Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Question for Pastor Joe: “As I debatjesus deathe Christian theology with my Muslim friends, the issue of the cross and the atonement always seems to be a sticking point.  From their perspective they ask, ‘Why can’t Allah just unilaterally forgive my sins and cut out the middle man?’  So the question is, ‘Why did Jesus have to die?”

Answer: Muslims use much of the same terminology that appears in the Bible: sin, salvation, heaven, hell, law, and punishment.  What is missing from their lexicon, however, is the word “savior.”  The Muslim does not believe he needs a savior because he believes he alone must atone for his sin by his works.  Islam teaches that man is born sinless and, therefore, does not have a sin nature from which he needs to be saved.  His sinlessness was corrupted by external influences and can, therefore, be ‘cleaned up’ by works and efforts that please Allah.  The Qur’an tells the Muslim that his good deeds can cancel out his bad deeds (Sura 11:114), but no one knows how many good deeds are enough.  Muslims believe they can ask Allah for forgiveness from sins, but Allah may or may not forgive them.  There is, therefore, no assurance of salvation for Muslims.

Compared to Christianity, Islam has some similarities, but significant differences.  Muslims depend on Islamic faith and works—submission to Allah, belief in Muhammad’s revelation of Allah, obedience to the Qur’an and the Five Pillars—for entrance to paradise.  Muslims reject the Trinity—that God has revealed Himself as one in three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Muslims claim that Jesus was a mere prophet—not God’s Son.  While Muslims honor Jesus as a noble prophet, they do not understand why Allah would allow His prophet Isa (the Islamic word for “Jesus”) to die a torturous death.

Here is why Jesus had to die: the Bible speaks of the wickedness of man’s heart (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18), the holiness of God (Exodus 15:11; 1 Samuel 2:2; Joshua 24:19; Psalm 93:5), and His hatred for sin (Deuteronomy 25:16; Proverbs 6:16-19). As long as the Muslim believes he can atone for sin himself, the message of the gospel will be foolishness to him.  But if he comes to understand that “no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law” (Romans 3:20), then the door is open for the light of the gospel to shine in his heart.

The Bible reveals that sinful man can never measure up to the holy God (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Only by God’s grace may sinners be saved through repentant faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21; Ephesians 2:8-9).  Sin is not just big things like murder or blasphemy but also includes lying, lusting, and stealing.  Even the love of money or hatred of enemies is sin, according to the Bible. Good works cannot make up for wrongs against the holy God.  Compared to His holiness, “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

The Scripture explains Jesus died on the cross to bear sin’s punishment.  His death makes it possible for us to be free from both the penalty and the power of sin and to live for God (Rom. 6:2, 13).  His substitutionary death satisfies the wrath of God against sin and allows God to “overlook” our sins because they have been paid for by Christ.  The Bible shows how the death of Jesus was essential to pay for the penalty our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6).  Christ suffered so it would be possible for us to follow His example, both in suffering and in righteous living: “He himself bore our sins in His body so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).

Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  Jesus stressed that salvation, contrary to what many people think, is not obtainable through good works.  Only one Way exists (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5).  Jesus is the only access to the Father (John 1:1-2, 51; 3:13).  Remember, the holy God will not let sin go unpunished.  If we bore our own sins, we would suffer judgment in the flames of hell.  But God sacrificed Jesus as our perfect Substitute.  Scripture affirms that the sinless Jesus died on the cross to pay the punishment for believing sinners: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

While some misunderstandings can be cleared with Muslims, the main offense is . . . Jesus Christ! (1 Peter 2:4-8).  Islam asserts that Jesus, though born of a virgin, was created like Adam.  Many Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross.  Muslims reject God the Father who sent His Son to die for sinners.  Islam does not offer the things Christianity most certainly does: forgiveness for their sins, a loving heavenly Father with whom they can communicate personally, and assurance that eternal happiness awaits them beyond this life.

