Will all of Israel be saved in the End-Times?
“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ Romans 11:25-27. As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”
Paul emphasizes the “irrevocable” nature of Israel’s calling as a nation (see also Romans 11:12), “Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?”
Isaiah predicted that a “remnant” of Israel would one day “be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD.” Isaiah 62:12 “ And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”
Regardless of Israel’s current state of unbelief, a future remnant will in fact repent and fulfill their calling to establish righteousness by faith (Romans 10:1–8; 11:5). This conversion will coincide with the fulfillment of Moses’ prediction of Israel’s permanent restoration to the land (Deuteronomy 30:1–10).
Study by John Gill
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
For I would not, brethren,…. The apostle in order to raise the attention of the Gentiles to what he was about to deliver to them, not only styles them “brethren”, expressing his affection for them, and their relation to him and other believing Jews, and to one another, being all one in Christ Jesus, partakers of the same grace, and heirs of the same glory; but also tells them, that what he had to acquaint them with was a “mystery”, a thing secret and hidden, which had not been heard of and known, at least not so fully and clearly as he was about to reveal it; and because of his great respect for them, he was unwilling, as he says, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery; he was desirous that they should abound and improve in all spiritual knowledge and judgment, and, among the rest, be better informed of this particular article, the call of the Jews: and his view in apprizing them of it is expressed in the following clause,
lest ye should be wise in your own conceits: lest they should imagine that they were the only wise and knowing persons, and be elated in their minds with their knowledge and understanding, and look with contempt upon the poor, blind, ignorant Jews, as if they were always to remain in such a state of darkness and infidelity. The thing he had to inform them of is,
that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; by Israel is meant the Jews, the descendants of Jacob, whose name was Israel. Philo the Jew observes (b), that this name signifies , “the vision of God”; indeed, Jacob had it given him when he wrestled with the angel, and saw God face to face, though it does not seem to be for that reason; however, blindness had now befallen the Jews, who had been favoured with a divine revelation, with the knowledge of God, his will and worship; and none were more blind than those who were called the servants and messengers of the Lord of hosts, as the Scribes and Pharisees, the priests and princes of the Jewish world. This “blindness” designs their unbelief, the hardness of their hearts, and darkness of their understandings with respect to God himself, whom they knew not in Christ; not as the Father of Christ; nor even the perfections of his nature, particularly his righteousness; which was the reason of their setting up their own righteousness, and of their non-submission to the righteousness of Christ: they were blind as to the Messiah; they knew him not, when he came; they saw no beauty and comeliness in him; could not discern the characters of him in Jesus, though they were so manifest; and rejected him notwithstanding the clear evidence of his ministry and miracles. They were in the dark about the sense of the prophecies of the Old Testament; a vail was upon their hearts when they read them, so that they understood them not, and could not see their accomplishment in Christ; they were even ignorant of the law, the spiritual nature, true use, and right end and scope of it; and it is no wonder that the Gospel should be hidden from them. This blindness “happened” to them not by chance, but befell them by the decree, and according to the will of God, who hardens whom he pleases; and according to various predictions in the Old Testament, cited in Matthew 13:14; and in righteous judgment, for since they liked not to retain God and his Christ in their knowledge, it was but just in God to give them up to reprobate minds, to judicial blindness, and hardness of heart: but then this blindness only happened to them “in part”; not that it was only in some measure or some degree, for it was total, they were darkness itself, and had no spiritual and evangelic light at all on whom it fell; but that this blindness was not general with respect to persons, there were some few, a seed, a remnant, that were delivered from it, though the far greater part of the nation were involved in it, and continue in it to this day; and will do, “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in”: that is, till the whole number of God’s elect among them, be called and brought into the Gospel church state, which in the latter day will be very great; when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea; when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ; and the abundance of the sea shall be converted, and the forces of the Gentiles shall come to the church, and multitudes of them shall flock thither, as doves to their windows: and since the blindness of the Jews is not yet removed, it seems plain that the full number of God’s chosen ones among the Gentiles is not yet completed in regeneration; for as soon as ever they are all called and brought in, the vail will be taken away from the Jews, and they will be turned unto the Lord.
