Afghanistan has fallen to the ultra-fundamentalist Taliban! Iran’s Ayatollahs remain hellbent on developing a nuclear weapon to annihilate Israel. The Islamic Gog-Magog coalition led by Russia has begun to form — just as Ezekiel prophesied. Islam’s might continues to rapidly spread and threatens the entire world!
Find out just what Islam believes, their history and goals, and the end time views that fuel their desire to ignite an apocalypse. And, prepare yourself to witness to the coming influx of Islamic immigrants moving into your neighborhood — all of this and more in the following academic presentation made by evangelist Nathan E. Jones.
For those who happen to employ biblical eschatology as an evangelistic apologetic, as is this author’s role in ministry, it is inevitable encounters will occur with Muslims who claim Islam shares a similar view of the end times and the afterlife. In doing so, the Muslim will also be inclined to erroneously claim that Christianity and Islam share the same God. This false understanding of what each religion believes about the other’s doctrines can impede both the Christian evangelist who is attempting to share the true Gospel with the Muslim and the Muslim to whom the evangelist is witnessing to in understanding the salvific and eschatological role of the biblical Jesus.
In order to deal with this problematic gap in understanding between these two faiths, this study seeks to equip the Christian evangelist with a cursory understanding of Islamic beliefs and their eschatological framework. Next, the Islamic view of the end times will be compared and contrasted to biblical revelation. And finally, with the hope that the reader will then possess a better understanding of where the Muslim is coming from doctrinally, a series of evangelistic methods will be proposed that are meant to open doors by which the Muslim can comfortably enter and connect to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This study will now begin with a cursory teaching about Islam’s background and religious beliefs. To be a better witness, the Christian evangelist needs to get into the head of the Muslim. They are not just “crazy people,” as many Westerners have been led to believe. Their seeds of reasoning germinate from their belief system. As explained by former Muslim sniper, Tass Saada about the days when he waged a terrorist war, “The craziest, most psychotic people in the world consider themselves to be entirely rational and logical, their logic is well constructed inside the fortresses of their minds.”1
Now, the term Islam means “submission.” Submission is what Islam is all about. And to be a Muslim means then “one who submits.” The word Muslim is both a noun and a verb, for in Arabic mu plus Islam equates to “someone practicing the act of Islam.”2
We often hear people say that Islam is a religion. But is it just a religion? No, it is not. A Muslim is taught that Islam goes far beyond religion. Dr. Peter Hammond in his book Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam declares what Islam is not, he says:
“Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is foundational for all of the other components.”3
That means that Islam is civil, it is cultural, it is military, and it encompasses every aspect of a Muslim’s life. Islam is way more than just a religion to them. Islamic Shar’ia Law embodies the lifestyle of its founding century — the seventh century. As one Arabic theologian notes about Islam:
“It is locked into and fossilized in a mindset totally contrary to the 21st century… it opposes the progress and development of the renaissance and enlightenment following the dark medieval ages of Europe and dreams of the distant past.”4
Islam was founded by a man named Muhammad ibn-Abdullah. He was born in AD 570 to the powerful Arab Quraysh tribe which ruled Mecca in Arabia. He was raised by a grandfather and later an uncle after his parents died. He began his career as a shepherd and taking care of camels.
At 25 years old, Mohammad met a 40-year-old widow named Khadija. She was very wealthy and when he married her his money problems were over. Mohammad and Khadji had six children. And after Khadji died, Mohammad ended up marrying a total of 15 women, one per year. He would take these wives as spoils of war. He would take first cousins. Mohammad even forced his adopted son to divorce his wife Zaynab Jahsh, for after seeing her naked, so he lusted after her to be his own wife.5 Then, at 54 years old, Mohammad took a little six-year-old girl by the name of Aisha to be his wife, and later consummated the marriage when she turned a mere nine years old.
When Mohammad was little, his nurse Haleemah claimed that he had fits from jinns, which is the source for the Arabic legends about genies. Jinns are evil spirits — demons — that the nurse reported tormented Mohammad constantly. And by age 40, his torment was so intense and made him so crazy that he fled into a cave to commit suicide.
Before Mohammad could kill himself, the legend goes that the angel Gabriel appeared to give Mohammad a message. Gabriel told him that his hometown of Mecca was too idolatrous. The people worshiped 360 different idols, one for each lunar calendar day, and the worship of these idols centered around a fallen meteor called the Kaaba. Mohammad’s family god was al-Ilahi or Allah, both the moon god and war god, which even today is represented by the crescent moon symbol.6 Gabriel supposedly told Mohammad that Allah must be the only god worshiped in Mecca.
In response to the angel’s message, Mohammad obeyed what the spirit told him and traveled back to Mecca. What he basically told the people was, “I’m sorry, you cannot worship all of these gods anymore, but only my god, Allah.” The people of Mecca did not take kindly to that message, and so they drove Mohammad out of their city.
Mohammad fled to a nearby town called Medina, and that date is the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The journey was called the Hijra.
While in Medina, Mohammad became a prophet. He kept sharing his given message. And, to make a living, he pillaged the passing caravans.
Over time, Mohammad raised 10,000 men to join him. With this army, he marched back to Mecca to conquer it and it was said, “As Muhammad’s army advanced, the desert was black with horses and men.”7 He spurred his army on with the promise of plunder, though a fifth of the money remained his. He also promised to pardon the people of their sins, and if his people took Mecca, they would be assured to go to heaven where they would be given many virgins with “very large eyes.” These enticements were most effective in motiving his men to fight. Once Mohammad’s army arrived in Mecca, he gave the populace an ultimatum:
“The penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth to cause corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.” (Sura 5:33)
Mohammad’s message to the people of Mecca was basically, “You join me, or I’ll chop your hands off, or I’ll kill you.” Well, how did people respond? Well, they joined him. This ultimatum has been the driving force behind Islamic “evangelism” even to this very day.
Now, from Mecca, Mohammad branched out and began conquering the Arabian Peninsula. During the last ten years of his life, Mohammad had led a staggering 66 battles.8 In one of these battles, after beheading a thousand defeated Jews, Mohammad’s new religion then became known as the “religion of the sword.”9 Burdened by these long and bloody series of terrible battles, the daughter-in-law Mohammad took to be his wife had tired of all of her family members dying, so Zaynab poisoned him. Mohammad managed to spit the tainted food out in time, but he took enough in that, along with pneumonia, the combination killed him. And so, in AD 632, Mohammad was buried in Medina, and Mohammad’s corpse is still there to this day.
In the second part of this series on Islamic eschatology, we’ll explore what the Muslim believes by looking at his holy books.
1. Tass Saada, The Mind of Terror (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishing, Inc., 2016), 37.
2. James K. Walker, What the Qur’an Really Teaches About Jesus (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2018), 111.
3.”How Islam is Taking Over the World: Islamization Explained,” https://youtu.be/YpM6QKaAgP0. (Note: based on the work of Dr. Peter Hammond’s book Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam.)
4. Victor Mordecai, Is Fanatic Islam a Global Threat? (Taylors, SC: Self-published, 1997), 38.
5. Alan Franklin and Pat Franklin, Cults and Isms: True or False? (St. Louis, MO: Banner Publishing, 2009), 57.
6. Mordecai, 37.
7. Mark A. Gabriel, Jesus and Muhammad (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2004), 59-60.
8. Anis A. Shorrosh, Islam: A Threat or a Challenge (Fairhope, AL: Nall Printing, 2004), 16.
9. Ron Carlson and Ed Decker, Fast Facts on False Teachings (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1994), 110.