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How were the people in the Old Testament 'saved'? Will they be in heaven?
Thank you for this great question about the Old Testament people and how they were saved.
The simple answer is that they had faith in God and believed that God would save them by a messiah. God chose to reveal more of his plans to people as time progressed. The first inclination we receive of God sending a saviour can be seen in Genesis, where God speaks to the serpent:
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15)
This is saying that the enemy (satan) will attack us, but the offspring will crush his head. This is known at the first statement that Jesus will come to defeat satan, sin and death for us.
Throughout the Old Testament then God gave signs that he will save his people and they had faith in God and the promise of the messiah. This can be seen when Noah was saved by the ark, Isaac was saved by the ram, the firstborn were saved by the sheep, the temple sacrifices etc. They were all pointing forward to Jesus.
In the New Testament we can read this:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. (Hebrews 11:1-9)
All of these people were made right with God by faith, just as we are made right with God by faith.
Also Romans 4:1-11 says that Abraham was not saved by works, but by faith.
For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness". (Romans 4:3)
In summary the people of the Old Testament were also saved by faith in Jesus, but they only saw the picture slightly whereas we get to see the whole. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Genesis 3:15
- Hebrews 11:1-9
- Romans 4:1-11
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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