I love those who love Allah because they are made in God’s image. I love the zeal and passion they show in following what they believe. I wish that some of my Christian friends would exhibit this same sort of zeal and passion for following God! Because of the love and respect I have for my Muslim friends, I hope they will tolerate my frank and honest discussion as well as this additional question.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I could only find two Surahs that mention Allah’s love for his people:
- “Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”. Surah 3:31
- “Never stand in it; certainly a masjid founded on piety from the very first day is more deserving that you should stand in it; in it are men who love that they should be purified; and Allah loves those who purify themselves. Surah 9:108
These passages say that Allah loves his people but they seem to be conditional. In Surah 3:31 it appears Allah will love you only if you love him. In Surah 9:108 it appears that Allah will love you if you purify yourself. Is that how you understand them? Is Allah’s love conditional?
Love is the greatest of all ethics. I would have expected Allah, if he is a maximally great God, to exhibit the greatest of all ethics in a maximally great way, but I just don’t see that in him. Am I missing something here?
A Truly Loving God
I performed the very same search using the Bible as well. In contrast I found 29 passages that mention God’s love for us. Among the passages that tell of God’s love are these:
- “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”.
1 John 4:7-11
- “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Romans 8:38-39
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
- “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions”. Psalm 51:1
- “Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever”. Psalm 136:2
- “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word”.
2 Thessalonians 16-17
God Did for Us What We Could Not Do for Ourselves
The God of Christianity is a maximally holy God. He cannot be in the presence of sin, but he saw that we could not rescue ourselves from sin, so in his mercy he provided a way of rescue for us. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. (2 Corinthians 5:21) We were bound to the law of sin and death because we could not live up to God’s standard, but God willingly sacrificed his one and only son “so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:5). That is how a maximally great God shows love in a maximally great way!
I know my Muslim friends are now thinking that I believe in three Gods. May it never be! There is one God. All Christians believe that there is one God who is revealed to us in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one God is eternally one in essence and eternally distinct in three persons. This allows God to express all the range emotions that we feel in a maximally great way – even before the creation of the universe. That is something that the lonely Allah could not do before creation (I mean no disrespect in saying that – it just seems to follow from what I know about Allah – please correct me if I’m wrong). The idea of a triune God, a God who is three in one, is hard for us to comprehend but perhaps we can apprehend who he is. We have to remember that we are finite beings and God is an infinite God. Actually we are finite “becomings” because we are not yet what God intends us to be. God is the only one who has eternal being. God has condescended to reveal himself to us – even to the point of becoming one of us to suffer in our place. He saw our suffering and chose to suffer with us. That is a maximally great love!
God has given us a free gift as so well described in Romans 5:6-10. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” So then, we are justified by faith just as Abraham was. For Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Galatians 3:6). “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith”. (Galatians 3:7-9 & Genesis 12:3)
God is offering you the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus . Will you put your faith in Christ and receive him as your savior?