The Muslim believes he or she must be sorry for sin and repent of it, but the idea that payment for sin is required by a holy God is not part of Islam.  It’s important to begin with the idea that being sorry for sin will not help a man when he stands before the holy God on Judgment Day.  All men are sinners by nature and by choice.  We cannot earn our salvation through good works.  We cannot reach paradise on our own merit.  Jesus died for sinners to provide the only way to eternal life.

At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!  Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.  Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned… But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:6-21).

At His death, He cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30).  Jesus finished paying the punishment for sin as the perfect Lamb of God.

Of course, no one comes to the knowledge of the truth solely by good apologetics.  The natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit because they are spiritually discerned (2 Corinthians 2:14), and the Holy Spirit is the only one who can open the eyes of the spiritually blind.  Therefore, any witnessing efforts should be bathed in prayer that hearts and minds will be opened so that when we speak the truth in love to another person, it may please the Lord to grant him or her salvation through Jesus Christ.


  1. If you write a book, Joe, I would most certainly buy it. Simply brilliant. God has greatly blessed your mind to discern truth.

  2. An excellent post. It is very refreshing to read an article about Islam and Christianity that is so well reasoned. I didn’t realise that Muslims think they can earn their own salvation, so they don’t think they need a saviour. I do feel sorry for them believing that they have to be “martyrs” in order to be sure of salvation.

    1. There was a time when I too thought I had to be a martyr. I’m glad God cleared up my thinking.

  3. Applicable as well to many not of Muslim faith who believe that every good deed is a pebble on the right side of the scale. All who do not know Christ as savior, must. Thank you also for the reminder that every encounter must be bathed in prayer, for it is the Spirit who draws, not my convincing arguments. 🙂

    1. Right on! We can’t win people to the Lord with persuasive words. The Holy Spirit must be involved in the process.

  4. yeah dude,…”if”,….you write a book?????? i’ll buy it too!!!!!!!……………..how many points do i get on that one, mr funny man??????????????? much love my brother!!!!!!!………….

  5. oh,….and, “if” you do write a book (you know i’m smilin right now, doncha???? heh heh heh),……..well,….if ya do,…i gotcha,…”COVERED” (you see the art humor in that one? 15points……..oh this has been such a cooooooooolllllll day………

    1. I can’t wait to see a rough draft of the cover art! “Have you seen Me lately?”

  6. lol,….dr seuss,…..nice. i have seen and heard, many questions, that were created,…just to, try,…to hide the answer………….

  7. I think one of the criminal, who were nailed to the cross together with Jesus, might have a big answer..he said, “We are punished because of our own sins, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong,” and told to Jesus “Please remember me if you are back in heaven” …. this state of mind of the criminal might be an ultimate salvation, which I long for.

    1. Perfect illustration! As the criminal was about to die, he turned to Jesus for forgiveness, and Christ accepted Him. This shows that our deeds don’t save us – our faith in Christ does. The faith of this man who saw beyond his present shame to the coming glory is awe-inspiring!

  8. Wow, thanks. That’s the best explanation I’ve every read on this topic. Really helps to sort out the diffrences between Christianity and Islam and makes me so thankful I am the former!

  9. I think your last sentence was the best. Apologetics is necessary, to be sure. I may have turned away a potential brother or sister in Christ because of my lack of knowledge. Having said that, at the end of the day our best arguments NOT ‘bathed in prayer’ will be fruitless, because it’s not our words but the Spirit of God that turns a man’s heart.

  10. My best friend converted to Islam about a year or so ago. It shocked me. She said that she was always confused with Christianity about who she should pray to: God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit. She told me that she now believes that Christianity worships three gods. She won’t let me talk to her about anything remotely Christian, but she feels the need to try to teach me everything about Islam. Granted, I’ve learned a lot, but not necessarily because I’ve wanted to. She acts like even touching anything related to Christianity might set her on fire. I confess, I’m at a loss. I asked a pastor friend of mine for advice on what I should do. I haven’t told her outright that I believe she’s chosen the wrong path and that she doesn’t worship the same God that I do. He told me that instead of doing that, that I should just go on living my life being as good a Christian as I can be and let that be my “witness”. I prayed about it and that seems to me to be the right way to go for now. I’m praying that she comes back to Christ.

