Question (From three Muslims): In Christianity, it is taught that everyone is born a sinner. If that is true, then how can God accept us in heaven [since] that is a sinless place? According to what standard are we judged worthy or unworthy to enter paradise/heaven? What is good enough? God requires sinless perfection, which we can never attain to by our works. Will He accept something less? How can He?
Answer: Your question goes to the very heart of the difference between true biblical Christianity and Islam (and all other religions). The issue is God’s infinite justice in relation to man’s undeniable sin and outright rebellion against God. As the Bible says, “All have sinned [and] the wages of sin is death” (Rom:3:23; 6:23). Even if it were possible, living a perfect, sinless life in the future could never pay the penalty for sins of the past. Justice does not work that way.
Islam (like every other world religion, and much that calls itself Christianity) urges its followers to do good (the greatest “good” is to die injihad) in the hope that their good deeds will outweigh their bad ones in the “last day” judgment. Of course, there is no court of law on earth that would release anyone from the penalty prescribed by the law because they had done “more good than evil.” Nor will God accept such a plea from anyone, including Muhammad. As for suicide bombers, they cannot pay for their sins by committing suicide, and especially not by killing innocent people in the process. It does not speak well for either Muhammad or Allah to make Paradise the reward for committing murder!
Jesus Christ, who is God, became a man through a virgin birth, lived a perfect sinless life (in contrast to Muhammad whom the Qur’an commands to confess his sins), and died for our sins on the cross, paying the penalty that God’s infinite justice demanded for the sins of all mankind, and resurrected from the dead. On this righteous basis, God offers a just pardon of all sins for those who believe that Christ paid that penalty and rose from the grave.