Are the Jews going to hell?

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Question: I am confused about how God feels about the Jewish people. Are they going to hell?

Answer: As a people the offspring of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were chosen as the receivers of God’s revelation of His will (the Law, it is commonly called) and made recipients of the promise (God’s promise made to Adam and Eve that He would restore the kingdom through the seed of the woman, Genesis 3:15, and the selection of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through whom that seed would come-Jesus). Paul makes clear (Romans 9) that there was always a choice God made between Abraham’s offspring. He did not make the promise with Ishmael, Abraham’s first child through Hagar, but with Isaac, his son by Sarah. He did not make the promise with Isaac’s son Esau, but with Jacob, even though Esau was the firstborn and Jacob got the birthright through treachery. From the divine perspective it was always God’s selection that mattered. From the human perspective it manifested itself in who actually believed.

Paul wrestles with this issue in Romans 9-11 and points out that though Israel was God’s chosen people they had rebelled in large part against God by rejecting His Messiah, Jesus. He concludes that at this time the vast majority are in disobedience, but that in the future there will be a major return to the Lord as He fulfills His promise to bless them. They will return by believing in Jesus as the Messiah.

Anyone who does not believe in Christ has chosen instead to remain apart from God. Though they may have a religious perspective, in their hearts they are choosing to worship God the way they want to worship Him, instead of the way He commands them to worship Him. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). This means that unless a person submits themselves to Jesus’ lordship and salvation, there is no salvation available to them. Hell is the punishment they have chosen, the complete absence of God’s presence in their lives, which is tantamount to torture (likened to a constant burning flame).

Many, many Jews will eventually believe as the end of the ages comes to pass. But many will have perished, along with all others who refused to trust in God’s provision for their forgiveness. God loves all the nations, as He has proved by sending Christ to die for all of us. He has a special relationship with the nation of Israel, but individuals within that nation must believe in order to be saved.

Randall Johnson

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17 thoughts on “Are the Jews going to hell?

  1. Having been a xtian who condemns everyone, I’ll take my chances with the G-d of the Jews…Any religion that could teach that someone like Himmler would go to heaven because of a so called death-bed repentance, but would condemn the millions of Jews he was involved with killing because they hadn’t “accepted JC”…well, having made the decision to reject christianity and convert to Judaism, I’ll take my chances with the G-d of the Jews thanks!!!!!

    • It is admittedly difficult to think of any people as a whole following a belief system that contradicts yours and yet believing that yours is the truth that makes clear the path to life. But if I follow Jesus I must follow His teachings. That includes loving even those who think my view is petty or grossly in error. In some ways I hope my view is wrong, but I don’t have that leeway to make it what I feel it should be. I don’t, however, need to act condemning toward others. I must, though, offer them the chance to consider my understanding of the truth. When Christianity first was preached it was Jews who preached it and Jews who embraced it. It was also fellow Jews who persecuted them to death. This unfortunately has been used by some as an excuse to vilify an entire race and persecute them in return. This is not the way of Jesus. What Himmler and the Nazis did was inexcusable and it is equally inexcusable if they did it in the name of Jesus. He did not approve. But anyone who recognizes that they did evil and wants the forgiveness that Jesus offers can have forgiveness.

    • As a sincere Bible-believing Christian, I wish to reassure you that someone like Himmler would never make it to Heaven unless they really have had a SINCERE conversion. Both Hitler and Himmler committed suicide which is a sin according to the Bible which automatically sends them to hell.

      Assuming Hitler and Himmler had been sincere in their deathbed conversion, they would not resort to suicide but instead, would have begged God for forgiveness and seek pardon from all those who they oppressed. A Christian should have the COURAGE to face the consequences of their actions: no coward can make a good Christian. By that parameter alone, most Nazi coward criminals fail the litmus test that would allow them entry into Heaven; it doesn’t matter if they choose to label themselves as Christians.

      Adolf Eichmann could be closer to the case you’re talking about. Some say he voluntarily surrendered himself to Mossad because his soul was tormented by the Holocaust crimes he perpetrated. He did beg for clemency before his execution in Israel. But, at least he had the courage to face those who he oppressed. I’m only speculating but only God knows what was in Eichmann’s heart in his dying moments.

