Salvation before jesus christ

(Praneeth samuel) #1

How can we say that the people under law got saved?

(Kathleen) #2

Hello, @Praneeth18! That’s a great and important question, and I’m glad you asked it! And if I am understanding it correctly, I think a good place to start is with the short answer, Everyone who is left standing after Final Judgement (i.e. ‘saved’) will do so because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

You ‘how’ question is the much more difficult one to answer because it’s ultimately based on speculation. That is we are told some things, but not every thing! When you say, ‘people under law’, who are you thinking about? I read it as people who lived during the Old- and Inter-Testamental periods, but I may be wrong. :slight_smile: But if so, Romans 4 is a good chapter to read. It’s all about Abraham’s being justified by faith, not works.

And is there a specific reason to why you ask this question? Knowing that may help us narrow the scope of conversation a bit. :slight_smile:

Also, I wanted to link you to a similar conversation we had on Connect several months ago. Thought maybe it’d be helpful to read some other thoughts that are already out there…

(SeanO) #3

@Praneeth18 The short answer is one word - ‘faith’. As we read in Romans 4:5, which @KMac mentioned, God has always justified those who trust in Him, such as Abraham.

Romans 4:5 - However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

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

Old Testament conditions for Heaven; different than Islam?
(Praneeth samuel) #4

Hey Kathleen!! Thanks for your response and there is no specific reason to ask this question, but I got a doubt when I read the verse Romans 10:9, people of OT did not belived it so then arises my question

(Praneeth samuel) #5

Thanks alot sean!! That’s very helpful. But do u say that if people of any time and any religion believe in God and belive if that the God they believe is not Jesus will they be saved ? Because if u say by faith they will be saved then about which faith is that u r talking about?

(SeanO) #6

@Praneeth18 Great question! I think this question highlights the fact that we do not worship a set of rules created by mankind, but a living God who knows the hearts of all men. But let me be up front about what I am not saying - I am not saying that anyone, anywhere can earn their salvation. Salvation is always by faith alone, through Christ alone. But I think there may be those who have never truly experienced Christ have not had the opportunity to receive Him, but perhaps they truly are seeking God.

To be clear again, I am not advocating universalism or the idea that all go to Heaven. But I think that it is possible that there are those in this life who are moving toward God but die before they have the chance to hear the Gospel. And I truly believe God will do what is just and right and good in such cases. We will be judged according to what we know. I am not talking about those who choose the darkness over the light, but rather those who are seeking the light of God in spirit and truth but simply never had the opportunity to hear.

What I am saying is that we are all on a spiritual journey to or away from God. We are born in different cultures and families and are taught different things from our youth. Even someone who has not heard of Christ before might be moving toward Him as best as they are able. Take, for example, a person born into a tribe in the middle of the Amazon - perhaps they acknowledge there is a Creator and do their best to be honest in spite of temptations to the contrary because they want to honor the Creator. Where will they go if they die? Only God can decide because God knows their heart!!! Man looks upon the outward appearance, but God knows the inward parts of man - the secret thoughts. And when God judges all mankind He will judge us not by what we claim to believe or the culture we were brought up in, but by the secret thoughts of our hearts.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 - For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Romans 2:16 - This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Emeth in ‘The Last Battle’

C. S. Lewis has a character in ‘The Last Battle’ with whom you may be familiar. His name is Emeth. He worships a false god named tash, but ends up going to ‘Aslan’s country’ (Narnia speak for Heaven) because he was truly seeking to do good. I am not saying I agree that this is how God will handle such situations, but I think it is an interesting thought from a very well respected Christian thinker.

Emeth is a young Calormene officer, second in command of a detachment of the Tisroc’s soldiers under Rishda Tarkaan, who enter Narnia in the guise of merchants. This is part of a conspiracy to seize the north of the country by using the Narnians’ faith in a false Aslan controlled by the ape Shift. While welcoming the chance to distinguish himself in battle, Emeth is troubled by the “lies and trickery” used to portray Aslan as the Narnian version of the Calormene deity Tash. When Shift and Rishda set up the notion that “Tashlan” is in a stable, Emeth insists on seeing Tash with his own eyes. Once inside, Emeth kills a Calormene soldier waiting to dispatch anyone sent into the stable and throws his body outside the door.

The salvation of Emeth then follows. When Emeth finds himself in Aslan’s Country, he encounters Aslan himself and realizes that his life spent in service to Tash will result in his condemnation. Aslan, however, explains that Aslan and Tash are opposites: any virtuous act done in Tash’s name is actually accepted by Aslan, since Tash can only accept acts of evil. Thus Emeth’s devotion to Tash, founded on noble motives, was actually received by Aslan.

Had Emeth come before Aslan and requested directions to the Tash part of heaven, and had Aslan obliged, then Lewis would be a Universalist. But that is not what happens in the episode. Quite to the contrary, when Emeth stands before Aslan, he realizes and accepts that Tash is false and Aslan true, and that the deep spiritual desire he has followed all his life has found its fulfillment in Aslan. He proves this by falling to his knees in worship.

Was C. S. Lewis a Universalist?

Again, I am not claiming to know exactly how God will judge men’s hearts who have never heard the Good News. But I think that because God looks upon the heart His judgments will be much more nuanced then just ‘Did you say a prayer to accept Jesus or not?’

So I am not claiming to know ‘how’ God will judge, but rather that we should expect because He is God and knows the heart of man, which we do not, and that He is good, as evinced by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, that we can trust His judgment absolutely.

Hope that is helpful :slight_smile:

(Praneeth samuel) #7

Thank you brother!!

(SeanO) #8

@Praneeth18 Sure thing brother. Christ bless you as you seek Him.