Be a good listener.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone whom you sensed wasn’t really paying attention to your half of the conversation? That they were talking but not listening? The Bible says these are foolish people, not wanting understanding, only wanting to hear themselves talk.
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell —Psalm 115:6
Yet God commands us to be good listeners.
. . . the man who listens to the truth will speak forever. —Proverbs 21:28
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise . . . —Proverbs 22:17
Does not the ear test words, as the palate tastes its food? —Job 12:11
God knows that if we practice being good listeners every day, then we have a better chance of hearing Him when He speaks to us. And it’s great to be able to say,
I have listened to the voice of my God; —Deuteronomy 26:14.
I would like to know what happened to the faithful in the OT. Were any of them saved? I have heard that they were held in the bosom of Abraham but cannot find that info in the Bible.
Prior to Jesus, who was saved and what scriptural passages support the position?
Everyone who goes to heaven, those living prior to the cross and those living after the cross, will have been saved the same way—by faith.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. —Hebrews 11:1-2
For by grace you have been saved through faith . . . —Ephesians 2:8
See also Hebrews 11:1-39, Romans 3:28, Romans 5:1-2.
Those who lived prior to the cross could be saved, by faith, by trusting that God would send a future Messiah to pay for their sin. Those saved after the cross look back to the cross, by faith, that Jesus was the Messiah sent by God.
Today, when a believer (saved by faith) dies, he/she goes directly into the presence of the Lord.
we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. —2 Corinthians 5:8
But those saved prior to Jesus’ death on the cross could not yet go into the presence of the Lord when they died. They had to wait until the Messiah came and paid for their sin.
Since those who were saved and died prior to the cross could not yet go to heaven, God provided a place for them to wait for the Messiah to come. This waiting place was called “Abraham’s bosom” and was located next to Hades in the center of the earth. In fact, those who were in Hades, conscious and in an agonizing flame, could look across the divider and see those in Paradise. This is all found in Luke 16:19-31, the account (not a parable) of the rich man and Lazarus.
When Jesus came and died on the cross, the first thing He did was to “descend” (Ephesians 4:9-10) to Abraham’s bosom to bring up the saints of old and take them to Paradise/heaven (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7). Some scholars even speculate that the strange verses in Matthew about the dead saints appearing after Jesus’ death (Matthew 27:51-53) are referring to redeemed saints from Abraham’s bosom passing through the surface of earth on the way to heaven.
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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