I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well (John 14: 6,7).
I was recently reprimanded by a friend because she felt I was judging people. Before I go any further I want to say that this is a good friend and I love her no matter what she believes, and she also me. On many religious matters however we have agreed to disagree.
We were discussing the end times which we are living in presently in this 21st century. I commented that I am not fearful of the day Jesus will come back to judge the earth, but I feel bad for the many people who don’t believe in Him because they will go to hell. This fact is very difficult for some people to accept. She looked at me and asked; what about the Jews? Are they going to go to Hell because they don’t believe in Jesus? I answered; yes, if they don’t believe in Jesus they will go to Hell. In response she said to me; do you really feel that you are qualified to be the judge of that?
I am not qualified to judge whether anyone should go to hell. Only God knows hearts. But I know what He says in His word and I take Him at His word. As harsh as it seems, people need to know the truth. In the above verse from John Jesus tells us that we cannot love the Father and yet deny Jesus. In answer to Philips’ request- Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. Jesus replies; Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me? (vs. 9,10)
Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for sin when He died on the cross. The animal sacrifices of the Jewish people in the Old Testament were repeated time after time to remind them of the sacrifice to come – that of Jesus, the “Lamb” of God and promised Messiah. He would become the ultimate and final sacrifice. Through His perfect life and innocent death on the cross, He would pay the price for sin one time for all people. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous [Christ] for the unrighteous [sinful humans], to bring you to God (1 Peter 3:18).
Many of the Jews in Jesus’ day denied that Jesus was the Christ. Their stubborn and proud hearts refused to accept him as the Messiah. This belief or unbelief if you will, has been passed down for many generations. It is very sad because the Jewish people love God deeply and are devoted to Him, but still deny Jesus. Without faith in Jesus, they will go to Hell. We can’t pick and choose what we want to believe from Scripture. We believe all of it or none of it. We can’t love God and yet deny Jesus.
So then who is the judge? Ultimately it is God. I am not judging the Jewish people. I am proclaiming what God says in His word. According to His word the only way to salvation is through His Son, Jesus Christ. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3: 16).
Not only the Jewish people, but all who refuse to believe in Jesus as the promised Savior will go to hell. Our God is a loving God, but He is also a just God. We are sinners and can never meet His demand for holiness without faith in Jesus.
His blood shed on the cross covers the dirt of our sin. It makes us holy in God’s eyes and fit for heaven. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3: 26-28). Are you clothed with Christ by faith? Those who die without the clothing of faith in Jesus are not covered with the protection of His holiness and will therefore be lost.
God has revealed to us in His word what we need to know for our salvation. Many have read it and refuse to believe it, or only believe what suits their lifestyle. There are also many who truly do not know the truth. As Christians it is our responsibility to proclaim the truth of God’s Word. People must first know that they are sinners and in need of a Savior. Repentant hearts will then lead us to share the good news of salvation with them. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?…How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Romans 10: 12-15)
This does not mean we should get in peoples faces and tell them to believe or be damned. Rather we should be an example of God’s love through our own faith and actions and never be shy or ashamed to speak up for the truth when opportunities arise. We should be proud to be members of the body of Christ. Jesus told his disciples; whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God…When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say (Luke 12: 8,11,12). These words were spoken for Christians today also.
Will the Jewish people go to hell? According to what God’s word says they will, unless they soften their stubborn hearts and listen to Him. I have no right to judge them or anyone, but I know what God says. I believe God’s word. I am confident in my salvation whether I die today or whether I live until the day Jesus returns. In the meantime I will continue to proclaim the truth which will lead lost souls to Christ. Through faith in His unconditional love and forgiveness, the Promise of eternal life in heaven is theirs.
Jesus says; Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne (Revelation 3: 21).
Gloria Dei! Amen.