Is Christianity Different than Islam Because It Does Not Require Works?

Another email I answered. This one asked how my teaching is any different from Muslim teaching if I teach that we must do good works to enter the kingdom of heaven after the judgment. I kindly avoided saying that one big difference is that I do not advocate conquering other people, tribes, and countries and putting them to the sword if they do not convert. Of course, that makes me different than the Roman Catholics as well as different than the Muslims. Anyway, here’s my reply.

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Before I address your question, we better define “kingdom of heaven.” I think we “enter” the kingdom twice. We are part of God’s kingdom when we get saved/born again. We become part of God’s kingdom on earth, and we look forward to receiving eternal life at the judgment and living eternally in the heavenly kingdom once it comes to earth.

That said, I believe we enter God’s kingdom now by faith in Jesus as Christ, Son of God, and Lord (Jn. 20:31; Rom. 10:9-10). When this happens, we are given all things that pertain to life and godliness, become partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Pet. 1:3-4). Thus, we are both delivered from and forgiven for our sins (Tit. 2:11-14). (Of course, I am not talking about sinless perfection, but I am talking about a noticeable transfer from being moved by the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience [Eph. 2:1-3] to walking in the light [Eph. 5:8-10; 1 Jn. 1:7].)

We then live our life by the life of Jesus, walking by the Spirit, as described in Romans 8:3-8 and Galatians 2:20. Through the Spirit, we build on our faith by adding virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. If these things are in us and increasing, we will not be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus. If we do not, then we will forget that we were purged of our old sins (2 Pet. 1:5-9).

Peter follows up by saying that if we “diligently do these things” we will make our calling and election sure and we will reap an abundant entrance into Jesus’ everlasting kingdom (2 Pet. 1:10-11). In a similar vein, Galatians 6:7-9 says that if we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption, but if we sow to the Spirit we will reap everlasting life. The next verse then says not to grow weary in doing good because we will eventually (in due season) reap if we do not lose heart. Obviously, then, putting verses 8 and 9 of Galatians 6 together, if we sow to the Spirit, then we will be able to avoid growing weary, and by patiently continuing to do good, we will reap everlasting life (cf. Rom. 2:6-7).

I hope I have explained my statement that we will enter the eternal kingdom after our judgment only if we have done good works. I trust this also explains why what I teach bears no similarity to Islam at all. Remember, though, that while Islam is a terrible, strange deviation from Christianity, it was indeed a deviation from Christianity. Mohammed was influenced by both Christianity and Judaism, and he twisted them together into a monstrous travesty of the true faith. It should be no surprise, then, if there are surface resemblances to Christianity or Judaism here and there, just as there are resemblances between Mormonism and Christianity, but one is not the other.

Again, thank you for writing. I would be happy to answer any further questions you have.

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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5 Responses to Is Christianity Different than Islam Because It Does Not Require Works?

  1. Paul, my Brother in Christ Jesus thank you for sharing these last several posts regarding Grace, Works, and how they work in our walk to be able to enter The Kingdom of Heaven. I would take a different opinion on your statement that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints has a resemblance to Christianity. True Grace empowered Latter Day Saint and non Latter Day professors, scholars, theologians, apologists, Lay members, have produced works via Books, journals, working papers, tracts, CDs, DVDs, materials on the internet that show the Christ centered Doctrine, Teaching, Thought, Practice, Walk, Run, Journey, Quest, Search to enter The Kingdom of our Heavenly Father and Christ Jesus, and The Holy Ghost/Spirit. Our lives carry our Christianity not on our outward appearance but inwardly. I appreciate your thoughtful posts and works of which many a LDS Saint/Christian would agree with 100%. May True Grace be with you. The Atonement It Is The Central Doctrine, Washing My Garment In His Blood, In His Eternal Debt/Grace, Kal-El Anakin Skywalker.

    • Paul Pavao says:

      And yet, there are differences in our conception of God and Jesus Christ and what it is to enter the kingdom of God and of Christ. We can minimize our differences, but they are there, and they are not small. We have completely different views of the universe and God’s role in it.

      • Paul my Brother In Christ Jesus sorry I have not replied for a period of time, I have been really busy with my Spiritual/Temporal life during this past holiday season. By God’s True Grace Empowerment I have been serving Christ Jesus and my fellow man as best I can. Looking back I see that we have been in communication with one another since 2015 with sharing our thoughts and my occasional letting you know of typo errors in your posts. As I believe I have shared with you in the past that True Grace Empowered Latter Day Saint and non Latter Day Saint Professors,Scholars,Theologians, Apologists who have been trained in the Biblical/Christian sciences and Biblical/Temporal sciences have responded to those who criticize us for our beliefs by way of Books, Journals, Working Papers, Tracts, CDs, DVDs, material on the internet. Yes there are differences in our conception of God The Father The Monarch of The Universe, God The Son, Son of God, Vice Monarch, Lord of Life, Lord, Redeemer, Savior, God, King, Master, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, God The Holy Ghost/Spirit the Awesome Sanctifier/Testator of the universe but there are also things we share as well. As to how one gets to Heaven in True LDS Doctrine, Teaching, Thought, Practice, Journey, Walk, Run, [and there is mis conception by many non LDS christians on this] Is That we are Saved by, in, through Jesus Christ and his Life changing Grace that he provides. First one must surrender to him and become His Bondservant, Disciple, Slave and show in his actions that he/she has done so. Repentance from past sins and accept Christ Jesus as there Savior/Master, Be Baptized in water by one that has that authority to do so, laying on hands there head to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost/Spirit, walk in the light of His Grace to enter the gates of Heaven. These are the basic fundamentals of our True Faith, you may see it differently but this is what I have been taught. must go now to serve Christ Jesus by way of His True Grace. May True Grace be with you Paul and your Family as well . The Atonement It Is The Central Doctrine, Washing My Garment/Robe In His Blood, In His Eternal Debt/Grace. Kal El Anakin Skywalker.

  2. Paul Pavao says:

    Thank you, Justina. There is no “like” button on these comments, so I could not simply click “like.” I would have liked to.

  3. Justina says:

    Christianity is superior to Islam because you don’t have to wash your face and hands and be in a clean (not ritually impure) place to pray. if a djinn attacks you while you are on the toilet and you are a moslem, you can’t pray for help to God because you are in an unclean place. But if you are a Christian, you can pray wherever and whenever. so if a djinn attacks you while you are on the toilet, you can pray to God for help.

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