|Hebrews 11:32-40 |
32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, of Barak, of Samson, of Jephthah, of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets,
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained the promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong and became valiant in battle, and turned the armies of the aliens to flight.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, refusing to be released so they might obtain a better resurrection.
36 And others had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, including chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned, were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, and tormented,
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy). They wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained God's approval through faith, did not receive the promise,
40 God having planned something better for us, so that without us they would not be made perfect.4
4 And all these, (Old Testament giants of faith), having obtained God's approval through faith, did not receive the promise, God having planned something better for us, so that without us they would not be made perfect. Use your common sense. Do you think that any so-called Christian could possibly be of help to make any of these ancient heroes of faith perfect, unless they themselves first became perfect? And if God planned for others to made perfect, thus to bridge these ancient mighty men and women into the Kingdom, union, permanent perfection, and the rest, do you for a second doubt that perfection is not only possible, but highly probable to those Christians with persistent obedient faith and true hope in the true gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation?
Jesus died so that all men would be saved, and He is the savior of all men, especially those who believe. 1 Tim 4:10. Certainly that applies to those who lived in the Old Testament times as well as those who lived in the New Testament times. What happened to those Old Testament people as they were waiting for the salvation of the saints to pull them through? We don't know much about after-life, but we have references to time being irrelevant there and a holding place interim to judgment, for which 4 Esdras has the most thorough explanation available, bearing in mind that a day there could be a thousand years here and vice versa.
And just in case there is someone out there wondering why Jesus is necessary, when considering the recorded salvation of the Old Testament prophets; Jesus made at least four things possible that the prophets could not attain: 1) a permanent perfection, a higher perfection, beyond Adam, the forever perfection of Christ himself as you enter 2) the union with Christ and the Father, to sit down in Christ in the 3) rest, to cease from your own thoughts, words, and deeds, to rest from battling with one's enemies of sin, and 4) to live in the Kingdom of Heaven, as a king and priest forever.