        1. That’s what I thought judging by your original comment, but I wasn’t sure. I think your pastor gave you good advice for now (that may change in the future, though, wait and see what happens).

          I encourage you to stand with confidence, serve with compassion, speak with care, and share with concern. James 5:19-20 says, “My [Christian] brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a [Christian] sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” Those who have lost their way are the “sick ones” of the church family. They have wandered away. According to this passage, wandering Christians need to be brought back to the fold. James referred here not to evangelism, but to restoration. Revival, not redemption, is in view.

          I hope this helps. My prayers are with you, my friend!

    1. hi ribbons, how are you today? i like your in detail letter/question……i love the short comments, but i really love the long ones. i can relate to what you asked/shared here, as i have an old friend who, “did”, the same thing. it was amazing to me all the differing thoughts and feelings which i had at the time. i didn’t get all freaked out about it, but i did think and process what i was “experiencing” because of my loved ones choice. some things we should probably take with the proverbial “grain of salt. and in turn,…this helps us be, as the bible (GOD) tells us to be, QUICK TO THINK, AND SLOW TO SPEAK. (it was more than twenty years ago now) actually, to keep from “lying” to you, inadvertently or otherwise, truth is, i’m not exactly sure which “religion” that she chose to follow???

      ribbons, your letter here, has awoke many memories in me as i think about, and write this. thanks.

      perhaps, “try out”, may be, a better word to use than “follow?” does that make sense? for example,….i ask this,….is your friend a christian? this is not to be taken, in any way, as a “trick” question, ok? i ask because of this. if she/he is,…then, they still are, aren’t they? if they are a christian,…then that is a great thing!!! for you, and your friend. what i mean is this……..

      when i was a teenager, i ran away from home. i moved in with a friend and his parents. instead of living in my old house, my father’s house, meaning a man made shell/abode,…….i simply lived in a different “man made” shell/abode……..but,…truth is, fact is,…i am still my father’s son. nothing would or could change that. do you understand what i am trying to share with you now, and why?

      take a quick look at this, ok??? and give it a ponder…..

      Romans 8:35-39
      35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
      “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
      37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      ok,…there are so many well known, and well memorized scripture which many of us are familiar with due to their constant using……the above is one of those.

      i just copied and pasted it like it is,….so now,….take a look at the first sentence, and then,…the last one

      first….35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
      last….38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


      (now, i want and need to say to and for those like joe (and the others) who are much more knowledgeable in the scriptures, that i know there is a more specific an din depth contextual meaning to what i just pasted,….and i only shared what i did here to try to illustrate that if we have truly received Jesus as our savior,…then HE IS STILL IS STILL OUR SAVIOR….as He says that HE WILL “NEVER” LEAVE US, OR FORSAKE US.

      as humans,…we can, and do, tell lies. lying, and the ability to lie, is in the very core of our selfish/sinful/imperfect/etc….i think the bible “may” say that every man (in and of himself) is a liar…..why i say this now??????? just because your friend says that they “are islam etc”,…well, that does not mean that they are telling the truth.

      i love this, your quote,…..”She acts like even touching anything related to Christianity might set her on fire. I confess, I’m at a loss.”

      as for the set her on fire part????? God (the indwelling Holy Spirit) will “burn out” of her what is not good for her,…..her dead works based religion that she is “involved” with,…and in,…..will be exposed for exactly what it is,…..in one way or another……how long will it take for God to “bring/call her back to where He wants her?????” only He knows…….but, God is much smarter than we are……..we are told, or assured, (by GOD/JESUS)…that WHATEVER GOOD WORK THAT HE HAS BEGUN IN US,…HE,….WILL FINISH……………….my life is living proof of what i just wrote…………

      so ribbons,…what would i, a total stranger tell you as far as (unasked for) advice??? it is this,….FEAR NOT. simply accept and love your friend. (AS JESUS LOVES US) as, “LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS.”


