How do JEWS get to heaven?

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QUESTION: How do Jews, who reject Jesus as the promised Messiah, get to heaven?

ANSWER: Your concern over the Jews and their path to heaven is understandable given the New Testament record. The majority of the Jewish religious leadership (Pharisees, Sadducees, etc.) rejected Jesus and his teachings. The Pharisees, for example, verbally attacked him to his face on several occasions (John 8:12 - 29, 48) and began to plot his death early in his ministry (Mark 3:6). The scribes also sought to have him killed (Mark 11:27) and, along with the chief priests, challenged Christ's authority several times before his crucifixion (Matthew 21:23, Luke 20:1 - 2). It is easy to wonder how such people who reject the Lord as Messiah, like the Jews, will make it to heaven.

Your question, however, begs yet another interesting inquiry, which is whether Jews believe the place you mention is their ultimate destination after they die. The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia article on heaven states that they believe it is the location where God resides, but makes no mention of it being populated (either now or in the future) by those rewarded for their obedience. Instead, their understanding is that after the house of Israel is resurrected from the dead (Ezekiel 37) the destiny for Jews is with the Messiah in an earth-based kingdom he will set up (article on eschatology).

As an interesting side note, for some Jews, any debate regarding how they will get to heaven after they perish is a mute issue. This is because they do not believe in a resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees, in Jesus' day, were a group of priests who operated Jerusalem's temple and carried out its priestly functions. It was widely known at the time that they believed and taught that there was no resurrection of the dead (Mark 12:18 - 27, see also Acts 23:6 - 8), a point of contention and debate between them and the more popular Pharisees.

The Dispersion of the Jews
Are there levels of heaven?
How many resurrections are there?

The apostle Peter, preaching to a large group of Jews on the Day of Pentecost, clearly taught that only through Jesus could a person receive salvation (see Acts 2:22 - 39). A short time later, the apostles were arrested for preaching the gospel. The Jewish religious authorities, who took them into custody, wanted to know by what power or authority they were teaching people could be resurrected from the dead through Christ (which some feel leads to heaven, Acts 4:1 - 2). Peter boldly told them that there was only one way to be saved when he stated, " . . . for neither is there another name under heaven which has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (verse 12, HBFV).

Scripture does not teach that there are multiple ways or paths to achieving the goal of eternal life. Every human who has or will ever exist will eventually have to kneel before and acknowledge that Jesus is the Savior of man (Philippians 2:9 - 11). The belief that heaven is our eternal reward is tackled in another article on this site. Suffice to say, any person who willfully and knowingly rejects the Lord as their personal Savior will not live into eternity.

The key to understanding the fate of the Jews, and countless others not "saved" in this life, is that God's plan of salvation has three, not one, major parts. The first part, which ends when Jesus returns, is the calling of a relatively few number of people. These resurrected folks will help Christ rule the earth during the Millennium. The second part is the saving of all those who live during Jesus' 1,000 year rule. The third part, occurring after the Millennium, is a resurrection of all those from Adam to the Second Coming whom God never gave a full chance to understand his truth. At that time He will open their minds to understand his words and thus have a full opportunity to repent and believe that Jesus is their Savior.

Our Father in heaven, who is the definition of perfect love, is more than willing to give eternal life to all those who reject Satan's philosophy of life and wholeheartedly accept his Son. In his wisdom, he has determined his redemption man for mankind will occur in phases and not all at one time. It will be after they are brought back to life in the second resurrection that the Jews, along with countless others (with a few rare exceptions), will have their chance at salvation.

Additional Study Materials
Will pets or other animals be in heaven?
Which New Testament Jews HATED Christians?
Timeline of the End Time

How do JEWS get to HEAVEN?
Bibliography

1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
Holy Bible, a Faithful Version


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