(b) De Temulentia, p. 251. & De Sacrificiis Abel & Cain, p. 151.
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
And so all Israel shall be saved,…. Meaning not the mystical spiritual Israel of God, consisting both of Jews and Gentiles, who shall appear to be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, when all God’s elect among the latter are gathered in, which is the sense many give into; but the people of the Jews, the generality of them, the body of that nation, called “the fulness” of them, Romans 11:12, and relates to the latter day, when a nation of them shall be born again at once; when, their number being as the sand of the sea, they shall come up out of the lands where they are dispersed, and appoint them one head, Christ, and great shall be the day of Jezreel; when they as a body, even the far greater part of them that shall be in being, shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their King; shall acknowledge Jesus to be the true Messiah, and shall look to him, believe on him, and be saved by him from wrath to come. There is a common saying among them (c), , “all Israel shall have a part”, or “portion in the world to come”; and in support of this they usually produce the passage in Isaiah 60:21, “thy people also shall be all righteous”: yea, they even go so far as to say (d),
“that hell fire will have no power over the transgressors of Israel;”
fancying, that every individual person of their nation will be saved; though they sometimes except such who deny the resurrection of the dead, and that the law is from heaven, or is an epicure, and he that reads foreign books, or is an enchanter, or pronounces the ineffable name: but the apostle is not to be understood with such a latitude; he refers to the last times, and to a very general conversion of them to the Messiah:
as it is written, Isaiah 59:20,
there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer: the words of the prophet are, “and the Redeemer shall come to Zion”: by the Redeemer, or Deliverer, words of the same signification, is meant the Messiah, as the Jews (e) themselves own, and apply this passage to him; who is the “Goel”, or near kinsman of his people, to whom the right of their redemption belongs as man; and who as God was able to effect it, and, as God-man and Mediator, was every way qualified for it, and has obtained it for them: and whereas, in the prophet Isaiah, he is said to “come to”, and by the apostle, “out of Zion”, this may be reconciled by observing, that the servile letter sometimes signifies “from”, as well as to, when it is put in the room of of which instances may be given, as Exodus 16:1 compared with 2 Chronicles 11:4. Besides, the Messiah was to come out of Zion, as well as to come to it, according to Psalm 14:7; so that the apostle fitly expresses the faith and expectation of the old Jewish church in this citation:
and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; in the prophet it is, “and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob”, Isaiah 59:20. The apostle follows the translation of the Septuagint, and which is favoured by the Chaldee paraphrase, which runs thus; “the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to turn the rebellious ones of the house of Jacob to the law”; so that the Jew (f) has no reason to charge the apostle with a perversion of the prophet’s words, when they are cited so agreeably to their own Targumist: and the sense of them relates not to what Christ did on the cross, when the iniquities of his people were laid on him, and he bore them, and removed them all in one day from them; but to what he will do to the Jews in the latter day, in consequence thereof; he will convince them of their ungodliness, give them repentance for it and remission of it.
(c) Misn. Sanhedrin c. 11. sect. 1.((d) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 19. 1. & Chagiga, fol. 27. 1.((e) Aben Ezra in loc. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 1.((f) R. Isaac, Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 81.
For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
For this is my covenant unto them,…. This is what God has promised to them in covenant, and he will be as good as his word; his covenant will never be broken, it will always remain sure and inviolable; so that there is not only a possibility, and a probability, but even a certainty, of the call and conversion of the Jews; which promise and covenant will have their accomplishment,
when I, saith the Lord,
shall take away their sins: some think that the apostle alludes to Jeremiah 31:34; others, that he takes this passage out of Isaiah 27:9; where in the Septuagint version the selfsame phrase is used; though it may be no citation, or reference, but the apostle’s own words, explaining what is meant by “turning away ungodliness from Jacob”, Romans 11:26; and as before; regards not the taking away of their sins by the sacrifice of Christ, which is done already, and is what the blood of bulls and goats could not do; but of the removing of their sins from themselves, from their consciences, by the application of the blood of Christ, and the imputation of his righteousness.
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