My Jewish friend and I were discussing religion.
He claimed the Christian idea of salvation and a price for it is a pagan concept.
He claimed that Christianity is not Jewish because:
“I was just going to challenge the idea that everyone has the free will to accept or reject God’s “love” via Christianity. There are billions who died without ever hearing about Christianity. There are billions of good people who heard about it but decided (and still do) to reject it while still leading good lives. For all of those people, salvation wasn’t a free gift. Precisely because, back to my point, in Christianity salvation isn’t gift. It’s a deal. God offered a perfect human nature, we fell, we needed/need salvation, He offers it, but at a price. That price is Christian belief and Christian ethics/morals.”
My response would be
-People dead before Christianity who lived in God’s love were ransomed at the Harrowing of Hell according to our concept.
-Rejecting salvation has nothing to do with how good your life will be before, during, or after accepting the Salvation of Jesus Christ. This is a Jewish concept that following a prescribed action pattern under a law will give you good blessings.
-The salvation for those who rejected it was a gift. It wasn’t forced, that’s why it’s a gift. If there is a salvation/union with God, then there must be an opposite for those who choose not to participate in it, this is called Hell/Hades/Gahenna. God in His Wisdom has more than likely offered salvation to those who were near Him who died before the Crucifixion. They could have rejected it though.
-The “price” being discussed is not a bargain. It is a demonstration. It is an example of God’s love because humanity did not ask for a Savior, but required one. Our nature was fallen/broken and in His unstoppable Love, God sent a savior in the form of His Son/Word to offer to everyone the path of eternal Life with Him as He intended from the beginning.