Old Testament conditions for Heaven; different than Islam?

(Kurt Kruppe) #1

I am reading the Old Testament at the moment. Ezekiel to be more clear. Before the gift of grace given to us by Jesus. An assurance of salvation if we believe and abide in Jesus Christ. Remain in the will of God according to His call for us…how did the Old Testament people know they were going to Heaven. I realize God gave them laws to live by. How can they know they were righteous in the eyes of God? Did their good deeds have to outweigh their bad? Like in Islam. Were they necessarily always made righteous by a sin offering? Were Israel the only people allowed to enter the presence of God before the coming of Jesus Christ?

(SeanO) #2

@kkruppe The Old Testament saints, like Abraham, were saved because they trusted in God’s goodness and faithfulness. If we look at King David’s response after he sinned, it is clear that he recognized what mattered was not sacrifices, but a repentant heart and trust in the Lord’s mercy.

My understanding of Islam is that you cannot know whether or not you have done enough good deeds until after you die - there is an uncertainty and fear there, but the OT saints trusted wholly in the mercy of God. They knew and believed that if they came to God with a sincere heart He would be merciful. I think that is the difference - they truly knew God and trusted Him.

When we worship the living God, we can trust in Him - His love and faithfulness and mercy - even if we do not know the ‘how’. The OT saints had a relationship with a real God who made Himself known to them - they were not just trying to keep a list of rules made up by men. So their assurance came from the living God and their trust in Him.

Genesis 15:6 - Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Psalms 51:16-17 - You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

Lamentations 3:22-23 - The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

You may find these resources helpful as well. Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

The Means and the Object

The OT saints put their faith in God (and Jesus is God). Therefore their faith was in the right Person. The object of their faith was correct.

However, they did not yet understand the means of salvation - how it would be accomplished. But because the object of their faith was correct, their faith was counted as righteousness.

  • God is the object of faith
  • the cross of Christ is the means of salvation - past, present and future