I received a question on a post the other day and it caused me to do some research and soul searching. The question was about the place of the current descendants of Abraham, the Jewish people, in the necessity to be evangelized by the Gentiles.
Excellent question. From that question you have to make the assumption that the chosen people of Israel, those who are a direct part of Abraham’s family, are not saved. That opens a hole can of worms. There are those who think that God’s promise to Abraham to make him a great nation and the world will be blessed by them, only refers to the acts of bringing the Messiah to the world and does not afford any special privileges or spiritual status to them other than birthing Jesus. These of the Supersessionism movement would assert a theological view that the Old covenant to Abraham was replaced by the New covenant of Jesus. Following this line of theology, the Jews like the rest of the world must accept Jesus to be saved.
Supersessionism is a very well accepted theology in the Christian Church for the majority of their existence. Christian traditions that have championed this single Covenant Theology are the Roman Catholic, Reformed and Methodist. never-the-less in a recent poll of Christians, 60% believe there will be righteous Jews in heaven.
The other side of the argument is dual-covenant theology which holds that the covenant given to Moses is still valid and therefore the Jews do not need evangelizing. If a ethnic Jew is keeping the Law and as Micah states in 6:8, “O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to live kindness and walk humbly with your God,” then they are assumed righteous and deserve the associated rewards. They would take the statement of Jesus, “No man comes to the Father but by me,” and translate the word man as Gentile. That Jesus only came for the Gentiles.
If this dual-covenant theology then it opens the possibility of a third and a fourth and a fifth covenant. This view is currently being championed by Islam saying that the final and most authentic expression of Abrahamic prophetic monotheism, supersedes and replaces both Jewish and Christian teachings. The doctrine of tahrif teaches that earlier monotheistic scriptures or their interpretations have been corrupted, while the Quran presents a pure version of the divine message that they originally contained.
So now back to the original question. In God’s eyes “Whosoever believes in Jesus” John3:16 includes Judaism. Whether we actively do so that is up to the individual and calling. But just because a person is a gentile or a Jew makes little difference. It is one of those things we will discover when we get to our final reward. But before then it is just a talking point.