Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” - Is John 3:3 a universal statement, O.T. Saints included?
Jesus taught his followers to pray (The Lord's Prayer - Matthew 6:10) "Your kingdom come.Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven".
1/ "What is God's will for the earth? "Do all Christians have hope for heavenly life in the New Testament? Do O.T. faithful servants have hope for heavenly life? "What do the following scriptures indicate?
Jesus said the humble will inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5 NET“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:10-11 The meek shall inherit the earth and live in abundance of peace.
A little while and the wicked will be no more; though you look for
them, they will not be found. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
God blessed Adam to multiply, fill and subdue the earth.
Genesis 1:28 NET
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill
the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds
of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.”
God said He did not create the earth “simply for nothing.” he formed it to be inhabited.
Isaiah 45:18 ASV
For thus saith Jehovah that created the heavens, the God that formed
the earth and made it, that established it and created it not a waste,
that formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah; and there is none else.
God's residence is among humans- God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death.
Revelation 21:3-4 NET
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence
of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will
be his people, and God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe away
every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more—or
mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to
2/ Do O.T. faithful servants have hope for heavenly life?
John 14:2-3 NET
2 In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would
have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will
take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be.
Jesus here shows that his faithful apostles, to whom he was speaking, would,
in time, be in his Father’s “house,” in heaven, with Jesus. He promises to reward them with a place in heaven, but he does not say how many others would also go to heaven. And what will they do in heaven?
After the Passover Jesus instituted the "Memorial of his death" with his eleven faithful apostles,(Judas departed after the Passover). With them, the ones that have remained by him in his trials, Jesus prayed and covenanted a Kingdom.( Luke 22:28-30). He prayed to his Father to be made holy and requesting that " “where I am, they also may be with me, in order to behold the glory that you have given me.” (Luke 17:24)
Luke 22:28-30 NASB
“You are the ones who have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as
My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you, 30 that you may eat
and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
John 17:24 NASB
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me
where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for
You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
It is those that conquer or stood in His trails that Jesus gives permission to sit with him on his throne, Revelation 3:21 NET states: " I will grant the one who conquers permission to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne." This obviously rules out any O.T. faithful servants of God going to heaven, simply there is no provision for anyone that died prior to Jesus ascending to heaven,(John 3:16) to be a partaker of the Heavenly calling.(Hebrews. 3:1 NASB)
Similarly, Jesus' words about John the Baptist leave no doubts that those to be "born again" do not include any faithful servants of God like John Baptist or any other before Jesus opens the way to heaven. Jesus explains:( Matthew 11:11 NET) “I tell you the truth, among those born of women, no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is!
By saying that a lesser one in the Kingdom of the heavens is greater than John, Jesus is showing that John will not be in the heavenly Kingdom. John prepared the way for Jesus but dies before Christ opens the way to heaven. (Hebrews 10:19, 20) John is, though, a faithful prophet of God and will be an earthly subject of God’s Kingdom.
3/ "Do all Christians have hope for heavenly life in the New Testament?
DO ALL good people go to heaven? Many think so, but Jesus Christ did not agree. Speaking to the Jewish ruler Nicodemus, who came to him secretly at night, Jesus said: “No man has ascended into heaven.”(John 3:13).
Further, a careful reading of Jesus’ words shows that Jesus did not teach that it is up to man to choose whether to experience the new birth or not. Why do we say this? The Greek expression translated “is born again” can also be rendered “should be born from above.”* Thus, according to that alternate rendering, the new birth originates “from above”,that is, “from heaven,” or “from the Father.” (John 19:11; James 1:17) Yes, it is caused by God.1 John 3:9.
The words “unless” and “cannot”(Vs 3:3) highlight the necessity of the new birth. The Greek expression, "genethe anothen" ( γεννηθη ανωθεν ) translated "born again" may also be correctly translated, "born from above" (C.E. Version)
John 3:3 NASB
Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, "unless
"one is born again he "cannot" see the kingdom of God."
Contemporary English Version John 3:3
John 3:3 C.E.V. Jesus replied, "I tell you for certain that you must
be born from above before you can see God's kingdom!"
So according to this alternate translation, the new birth originates from the Father above.(James 1:17)
James 1:17 NASB
17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming
down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or
Yes, it is caused by God. (1 John 3:9).
1 John 3:9 NASB
9 No one who has been born of God practices sin, because His seed
remains in him; and he cannot sin continually, because he has been
born of God.
Invitations to a Meal—Whom Does God Invite and How Many?
The parable of the great banquet. Luke 14:16-24 NASB (Recommend reading at the link below)
The man giving the dinner is God (Vs16)
The man send his slave (Vs17). The slave is Jesus.
The Banquet, the opportunities to be in line for the Kingdom of the heavens.
The first call (Vs17) is especially by Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders, they were the first to be invited. They turn the request down using lame excuses.
The second call (Vs21) by the apostles to the Jewish nation and the proselytes. There was still room. The third call (Vs23) to the uncircumcised non Jews.
Urge people to come in so that my house will be filled.
23 So the master said to his slave, ‘Go out to the highways and
country roads and urge people to come in, so that my house will be
Jesus revealed to the apostle John the number of persons that would fill the house, and who would be co-rulers with him over the earth was 144,000. These spiritual sons of God "born from above "now have the prospect of inheriting what Christ Jesus was going to inherit, kingly power in heaven.
The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion
Revelation 14:3-4 NASB
3 And they *sang [a]a new song before the throne and before the four
living creatures and the elders; and no one was able to learn the song
except the 144,000 who had been purchased from the earth.
Revelation 5:9-10 NET
9 They were singing a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals because you were killed, and at the cost of
your own blood you have purchased for God persons from every tribe,
language, people, and nation. 10 You have appointed them as a kingdom
and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Footnotes NET Bible Luke 14;24
Luke 14:24 . None of those individuals who were invited. This is both the point and the warning. To be a part of the original invitation does not mean one automatically has access to blessing. One must respond when the summons comes in order to participate. The summons came in the person of Jesus and his proclamation of the kingdom. The statement here refers to the fact that many in Israel will not be blessed with participation, for they have ignored the summons when it came.