In John 3:13 Jesus tells us that “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven-the Son of Man.” My question to what Jesus tells us is what happened to those who came and died before Jesus? Also going further into verse 14-15 where it says “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” So echoing further from the last question, if Christ tells us that when those whom believe and hold firmly with their faith in him will have eternal life, what happened to those who never knew of Jesus before his coming and had already passed away, how will they too come to believe in him as their savior if they had never knew of him or his words or his actions. Thank you
I am afraid that probably the best I can do is say that I/we will have to trust in the justice and wisdom of God. I believe that there will be others in heaven besides those who have been saved through faith in Jesus, repentance and baptism. I believe that Moses and David and Esther and thousands of others we do not know, even some people who were not Jews will be in heaven. Only those who are baptized into Christ receive the indwelling Holy Spirit. Only they are given the seal, guaranteeing our inheritance until the coming of Jesus (Ephesians 1:13-14 somewhat paraphrased).
In Hebrews 11:40 the Hebrew writer tells us that the heroes of the Jewish faith are saved “only together with us.” In Revelation 13:8 we learn that Jesus is “a lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.” This tells me that in some special cases the blood of Jesus can be applied to some who did not know of him. No one outside of Christ is “saved” in the sense that they have the Holy Spirit and a guarantee of salvation, but there will be others who will be in heaven. How exactly will this work? Who, exactly, will make the cut? How righteous would a man or woman who never knew Jesus have to be in order to make it? I do not know and I do not even want to speculate. What I can say is that those who reject knowledge of Christ surely will not be there. Yet, some, like the heroes of Hebrews 11 will make it and I am afraid we will have to leave that to God.