Not My Job

Paul: “Brothers, truly my heart’s pleasure and supplication to God on behalf of Israel is for it to be saved. For I testify to them that they have zeal to God, but not according to knowledge. For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes” (Romans 10:1-4).

Tolerant Calvinist: Paul, it sounds like you are advocating a “Perfection of Knowledge Required for Salvation” heresy. Now before you go off like a bottle rocket, let me explain a few things to you, okay? Now, do I call Israel to hold to a consistent theology on the righteousness of Christ as the only righteousness God accepts? You bet I do. Do I teach it in the fellowship where I serve as an elder? Sure do. Do I believe it important to the honoring of God to believe it? Yes indeed. Do I believe someone who is ignorant of it is lost? Of course not. Do I believe someone who denies the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel and yet gives no evidence of actually understanding why they do so is, by strict virtue of that denial, lost? Of course not. Do I agree that it is not a good thing for someone to be thoroughly informed of this truth and reject it? That such could possibly indicate that such a person loves their tradition more than the truth? Yes, I do. But I also recognize that we normally jump to snap conclusions about this righteousness and God works on a much longer timetable than we do. I know that someone may well reject the teaching of the righteousness of God to them for a multitude of reasons that have little to do with the actual teaching of the righteousness of God under discussion, and may change their mind a little later, or long after. In either case, Paul, it is not my job to attempt to look into their hearts.