calf, they weren’t aiming to be pagans. Their intent was to worship God, but in the way the way that the Egyptians worshipped their pagan gods. And yet, God cared little for their intent. Because they didn’t believe all that He’d revealed to them, God went beyond simply saying, “you’re not worshipping me the right way,” and said “you’re not worshipping me at all.”
We see the same thing when Jesus encounters a group of Jews who refuse to believe in Him. He tells them that their father is not God, but the devil. And He says this because, through the Scriptures, God has revealed what the signs of the Messiah would be. So when the one performing those signs and fulfilling God’s prophecies stands before, they should recognize in His face the face of God. But when Jesus stood before them, essentially saying, “in me, you see God,” they said “no we don’t. We will not accept your new revelation. We choose to remain in the dark.” This is why Jesus tells them that their father is not God, but the devil. And to say that God is not your Father is to say that God is not your God. And to say that God is not your God is obviously to say that God doesn’t accept your worship, but declares that it was offered to someone else—namely, the father of lies.
So though many Jews in the world today may share the DNA of Abraham, they don’t worship the God of Abraham because they don’t share the faith of Abraham who had less revelation and yet believed in the promised Messiah and His vicarious atonement. Though they may sing the words of David, God doesn’t accept their prayers as He did the prayers of Israel’s king because they don’t believe what David was saying when He proclaimed, “the LORD said to my Lord ‘sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” By rejecting what God revealed, they walked away from the path of the Messiah and forged a path that leads only to the wrath of a God who won’t accept worship born from rejecting His revealed Word.
It’s true that Christians, Muslims, and Jews are all monotheists. But God is not like a husband who expects his wife to be faithful to one man. He’s like a husband who expects his wife to be faithful to him. This is why it’s important for Christians to recognize that we don’t do Muslims or Jews any favors when we give them the impression that they’re somehow safe under the umbrella of God’s grace because they haven’t completely rejected everything God told us about Himself. This, of course, doesn’t mean that every conversation with our Muslim and Jewish friends has to start with us screaming “QUIT YOUR DEVIL WORSHIPPING!” But it does mean that we have an obligation to tell those lost in the darkness of their path that their path may lead to God, but it only leads to His wrath, while Christ’s path, the one the Holy Spirit has placed us on, that path leads us to Christ’s Father and all of His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, life, and salvation purchased for us when our Lord and God breathed His last at Calvary.
Also, this article wasn’t very funny. I’m not really sorry for that, but if you’re feeling a bit disappointed, please feel free to click this link and watch a very hilarious video of a llama spitting in a kid’s face.