1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Seeking to worship God, even the right God, in the wrong way falls outside of the category reserved for horseshoes and hand grenades known as “close enough.” If you don’t connect with God through Jesus Christ, then you’ve not connected with God. The question (typically hypothetical) that gets asked goes something like: “what about those who don’t know about Jesus?” That question is almost directly addressed in these verses. Here is a people, God’s People even, who are ignorant of Jesus (the righteousness of God) and so they did not worship God in the correct way. They were zealous… yet misguided. Paul’s prayer is that they would be saved through Jesus Christ. If we are not leading well-meaning people to Jesus, they will spend eternity apart from God. How sad will it be on the Day of Judgment when we see those headed to the lake of fire and we say “but they seemed so senesce…” It’s all about Jesus, be sure you tell someone about Him today.