      when we “think” that someone (especially a loved one!!!) is going to hell, (for whatever the “reason”, imagined or otherwise)…we (as christians, amazingly enough!???) can,…will,…and do,….too often “suffer greatly” from a “sense of” desperation……..so,….to (falsely) free ourselves from this “feeling/emotion”,…we set out to “fix”,…who,….and what,….is not ours to fix in the first place!!!!!!!!!……….this (attitude/intent/desire) is a place, and THEE PLACE,….where the term, DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD originates from…..

      lastly,….here is another of your quotes,…. “He told me that instead of doing that, that I should just go on living my life being as good a Christian as I can be and let that be my “witness”. I prayed about it and that seems to me to be the right way to go for now……………I’m praying that she comes back to Christ

      from you said here,….i think you may understand what i just wrote here……i hope you didn’t take any thing at all that i wrote here in a bad, or rude way………..

      in summary,…it’s not talking about “anything christian”,…it’s about living it. actions speak louder that words,…………even though,……….words can be,….at the right time, and in the right situation,….be helpful too. this is my hope. have a great day!


      1. Johndoe: I tried to follow your reply. I really did, but you kind of lost me. It’s just me I guess, but I need periods and commas. You know, all the punctuation thingies. Not baggging on you in any way. Seriously, I’m not. I just can’t follow you without them. I kind of got the gist of what you were saying and I sincerely thank you for your encouragement.

      2. ribbons!!! your response is very sweet!!!! no baggin taken!!! lol,……i could use your help if you will??? could you email me about where i totally lost ya and tell me where, and on what, specifically,….also,….listening to you, will hopefully, “help” me to speak more clearly with others. lol and like yourself,…they just might really appreciate any help you can give me!!!! jus sayin!

        and,…i really liked your original comment here!!! very caring, very honest, very nice!!!!

        johnnydoe2012@hotmail.com there you go! thanks so much……….

    2. I strongly recommend checking into Ravi Zacarias’ books and talks and articles on this subject. On the philosophical level he’s best. Josh McDowell has some apologetics material as well on the historical evidence. The evidence-based faith of Christians in the Bible will strengthen your own convictions with this friend.

      Another thing is the issue of stopping the witness, and letting your life be your witness. But like the apostles said, they couldn’t stop. I don’t think the friend “converted from Christianity”, because for it to be that easy, there was little foundation in the first place. Especially with the doubts about the “Trinity”. We have no problem believing science when they say light is both a wave and a particle at the same time in the same place, despite the fact that when you observe it, the behavior is totally different depending on whether you are testing for a wave or a particle. So a three-personality Godhead is the same thing, depending on which of the three “manifestations” you are interacting with.

      Elohim (plural) is ONE God throughout the Bible.

      But that’s head stuff. Love, and loving persistence, can win. Don’t argue, but totally shutting up is not an option. Jeremiah said the truth burns like fire in his belly, Peter and John told the rulers they could not stop talking about what they had seen.

      Learning the evidence not only confirms conviction, but provides answers for the sincere.

      I recently wrote a short email (as essay) to the husband of a faithful witness co-worker once. The husband had attended the meetings for 15 years, but had doubts about there being no rain on the earth before the Flood. I laid out the case for it and the next Sunday he dedicated himself to Christ, hallelujah!

      Ravi has a “slogan”: “What we believe in our hearts must make sense in our minds”.

      We have a FACT-based faith, it is the unbelievers and infidels who have a BLIND faith in whatever they believe or claim not to have “faith” in.

  11. Greetings and thanks to you, Joe, for your many insights. Aside from the issue of whether Muslims accept Christ as a Savior, I would add this comment. Jesus is my BEST FRIEND. I love Jesus. I just think it is awful that some people just can’t wait to see Him put to death, especially because it is convenient.