      God judges us according to what is in our hearts. Anyone sincere in Christian faith WILL NEVER produce the works of Hitler or Himmler. Our God-given conscience will stop us in the tracks: think of Oscar Schindler who wasn’t exactly a Jew-lover but his conscience made him protect so many innocent people.

      Even though the Bible (New Testament) clearly says that all men are sinners and have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), that DOESN’T MEAN you shouldn’t have “good works” to show in your life. CORRECT FAITH will always produce GOOD WORKS and is dead if alone (James 2:17). By that token, no true Christian can ever be an evil person. A Christian by name alone is no Christian at all: it’s what in his heart that really counts.

      There are plenty of non-Christians (some I know of) who do not follow the tenets of their own religion and have somehow been introduced to Jesus. They profess faith in Jesus but are repelled by proselytzying Christians. If their faith in Jesus is sincere and true, they stand a chance to be in Heaven well ahead of hypocritical people who label themselves as Christians but commit ungodly acts which shame God.

      Jesus did say in the Bible that the RIGHTEOUS OF ALL NATIONS will join him in the Kingdom of Heaven (Revelation 15:4).

      • Thank you for a good clarification on the need for works to accompany faith. I take one exception to your remarks. There is no place in the Bible that says that committing suicide automatically condemns you to hell. In fact, there is very little in the Bible that directly addresses the issue of suicide. I know that there are genuine believers who have killed themselves because of the pain they were suffering that was unbearable to them. I don’t believe they went to hell. There is forgiveness for every sin in Christ’s atonement. That includes suicide. And you don’t have to confess that sin before you die. It is covered in the sacrifice of Christ. He has paid for all our sins, past, present and future.

      • While the Bible doesn’t directly address the subject of suicide, a little Biblical research would tell you why a person will end in Hell when he or she decides to take a cowardly step such as suicide.

        (A) 1 Corinthians 6:19 – What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

        (B) 1 Corinthians 3:17 – If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

        (C) Mark 3:29 – But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

        By the associative law of Mathematics, if we believe that the Bible represents sum total of the LAW that God wants us to follow and if we further believe that every verse is 100% true to justify Biblical inerrancy. Then if we pick any three random verses as above we should get : [(A) + (B)] + (C) = (A) + [(B) + (C)]

        Clearly, we’re not allowed to defile our own bodies (they’re God’s property) much less destroy them permanently through the cowardly act of suicide.

        So, what should a man do when the chips are down suicide seems to offer an easy escape from harsh reality; rather than entertaining thoughts of suicide, the man should ponder over these verses and seek comfort and COURAGE.

        Matthew 10:38
        And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

        Matthew 10:28
        And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

        Romans 8:18
        For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

        2 Timothy 3:12
        Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

        1 Peter 4:12
        Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

        John 16:33
        These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

        Luke 9:23
        And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily , and follow me.

        Romans 5:3-4
        And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

        Revelation 2:10
        Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

      • Though your logic is correct your premises are flawed. 1 Corinthians 6 is definitely talking about our bodies, our individual bodies as believers, being a temple of the Holy Spirit. But chapter 3 is talking about the church corporate and the way Paul says that the church corporate is defiled is through false teaching. Blasphemy of the Spirit has nothing to do with suicide but rather the denial of Christ’s being empowered by the Spirit in the face of direct, uncontrovertible evidence. Indeed, your argument would prove too much. It is not only suicide that is a failure to acknowledge our individual bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, but any number of sins. The one Paul focuses on in 1 Cor 6 is sexual immorality.

        Yes, what a person contemplating suicide should do is exactly what you outlined. But to suggest that they could lose their salvation over it is clearly against Scripture. Please consider the following posts on this subject:
        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/can-a-christian-fall-from-grace/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/is-there-no-forgiveness-for-intentional-sin/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/can-a-homosexual-be-a-christian/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/can-brain-damage-make-me-lose-my-salvation/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/would-jesus-forsake-a-believer-who-worships-other-gods/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/will-god-forgive-us-when-we-break-our-promise-not-to-sin/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/what-does-god-do-about-our-unconfessed-sins/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/what-is-the-unpardonable-sin/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/can-backsliding-cause-me-to-lose-my-salvation/

        https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/does-suicide-keep-me-from-heaven/

  2. If your God condemns people to hell for what they believe rather than how they live then your God is a heinous monster & you are worshipping something truly evil.

