4. How do Jewish people believe you get to heaven?
Before we answer that question, it needs to be said that not all Jewish people believe in heaven. Reformed Jewish people, (the least of the religious) believe that there is no life after death. People only live on in the memories of the living. The Orthodox Jewish people, (the very religious) do believe in a life after death and the Conservative Jewish people, (those in the middle) go both ways. Those who lean towards the Orthodox believe in life after death and those who lean towards the Reformed do not believe in it. For those Jewish people who do believe in a literal heaven the way you get there is by good works. They call them “mitzvahs.” A mitzvah is anything that you do that benefits somebody. Mitzvahs come in many shapes and sizes. The thing that is universally believed among Jewish people who believe in heaven is, by doing mitzvahs, and praying, etc. one will enter heaven. It’s really not all that different from what your average unsaved Gentile believes. They too believe that heaven is gained by what we do. A good verse to show your Jewish friends that teaches that one cannot get to heaven by good works is in Isaiah.
Isaiah 64:6 – “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment, and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”
The problem is, from God’s perspective, no one who is unsaved can do good works. They are not able to because of their sin.
Psalm 14:2-3 – “The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
Paul tells us in the book of Galatians that salvation comes by faith in the Messiah Jesus and not by keeping the Law and doing good works. See Galatians 2:16; 2:21; 3:11