I recently asked a Jewish Rabbi a question about the afterlife and salvation. After my question below is his response…
According to the Jewish faith, what happens to a person after death and how can a person live forever in heaven?
Dear Ron Ethridge:
The very foundation of the Jewish Religion is rooted in the concept of the World to Come and the Resurrection of the Dead. We believe that without these concepts it would have been nigh on impossible for the Jewish People to have remained attached to God and His Torah. Judaism is a religion that uses this world as a means to enter into the World to Come, because of this fundamental belief existence in this world allows us many expectations, and it gives us a purpose in life – to build on our inherent spirituality and to try and draw closer to God in order to enhance God’s presence in this world.
The Sages teach that the Creation of the world is based on Chesed, kindness. God’s loving-kindness was to bestow the greatest possible good upon His created beings. And the ultimate and greatest good is God Himself. Therefore, in order for mankind to try and emulate God in this world beings must be created with free-will. To interfere in free-will of beings contradicts the whole purpose of Creation. That is why it is the norm that the righteous suffer and the evil prosper.
The Jewish concept of hell, called Gehinom or purgatory, shares no resemblance to Christian hell. Jewish Traditional Sources teach that Gehinom is a place where Souls are sent – only if the Soul is in need of some form of spiritual correction. A Soul, depending on the need for correction, can spend up to a year in Gehinom. However, the maximum time is “only” twelve months, there is no concept whatsoever of being in Gehinom for an indefinite period of time, i.e. eternal damnation. Once a Soul has been through the necessary process of correction, the Soul is welcomed into the World to Come to join all the other Souls in the World of Truth.
Rabbi Reuven Lauffer (Note: Rabbi Lauffer is pictured above, right.)
What do you think about his answer? I’ll make a few comments on Friday (God willing).
The only way to The Father is through The Son. Judism is a religion that uses THIS WORLD as a means to enter into the World to Come? Sounds like works to me. That man is born with a portion of “good” in him? Isaiah 53:11 “As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities” To interfere in free-will of beings contradicts the whole purpose of creation? Were we not made to worship God? Isaiah 55:3 “Incline your ear to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you” The jewish concept of hell? A Soul, depending on the need for correction? Maximum time is “only” twelve months? Process of correction? You mean we can be cleaned up enough, without The Cross and The Blood of Jesus Christ, to come into the presence of a Holy God? NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!!!! And we are to defend The State of Israel uncondionally? I think not. Who is the New Testament Israel? Is it a land mass, or a people of believers, true believers, The Remnant? These are questions I think we need to revisit through scripture, not what some man, commentator, has arrived at. He’s just a man. Maybe we need to step back 150 years to the preaching and teaching of John Nelson Darby , father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism, and take small steps foward to examine what we have allowed to be considered The Gospel, when it’s only an opinion, a direction. I say all of this to say, The Bible is a thinking mans’ book, seek and you shall find, God is a rewarder of those seek. The Bible says what It means and means what It says……… Forget all of my “I says” and my “I thinks”, go to The Source (Bible)………