    • Refusal to believe is as much a sign of rebellion as refusal to obey. Revelation 20 indicates that people will be evaluated on two counts: (1) whether their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life (i.e., whether they had believed) and (2) according to their deeds. It would seem, then, that a person who did not believe (a form of rebellion) but who was not as rebellious in their behavior as others, might receive a lesser punishment in hell (see https://askthepastors.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/are-there-degrees-of-punishment-in-hell/).

      By analogy, we might think of a father whose two sons got angry with him and refused to acknowledge his as their dad, despite the fact that he always acted on their behalf and gave continuous evidence that he loved them and was open to reconciliation. One of the sons got involved in drug trafficking; the other lived a law-abiding life. Both are deserving of rebuke and justifiable anger for failing to recognize how wrong they were to disregard their father, but one was even more reprehensible for his reckless living.

      It is not God who is evil for bringing just punishment to rebellion, but those who have the evidence presented to them every day of His goodness and refuse to acknowledge it or live by its standards.

  3. Hello, I would like to know what scripture says about how we should treat the Jews? And is the “star of David” really the star of remfan?

    • I have no idea about the star of Remfan. But as to your first question, “As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.” (Romans 11:28 ESV) There is a kind of dual perspective we have toward the Jews. The Jews are enemies in the sense that they, as a whole, have rejected Jesus as the Messiah and their rejection is amazingly potent in that the Messiah belongs to Israel but yet they have said “no” to him. Yet, because Jesus is their Messiah, because they come from the forefathers who received the promise that resulted in the Messiah, they are beloved. We are supposed to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), and even though their rejection of Messiah does great dishonoring to Jesus, Jesus loves them. Jesus wept over Jerusalem the same day as he angrily drove the money changers out of the temple (Luke 19:41-48). So we passionately reject the present day Jewish depiction of our Savior, but we anticipate the day in which they will recognize just how wrong they were. And in the meantime we proclaim the truth to them and anyone else who will listen.

      • I have no idea. Does it really matter? It is a symbol Jews have used to represent their nation and history. I suppose you could say the cross is a pagan symbol. It was Rome’s symbol of its might and right to punish those who rebelled against its authority. It was a symbol of their cruelty and designed to strike fear in the hearts of any who would stand up against them. But it has become our symbol of life and freedom through the sacrifice of Christ. Let’s don’t make too much of the origin of symbols. Some symbols have multiple origins. Don’t be too quick to vilify any symbol because of its supposed origins.

  4. You say the following;

    “Anyone who does not believe in Christ has chosen instead to remain apart from God. Though they may have a religious perspective, in their hearts they are choosing to worship God the way they want to worship Him, instead of the way He commands them to worship Him. Jesus said, ”

    This is fundamentally flawed because in Dueteronomy 4:2 , g-d makes it clear that no one (not Paul, Matthew, Luke or anyone!) should add or subtract from his law. The Jewish people therefore are not worshipping g-d the way they want to but they’re doing so the way they were instructed to – and it was made clear that those laws were eternal. Why would an almighty change his mind on laws?

    • The contention of Jesus, confirmed by Paul, Peter and the other apostles, is that a major misinterpretation of the Law by the nation, motivated by a desire to adapt the Law to their own ends, led to a failure to uphold the Law’s real intent. You are right, no one can add or subtract from the Law, but if the Jewish nation has done just that then there is a need to bring a corrective. Jesus brought that corrective and the apostles as Jesus’ authoritative representatives of his message proclaimed and defended the same truth. Paul does this most extensively in his letters to the Romans and the Galatians. The Jewish people are not worshiping the way they were instructed to, but are in error. The sin of mankind is desiring to establish our own righteousness and merit heaven. Was Abraham justified by keeping the Law? The Law says no (Genesis 15:6). He was justified by faith. For the Jews to say you are justified by keeping the Law is an error, indeed a grievous one.

  5. I believe there are others trying to weigh in on this discussion and haven’t had their comments approved. Please understand these comments are in peace and we purely want to discuss scripture with you in regards to the views in this blog post.

  6. Thank you – I can absolutely respect that. I along with several others would love to discuss scripture with you respectfully. I am curious to know if you have studied and understand Hebrew?

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