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Who Is Saved? How to Be Saved? Who Is Going to Heaven? How to Save the World?

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 113

I'll repeat from an earlier article: God doesn't owe Israel any special privileges.

In Romans 9-11, Paul is adamant that salvation (who is saved) is a matter of the heart. He speaks of the circumcision of the heart, and says we are the circumcision (1) if we worship God in spirit, and (2) have no confidence in ourselves (Phil 3:3).

People ask, "How to be saved?" - or "How are we saved?" - or "Who is going to heaven?" It is only by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus. Only in him is there salvation, and this is continual dependence on him - not a one time thing. Jesus says, "He who endures to the end shall be saved" (Mat 10:22).

Most Christians Are Like the Jews

The Jewish race (and Christians who idolize them) think that because they were 'IN' at one point (in the Old Covenant) that they will always be 'in.' Many Christians think this way too.

We often hear it said, "So-and-so raised his hand for Jesus 30 years ago, so he's a Christian!" He may have lived like the devil for the past 30 years - but we want to still believe he is saved and is going to heaven. I identify with this. Eileen and I have an adopted son, Ralph, who 'raised his hand for Jesus' 30 years ago. But it was only a momentary act of the flesh.

We are 'event thinkers,' and not Kingdom thinkers. We think of circumcision (or baptism, or going to the altar, or anything else) as being an act that was done - and therefore it rules. We forget that God doesn't look at the outer appearance, but at the heart (I Sam 16:7).

Religious Jews rely on the ancient Old Testament for their salvation, while Christians rely on an ancient raising of a hand, or an altar experience. Neither hold water. Salvation is a heart change and a life change. It's not an emotional response to some emotional appeal. It does begin with a choice (perhaps raising a hand for Jesus), but it must go far beyond this. "He who endures to the end shall be saved."

This Is the Problem with Focusing on the Jews

The Jews were in God's covenant in the Old Testament, but they rejected it. They chose self, and to live like the devil instead of enduring to the end and living for God. The Old Testament describes this in terms of the remnant, and being part of the Vine, or of the Olive Tree. Romans 15 talks about the branches being connected to the Vine, who is Jesus.

Romans 11 talks about the Jews being cut off from this connection, and Gentiles being grafted in. Who is saved? Who is going to heaven? It is a matter of our state of condition throughout our lives. It's not a matter of some historical event. It's all a matter of the heart, and being circumcised in the heart.

How to Save the World (or the Jews)

The Jews as a nation have always chosen to walk away from this. God has not addressed them as a nation since they fell into captivity to Babylon. The late prophets (Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi) never addressed Israel as a nation after the dispersion. They only addressed the small REMNANT that returned to Jerusalem, but not the millions of Jews in general.

Passages like Is 1:9, 10:20, 46:3, II Ki 19:30, and Joel 2:32 talk about the remnant only. The rest of unbelieving Israel had walked away from God. Jesus says the Kingdom of God was taken away from them (Mat 21:43). As I said in the last article in this series, Jews as individuals are still a people, but Israel as a nation is not. The way I see it, Israel today does not exist as an independent nation in God, as in the Old Testament, but as a state of the U.S. and of the U.N.

Beware! If we follow Israel in general today, we are following an unbelieving people! We are like the blind being led by the blind! Jesus says they both fall into a pit!

Like Christians, the Jews must also focus on God and his Kingdom, and the righteousness imparted by Jesus and his finished work (Mat 6:33, Rom 5:17, II Cor 5:21). There is not other way to receive from God.

The Jews depending on their Old Testament heritage doesn't do it. In John 8:44, Jesus speaks of the devil being the father of this type of thinking. And Christians cannot depend on 'raising their hand for Jesus' 30 years ago. It is a matter of branches being grafted into the Vine, receiving nourishment and daily manna from the Vine.

The only way the Jews will be saved is like anyone else: with faith in Christ. Paul talks about 'all Israel' being saved. This does not speak to all Jews, but to a majority of the people individually turning back to God in the end time - thus being a blessing to the rest of us. This will occur. But it won't be due to any Old Testament heritage, or any special privileges they are due from God. Like all of us, it will be based on the inward condition of their heart.

What About the Salvation of a National Israel?

I find it fascinating that neither Jesus nor Paul spoke one word about any continuance of a nationalistic Jewish state or nation - as there had been in the Old Testament. After the dispersion, the Bible is silent about them. If such a situation were meant to be, surely one or both of them would have mentioned it. But they were both totally silent.

Yet this is where so many Christians today hang their 'hat of faith' - on a nationalistic Jewish state. Their focus is totally on what God is doing with Israel as a nation. Personally, I don't think he's doing anything with Israel as a nation - only as individuals known as the remnant.

This is just the beginning. Visit for free articles, eBooks, videos, and the like, -- all about the practical experience of the finished work of the cross of Jesus, and what it means to us today. Read other articles in this series under "Gospel Tips" in the navigation bar... scroll down to "God's End Times." You will also find a vision of hell there like nothing you've ever thought about.

Also get regular Twitter Gospel Tweets: Religion demands that you live life right. But the gospel is the presence, power and process of God in us that allows us to live in confidence, boldness, authority, love and grace.

Source: EzineArticles
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