THE ERROR THAT THOSE WHO BELIEVE JESUS (PBUH) TO BE DIVINE WILL GO TO PARADISE
True Believers Are Tested by Difficulties
Many Christians who believe in the error of the Trinity also without any hesitation believe implicitly that they will go to paradise. According to that erroneous belief, it is enough to believe in the divinity of Jesus (God is beyond this) in order to go to paradise. This false idea certainly has no place in true Christianity and is one of those subsequently set out by the Church; but Christians think they have to go definitely along with this erroneous belief because of sanctions and pressure from the Church. Christians therefore believe that Jesus was crucified in redemption of all their sins and that popes or priests can forgive their sins. They fall into the error of believing that this belief will save them and they will definitely go to paradise. According to these Christians, if there is to be punishment in the hereafter, it is only for those who deny the divinity of Jesus (surely God is beyond that).
The statements that follow are directed toward those Christians who have fallen into this error:
We would like to ask those Christians who hold that belief the following questions:
In that case, why is there a test? Why are people tested?
Why are difficulties, disasters, atheism, communism, lovelessness, murder, war, earthquakes, hurricanes and death created?
Why are some things lawful or unlawful?
What is the basis of good and evil?
Is the purpose of this world to sit, eat, drink and wait for death, saying that Jesus is divine?
What about striving for God's approval, suffering troubles, restraining one's earthly desires and being patient in the face of difficulties, sickness and tribulations?
Since it is so easy to attain paradise, what need is there to practice such virtues as loyalty, altruism, forgiveness, consideration, friendship and protectiveness?
What place does the struggle against perils such as atheism, irreligion and communism occupy in this belief?
Are religious obligations involved in this belief?
Does one have to strive for God's approval under this belief?
Of course God would not create such a faith.
It is a law of God that there is a reason for the creation on Earth. Almighty God reveals this purpose in the Koran:
He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving. (Koran, 57:2)
The Gospel also reveals that Christians must be in a constant state of striving and hope:
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews, 6:11-12)
Therefore, my dear friends, … continue to work out your salvation... (Philippians, 2:12)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
"We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God [paradise]," they said. (Acts, 14:22)
The purpose behind our creation is to be tested; this test distinguishes between those people who live for God and unbelievers. As it is stated in the verse, everyone will be tested in terms of behavior and good deeds, and those who pass the test will go to paradise.
The wisdom behind the difficulties in this world is revealed thus in the Gospel:
See what this Godly sorrow [the difficulties that you face as a test from God] has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves…. (2 Corinthians, 7:11)
The test in this world is challenging. That is why the prophets were also confronted by difficulties. That is why they were threatened with death, exiled from their homes or wrongfully imprisoned. Everyone who preaches for God's approval, who describes the existence of God, who opposes all the irreligious trends currently prevailing across the world, will face similar problems. Everyone who believes in God, who speaks of His might and greatness will undergo the difficulties of the test. In this way, they exhibit sincerity toward God. Loving God and being determined to worship Him, regardless of the difficulties, makes a person truly devout. This sincerity and love of God are proved by this determination and fortitude. Therefore, the determinant of faith is to face difficulties for God's sake, to make no concessions in worshiping Him, no matter what the prevailing conditions, and to live for God, not for this world.
