Muslims and Jews will often tell us good works / or law can get you to heaven. But there is major problem with this idea. Because ancient Jews never believed in GOING TO HEAVEN, only in GOING TO SHEOL, which was also called the Bosom of Abraham.
Josephus the Jewish historian who lived around the time of Christ, shows us exactly what Jews believed.
We clearly see that Jews did not believe in going to heaven but considered themselves unworthy to enter God’s presence after death. Did Jesus also teach this concept of the underworld and waiting place for the righteous? Yes
Some have misunderstood what the Bosom of Abraham was, but it’s clear from this picture that Sheol or Hell was divided into two sections, one side for the righteous who lived by the law and the other side for the sinners, who suffered great pain. Between them was a GREAT CHASM NO MAN COULD CROSS, so that the sinners could not escape to the GOOD SIDE.
Some Jews still teach the afterlife and going into Sheol.
Sheol; Life after Death
Below is an excerp from the Jewish page above showing this is still taught in Judaism:
The …soul goes to Sheol (Job 3:11-19, 1 Samuel 2:6, Psalm 89:49).
We only have one witness that has come up from Sheol to give us a testimony, and that is the ghost of the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 28. We can hear his disgruntled attitude, when he answers King Saul “Why have you disturbed me and brought me up?” ( 1 Samuel 28:15 ). This is a stark comparison to the New Testament story about the rich man and Lazarus in Sheol (Luke 16:19-31). As you know, the rich man is in a hellish Sheol. He asks Abraham to “have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.”.
So now we have given 3 witnesses, Josephus, Jesus and Jews to the fact that all went to Sheol before Jesus came, either the good side or the bad side.
The Book of Enoch (although not scripture) gives us another witness to what ancient Jews taught and believed, before Jesus came.
So Enoch/ancient Jews also held this belief that the Righteous and sinners would descend into Sheol.
The Sign of Jonah is often misinterpreted by Muslims, but it is an unmistakable reference to Jesus going down into Sheol, INTO THE HEART OF THE EARTH, to the place all the righteous jews were being held.
And not only did Messiah descend into Sheol to the roots of the Mountains, like Jonah had, but he ascended leading the captive jews into heaven…. Just like Moses led the captives out of Egypt.
So what can we learn from Sheol? Well clearly the law and good works never got anyone to heaven, so following Islam is waste of time and so is following Judaism.
Only the Messiah like Moses is able to set the captives of Sheol free and grant them access to heaven, not by anything we have done, but by his atonement for our sins. Those who reject the Salvation of Jesus are doomed to Sheol, for the MESSIAH IS THE ONLY WAY OUT, THE ONLY DELIVERER FROM SHEOL.
How sad that Muslims and Jews did not realize what Jesus meant, when he said, No one comes to the Father except through me, because before Jesus, NO DEAD PERSON EVER DID, whether he be a righteous man or prophet, they all went to Sheol.
Without the Messiah to atonement for our sins we are unworthy to dwell heaven with God, WE SIMPLY CAN NOT ENTER.
MAKE JESUS YOUR SAVIOUR AND DELIVERER FROM SHEOL TODAY.