Numero uno of the 13 Principles of the Jewish faith is a fairly simple one. I ask myself, "Am I Jewish" or basically, "Are my beliefs the same as those of the Jewish?"
God rewards the righteous
How can a Bible believer argue with that? But some do. I've heard it. Here's how the narrative goes. Some men say, "Nothing you do can make God mad or win His favor." In a practical sense, the whole Bible is full of people making God mad and people winning His favor.
There's got to be a reason for this mantra.
I believe it is the guilt factor. I hear this predominantly in Christian music, but there are tons of pop preachers who recite these type sentences of reassurance. It is meant to comfort in some way. The person who has messed up royally, as they say, is somehow consoled that "hey, He loves you, and He's not mad at you."
I don't believe that there can be a blanket statement like that.
People's situations differ from each other. Some people have repented, yet some people are hearing this in an unrepentant state. There is a huge danger in telling someone whose sins have not been forgiven that his sins have been forgiven. Here is an example of a tiny part of a verse which is quoted to support the exact opposite of what the verse says. (There's a lot of that going on.)
3 Do you think this, O man who judges those who practice such things, and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
4 Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness (kindness - in many translations) of God leads you to repentance?
5 But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God; - Romans 2:3-5 WEB
God is good. Remember?
And God is great. His steadfast mercy endures forever. Throughout scripture we find His chosen ones tripping up. Just like us, they had to call upon His grace for forgiveness and favor. Of course He rewards the righteous.
Let's read the principle that Maimonides wrote:
"...the Creator... rewards good to those who keep His mitsvot (instructions) and punishes those who violate them." - Maimonides
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23
There's our similarity as a John 3:16 believer.
I believe that sin brings death... for Adam, for Moses, for me. If I have ever sinned, I was, then, guilty of such. It makes me mortal. One might say metaphorically that it makes me human. What we mean is that it shows our humanness.
However, in the above mentioned verse is the distinction that most would bring out about "the Jews," the Christ Jesus our Lord part. One of the big reasons for writing this series is to help erase that from our mouths. Because many Jews do not believe in Yeshua of Nazareth as being the actual Messiah does not believe that ALL Jews do not know Him as the Savior. If that were the case, then it would be more correct to say that all Gentiles do not believe that Jesus is Lord because many are pagans or simply atheists. To be honest, that is the essential meaning of the word gentile - goyim.
So please stop saying this in your devotionals and your sermons.
"The Jews rejected Christ as their Savior." The Bible is full of Jews who did not do so, and they spread the Gospel to the entire world. Many Jews believe today and they are still Jewish. And your views may differ from some Jews, but your views differ from your uncle's views. And his views differ from Billy Graham's?
Here is the question to ask ourselves. Who taught us our views?