The differences between Judaism and Islam, to my Christian ears, seem insignificant. In The Today Show‘s episode, “How Muslims view the afterlife,” we learn that you don’t have to be a Muslim to get to a good afterlife, paradise. You just have to be a good person, and God willing, that’ll do it.
Of course, with Islam, “God willing” is the key phrase. One of the clergy speaking on the subject said that if you live a beautiful life, “God willing, there’ll be no surprises.” But as I learned in an interview with a man who works closely with Muslims, those two words can’t be removed.
Islam’s formal principle is the sovereignty of God. If you live a perfect life and be a very good Muslim, doing everything the Quran tells you to do, God will probably like you and want you in paradise. But if He decides He doesn’t like you, He can send you to hell, and there’s nothing you can do about it. In Christianity, on the other hand, uncertainty has no place. God has already shown that He loves each and every person. He loved us by sending Jesus to die for us. We get to paradise not because of God’s whim, but because Jesus bought our ticket. God has to allow us in because He Himself paid for that assurance and signed the contract in blood. So often, widows come to me, especially at their husbands’ funerals, and say, “I don’t know how people can go through life without the assurance of the resurrection.”
I am sad for those who live in uncertainty, and I pray that God will work to bring them to know Christ.