A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
How do I know that God’s turning away from Israel is only temporary and not permanent? In Romans 11, Paul demonstrated that God is not through with Israel.
One sign that God is not through with Israel is God’s salvation of the Gentiles. You say, “What does the salvation of the Gentiles have to do with that?” Look at verse 11: “I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they?” Paul was referring to a permanent casting away. “May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.” In verse 14, he said, “If somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.” Paul was saying that at some point Israel will look at all the Gentiles coming to Christ and being blessed, and they will say, “Hey, I want some of that. That blessing was meant for me originally. Why are these Gentiles experiencing what I am not experiencing?” God will cause the Gentiles’ salvation to provoke Israel to jealousy, and it will result in Israel’s salvation.
How do I know God is not finished with Israel yet? The final and most obvious piece of evidence is God’s ultimate redemption of true Israel. That is the climax of Romans 11. Look at verses 25 and 26: “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery–so that you will not be wise in your own estimation–that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved.”
Paul was talking about the age we are living in right now–the Church Age, also called the time of the Gentiles. When Israel rejected Christ, God turned away from Israel. There is a hardness that has come to Israel’s heart, and now we are living in the Church Age, when Gentiles are being saved. But when the last Gentile is saved whom God has ordained to be saved, the age of the Church will be over. Do you know what the end of the Gentile age will be? It will be the Rapture of the Church–when the Church is suddenly taken away from the earth. When the Rapture occurs, then begins the final seven years of earth’s history. We call it the Great Tribulation; the Old Testament called it the day of the Lord, the time of Jacob’s trouble, and Daniel’s 70th week. During these final seven years, God will give Israel one last chance to repent. The purpose of the Tribulation is not just God’s retribution; it is His redemption of Israel. Revelation 7 tells us that during the Tribulation, there will be numerous Jews who will be saved. There will be many Gentiles who will be saved as well. And it culminates with the Second Coming of Christ. Paul was saying, “At that time, all Israel will be saved.”
Does that mean every Jew by birth will be saved? No. Does it mean every Jew alive when Christ returns will be saved? No. It means all those whom God has predestined of Israel, the true Israel, will be saved; and at that time God will fulfill His promise to Israel.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Why The Jew Is Important To You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.