A Very Thorny Question

From Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: “There will be no persons in heaven who have not personally accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  No Jews, no Hindus, no Muslims will be in heaven.”  That’s roughly 2,616,000,000 people [two billion, six hundred and sixteen million].

We know from the July 3rd post that Pastor Hamilton has problems excluding that many people from heaven.  We know that his conception of God [the Christian God] won’t allow this mass of humanity to be condemned to hell.  The numbers overpower Hamilton, the righteous seeking of a deity overpowers Hamilton and man’s heart overpowers Hamilton [the idea that the Christian God sees into the heart of man and forgives the billions].

Let’s stop and ask a thorny question. How can Christians say the Jewish people cannot get to heaven?

The Jews are the “chosen people”; in Deuteronomy 7: 6-8 it says, “For you are a holy people unto the LORD your God: the LORD your God hath chosen you to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers…”

The Jews were chosen to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth.

The Jews were chosen to be a light to the Gentiles.

But many Christians don’t believe they will be in heaven.

Before we go any further, some Jews have accepted Jesus as the Messiah but what about the ones who have not?

Some point to the treatment of Jesus while He was here on earth but that is the obvious simple answer and the problem goes much deeper than that. Jewish people don’t see the need to be saved because they don’t see man as having a sin nature.  Jewish people don’t believe in a literal hell.  Do Jewish people feel they can sin?  Of course they do, but Jewish people feel that atonement is possible if proper atoning procedures are followed.   Just look at Leviticus 17 for information about atonement.

The New Testament and New Covenant tell Christians and Messianic Jews that all of us miss the mark [see Romans 3]. All of us suffer the consequences of sin, and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We are all in need of salvation from our sin; we are all in need of a Savior. The New Testament teaches that Jesus the Messiah is “the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Him” (John 14:6) And, most importantly, “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which it is necessary for us to be saved” (Acts 4:12).

But without the existence of the Jewish people would we have Jesus?

No, we must never forget that Jesus was a Jew, a rabbi. A rabbi is a Jewish scholar or teacher, especially one who studies or teaches Jewish law.  For the Christian who believes in exclusivity, Jews would be excluded from heaven but ironically, the way to heaven is to believe in a Jewish rabbi named Jesus Christ.

But again, what about the “chosen people?”

Is God through with them? Since Orthodox Jews don’t believe like Christians, are they doomed?  For the Christian who takes the idea that the Messiah is “’the way, and the truth, and the life” literally, the only way for a Jew to be in heaven is for them to believe that Jesus is needed for salvation purposes.   Jesus must be their Savior.

If a Jewish person can’t admit the need for a savior, it sounds like God may be through with them.

I am not a student of the “end times”; however, when you study Zechariah 12:10, Jeremiah 33:8, Ezekiel 11:17, and Romans 11:26, it sounds like God is not through with these special people.  In the end times, Israel will be regenerated, restored, and regathered in their homeland.

We should not forget that.

Until then, they need to admit the need for Jesus as their Savior.

So sayeth the Christian who believes in exclusivity.

A very strict answer for a very thorny question…

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