Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jonathan's Question re: Holocaust, Jesus, & Heaven

So I felt it necessary for me to think through Jonathan from the Maui trips question on how ridiculous it is for Christians to assert that Holocaust victims would go to Hell.

A couple random thoughts
1. The Holocaust was evil.
2. Hitler was not a Christian.
3. Jonathan is confusing the question of salvation with the character of God. I think Jonathan's real question is, "How could a loving God allow that?".
4. God is working out His purposes for the Jewish people. And has partially hardened their hearts until the full number of Gentiles comes in.
5. How the Holocaust works into God's plan is beyond me. It does remind me of the several times in Israel's history of when they have been taken captive by other nations like Babylon (ie Daniel & his buddies). God brought them into captivity SO THAT they would not perish, but have everlasting life. He brought them much trouble, because without trouble they would not repent. Once again, I do not know the complete mind of God. So I can't say for sure.

So do the Holocaust victims all go to Heaven?
1. Because someone goes through a terrible time does not qualify them to go to Heaven. God has never called us to "pay our dues", or all experience some kind of hell in order to have life.
2. Because someone was a basically good person (ie better than Hitler) does not qualify them to go to Heaven. If goodness was the qualifier, none of us would ever go to Heaven. So be thankful this is not the case.
3. The issue comes back down to the question, "How does anyone go to heaven?".
According to the Bible, anyone who places their trust in Jesus has life; enters into an eternal relationship with God.
4. Therefore, if people in the Holocaust placed their trust in Jesus, then they are forgiven and enter into a restored relationship with God. If anyone places their trust in Jesus, they are forgiven and enter into a restored relationship with God. Did some of the Holocaust people do this? I have no idea, but I think I have heard stories about this.
5. Does God make special exceptions for those who have been "cheated" out of a life of pleasure and general goodness? No. Actually, suffering is a friend of people. And, until we get our minds around this, we will never understand that pleasure can often be worse than suffering. Back to WHY God often sent Israel into captivity, and why Solomon said, "Better the house of mourning than the house of celebration.".

So a simple equation, to explain who goes to heaven:

T->L Trusting in Jesus as savior from your sin leads to life
NT-> D Refusing to trust in Jesus as savior from your sin leads to continued death

The holocaust was evil, no doubt. But even though evil happens, God is still good and is working out His plan for Israel, wanted none to perish but all to accept His great salvation through receiving their Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ.

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