Monday Musings for October 23, 2017

Good morning, Musers,

One of my frequent comments about nominal Christianity is that it’s easier for a pagan or an out-and-out atheist to find the true God than it is for someone who almost has the right god… one that kind of looks and smells like ours. It’s sort of like in boxing where you can punch from arm’s length but not while in the clinches.

Today’s questioner is antsy about religious Jews being condemned. After all, they share our history — and they have the “right” God! But do they? I challenge that notion. The God I worship has revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ… and I subscribe to the religion that bears his name. So, how can I give a salvific pass to people who reject that name categorically as part of their religious identity?

Now, there are indeed Jews who had progressed along with God’s revelation, and so have come to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But you know what we call them? Christians… because that’s kind of the idea. But these are different than the Jews who understand very well what the New Testament claims about Jesus Christ… but who never convert. These are as lost as any atheist or pagan… and that can be hard to swallow for some Christians. After all, these Jewish forebears were known as “God’s people” … and they received a lot of play in God’s holy word.

One way to respond to this is to say that even today’s Jews get saved because of their national identity … and that their status as the Chosen Ones eclipses the gospel. I think Paul would have a few things to say about that. And I, too, repudiate that notion. Unfortunately, it’s been gaining some traction.

The gospel is pretty specific about how people get saved in this age, and the Bible says plainly that there is now no difference between the Jews and the rest of us (Galatians 3:28). But that doesn’t seem to bother a number of people like John Hagee who see the Jews as shielded from condemnation because of their national identity.

In today’s question, I enumerate six ways that God has been proactive in his revelation. God’s attitude is that none should perish, and I list six distinct actions that demonstrate this. But these turn into six reasons why “… they are without excuse.”

God does not have different plans of salvation for different people. He’s done the work…dying on the cross, sending the Holy Spirit, getting the word out and all that… and it’s the peoples’ job to respond to the work… whomever they are… and from wherever they are… and if I’m missing something, please let me know.

Do the Jews have any advantages in salvation? Sure! They were in charge of the word of God! But the ones who ignore God’s New Testament revelation only have half of the Judeo-Christian tradition going for them. But if traditions save no one, then surely half a tradition saves no one. But the blood of Jesus still does.

It’s a shame so many miss this opportunity because Jesus saves all who come. But come, they must… both Jew and Gentile. Enjoy the musing.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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