I was talking to a new friend last night while looking at the stars and the subject of different beliefs came up. He mentioned someone once told him “all you have to do is believe in Jesus and you are saved”. My friend questioned if evil people believed would they have eternal life? What do you suggest for explaining this to him? Thanks!
That's a GREAT question! Thank you! The short answer is NO! You can't be evil and have the Ruach residing within.
The longer answer is this:
Throughout the Torah we see YHWH preaching obedience to His Divine Instructions in Righteousness that reveal who God is, and what He expects of His people.
He is clear that those who know His Torah are NOT to engage in deliberate sinning of ANY kind, and that there is no sin sacrifice for continued, deliberate sinning. If anyone is "evil" that means they're committing some kind of sin, and there will be no sinners in the Olam Haba (world to come).
Numbers 15: 30 "'But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming ADONAI. That person will be cut off from his people. (CJB)
This is reiterated in the "New Testament" which constantly refers back to Torah.
Hebrews 10: 26 For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, or raging fire that will consume the enemies. (AENT)
Hebrews 6: 4. But they who have once descended to immersion and have tasted the gift from heaven and have received the Ruach haKodesh 5. and have tasted the good Word of Elohim and the power of the world to come, 6. cannot again sin and a second time be renewed to repentance; or a second time execute him on a stake and insult the Son of Elohim.
7. For the earth that drinks the rain which comes often upon it and produces the herb that is of use to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from Elohim. 8. But if it should put forth thorns and briers, it would be discarded and be approaching closely to a curse, and its end would be a conflagration. (AENT)
Leviticus 26: 23 If, in spite of all this, you refuse my correction and still go against me; then I too will go against you; and I, yes I, will strike you seven times over for your sins. (CJB)
1 Corinthians 6: 9. Or don't you know, that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim?* Make no mistake! Neither sexual sinners, nor idol-worshippers, nor adulterers, nor the corrupt, nor men who lay down with other men, 10. Nor the oppressors, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. (AENT)
FOOTNOTE: Compare this to Matthew 5:17-20, where we are told that breaking the least commandment of Torah and teaching others to do the same makes a person "least in the kingdom" but they still get in. Y'shua implies that those with more serious sins won't make it in: "Depart from me, workers of iniquity, I never knew you"; but here, Rav Shaul gives a more specific list of what will keep them out.
1 Corinthians 6: 17. But he that joins himself to our Master (Y'shua), is with him one spirit. 18. Flee from sexual sin. For every (other) sin which a man commits, is external to his body; but he that commits sexual sin, sins against his own body. (AENT)
NOTE Sexual sin goes deeper than the body - because the Image of Elohim is both male and female (B'resheet/Gen. 1:27)... and when violating someone sexually, we are distorting that Image and basically spurning the One who created male and female according to His own Image! But the other point is also that a sexual sinner brings sin upon himself rather than his partner, and vice versa, unless rape or abuse is involved.
It is not sin per se that causes a person who professes to be a believer to be eternally estranged from YHWH but, rather, it is our surrender to sin which causes our faith and faithfulness to dim or completely die out. We flirt with spiritual disaster if we - by our thoughts, words, and conduct - deny Messiah, reject grace, spurn redemption, and push away the Holy Spirit.
Under the “Old Covenant,” YHWH put to death people who willingly disobeyed His commands or offered "strange fire" (Lev. 10:1-2). There was no atonement for intentional sin - and there still isn't. All of the sin offerings of the Levitical Law were for unintentional sin.
Case in point, Numbers 15:32-35 tells us: While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then YHWH said to Moses, "The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp".
The man who sinned willingly was not deceived in any way. He was not driven by uncontrollable impulses. He simply decided to ignore what God had said about the Sabbath. His reward was death.
Leviticus 4: 27 If an individual among the people commits a sin inadvertently, doing something against any of the mitzvot of ADONAI concerning things which should not be done, he is guilty. (CJB)
Under the Renewed Covenant, we are STILL expected to be holy! That never changed! For more on this, please check out our website’s article on deliberate sinning.