Taught by God: Judaism vs. Christianity
There is marked contrast between the covenant God had with Israel and the one He now has with mankind. Judaism was a national religion while Christianity is characterized by the personal relationship one has with God. We are so blessed that this has changed, but it demands we seek to have that personal intimacy with God.
Judaism was designed for one to be chosen by God from the day of birth. In that Old Testament, every child was one of God’s chosen people from the day of his physical birth. The very fact that one’s parents were Jewish meant that at birth they were part of God’s chosen people. “The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the people on the face of the earth” (Deut. 7:6). That infant did not know God; he had never heard of God; he did not believe in God, yet he was a “child of God.”
God promised that in the New Testament age all of this would change. Six hundred years before Jesus was born, Jeremiah contrasted the covenant Jewish infants had with God with the new covenant Jesus was to bring. That Jewish child had to be taught of God and faith in Him had to come years after his birth. That was about to change. Jeremiah described it in these words. “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jer. 31:34). One became part of God’s chosen nation and later learned about God. Today, one becomes part of the kingdom of God by being born again (John 3:3). One must know God before he enters His kingdom.
Christianity is a taught religion. Jesus described it this way. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:44-45). His plan is to send His messengers to every person in every nation and use these messengers to teach men about God before they become His chosen people (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15).
It is true that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13). But look at what follows these words. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall the believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher” (Rom. 10:14). One cannot call on God before he hears!
God is seeking to draw you to Him by teaching you. The real question is, “Are you listening to God?”