Can the Muslim do enough good works to go to paradise?

by Matt Slick

This dialogue is very typical of discussions with Muslims.  Abdul (not his real name) would not stick to the topic.  When he was faced with a difficult question, he tried to go on the attack by not answering the question.  Instead, he attempted to prove Christianity is wrong.  But, he failed to answer the main question I continued to ask him.

When dialoguing with people, it is best to try to keep them on one subject instead of letting them lead you all around the place.

 

Abdul: . . . download a copy of Quran
Matt: Are you going to paradise?
Abdul: Going to paradise or hell is in the hands of God.  But worshipping a false God, makes you that much closer to hell.
Matt: I asked you a question, and you did not answer.
Abdul: I told you.  I answered your question.  I said, going to hell or heaven is in the hands of God.

Matt: I didn't ask you in whose hands it is. I asked if you were going to paradise.
Abdul: I believe God has the answer for that.
Matt: I asked YOU a question.  Have you done enough good works?  Is your scale tilting in your favor?
Abdul: What scale ??   Where is the scale?  Who has the scale?  I don't have a scale, I don't see a scale, it's God who is in control, and who knows the unseen.  It is God who knows where I will go, hell or heaven.
Matt: "To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward" (Surah 5:9).  (A Surah is a chapter in the Quran).
Matt: "O you who believe! If you are careful of (your duty to) Allah, He will grant you a distinction and do away with your evils and forgive you; and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace," (8:29, online, trans. by M.H. Shakir).
Abdul: Yea, it is Allah who will forgive.  It is not in our hands.
Matt: "Then those whose balance (of good deeds ) is heavy, they will be successful. But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in hell will they abide," (23:102-103).
Abdul: Where is the balance?
Matt: "And We set a just balance for the Day of Resurrection so that no soul is wronged in aught. Though it be of the weight of a grain of mustard seed, We bring it. And We suffice for reckoners," (21:47).
Abdul: The balance is with God.
Matt: "They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any weight," online Qur'an, 18:105
Abdul: He is the one who weighs our deeds.
Matt: Is your scale tilting in your favor?  Are you doing enough good, or will you go to hell?  Have you been good enough?
Abdul: I will know that on the judgment day.   Until then, we can just hope for the best.

Matt: That is all you have?  That's it?
Abdul: I do good deeds, and leave the rest to God.  I do bad deeds and seek Allah's forgiveness.
Matt: 1 John 5:13, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life."
Matt: In Christianity, we can NEVER do enough to please God. He is far too holy and perfect for that. Therefore HE arranges forgiveness for us--in Jesus.
Abdul: Okay, go on.
Matt: We trust in what JESUS did--NEVER in what we do.
Abdul: I am listening.
Matt: We can NEVER measure up to God.
Abdul: So what Jesus did takes you to heaven, right?
Matt: What Jesus did was pay for my sins so that I might trust in what HE did and not me.  That by faith I am saved, and I am saved NOW.
Matt: Then . . . because I am saved . . . then . . . I serve God with love
Abdul: Is it OK to punish an innocent person in place of the culprit?

Matt: Did God punish Jesus, or did man do that?  God did not punish Jesus.  People by their evil deeds killed Jesus.
Abdul: I am asking you a question. Answer me.
Matt: God simply let them do it so that we might be saved.
Abdul: Is it OK to kill your neighbor, for your deeds?
Matt: It is not right to punish an innocent person.
Abdul: Do you agree Jesus was sinless?
Matt: Yes, Jesus was sinless (1 Pet. 2:22).
Abdul: Ok.
Matt: Was Muhammad sinless?
Abdul: Is it OK for a innocent person like Jesus to be punished for all the evil persons in the world?  Is that fair?
Matt: Wrong question. Did God punish Jesus?
Abdul: No.  I am asking about your concepts.
Matt: No. God did not punish Jesus. So your question does not apply to Jesus.
Abdul: You believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins?
Matt: It was the Pharisees and the Romans who worked together to kill Jesus. God knew what would happen to Jesus and allowed it.
Abdul: Wrong again.  It was the Jews who killed Jesus.
Matt: If I am wrong, prove it.
Abdul: God knows everything that happens, and still he lets it happen.
Matt: The Romans nailed him to the cross. There were six trials: three before the Romans and three before the Jews . . . and, yes, God let it happen.   And while Jesus was on the cross, somehow, some way, He then bore our sins (1 Pet. 2:24).
Abdul: God also knew that Jews will be killed by Hitler, yet he let it be ??
Matt: Stick to the subject.
Abdul: And Hitler goes to heaven, because his sins have been forgiven because Jesus died for him.
Abdul: And the Jews go to hell, because they didn't believe in Jesus.  That's not a fair God you know.
Matt: Hitler denied God.  Hitler was not a Christian. He denied God. He is not saved.
Abdul: We Muslims believe that every individual is responsible to his/her own actions.

