I came across this short documentary (about 14 minutes) on what it’s like for a Muslim to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it’s well worth watching. After the people perform a series of very specific rituals over a period of several days, it is announced:
You should be the happiest people on earth because your mission has been accomplished. And you are all new born. And Allah has erased and forgiven all your previous sins. This is reality. It’s not a dream anymore.
I’m always moved when I see people who feel the weight of their sin and are working to have their guilt removed. I’m moved because we know from Romans 3 that “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” Having a high standard reminds us daily of our failures. And if the standard we hold is the only means we have of perfecting ourselves, we’re left in despair. We’ll never make it.
But chapter 4 of Romans removes all despair:
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants [physical and spiritual].
That’s one of my favorite passages in Romans. If we had to earn our forgiveness, our faith would not save us, and God could not promise us our salvation because it would rest on us–on worse than shaky ground, on a sinkhole! We would have nothing to look forward to but the wrath of God. But God wanted to guarantee our forgiveness, freedom, and salvation. This is why He decided to save us through the work of Christ by His grace alone, and not by our works. This is the good news.
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested…even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.
I hope this documentary moves you to tell this truth to your Muslim friends.