SAVING THE RIGHTEOUS
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© July 2019, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
A theme that runs through the Bible is that God will save the righteous people. The others will suffer because they do not obey the rules of living set down in the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.
The sequence of events that is repeated throughout history is that God finds that some are obeying the rules. They are saved, while the others are made to perish or to suffer.
Also, after saving the righteous, God gives them rules to follow. He then watches to see if they follow the rules. If they do, they are protected and encouraged. If they do not, they, too, must perish or suffer and only the righteous are saved. This is a cycle that is discussed several times in the Bible and it is going on today. That is the significance of this article.
THE STORY OF NOAH
According to the Bible, a great flood occurred several thousand years ago. It killed everyone except for a righteous man – Noah. His wife, his sons and their wives were also spared.
After the flood, certain rules were given to Noah, to be followed by all of humanity. We believe that unfortunately, these laws were taken out of the Bible. However, we believe that they were given to Noah.
Since everyone except the children of Noah were destroyed in the flood, all of us are descendants of Noah. Therefore, the laws below apply to everyone on earth.
1. Do not worship idols. This means do not worship gods other than the one God of the Hebrew Bible.
2. Do not blaspheme God. This means do not swear, curse, insult or otherwise use the name of God in an irreverent way.
3. Do not murder. Murder means killing someone without a very good reason. For example, killing someone in self-defense is not considered murder.
4. Do not commit sexual immorality. This includes adultery (sex with someone other than one’s wife when one is married), fornication (sex without marriage), homosexuality, pedophilia (sex with children) or bestiality (sex with animals).
5. Do not steal. This may mean more than taking the possessions of someone else. It also means do not cheat people and do not steal the dignity of another person, such as occurs with rape. Rape is also a type of murder of the spirit of another.
6. Do not eat flesh from a live animal. The people were told to first kill the animal, then cook the food, and then eat the meat. Other people at that time would just rip a leg or other body part off a living animal and eat it raw. This is inhumane and harmful for the person eating it, as well. It is one reason we recommend cooking all food. One cannot eat a living animal if you cook it first, of course.
7. Establish courts and a legal system to ensure obedience to the above laws. This is a very important concept. In some societies, eve today, there is very little legal proceeding or due process of law. The king or leader just decides if the person is guilty or innocent and then carries out the punishment with no chance for a defense.
Western societies are based on the Biblical concept of a legal system that first and foremost requires due process. This menas carrying out the policies and procedures that are set down in writing for anyone accused of a crime. It was a major milestone for humanity. Any effort to circumvent due process is a very bad breach of this basic commandment.
The story of Noah is an example of how God works. First, the righteous people were saved. Secondly, after the catastrophe (flood), the righteous were given rules to follow. Then God waits to see if the rules are followed. If not, then the wicked are once again killed or made to suffer, while the righteous are rewarded or saved.
MOSES IN EGYPT
Most people are familiar with the story of the enslavement of the Hebrews in Egypt. It was a result of a famine in their area. The Hebrews basically traded their labor for food.
Although they spent some 400 years in bondage to the Egyptians, the Hebrews maintained their laws quite well. As a result, when the time was right, they were freed and left Egypt.
Once again, the righteous were saved by God. Also, once they were freed and were in the desert of Sinai, laws were given to them to follow. These are the Ten Commandments of Moses. For details, read the Ten Commandments.
THE SITUATION TODAY
We believe that a similar situation exists today. It involves more of humanity, not just the Hebrews. The coming of Jesus brought the non-Hebrews under the Biblical rules so that the Ten Commandments, Golden Rule and other Biblical laws apply to many more people in the world.
We believe that those who follow the rules will be saved. The others may have to suffer or worse. This may sound ominous, but it is the way God works.