    1. HI WS,…..how are you,…..i was wondering if you could help me out with what the last part of your comment meant/means please??? thanks

      1. First, John, this is Joe’s blog. I wouldn’t want to start cutting in. Second, you would have to be more specific as to what part of the comment you need explaining.

  12. You know….I used to be confused about this point as well. Reading “On the Incarnation” is what finally helped me understand. Muslims think in terms of good and bad – being good vs. being bad, good deeds vs. bad deeds. But Christians are not just supposed to be good – the goal is to be holy. And only Christ can make us holy. It isn’t just a matter of being forgiven for our sins – it is to be redeemed. And being redeemed isn’t just about erasing chalk marked points from a slate – it’s not just about justification, it is also about sanctification – at least, this is the Orthodox view – it’s about theosis. This could only be accomplished by Christ actually becoming incarnate, living a sinless life, and then dying and conquering death – then, as we are mystically joined to Him and become children of God by adoption, we become Christ-like, we become holy, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us. Just as we inherited our fallen state from the first Adam through direct biological lineage, we inherit the redeemed state through being joined to Christ mystically. It’s just a totally different framework than other world religions have or even conceive of. As C.S. Lewis said, it’s definitely not an intuitive type plan that a culture would create from years sitting around hearth and telling stories. It’s otherworldly entirely – to me, I know this is a very silly way to put it, but it’s just like a UFO landing in your backyard. It is just not of everyday human or even earthly origin. So people don’t really understand it right away – and what’s sad is many Christians aren’t very good at explaining it either. And what is saddest of all is when people choose to reject a faith without even properly understanding it first….that is something that we as Christians need to remedy.

          1. Do you mean I’m unclear in my original comment? I was just taking a trip down memory lane as to how I rejected Christianity without really understanding it (before I converted, of course). I thought I understood it – I made assumptions about it, I looked at it from the lens of my own understanding of spiritual realities, without realizing that Christianity actually takes quite a unique view of spiritual reality and the purpose of our lives, one which I wouldn’t have known from any other background. In other words, I thought I had understood the Christian concept of salvation – but in reality, I had misunderstood it. As for the part about salvation, among Orthodox, being understood to mean both justification and sanctification wrapped up in one – for me, this was crucial to understanding the Gospel, to understanding the Christian concept of salvation. It made very little sense otherwise. Not sure if that clarified anything – if not, it’s probably because we come from very different religious backgrounds, I’m pretty sure. I was born and raised Hindu. I’ve often had the experience where people who were born Christian didn’t even really understand my questions/thoughts about Christianity. Thankfully, I did come across “On the Incarnation” by St. Athanasius, who was writing very early on, while the majority of the world was still pagan. I think that really enabled him to explain the Gospel and salvation in a way that finally made sense to me.

            1. Thanks 🙂 I really mean to write a blog post about it….I’ve been pulled away from blogging for a while now, so we’ll see when I can re-focus and write again.

  13. Thanks for “liking” my recent blog post, “The Sacrifice at Golgotha” ( I won’t spam you by posting the link in your comments). Since what I wrote is on a topic very related to this one, I was wondering if you could comment on the central question I brought up relative to human sacrifice and the death of Jesus? If at all possible can you relate the New Testament “requirement” for the death of the Son of God back to the Old Testament?


  14. May God continue to give you wisdom to teach others. You are a blessing to our generation. I appreciate and celebrate you

  15. Thanx for writing this article. I recently, for the first time, had a chance to witness to a muslim lady who stopped by my blog and I follow hers now. I prayed a lot before I wrote anything but from the tone of her recent blog I thought she was searching because she seemed dissatified in her religion so I felt that this might be an opportunity to witness that I should not pass up. I wrote basically what you said and then when I rechecked the blog someone who was Jewish and had become a Quaker had written to her telling her that all roads lead to “God” no matter whether one is a Muslim or Budhist or whatever and he somewhat discredited the Bible as well and he went on to say that everyone is going to heaven. She agreed with him and answered me very kindly but rejected my message. It is so discouraging when one meets people like that who think they have all the answers because they have studied an abundance of “religions” I met a lady in the dog park who was in her 80’s and when i witnessed to her she had the same response. It is discouraging. I think people today are so confused that even in the face of the truth they cannot believe though I know it is the Holy Spirit that has to open the heart to understand, Still it is discouraging.

