This question is one that gets asked frequently, and is therefore undoubtedly worthy of being ANSWERED somewhat frequently as well!
“I was having a discussion…talking about the Law and how everyone had to follow it. They disagreed and said that the law(s) were for specific people and groups during those time periods. How should I reply to this? I say that it is for all of us but they continue to disagree, and also say that gentiles don’t have to follow the law (like the dietary laws)…and that would bring us to bondage.”
Finally, and this is a “whole ‘nuther can o’ worms” – the “law” that brings bondage is MAN‘s, not YHVH‘s! The Pharisees were repeatedly called “hypocrites” because they “added to” His statutes, judgments, and commandments – and then CALLED what they mandated ‘law’, or sometimes ‘the traditions of the elders’. They “added burdens” – and it was THEIR demands that were too difficult, not His! (See Deuteronomy 30:10-14; it could not be more clear. Then compare to what Yahushua says repeatedly, in places like Matthew 15:6-9 and Mark 7 — that “by your tradition” you have made the “commandments of YHVH of no effect“.)
No, we don’t HAVE to obey Him. People are free to choose cursing over blessing, and death over life. We can ignore His Instruction. We don’t have to be grafted in, either, or accept His gift. But “if you love Me, keep My commands,” is a pretty good reason to try.