So, for the few of you who care… Here are my notes (edited and expanded at times) from last night’s discussion of “What Happened Before Jesus?” for the Fishbowl Questions.
People were saved before Jesus – Hebrews 11
- Not based on ethnicity – Abel wasn’t a Jew, neither was Rahab, Noah, Abraham, Sarah
- Salvation, even in OT was not limited to the Jews
- They were to be the messengers of God’s salvation to the world
- Same way today you’re not saved because you’re white, American, middle-class, Southern, Christian parents, etc.
- Not based on works – Run through what some of them were known for
- Noah – Drunk, Moses – Murderer, Rahab – Need we say more, Samson – Womanizer, David – Adulterer and Murderer, etc.
- They were all lawbreakers – If salvation was found through keeping the law and working your way to heaven, they missed the ball too
- Key then is the same key now – Faith
- That is the recurring theme through this entire chapter, the faith that these people had in Yahweh God
- Their faith was that God would deliver on His promises, our faith is that He did deliver
- Their faith may have been stronger than ours because they hadn’t lived to see Jesus yet and we have; They had faith in something that for some wouldn’t happen for thousands of years
- Ephesians 2:8-9 applied to them same as it does us – That it is by grace we are saved, not works, through faith
- Their faith foreshadows Jesus
- Noah – Jesus is ark, Abraham – Church is blessing to all nations, Isaac – Son sacrifice, Moses – Lawgiver (Jesus is Word), Passover – Jesus’ blood covers our sin, etc.
Jesus died for their sins too – Romans 3:25
- Forbearance – Postponement of debt payment, Illus Student Loan repayment
- From this, many people (including me) conclude that God didn’t give everyone before Jesus a “free pass” but those who had faith in God were saved because sometime in the future God would pay the sin debt through Jesus
- Doesn’t work like “Before Jesus there was another way of salvation” or that the rules changed when Jesus died
- When Jesus showed up, the object of faith was totally revealed
- So, in an odd sort of way…. Moses had faith in Jesus and Jesus died for Moses
- When Jesus died, He died for all your future sins; He also died for the sins of those who had come before who had faith in Yahweh
People dying without faith in Yahweh still were punished
- The OT doesn’t talk about hell in the sense that we understand it, it rather talks about Sheol
- Just because it wasn’t fully revealed doesn’t mean it’s not real, true, or there – Jesus wasn’t fully revealed until Matthew 1, but we don’t discount that He was around in the OT
- How is it fair? God doesn’t ever have to play fair, Exodus 33:19 – God had mercy on the OT saints because He wanted to
- Responsibility to spread Yahweh was given to Israel, because all people would be guilty of sin
- Same thing applies to the Church today
- People don’t go to hell because they don’t hear about Jesus, they go to hell because that is what they deserve in sin/rebellion against God
- Romans 1, Psalm 8, etc. – Passages that show us that Creation shows a Creator, we see the world and we are supposed to say “Someone made this” when we don’t we do what Romans 1 says “exchange the truth of God for a lie”