Matt: Christians believe that, too.
Matt: But, how can you possibly believe you can ever do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: We Muslims don't believe that someone died for our sins.
Matt: Are you good enough to do that?
Abdul: Did you know that the concept God's son dying for the sins of others is not of Christianity?  Did you know that?  It existed much before Christianity.  In fact 1500 years before Christianity.
Matt: You are not answering my question.
Abdul: You answer me.  Why should I believe in Jesus.
Abdul: Prove to me that Jesus is God.
Matt: Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: Have you heard about ADONIS?
Matt: You do not stay on the subject. You jump around.  I have asked you a question, and you do not want to discuss it.
Matt: It is your method simply to jump around and try different attacks. I have answered you and now request you to answer me.

Matt: Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Matt: I am asking you this question: Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: As you say Jesus died for our sins 2000 years ago.  What about the people before 2000 years ago?  They didn't have the opportunity to get to know Jesus. Do they go to hell then?
Matt: Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: What about people like Abraham, people like Moses?
Matt: Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: What about them?
Matt: Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: Think about it and read the Quran.
Matt: If you cannot answer me, then tell me you cannot answer.
Abdul: You will get to know what is the truth.
Matt: The truth is in Jesus (John 1:17).
Matt: Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God? If you say yes, then you are arrogant. If you say no, then you are lost.
Abdul: Millions across the world are learning the truth and reverting to Islam in hoards.
Matt: Well, God did say that in the last days a great deception would come on the world.
Matt: Now, I ask you again, Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: Well the deception is already exists.
Matt: "Then those whose balance (of good deeds ) is heavy, they will be successful. But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in hell will they abide," (23:102-103).
Abdul: Your believing Jesus as God, that deception is true.
Matt: Why do you not answer my question?
Matt: "Then those whose balance (of good deeds ) is heavy, they will be successful. But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in hell will they abide," (23:102-103).
Matt: I ask you again, Are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?

Abdul: I answered your question long back.
Matt: No. You answered a question I did not ask.
Matt: I ask you again, are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?

Abdul: We as humans can do the best to please God, by doing good deeds, but its ultimately up to God whether he is pleased with us or not.  Its all in Almighty God and we will find that out in the judgment day.
Matt: I did not ask if you could please God by doing your best. I asked you if are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: I told you, a human being can do his best to please his master.
Matt: Can you please answer the question I ask instead of answering ones I do not ask?
Matt: I ask you again, are you good enough to do more good works than bad and please an infinite God?
Abdul: I believe in one God and worship him alone, that is the greatest act of good deed in the eyes of God.
Matt: I see you cannot answer my question.
Abdul: On the other hand, If I worship a man, who I think as God, then that act is the worst in the eyes of God, and I will surely go to hell.
Matt: Again, you did not answer me.
Abdul: I have answered you again, sir.
Abdul: Its you who has closed your eyes. Open them and seek the truth
Matt: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
Matt: I believe what Jesus said. HE alone is the way--not Muhammad and not your works.
Matt: I have eternal life because of what Jesus did--not because of what I do.

Matt: You do not have eternal life because you must 'earn it.'


The dialogue simply ended here.  Please notice how this Muslim did not really address the question I asked.  He gave answers to questions that were close but not to the one I kept asking.  The truth is that he knows he is not good enough; and as soon as he answers that, I would then bring up the Quran which talks about the scale; and then I'd simply ask him if he is doing enough good works?  Is anyone doing enough good works to please an infinitely holy God?  I don't see how that is possible.

Instead, people need the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ who is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9).  Only in Jesus is their forgiveness of sins because it is impossible to please God by what we do.

 

 

 

 
 
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