Sunday, 11 December 2016


Paul said "...the living the Saviour of ALL MEN..." (I Timothy 4:10).
But did Paul mean literally all men are (or will be) saved?
No, because Paul added "...specially OF THOSE THAT BELIEVE".
Paul also said " the righteousness of one the free gift came upon ALL MEN unto justification of life" (Romans 5:18).
Did Paul mean literally all men have received the free gift, and have been (or will be) justified?
No, because he previously asserted (in verse 1) that we must be "justified by faith"; and that some "have not obtained the righteousness of God".
John the Baptist also said "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
Did John mean that no-one in the whole wide world can't still die in his sins?
No, because John himself warned that all men must "repent" and "bring forth fruit meet for repentance" - or else risk being "thrown into the fire".
So, evidently "ALL" meant all in the sense that salvation was procured for all, and was and is being proclaimed to all, and potentially it's for everyone - but only those who believe receive it. That's how Paul and other writers in the Bible meant "all".
Similarly, when it comes to the subject of "ALL Israel", it's interesting that Paul actually made a point of qualifying exactly what 'Israel' really meant.
"They are not all Israel who are of Israel" he explained.
That was important to Paul, when it came to accurately interpreting Bible-Prophecy.
Just like in Elias' day, he said, so also "at this present time also [in the New Testament time - through the Gospel] there is a remnant according to the election of grace" - and he said, these "have obtained it".
The promise hadn't failed (nor did Paul say anything about it being delayed) - it's been fulfilled, in Jews who believe - which is the true Israel, the "Israel of God", Paul explained.
That's not classic 'Replacement Theology' - because it doesn't change the meaning of 'Israel' to mean Gentiles instead - rather, it limited the meaning of 'Israel' to a group within Israel first of all - then afterwards believing-Gentiles were grafted-in to that group - the commonwealth of Israel - and partook of the same salvation.
That's called the Gospel!
That's how Paul dealt with the question of whether or not Israel's promised-salvation had been fulfilled. It has been fulfilled, he asserted: in those who believe. No mention of any delay until the future.
Then Paul proceeded to address another misconception: that widespread unbelief among Jews meant God had permanently moved on from Jews and was now only accepting Gentiles. Paul explained that Israel's salvation is ongoing: any Jew who turned from unbelief could still be saved. Paul himself was an example of that very thing happening!
He summarised the prophetic outcome as they were seeing it, this way:
God wasn't permanently finished with Jews - not all Jews had become blind - any Jew could still turn from unbelief and be saved - God was in fact using Gentiles to try to turn more Jews around - and this scenario is to continue while many more Gentiles turn to God, all the way until the end - God wasn't over with Jews - and it is with this scenario that the Old Testament Prophecies about "all Israel will be saved" were fulfilled (and Paul proceeded to give a couple of sample quotes, which have been fulfilled and which are seeing ongoing fulfilment) - and this scenario will continue to see their outworking - until the end, Paul explained. God wasn't only accepting Gentiles.
Then Jesus will come, and all Israel, the true Israel, the Israel of God, plus the Gentiles, all who have believed throughout history and who will still believe in future, will be included in the eternal state of salvation.
Israel's salvation hadn't failed to be fulfilled - and Jews still have an opportunity to turn from unbelief and receive it!
Two responses we can make to this:
First, it's beneficial to know our salvation is the very same salvation that God had promised Israel and which Israel has obtained. Our 'salvation' is not something else, something less, something inserted temporarily. "This is that," said Peter! That ought to lift our regard for our inheritance!
Secondly, this takes nothing away from citizens of the modern 'State of Israel'. So it's not antisemitic. God is still into saving them. Having provided their salvation, He hasn't now withdrawn it from them. But it places our focus correctly. It's only through believing in Jesus that any Israeli citizen can be saved - modern Judaism isn't God's plan for them - not now, not in future.

No comments:

Post a Comment