I will review Romans 11. It speaks of a “remnant of Israel,” and if you take verse 25 to mean that every single Jew who has ever lived and who ever will live will be saved, then that negates them needing salvation in this life to begin with. The Pharisees are not saved...they rejected Christ. This belief also flies in the face of everyone needing a Savior...does accepting Christ and being saved in this life apply to everyone but the Jews? No. I think your interpretation of that verse is incorrect.
However, if I understand you to be Catholic then I can see where our differences come in. I completely disagree with Roman Catholicism, and its claim to be “The Church.” The Church is the body of born-again believers in Jesus Christ worldwide, regardless of denomination. You are correct when you say: “God is not a liar” and salvation is for all, Jew and Gentile, Catholic or Protestant or Evangelical or Pentecostal or non-denominational or no denomination at all. The only requirement is to believe in Christ. All the other stuff only gets in the way of that.
So I think we will have to agree to disagree on a lot of things.
But thank you for your gracious reply.
There is still discussion of whether there are two Covenants or just one (covering or including, if you will, Catholics/Christians/Jews all). Two Covenants make, I believe, the clearer sense of Scripture as a whole. But there are theologians who understand it as being a combined or single broader Covenant, and this leaves open the possibility that “in the end, it is Jesus who saves both the Christians and Jews, whether they all realize it now or not” ... A Jew would understand his salvation as still coming from God as it is promised to him in his faith, whereas a Christian would see all salvation as being through Jesus Christ. Contradiction? No, because to a Christian Jesus is God .... (I will avoid trying to parse the Trinity here, salvation is sufficient to keep us awake this night).
The thing that does not work is to say that Jews aren’t included (one way or the other) because then Christians not only deny much of Scripture and the Christian context itself, but Christians would then be grafted onto a dead tree...leaving Christian faith in vain (while alienating it from God and His Word).
That there is a Divine complexity, yes. That there can be a Divine contradiction, no. God is not a liar. We must therefore endeavor to give effect to as much of His Word as we can grasp, and trust Him to know it is all correct .. just as Christians (of all denominations) and Jews trust Him as our Loving Creator and ultimate Salvation.
Or something like that.
Nobody has to agree with me. Indeed, it seems as if nobody ever does
so with that...
Good night and Keep Faith (and hope, and charity/love alive)
1. we are taught that there is a Hell, but we do not know of any particular individual who may be resident there. Most assuredly you and I could make some pretty good, discerning guesses, but we still lack actual knowledge.
2. we are taught that faith is a gift of God. A lack of faith in a particular truth or teaching cannot be blamed on an individual.
3. the Pharisees, as Jews, already were in covenant with the one true God, a covenant that had already existed and been affirmed over a 1,000 year course of history (and 3,000 years today). They did not have any reason to accept any “guy” coming and claiming Divine status or Divine authority. That some Pharisees exhibited very human short-comings, including some who were hypocritical and for not recognizing the man Jesus as possessing a novel Divine authority, is both expected and well documented. Indeed, their stance was consistent with their duty to honor their faith in God, His revelations, and His covenant with the Jewish people. This is another way of pointing out that the Jewish people are “different,” at least in the sense of already being in Covenant with God and thus in a very different stance than just anybody out there who does not affirm a faith in Jesus as Divine or a “person” of the one true God. We certainly do not know of any Pharisee who is burning in Hell, just as we do not know of any other person there.
3. If we were to interpret Paul’s teaching that “all” Israel will be saved to refer, instead only to a “remnant,” and that is by no means the only (and certainly not a necessary or patent) reading, then that would still at least recognize the continuing validity of God’s Covenant with the Jewish people, as Scripture, including Paul, clearly attests. We just don’t know which Jews are included, but some are. Note that we also do not know which Christians will be saved, the RCC church teaching is that many will not be saved, that is: it is quite possible for a member of the Church to not make it through that narrow gate. (And a widespread Protestant teaching is that many who claim, or think themselves, to be Christians are in fact not genuine followers of Christ ... and are thus still pagans outside of Covenant with the Lord).
You can, I am confident, cite or find the Biblical verses which would indicate any of these vantages, or are at least capable of being used in support of them.
The bottom line is that any person’s ultimate disposition is not known to us. Therefore, while Hell exists and we should definitely take it very seriously indeed, we cannot say if a particular individual will (or already has, perhaps) taken up residence there. Dante’s Divine Comedy notwithstanding.
4. We are also taught that a sincerely repentant person and one who does all reasonably possible to atone for, correct his transgressions, is forgiven.
5. Christianity also teaches that there is only one sure-fire way to go to Hell, that being the so-called ‘unforgiveable sin.’ This is from Matthew’s account of Jesus’ teachings. Jesus states that:
“... I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12).
From this is clear that speaking against Jesus (Son of man, a term usually indicative of Divine status actually)...will be forgiven. Thus, a Pharisee’s failure to accept Jesus as Divine did not condemn him to Hell, per Jesus’ own teaching.
I do not come to FR with all the answers. There remains mystery...both to the Church and to me, personally, things that I do not fully understand. (This is probably quite apparent by now, anyway, ha!) But I do believe it is error to assume that some Pharisee(s) from 2,000 years ago are burning in Hell, just as it is error to assume that any particular... even any particularly evil...person... will wind up there “in the bye and bye” ... it is God’s decision, not ours. I respectfully submit we will be wise to refrain from condemning people, especially people we don’t know. As real and serious as Hell is, God decides and God knows, we just don’t.
And THAT is the very best I can do with your question.
Keep faith alive,