Michael Schiffman a prominent Messianic Jewish leader, says that he knows “plenty of people who believe Yeshua is Lord, savior, etc, etc, who treat people badly and exhibit none of the marks of a true Yeshua follower. All they have is a verbal confession. I don’t necessarily think they will receive salvation. It is not a verbal confession that brings salvation, but a life lived in faith and the love of God. I do believe that people who genuinely love God (the God of Israel), pray to Him and trust him don’t go to hell because God doesn’t send people to hell who genuinely love Him … in short, I think questions of who “receives salvation,” are best left to God, who is the one true judge.”
Before I get to my main point, let me just say – trite but very true – faith without works is dead.
I’d like to focus on the last two sentences:
“I do believe that people who genuinely love God (the God of Israel), pray to Him and trust him don’t go to hell because God doesn’t send people to hell who genuinely love Him. That may or may not answer your question, but in short, I think questions of who “receives salvation,” are best left to God, who is the one true judge.”
Who does the new Testament say are the ones who love God? Those who are, as it is stated explicitly about 150 times, “in Christ.” How do we “enter into” Christ? Through faith, obviously. And without faith in Christ, you’re lost, both Jew and Gentile, for God is no respecter of person’s (status, ethnic background). In John 3:18, we read:
“He that believeth on him is not judged: he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
The Gospel is about the wrath of God and the love of God. Sandwiched in between is faith in the Son. It is faith that removes the wrath and bestows the SAVING love of God. He who has the Son, and only he who has the Son, has life, that is, salvation– the Jew first and then the Gentile. Not forgetting that he who wants to be first will be last, and possibly lost as well.
Only when a Jew despairs in himself, in his Jewishness or whatever is dearest to him can he come to faith in Jesus, the Saviour.