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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

29 August 2005

The Chosen People

Q: I remember my pastor from many years ago said that Jews would not go to heaven because they didn't believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Yet the Bible says that they are the “chosen people.” What do you think of this?

A: They are chosen — but most of them have chosen to go a way other than the Way, Jesus Christ. Those who do not have Christ have ignored the Bible’s promises concerning him—promises first given to Israel.

Commenting on this to the Christians in Rome, Paul lamented Israel’s rejection of its own seed, the Messiah while also speaking of how the whole body of believers in Christ is Israel according to God’s promise:

I am speaking the truth in Christ — I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit — that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. (9:1-8)

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Referring to Q1: Two stages are meaningful because the first one fixes the optics, the 2nd one allows the brain to interpret what the eye (optics) present. I heard a doctor speak about this and point out how this is actually a fascinating example of how the Bible records something that ancient people didn't know about. Today, when people who have never seen or not seen for many years receive sight their brain must learn to interpret what the eye gathers. This was unknown until modern medicine was able to cure some forms of blindness.

31 August, 2005 14:32  

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