Saturday, February 07, 2015


“And so all Israel will be saved….”  (Romans 11:26a)

It would only take one word to convince me of the existence of God and the authority of Scripture: ISRAEL.  There is no explanation for how the Jews have survived and thrived unless God exists and the Bible is true.  Jews comprise less than a quarter of 1% of the world’s population, yet, they have known more prejudice and persecution than any race.  The four most influential people in human history are all Jews: Moses, Jesus, Paul and Marx.  This tiny nation is continually at the center of world events.  Why?  They are God’s chosen people.  Paul wants us to know that God is not through with the Jew!

When the church was born on the Day of Pentecost, it was exclusively Jewish.  A Jew named Peter preached about a Jewish Messiah and about 3,000 Jews were converted.  As the Gospel penetrated the Roman world, increasingly there was receptivity by Gentiles, and rejection by most Jews—and judicial hardness set in to a nation that predominately rejected Christ.  Still, God has never lacked a remnant of Jews who were not only racially identified with Abraham’s line, but religiously infused with Abraham’s faith!  This is spiritual Israel—and though they are few, there are Messianic Jews today—not only born with Abraham’s DNA, but born again in Christ (Rom.11:1-6)!

The tragedy of Israel, as a whole, is a nation of great privilege, but grave rebellion.  Prophet after prophet issued a call to repentance. They were chastened and carried into captivity.  At last, God sent His Son to them, but they demanded His death.  God raised Him from the dead, and still they would not believe.  No one—Jew or Gentile—can harden their heart for so long without it having a spiritually deadening effect.  That blindness is the judgment of God for those who refuse to see and come to the Light (Rom.11:7-10).

Paul reaches into the realm of agriculture to illustrate this spiritual principle (Rom.11:11-24).  The salvation of the Gentiles has Jewish roots—the law given to Israel convicts us of sin.  The Savior who converts us was a Jew.  The Apostles who shared the Gospel were Jews.  I’m a Christian today because of the outreach of Jewish missionaries 2,000 years ago!  Israel is God’s cultivated olive tree.  Gentiles are branches of a wild olive tree.  The branches of unbelieving Jews were broken off, and believing Gentile branches were grafted in.  God is looking for fruit, and Israel as a nation had none, and so were judged—as will Gentiles be who spurn His salvation.

 God is not through with the Jew!  They will be grafted back in!  God’s covenant to Abraham was a covenant of grace with that man and his descendants.  It was renewed with Isaac and Jacob, and expanded with David.  Those promises cannot be broken (Rom.11:25-32).  That covenant was unconditional.  Israel’s sin brought chastisement and is still doing so today, but God has not and cannot ultimately cast them away!  The world is turning once more against the Jews—even our own government—which will bring our destruction.  Christ will return and deliver Israel, ushering in earth’s golden age!  How exciting!  Let’s sing the doxology (Rom.11:33-36)!

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