  16. In my travell of 25 years I could not find that a Muslim would be convinced by a Christian nor a Christian be convinced by a Muslim. That is what I call belief and it comes through perception.

    That is why in the Holy Koran say you practice your religion and let us practice ours.

    1. Thanks for joining the conversation. I am curious to learn more about your faith if you want to share with me.

      1. Joe, I guess I would describe myself as a conservative Evangelical Christian. I grew up Lutheran back when they were much more conservative than now. Now I go to Second Baptist in Houston. I feel as Christians we need to be more concerned with the essential doctrines, Triune God, virgin birth, the incarnation, Christ’s atoning death on the cross and His resurrection, rather than arguing about minor points of doctrine. We should be spending our time sharing the Good News with others rather than debating each other. I started my blog to share what God has taught me with others.

      2. Dave, thanks for sharing your background with me. My testimony about how I came to know Christ is here – https://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/my-testimony. After trusting Christ as my personal Savior, I went on to graduate Bible College and serve the Lord in various ways. Today, I am writing a devotional book, am a Sunday School teacher, and am taking courses at Baptist Bible Seminary.
        I really enjoy the work you are doing on your blog. Expect to receive some comments from me soon!

  17. Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoyed reading you post. I have to say that, as a whole, Christianity confuses me (organized religions in general). I am one of those people who doesn’t understand why there has to be a “middle man”. If God created us then why can’t we deal with him directly? If Jesus died to remove our sins then why are we still sinners? if God is a perfect being then why are we, his creations, imperfect? I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it’s never quite made sense to me.

      1. Thank you for the reply. I did read your post “The Fall of Man”. It did answer one of my questions but brought up
        several others.
        1. If Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil before eating from the tree, how were they to know that the serpent was evil? What of their innocence?
        2. If God is omniscient and omnipotent shouldn’t he have known the possible results of creating creatures with free will and curiosity?
        3. If God did know exactly what was going to happen why, then, did he put the tree there in the first place? If he truly did not want us to have that particular bit of knowledge why put it within reach?
        4.Why does one act of disobedience condemn us for eternity? Again, if he knew what was going to happen why was he so surprised and angry that it actually happened (at least it seems that way)?

        I can only view things from the perspective of what feels right to me. I am curious to know if there are any “concrete” answers that would make sense to me. As a devout Christian do you have any unanswered questions or is everything resolved with faith?

        1. I am new to this blog but would like to give my answers to your questions.
          1) Adam and Eve did not know sin but they could have made the decision to obey God. Instead they believed the serpent and wanted to be like God, something that has tempted men through the ages.
          2 Gos is omniscient and could have created man without free will. That would have made us no different than any other animal. Free will while it allow great evil also allow great good. God wanted us to be follow Him by choice.
          3 Without choice we are little more than robots. God wants us to freely choose Him, He will never force Himself on anyone.
          4 The disobedience, sin, caused the rift with God. God is perfect and any sinful creature cannot be in His presence. God knew what we would do and He had a plan to redeem us and bring us in a right relationship with His. This is the incarnation of Jesus, God in flesh. Jesus’ atoning death and most important the bodily resurrection.

          Christianity is the only religion I am aware of that one does not need to take on faith alone. There is ample evidence for the resurrection. But, yes I have doubts and have had doubts. I would suggest you read Norman Geisler’s “I Don’t have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” . I have found this a very readable book that can answer many of your questions. Also, read more at this blog and please check out my blog. I have some links to sights that may help answers some of your questions.
          Finally, most Christians have questions. God is so big that we will never be able to completely comprehend Him, fortunately we don’t have to.

