Was it possible for gentiles to get saved before Jesus died on the cross?
Occasionally I get this question. The key to understand Old Testament area salvation for non-Jews, lies in the correct use of the word proselytes. We can read about their presence in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes.
A proselyte is a convert to Judaism. A person who is a non-Jew, but have deceided to leave his pagan “gods” and accept the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the only God.
The first named proselyte was Ruth. She was not Jewish, but a Moabite. In her encounter with the Jewish people, she accept the Jews as her people, and their God as her God.
But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
How was it possible for Ruth to get forgives for her sins?
In the same way, as Jews obtained forgiveness. By her sacrifice being presented in the first or second Temple of Jerusalem. By the offering of blood, and the Levites sprinkling of blood on her for the forgiveness of sins.
When we read King Solomon’s prayer during the dedication of the first Temple, we discover that prayers and sin offerings were offered also for the sins of non-Jews. These men and women were the first proselytes, sent by the Kings from all the nations on the face of the Earth, up to Mount Zion.
1 Kings 8:41-43.
“Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.
Also during the Second Temple period, the foreigners, the converts to Judaism travelled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Biblical feasts. On the day of Pentecost, they had not arrived to celebrate the birth of the Christian Church. But rather a festival of Judaism, remembering when God spoke to them from the fire and smoke at Mount Sinai.
Since there were foreigners present in Jerusalem, God the Holy Spirit performed a spectacular miracle. When Peter and the apostles spoke, the God fearing proselytes heard the gospel being preached in their own foreign language. They all accepted the blood of the lamb of God as an eternal atonement for their sins. No longer they would have to bring sacrifices to the Temple, and present blood of rams, bulls and birds.
Being a large group of God fearing people, they knew the law, the palms and the prophets. A new covenant had been promised to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
One the day of Pentecost, visiting Jews from all the nations and proselytes accepted a better covenant.
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Please accept the blood of the Messiah, and let Him change you. Accept Him as Lord and God today. You will not regret.
Written by Ivar