Monday, 17 July 2017

"All Israel Shall Be Saved"

God never revoked the Israelis' gift and calling - only 'some' Israelis weren't experiencing their gift and calling, due to their unbelief. But an Israeli could begin to experience it at any time, if he turned away from unbelief - because God hadn't closed the door on a Jew. 

The Church did not replace Israel, as if there was never any fulfilment for Israel first of all - the Church, at its inception, was all-Jewish! Only afterwards were Gentiles included in it. 

A proportion of Jews were blind - and that will be the case until the fulness of Gentiles be come in. But Paul did not state "...and 'then' all Israel shall be saved". He did not say '...and then...'! He said "...and so..." Then quoted prophecies which had in fact already seen their fulfilment. 

Those prophecies were not about Gentiles - they were about Jews, and about Israel. But not future! The Deliverer has already come from within Israel - Jesus. God was already taking Jews' sins away - multitudes of them were joining the churches! 

So Paul was in effect saying, "Israel's promised-salvation hasn't failed; neither has God closed the door to a Jew - rather, the scenario I've just described is the scenario which exactly fulfils OT Prophecy".

"...and so..." speaks of manner, not sequence. He didn't say "...and then..." which would have meant sequence. 

Paul called that scenario a mystery, because the fact that this was the very manner in which Israel's prophesied salvation was to see its actual outworking, had been a mystery in Old Testament times. And some Gentile church-members at Rome were not quite understanding that a Jew could still get saved. But it's no longer a mystery - the Gospel itself is the revelation of that mystery, Paul said in 16:25.

The mystery was the Gospel itself - it's not something else besides the Gospel, something still to come. It was something that could already "establish" people (16:25). 

Paul's whole discussion was not to answer curiosity about the far-distant future - it was to solve first-century relational issues in the church at Rome! 

OT promises about restoring Judah and Israel to their land, were fulfilled at the return from Babylon. The return of Jews to their land in 1948 wasn't the return from the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities which had been prophesied and which had already been fulfilled. 

The return in 1948 was from the later dispersions which occurred after AD70. The events of 1948 didn't really fulfil any specific OT prophecy which hadn't already seen fulfilment - but perhaps it could be said that it was something that was always possible because previously fulfilled-prophecies had never been revoked. 

It will be too late for Jews to get saved once they have seen the return of the Lord. Because salvation is by faith - and faith that is seen is no more faith. 

All of Jesus' parables warned of this: Jews needed to be prepared in advance for Christ's coming, or else it will be too late for them. 

John the Baptist warned of the same thing: they needed to repent in advance, or else His coming would be a day of fire rather than of salvation - even though they were Jews. John warned of that. 

To say that all Israel can get saved after Jesus has come, would go against everything that every godly man and prophet ever warned - and it's not something Paul said.

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