Who was saved in the OT?

So, was invincible ignorance in effect in the Old Testament? A local Protestant talk show host constantly tells his audience that all non-Christians go to hell. I know the New Covenant answer to this…

However, who was saved in the Old Testament? Was invincible ignorance and the law of charity in effect then also? I’m assuming it was. Salvation wasn’t exclusive to Jews in the OT, right?

I think Jews were judged by faithfulness to the law and gentiles by how they followed the law of God in their hearts.

But the gates of heaven only opened to them because of the death of Jesus. When we say, “He descended into hell,” we testify to the teaching that the souls of the righteous were released into heaven after the crucifixion.

I do understand that no one went to heaven till Jesus opened the gates. On that much, I’m clear. I just want to be able to know for sure that I’m doctrinally correct when I tell this talk show host that in the OT, non-Jews did not all go to hell. I want the official Catholic Church understanding of the fate of non-Jews in the OT, even though I’m fairly sure I know that it was through invincible ignorance also.

Thanks - any other clarification or tips on reading material on this (preferably short - I dont’ have time to read whole books right now). (:

I don’t think it would fall under invincible ignorance (since everybody was ignorant of Jesus then, they had not rejected him or the church).

That gentiles were judged by how they followed the law of God in their hearts is from one of Paul’s epistles but I don’t know chapter and verse.

One of the outer courts in the temple in Jerusalem was for the gentiles to pray to God. I think it was called the court of the gentiles. It was the one where Jesus overturned the tables because the temple was supposed to be ‘a house of prayer for all people’ but they were using that court for commerce. So God had not abandoned the gentiles who would pray to the God of the Jews.

Also, Melchisedec who offered the sacrifice of bread and wine when David’s army was victorious wasn’t a Jew but he worshiped the One God.

Noah and his family were not Jews but he was considered righteous.

I’m sure the Catechism says something about this. Good luck.

What’s invincible ignorance? The notion that those who haven’t heard of Christ aren’t automatically destined to hell?

I’m not Catholic, but I think that’s about right.

Invincible ignorance applies to those who “by no fault of their own” are ignorant of the need to belong to Jesus’s Church (the Catholic Church). This could apply to those who were raised as Protestants or even any non-Christian religion as well as pagans and those who’ve never heard of Jesus at all.

One extreme example would be that of a 12 year old Muslim boy who has been told his whole life that Christians are infidels.

But it could even apply to former Catholics who left the Church but never understood the necessity of belonging to it.

It basically says that only God can determine if someone has a reasonable or unreasonable lack of belief. The summation for us is that no one at all can judge another person’s “saved” status - ever. That is God’s job alone.

ok, thanks!

Oh, and Claire, it is in Romans Chapter 2 that Paul talks about the law written upon one’s heart.

I guess this must’ve applied to OT people. He seems to be talking in past tense. I read this passage on air to the talk show host - it seems so clear to me. But Protestants (at least those who believe all non-Christians go to hell) must have some other interpretation.

H’enoch was the first, his name means ‘initiated’. He walked with God 365 years, and was not; for the Lord took him.

Do you mean Enoch? Was he a Jew?

He was the father of Methuselah, so no he was not a Jew…

Thank you! That answers my question. I really DO have to get more familiar with the OT.

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