Someone who lives for God is not looking for ease in this world. On the contrary, he knows he will face troubles. He knows he will be tested by trials and tribulations. He believes this is how he will display his sincerity toward God. This is an explicit truth that God sets out in the Koran:
Or did you suppose that you would enter the Garden without facing the same as those who came before you? Poverty and illness afflicted them and they were shaken to the point that the Messenger and those who believed with him said, "When is God's help coming?" Be assured that God's help is very near. (Koran, 2:214)
Since Jesus (pbuh) is a prophet and one who preaches the word, he encountered difficulties because he called on people to believe in God. This is revealed in several passages from the Gospel:
At once the Spirit sent him [Jesus] out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, enduring temptations from satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. (Mark, 1:12-13)
Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere. (Mark, 1: 45)
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons." (Mark, 3: 20-22)
"Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home." (Mark, 6: 3-4)
… "and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him …." (Mark, 10: 33-34)
Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. "But not during the festival," they said, "or the people may riot." (Mark, 14:1-2)
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. (Mark, 14: 55-56)
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?" (Matthew, 22:18)
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. (Matthew, 26: 3-4)
The 12th Century Church of St. Gabriel in Tarascon, France
The Gospel also describes the situation of the disciples who accepted all kinds of risks for the sake of God:
"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me [for the approval of God] and the Gospel [God's commandments] will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first." (Mark, 10:29-31)
[Jesus said:] And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake [for the approval of God] will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:30-31)
... Those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter, 4:19)
[Jesus:] "You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged... On account of me [because you obey me to gain God's good pleasure] you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the Gospel [God's commandments] must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of God. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me [because you obey me to gain God's good pleasure], but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Mark, 13:9-13)
"But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to... prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name [because you obey me for the approval of God]... You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me [because you obey me for the approval of God]. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life." (Luke, 21:12-19)
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem... Saul be
gan to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. (Acts, 8:1-4)
[Prophets] who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies... Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection [in the hereafter]. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. (Hebrews, 11:33-38)
[Jesus:] "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray... in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known God or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you…" (John, 16:1-4)
(For other passages from the Gospel on the subject see Pleasant Words from the Gospel, chapter 17, Harun Yahya)
God does not forgive anything being associated with Him but He forgives whoever He wills for anything other than that. Anyone who associates something with God has committed a terrible crime. (Koran, 4:48)
What the Gospel and the Koran tell us is this: since believers have faith, and preach and follow the path of God;
They are killed
They are exiled
They hear harsh words
They are put on trial
They are often imprisoned
They are beaten and tortured
They are beaten with whips and chains
They are accused by false witnesses
They live in poverty
They are accused of madness
They are rejected and even killed by their families
They live up in the mountains or in caves or underground
They are hated
And they suffer
These are attributes of believers according to the Gospel. Prophets and true believers have lived like that; they were tested and suffered. That all happened solely because they believed in God and made no concessions in their faith. This means that a believer is someone who undergoes hardships for God's sake and is harshly tested.
That is why we love all the prophets. We also love the disciples and companions for that reason. They showed the depth of their faith, their love of God and their desire to live for God's approval and that they desired the hereafter, not this world. And that is why they have been rewarded with the finest mansions of paradise.
That is true faith. It is a fact revealed by God in the three Divine books and proved in the lives of the prophets. True faith does not mean sitting at home saying how much one loves God. Those who claim to love God must know the content of faith.
The Idea That "If You Believe Jesus (pbuh) Is Divine You Will Go to Paradise" Is Very Dangerous
How evangelists and many other Christian churches that espouse belief in the Trinity conceive of the hereafter is very mistaken. Under such a belief, there is no need for an intellectual struggle for God's sake. There is no need to strive against such irreligious tendencies as atheism, Darwinism and communism. There is no need for worship. In that person's own eyes, he has already long since gained God's approval; all he needs to do is go to church once a week and indeed, some people see no need even to do that. There is no conception of facing difficulties for God's sake in such a belief. That person will not enter into places and subjects where difficulties are going to be encountered. There is nothing in such an environment that conflicts with a person's earthly desires, that requires sacrifices for God or that requires the exhibition of patience, loyalty, determination and steadfastness before God. The person lives for this world, in this world. He never encounters anything that will trouble his desires, family or life; even if he is cruel or sinful, he still thinks he will go to paradise because he believes Jesus (pbuh) is divine. And in such a religious conception, this is regarded as sufficient.
