In the previous lesson in this series, we looked at the religion and followers of Hinduism. We discovered that it is the third largest religion in the world, sees its "god" as a single being that manifests itself in many forms; it focuses on meditation, living a pure life, and reincarnation.
We saw that one of the things that distinguishes this religion from Buddhism is the fact that Buddhism does not have a god or gods it worships, and that the Hindu religion believes reincarnation can place your soul not just in humans but others as well, such as animals, where Buddhist believe it only continues from human to human until you achieve "enlightenment."
In this lesson, we continue on our study by looking at the second largest religion in the world—Islam. Perhaps having roots as far back as Abraham, we will look closely at the religion, Islam—as well as its followers the Muslims, who today seem to be in the news everywhere we look.
Get your research tools handy; you might find the Internet extremely helpful this week as has it been in the past, as well as Dr. Martin’s book, "The Kingdom of the Cults", and answer the following questions:
- How many followers of Islam are there today?
- Where was it founded and when?
- What is Muhammed’s background and history leading up to his vision?
- What is the background of the growth of Islam?
- What is their position on the Bible, God and Theology?
- What are the Quran and the Hadith?
- What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
- What is a Jihad?
- What does Islam teach its followers about suicide?
- What is the significance of Islam’s holiest period, Ramadan?
- Christians and Muslims both believe in Jesus. What is different about their beliefs?
- Define the Sunni, Shi’ite and Sufism schools of practice within Islam.
- Who are "The Baha’i World Faith", "The Black Muslims", and the "Ahmadis"?
Again in this lesson, we look at a religion that offers its followers freedom from the pain and struggles of this life and a hope that a lasting peace and freedom can be found through following the teachings, practices and writings of one person professing to be God’s messenger. Again you will see a focus on mankind’s actions in achieving salvation through works and a message that perverts God’s Holy Word into looking like the truth, when in fact it is all a lie inspired by Satan and created by man.
It is always difficult for us to understand how so many people could follow the teachings of Islam—or any of the other religion that we have studied in this lesson series, but we know that Christ taught us many would follow the path that leads to destruction. It is our responsibility to offer ourselves as God’s messengers of the Gospel of Christ to them and to pray for their salvation.
Recently, we have seen a prominent Catholic Bishop in Washington now teach that it is okay to accept evolution as a valid teaching of the church, so long as "God" is the creator—a literal translation of the creation story is not necessary. Apostasy is all around us, both in the guise of "Christian Doctrine" and in the religions and cults of the world.
As Bible believing Christians, we are challenged at every turn to know the truth and to guard the truth with all diligence. Christ tells us He is the truth, believe in Him and the Truth shall set you free. I pray our studies in this series have helped you in this quest, and in the daily battle to keep God’s Word pure and in our hearts.
Thanks again for studying with us.