A question about Heaven.

I respect your views, and I don't thimk you are anti-semitic. As a Jew I can't possibly agree with you. Here are a few questions;
  1. Jonah Salk, a Jew, saves maybe a million lives by discovering the polio vaccine, and later working on AIDS research-he is NOT in heaven?
  2. A Christian Nazi kills an innocent Jew-The Nazi is in heaven and NOT the Jew?
  3. My mother, the finest women I have ever known, did not have a mean bone in her body, and was liked by everyone, is NOT in heaven?
  4. Do you believe that Hitler or Eichman could possibly be in heaven?

One possible answer I have is that there are two heavens-one for Jews(BCE and CE), and one for non-Jews.

My response is in Green:

I will answer your questions, but I will tell you that your questions are asked on an emotional level, not a factual one. What I mean by that is that you are asking, is this fair, but you don't even understand the facts so the questions are all wrong. So I will not only answer your questions but explain the facts of my belief system.

Let me ask you a question; how is a Jew saved according to God in the Torah? The answer to that will answer two and a half of your 4 questions. Since I have no idea if you are a practicing Jew or not, I will remind you of how a Jew is saved according to God in the Torah; by following the Law of Moses. Now we know that the Law really couldn't save anyone, as evidenced by the fact that Abraham was saved by faith long before the Law was given, yet God commanded that the Jewish people follow the Law as a sign of their faith that He would take away their sins.

So do any Jews follow the Law of Moses today? The answer is no, they can't because there is no Temple for them to follow the Law as prescribed. The made up religion of today's Judaism won't save anyone, just read the Torah and you will know I am right, because that is what God says. So why would God allow the Temple to be destroyed and therefore make it impossible for the Jewish people to be saved? Well the short answer is He didn't.

Let me stop right here and ask you to just keep reading, I am not trying to convert you, just explain what and why my answer will be what it is.

Okay, let me get back to the issue of salvation. I want to quote from what you might think is an unlikely text for me to use the Talmud:

The rabbis taught: Forty years before the Temple was destroyed, the lot never came into the right hand, the red wool did not become white, the western light did not burn, and the gates of the Temple opened of themselves, till the time that R. Johanan b. Zakkai rebuked them, saying: "Temple, Temple, why alarmest thou us? We know that thou art destined to be destroyed. For of thee hath prophesied Zechariah ben Iddo [Zech. xi. 1]: 'Open thy doors, O Lebanon, and the fire shall eat thy cedars.'" (Yoma Chapter 4)

Again because I don't know if you are a practicing Jew or not and if you understand the significance of the wool turning white, let me explain. When the scape goat was taken to the wilderness, taking the sins of the people on it's head, it had a red piece of wool tied to its head and the High Priest would tie a red piece of wool on the temple door. Now the Talmud tells us that the piece of red wool on the Temple door would turn white signifying that the people's sins were forgiven.

So the significance of the wool not turning white any longer forty years before the Temple was destroyed would signify that God was no longer forgiving the people's sins in that way. Now what is significant about 40 years before the Temple was destroyed? Well we know that the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD or CE if that makes you feel better. So 40 years earlier would have been about 30 AD/CE. What happened at that time? You may not want to hear this, but think about it, this is when Jesus Christ was sacrificed for our sins.

Now I am sure you understand that the Rabbis who wrote in the Talmud didn't believe in Jesus and in fact if they had realized what they were writing, I believe they would not have even included it, but they did and what does it point to? It points to Israel's Messiah.

As I said, I am not trying to convert you, just to show you that the answer to 2 1/2 of your questions is that the Jews you mentioned in your questions didn't have their sins forgiven, because it was impossible for them to be forgiven without a Temple, but even if the Temple had been standing it would have been impossible for them to have been forgiven under the Law of Moses. I don't say any of that to hurt you, just to show you that there is a problem. The problem is solved through Jesus Christ, but of course most Jews reject Him.

Now if you just go on an emotional basis and say these were great people and should be in heaven, then maybe you can fool yourself into thinking that, but we are all sinners and we have all sinned and we all need salvation and forgiveness of our sins. So it is vitally important how that happens.

Now let me get to the other question and 1/2. But again I can't just give you an answer without explaining it. The short answer is; no none of those people are in heaven, but you need to understand why.

You called them Christian Nazis, but other than in words there is no such thing. See many people call themselves Christians but it is just words. To be a true Christian you have to follow Jesus Christ and that means following what He taught. It might surprise you but He taught the same things that are in your Torah. It is complicated and not part of our discussion, but He fulfilled the Law, but that doesn't mean we no longer follow the moral law, we must. You know things like not murdering? In fact I have tried not to quote from the New Testament because I know you don't believe it, but let me show you one thing:

Rev. 21:8 "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

So I will allow God to answer your question as He does above. The only question is were the Nazis murderers? Of course, so their place for all eternity is in the fiery lake, what we call hell. Will their punishment be the same as people who didn't believe in Jesus and who lived a good life? No, but the fact remains that no one can be good enough to get to heaven, but that doesn't mean that God treats all people alike either. Let me quote one more passage:

Rev. 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

The book of Life determines whether a person goes to heaven or not, but notice those who were not listed in the book of Life were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the other books. So there is one book that determines who gets into heaven, or in other words whose sins have been forgiven, but those whose sins have not been forgiven are then judged on what they have done in this life. So Hitler will not get the same punishment that Jonah Salk does. God is fair and just and merciful, but to have your sins forgiven you must do it the way God has commanded.

I hope you are still reading, I know some of the things I have said probably upset you. I didn't mean for them to, but you asked a question and I can only answer truthfully.

Ralph

Sadly this is the response I received below:

Thank you for writing back. I am a practicing Jew, and respectfully I reject most of what you wrote. Since no one has been to heaven, and come back to talk about it, here is what I believe. I WILL be going to heaven because I am a good person. I WILL see my parents, and grandparents at the gate. The one thing I haven't figured out is how many generations will be at the gate to greet me.

One question we can debate without emotion is this; if G-d knew we would be driving, how come he made us so we close our eyes when we sneeze? It is dangerous!

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