THE CROSS UNVEILED

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Last Update:  11/2013

Hall of Faith

Another example in the Bible showing eternal life in heaven is by grace through faith absent our obedience to laws, ordinances, works and moral conformity is found in Hebrews 11.  This chapter is referred to by many as the “hall of faith” or the “faith hall of fame.”  Here we see certain Old Testament characters called out not for their works, obedience to laws, or their high morals, but for their faith and faith alone.  By the Mormon method of obtaining eternal life, these Old Testament characters would not be even close to being “worthy” of earning eternal life in heaven because they were not obedient to the all the laws and ordinances, nor were they even close to it.  They had no more good works or moral conformity than anyone else and in many cases, much less.  

The Bible informs us faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).  However, the LDS Bible dictionary says under the topic of faith “… strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, faith comes by righteousness…” If this were true, then virtually all the people listed should not be because they were far from righteous.  To illustrate, let’s look at some of the names listed and see what God's word reveals as to why they are listed.  You will notice a pattern of them placing their faith and trust in God and His word alone for their righteousness and not on their own righteousness as Mormonism teaches.  

Noah – Now Noah was the most righteous man on earth at the time, but was not sinless.  He trusted God and had complete faith in what God commanded even though society thought he was crazy.  Christians know why Noah is listed as a man of faith, but would he have qualified for eternal life based on Mormon standards?  No, because Noah got drunk, which would bar him from qualifying for a temple recommend today, a requirement to eternal life with God in heaven.  You see how even though Noah was extremely righteous, this is not what he is remembered for?  He, like all the others listed, is here because of their faith in God alone.

Sarah – Sarah was not very Christian-like in kicking Hagar and Ishmael out in the desert to fend for themselves, yet she is specifically called out because of her faith in God’s promise that in her old age she would be able to conceive.  

Moses – Moses was not a very good husband to his wife as you recall.  Oh, and he killed a man out of anger too.  Not exactly the qualities Mormons would describe as being “worthy” to earn eternal life.  But guess what?  Moses had faith in God and the promise of a future Savior which drove him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Red Sea knowing death was assured if the Pharaoh caught him.  

Rahab – I don’t believe prostitution is on the laundry list of Mormon edicts which qualifies one for eternal life with God in heaven (although plural marriage is – See D&C 132 which is still canonized Mormon scripture).  Yet Rahab is being called out because of her faith.  She trusted in the God of Israel and hid the Israeli spies which led Israel to defeat Jericho.  

Samson – Samson was not exactly a pillar of worthiness Mormonism requires for eternal life with God in heaven.  I mean he gave into weaknesses of the flesh in the female department, killed many people and made many other mistakes.  He trusted in his own strength and abilities which led to his downfall.  After he was blinded, he finally realized his dependence on God alone was the source of his strength (Mormons, do you see how you trust in your own righteousness instead of trusting in the righteousness of Christ, which is given to us when we believe 2 Corinthians 5:21?)  What then happened?  In the end, because he placed his faith in the strength of God instead of himself, he was able to take down the walls of the pagan temple by pushing out the two pillars (by the way, those two pillars broken down are foreshadows of the two pillars of the Old Covenant, the Law and the Aaronic Priesthood, which were both fulfilled with the death of Christ which ushered in the New and Everlasting Covenant of grace).  

David – Was King David not a liar, adulterer and a murderer?  The Bible sure does not hide the fact that he was all of these things.  So how could a man who committed some of the worst atrocities in the Bible be listed in the Hebrews “hall of faith”?  If you actually study the life of King David in the Bible, you will also find out he was a man after God’s own heart.  He had a deep love for God and trusted God would protect him.  We see this passion come across in the Psalms he recorded.  

At the very end in Hebrews 11:39 it states “and all these having gained approval through their faith...” Notice they did not gain approval by their faith and works, or faith and obedience, or faith and morals, but just faith alone in God.  You see, faith does not come by your strength or your righteousness as the LDS teach; else none of the saints listed here would have faith because they surely were not righteous!

Hebrews 11 goes through the heroes of faith from the Old Testament.  The writer is showing the people after Jesus' finished work on the cross have more reason to have faith because these Old Testament people did not even get to see or hear of the promised Messiah who was to come.  God provided something better for us in Jesus Christ and we get to enjoy the fruit of His finished work on the cross.  Now these Old Testament heroes who had faith are now made perfect (complete) since Jesus Christ accomplished what He was sent to do (Hebrews 11:40). 

Can you see how when God follows through on His promises, it will change a person’s heart so they will do works and be obedient because they are saved and not to be saved like Mormon’s believe?  This faith will manifest through works which are not self-centered, self-righteous and prideful, but selfless and centered on Christ and what he has done for us.   This is what a true saving faith in Christ looks like and what the entire gospel message teaches us.