          Have a blessed day,


          1. Thank you That was very kind of you. From the perspective of human logic it all seems a bit overly complicated. I know, no one can know the mind of God. Shouldn’t he understand us trying, though?

        2. VoxRev, I just got around to reading my email from reasons to Believe and it pertains to some of your questions. Check it out here: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=9sgguwcab&v=001NjFhwRkk_bG-yQgUh87SlUJ99ZHXbd97E8vLgqARM3XSaMHkKQ-vtGIfMwjpZQQXQMGgvG2PDqwz31Cb9utqYPldcwBZpE2mEqv2Mre2Do4%3D. You may need to paste it in your browser. Reasons to Believe is the ministry of Hugh Ross and astrophysicists and Christian. He does Apologetics from a scientific point of view. I was able to attend one of his seminars and have been following him ever since.. Finally, anyone who seeks God, He will answer them. Maybe by using Joe’s blog.

      2. Thank you, VoxRev, these are great questions! I will admit I have wondered at times myself. Here are my conclusions:

        1. Satan used a sincere motive to tempt Eve – “you will be like God.” It wasn’t wrong of Eve to want to be like God. To become more like God is a worthy goal. It is what we are supposed to do. But Satan misled Eve concerning the right way to accomplish this goal. He told her she would become more like God by defying His authority and deciding for herself what was best for her life. Self-exaltation leads to rebellion against God. When we leave God out of our plans, we are placing ourselves above Him. This is exactly what Satan wants us to do.

        Adam and Eve got what they wanted: an intimate knowledge of both good and evil. But they got it by doing evil and the results were (and still are) disastrous. Sometimes, we have the illusion that freedom is doing anything we want. But God says true freedom comes from obedience and knowing what to “not” do. The restrictions He gives us are for our good, helping us avoid evil.

        2. Yes, God is omniscient and omnipotent; therefore, He did know what would happen before it happened.

        3. That’s the million dollar question! Why put the tree there in the first place? I agree with Dave. God created us as free moral creatures. It is self-awareness that identifies man from the rest of God’s created order. Adam and Eve knew they were wrong, but they ate the forbidden fruit anyway. Wanting to live independently from God is sinful.

        4. God was not surprised they ate the forbidden fruit. As you said, He is omnipotent. I will admit, life would sometimes be easier if God didn’t give us a free will, but then we would be no different than robots or animals, as Dave said.

        This original act of disobedience condemns us because “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a). In that moment of rebellion, God’s perfect creation was shattered. Man was separated from God by his desire to act on his own. Adam is the representative head of all humanity. His sinful DNA is being passed down through the ages into all of us. Our acts of rebellion today prove we are descendants of Adam.

        The good news is “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). In the case of man’s sin, God already had a plan in motion to overcome the effects of the rebellion. The entire Bible is the story of how that plan unfolds, ultimately leading to God’s own visit to earth through His Son, Jesus. His sinless life and death make it possible for God to offer forgiveness to all who want it. Jesus sacrificed Himself to pay the penalty of our sins. He acted as our Substitute. Only by asking forgiveness of Jesus Christ can we become children of God. By putting our faith and trust in Jesus, we can be forgiven! Eternal life is a free gift from God, not something of our own doing (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is not something we can earn, nor must it be paid back. Our salvation is a free gift received by God’s grace through faith in Jesus. God saves because of His mercy, not because of any righteous thing we have done (Titus 3:5).

        Let’s keep talking. What are your thoughts?


  18. That’s a great look at a complex topic… I just yesterday had a conversation over twitter about this very topic, and the question came up almost immediately, “why did Jesus have to die?”

    Since I’m not usually debating Muslim’s all that often I was ready with an answer, but confused as to out of all the questions they might ask, why that… great answer here, thanks.