Of course, we need to exclude some Christians here. Certainly, not all Christians hold this belief. This is directed solely toward those Christians who espouse the idea of the Trinity and have an erroneous conception of paradise.
There is no system of justice in such an erroneous conception of religion. There is no distinction between wrongdoers and those who do good for God. The only distinction between people is based on whether they believe in the Trinity or not. Even if someone who has suffered for God all his life, who has done good and spent his life making sacrifices for Him, the moment he rejects the idea of the Trinity, then according to this belief he will go to hell.
Our call to our sincere Christian brothers is this:
Various additions and innovations have been made to all the true faiths over the course of time. Various groups have attempted to corrupt them all. Those who make such additions to Christianity are not true believers so to blindly follow these additions may end in terrible regret. Sincere Christians need to find the true path by becoming acquainted with God, obeying the true words of the Gospel and making resort to good conscience, faith and reason.
Being religious requires a fear of God. Religious observances can be performed with joy and without concessions through a fear of God based on love of Him. One can display fortitude in the face of troubles and spend every moment of one's life for God. A devout believer's life will change. True believers live with God. Their lives are thus different to those of the majority of people. Of course, devout people too enjoy the blessings of this world in the very finest way, but they have no worldly expectations. Trials and difficulties do not upset them; they know that, like all goodness, troubles also come from God. They give more thanks with difficulties, and are made stronger by them. This fact is revealed as follows in the Gospel:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James, 1:2-4)
[You] who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor… Though you have not seen him [the Messiah], you love him [for the sake of God]; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him [as a prophet of God] and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter, 1:5-9)
That is why those who love God are strong enough to do anything for Him at any moment. Love of God involves determination, persistence, perseverance and moral virtue. It requires self-sacrifice. Therefore, paradise can only be attained through striving for it. It is only possible by pleasing God, living for Him, persevering in the test and, when necessary, turning one's back on all worldly things, especially life and possessions, for His sake.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me [obeying me to please God]. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven [hereafter], for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew, 5:11-12)
Those who will not be disappointed in the hereafter, be they Christian, Jew or Muslims, are those who believe in God the One and Only and who do good works. This is revealed as follows in the Koran:
Those who believe, those who are Jews, and the Christians and Sabaeans, all who believe in God and the Last Day and act rightly, will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Koran, 2:62)
Those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabaeans and the Christians, all who believe in God and the Last Day and act rightly will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Koran, 5:69)
If sincere Christians continue to believe, may God forbid, that thinking that Jesus (pbuh) is divine will cause the gates of paradise to open up for them, and to maintain a belief in the Trinity, then this may lead them to suffering a regret in the hereafter they never imagined in their lives. For that reason, Christians who believe in the Trinity must heed the warnings given throughout this book, revise their life styles in the light of the conditions for faith set out by God that are pleasing to Him and seek to grasp what true faith really is. Of course, as we stated at the beginning of this book, the prerequisite for true faith is to believe in God, the One and Only.
A reminder is called for here; this reminder is intended solely for the good of our Christian brothers. Such a reminder is clearly not intended to benefit anyone else. Everyone is responsible for his own actions in the hereafter. But such a reminder is required as a religious obligation because Muslims are commanded in the Koran to "command what is good and forbid what is evil."
In this book, some of our Christian brothers may be reading facts they have never heard before. When Jesus appears again, that holy prophet will tell our Christian brothers of these terrible errors they have fallen into and the additions that have been included in Christianity at later dates. All these things are written in the Koran, which was sent to complete and confirm the Gospel and the Torah, and is therefore a holy scripture for Christians and Jews as well as Muslims. As we show with numerous examples in this book, many passages from the Gospel that are compatible with the Koran confirm these. Therefore, our Christian brothers must act in line with reason and good conscience. They must spend this valuable period by striving hard to replace the oppression, disorder, suffering and difficulties in the world with peace, brotherhood and love. They must not forget that only in this way can they enjoy a fine reward in the hereafter.