Sunday: Romans 11:25, 26
v25 (continued): Paul makes no claim to know how long God will employ this strategy but says at some point in the future it will end after its role in saving souls has been completed. v26: He has already reminded us of Moses prophecy that God would use the Gentiles to make Israel jealous (Ro 10:19; 11:11; Dt 32:21). Here he says the large number of born-again Gentiles who will be produced by this strategy will be a significant influence in bringing all Israel to Christ. Referring to the fullness of the Gentiles coming to Christ he says,
and in this way (under these circumstances) all Israel will be saved (literal). So the ingathering of Gentiles is tied to the ingathering of Jews.
Monday: Romans 11:26
v26 (continued): Someone might question Pauls assertion that all Israel will be saved. Does he use the word all to mean every single person, or an entire generation, or even multiple generations? Does he mean all of Abrahams spiritual children or all of his physical descendants as well (Ro 9:6-8)? Paul doesnt answer this question directly but refers us to a prophecy concerning the Messiahs future kingdom. He quotes from Isaiah 59 in which God responds to Israels helpless spiritual condition by promising to send the Messiah as a conquering warrior whose arrival will produce widespread repentance (Isa 59:16-21). In this way Paul draws our attention to a large body of prophetic literature which proclaims that the Messiah will bring a great spiritual revival to Israel in the last days.
Tuesday: Romans 11:26
v26 (continued): The Messiahs arrival will involve a complex series of events which include a war with Israels enemies (Isa 63:1-6), the setting up of His capitol in Jerusalem (Isa 66:10-24), a regathering of Jews from all over the earth (Isa 60:4-9), His governing of the entire earth (Zec 14:16-19), and the turning of Israels heart back to God (Zec 12:9-14). By pointing to this event Paul is in effect saying, What I mean by all Israel being saved is what the prophets mean by all. He leaves us without a precise definition of all but if a person thinks it is unrealistic to expect the salvation of every single Jew who is alive when Jesus returns, then at least it means the vast majority of the generation alive at that timeand since we know the Messiahs earthly kingdom will last a thousand years (Rev 20:1-10) then the word all may possibly include many generations.
Wednesday: Romans 11:26
v26 (continued): The thought that it will be possible to repent and believe after Jesus returns may surprise some of us. We may have assumed that when He comes again it will be too late to repent, that His physical arrival will bring the season of saving souls to an end. But the prophets (Old and New Testament) describe a different scenario. They reveal a world still populated with mortals being governed by the Messiah from Jerusalem. They say many will long to learn the truth about God during that season while others will remain rebellious and must be governed by force. One especially touching picture in Zechariah shows the Jews mourning at the arrival of the Messiah. In that passage the Messiah says, I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication (request in prayer), so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn (Zec 12:10; Jn 19:36, 37; Rev 1:7).
Thursday: Romans 11:26
v26 (continued): At Christs return a resurrection of believers will take place (Mt 24:29-31; Rev 20:4-6), but His arrival does not immediately bring the final judgment. In fact, that will not take place for at least a thousand years during which time mortal human beings will still populate the planet, children will be born and the elderly will die (Isa 65:20-23). Satan will be bound during this thousand-year period (Rev 20:2, 3) but obviously Adamic rebellion will still be present because it will be necessary for Jesus to govern by force (Zec 14:17-19; Rev 19:15), and as this final season on earth nears its end Satan will provoke an enormous number of unbelieving humans to wage a final war against Jesus and His saints (Rev 20:7-9). Its also significant that the Book of Revelation shows a great turning of Jews to Jesus before His return (Rev 7:4-8; 14:1-5).
Friday: Romans 11:26
v26 (continued): So with this perspective in mind it becomes very easy to understand why Paul is so sure that a great season of Jewish evangelism still lies in the future. His confidence rests on the fact that he takes these prophecies literally which describe the Messiah personally coming in power to Israel and turning their hearts back to faith. This means he views the ministry of the Messiah as being fulfilled in two distinct comings. The first is His incarnation which culminated in His cross and resurrection which are the central point of all human history because in them God provided the potential for atonement and eternal life for all humans. But Paul was still waiting expectantly for the second physical coming of the Messiah (Jesus) to earth because many prophecies remain unfulfilled, not the least of which is the promise that He will bring great revival to Israel. And he assumes that we, his readers, have also read these prophecies, so when he refers to Isaiah 59 we too will remember the many passages throughout the Bible that speak of this.
Saturday: Romans 11:26
v26 (continued): One word of caution: None of this focus on the Return of Christ should be taken to mean that Jewish men and women will not turn to Him before that last-days season. Paul has already assured us that God will always preserve at least a remnant (Ro 9:27; 11:2-5), so nothing he is saying here is meant to lower our expectations or dampen our prayers for Jewish neighbors, friends or family. Hes making a point about Gods faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham, not saying no significant numbers of Jews will believe until then.