  19. Wow a lot of responses here Joe, I’m not sure if i should leave mine or not but here goes. Why Jesus had to die. Paul has a lot to say and you quoted many verses which is normal for Christians to do. But I am a simpleton and I need help beyond the norm. I read and think until it hurts sometimes, and if you knew me you’d know why it hurts. Anyway I love the thing which I finally realized about why Jesus had to die. What I realized is that In the beginning God made man of dirt, and the woman from the man. ‘both were complete and had the option to eat from the tree of life which is everlasting life. Remember both were created, and both sinned before they ever had children. The first human ever born was a Cain who was born with the sin of Adam and Eve, remember too that God had driven them out of the Garden so that they could not eat of the tree of life and live forever in their condition. Moving onward we see that every human to be born into this world was born of this sin condition and that Only Jesus Christ was born without the seed of sin received from the carnal birth. Technically, he is and was the only live birth ever. So when we get to John ch 3 we see that he is saying ‘okay your here, and alive, but you are dead, so you must be born ‘again’. Salvation is more than a confession it is the door to eternity, to everlasting life, to the tree of life which no man had ever tasted, until Yeshua came. Hmmm Just musing here God bless all who might read this comment.

      1. Hi Joe, I’d like to invite you to have a read of my book Storm, which I am writing chapter by chapter right here on word press. I think you might really like it if you just want to read say chp 20-22 that would be good but its all there to date from 1 to 22 thanks Y/T Hubert

  20. Nice man. Thanks for supporting the truth!
    Without the justice of God we can’t understand any of the gospel! Romans 3:21-26, God would have been unjust to let sinners into heaven, because their sin would go unpunished. Yet God did indeed punish ours sins in Christ. This propitiation (appeasement from God’s wrath) in His blood was made for all who believe.
    P.S. I love that you used the words “substitution” and “penalty”. 😉

    1. He had to die and be reborn in order to probvide an analogue of hope for the believer – that he too will be reborn after death. It was a Greek idea that attached itself to Hebrew monotheism to pave the way for Christianity.

  21. Joe, I think I might could show you a bridge on “Why had to die” that will throw your Muslim friends I to loop they haven’t encountered before. It is sound but heterodoxical, which is the monniker many know me by.

    If you would like we could discuss it, or I guess I could post it on my spot. Although I think it is best in chat, I will follow your lead if you are interested.

      1. Why did Jesus have to die…… if you could approach the Muslim friends and give them a view they haven’t considered before, could you carry the chat further?

        Ask yourself, could an omnipotent god forgive sins without blood being spilled?

        Apparently, in the time of Melchizedek, who was high priest and mediator to god most high, they could be forgiven. That was the role of a mediator after all.

        So, why did god send Christ? I will have to wait for a keyboard and not thumbs, but it adds to his sacrifice.

  22. Another little “difference” with Islam: The Koran has at least 100 verses with words to the effect that it is OK to lie to and cheat an unbeliever. That non believers are the enemies of God and therefore killing them is not a crime or sin. And some verses demand the murder of non believers as a condition of faith. As establishing a world wide caliphate is the goal exterminating all non believers and religions and this end justifies any means. Some religion, eh?

    As far as Mohammed is concerned, how can a man who waged war with the sword be God’s prophet? This is inconsistent with all religions of the rest of the world.

  23. Thank you for visiting my blog Senseless Ramblings of the Mindless. I have been trying to get more conversations and followers like you have on here. I live in Utah and the majority of the people are Mormons and they have alot of similarities, but they also go by works. You have to earn your way to heaven by good works. Plus there are many other things as well. I enjoyed reading your blog and your thoughts. The only way to get to heaven is “Christ Alone”. He died for my sins and everyone else’s. I would love to reblog your post if that is OK with you. I’m always working at trying to put Biblical Truth and God’s Word into my blogs since I have many friends and followers that are LDS… Thank you for liking my blog and your blog has been a blessing. I do plan on reading more of your posts in the coming days.

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