Staff's ROD

Staff's ROD #25, All Israel Shall Be Saved

Our 11th emphatic belief states our position "in a gospel millennium (or, A-millennial) view of the end-times". This view precludes a glorious future for National Israel, rejecting the idea that Jesus will return to rule from Jerusalem just like other kings and rulers do – without the church, which will be raptured up to heaven.  A key phrase used to justify this view is Romans 11:26a, which says and so all Israel shall be saved.  Doesn't that support some sort of national restoration, and a comprehensive salvation, for the Jews? 

 

Let's think about that some more.  Which Jews would be saved: every single Jew since Abraham, including Israel's wicked Kings and Judas? Those in existence only when Jesus returns? In Romans 2:28 the Apostle distinguishes two types of Jews: those outward in the flesh, and the inward Jew circumcised in heart. The elect Jews are true Israel, just as elect Gentiles are the Israel of God. He repeats this truth in Rom. 9:6-8 and 11:2.

 

Also, what does and so mean?  Most read it as if though it says, "and then", as if Paul means a time frame; however, in the Greek, and so means "in this manner".  What manner is that?  The one Paul described in Romans chapters 10 and 11, where he also told us which Israel is in view.

 

A key conclusion of Romans 10 is that most Jews of yesterday and today are not saved.  God's reason as to why they aren't right with Him stems from their absence of faith in Christ, and not their lack of election. These zealous but unsaved Jews are ignorant of Christ and His righteousness.  You must confess Christ to be saved, and to confess Christ, you have to hear about Him.  Although the Jews heard God's Word, God promises that the Gentiles will end up finding God, which should provoke ethnic Jews to seek Him.  Yet, there is an ever-present condition of God's promised hand of wrath against National Israel.  The reader is left with a large paradox at the end of Romans 10; namely, how can His wrath be upon the Jews after the flesh all day long, yet also declare they'll be provoked to jealousy unto salvation?  This is the big mystery that ought to be in our minds as we enter into Romans 11.

 

Romans 11 can be summarized as follows.  In wrath, God blinded the non-elect Jews eternally and irrevocably; however, there is still a tiny remnant according to the election of grace at this present time -- neither visible nor (yet) saved.  When the Jews rejected the Messiah, the gospel went forth boldly to the Gentiles, which is a glorious for them.  Gentiles partake of the same salvation the elect Jews of old enjoyed, with all its rich blessings.  Gentiles are not graft into the Old Covenant, nor into National Israel, but into Jesus Christ, Who is the holy Root.  Thus, God is saving all of His elect, the true spiritual Jews, and only them. This is how God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all, where all refers to Jews and Gentiles.  Learn more at HoldingFast.net/End-Times, or read O. Palmer Robertson's The Israel of God for a more comprehensive treatment.