No Muslims in Heaven - Russian Saint Explains Why (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov)

One of Russia's most beloved saints explains why the Orthodox Church alone is pleasing to God, and is the only religion which leads to heaven.

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It is in vain, mistaken, that you think and say that good people among... the Mohammedans will be saved, that is, that they will enter into communion with God! It’s in vain that you look at the opposite idea as if it were a novelty, as if it were an intruding error! No! This is the constant teaching of the true Church, both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Church has always recognized that there is one means of salvation: the Redeemer! The Church recognized that the greatest virtues of fallen nature descend to hell. If the righteous of the true Church, the lamps from which the Holy Spirit shone, the prophets and wonderworkers, who believed in the coming Redeemer, but whose death preceded the coming of the Redeemer, descended into hades, then how do you expect... the Mohammedans, because they seem kind to you, who do not know and who did not believe in the Redeemer, to receive salvation?... Christians! know Christ! Understand that you do not know Him, and that you denied Him, when you assumed that salvation is possible for someone who merely does some good deeds!

He who recognizes the possibility of salvation without faith in Christ, denies Christ, and perhaps unknowingly falls into the grave sin of blasphemy. “We imagine,” says the holy Apostle Paul, “that through faith a man will be justified, without the works of the law. The truth of God through the faith of Jesus Christ is in all and on all who believe: there is no difference. For all who have sinned and come short of the glory of God are justified by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:28, 22). You will object: “The Holy Apostle James absolutely demands good works; he teaches that faith without works is dead.” Consider what the Holy Apostle James demands. You will see that he demands, like all the God-inspired writers of the Holy Scriptures, works of faith, and not the good deeds of our fallen nature! He requires living faith, confirmed by the deeds of the new man, and not the good deeds of the fallen nature, contrary to faith.

He cites the act of the patriarch Abraham, the deed from which the faith of the righteous man emerged: this deed consisted in sacrificing his only begotten son to God. To sacrifice one’s son is not at all a good deed by human nature: it is a good deed, as the fulfillment of God’s command, as a deed of faith. Take a closer look at the New Testament and in general at all of Holy Scripture: you will find that it requires the fulfillment of God’s commandments, that this fulfillment is called works, that from this fulfillment of God’s commandments faith in God becomes living, as active; without it faith is dead, as if deprived of all movement. And on the contrary, you will find that good deeds of fallen nature, from feelings, from blood, from impulses and tender sensations of the heart - are forbidden, rejected! And it’s these good deeds that you like about... Mohammedans! For them, even if it was with the rejection of Christ, you want to give them salvation.

Letter 203

Blessed are you, who have known the difference between spiritual and spiritual virtues, between the virtues characteristic of the New Adam alone, and the virtues of which the Old Adam is capable: between the virtues of the Gospel and the virtues of our fallen nature, virtues that are not alien to idolaters, Mohammedans, and all other people, those who have deviated from following the holy Truth.

Letter 234

Faith is only holy and true when it is faith in holy Truth, when it is faith brought to earth by the Divine Truth incarnate, our Lord Jesus Christ. Any other faith, except faith in the holy Truth, is superstition. The fruits of superstition are destruction. Such a faith is condemned by God: it is believed by idolaters in their idols, Muslims in the false prophet Mohammed and the Koran, heretics in their blasphemous dogmas and in their heresearchs, and rationalists in the fallen human mind. This is how such followers will believe in the Antichrist. 

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