Jewish People All Saved?|
How does "All Israel shall be saved" from Romans 11:26 relate to current Jews? Can they remain unbelievers and automatically be saved at judgment day? That appears to be false in my opinion. Yet, a Jewish colleague insists that he can reject God and Jesus and will be saved because he was born a Jew. It doesn't make sense to me and I can't see how that could make sense to an Orthodox Rabbi, either. But, I am a bit confused by Romans 11:14 where Paul speaks about "saving some of them" in the same chapter where he says they will ALL be saved. Why bother preaching the gospel to the Jews if they were all to be saved simply by being Jews? (C.N.)
Those are insightful, puzzling questions! We're confident that many share similar confusion over these biblical passages. But, we believe that some of the confusion may be lifted when we depart from the amillennial viewpoint that "all Israel" must pertain only to a remnant of believing Jews during the current church age.
Believing Jews During Tribulation Period
Instead, we take the position that during the tribulation period, Jews who hear the 144,000 preach to them (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1-5) and other Jewish converts at that time, will then comprise "all" of Israel. At that specific time they will be a complete nation ready to serve during the Kingdom Age ruled by Jesus Christ.
Salvation Gospel Remains the Same
But, prior to that time only a remnant of Jews have become believers in the same way that all unbelievers throughout history have converted…because "a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in…" (Romans 11:25b).
This will be the case until the last Gentile is converted.
Of course in the current age believers are saved by grace …"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
So that helps to explain where Romans 11:17 points to a "remnant" of Jews becoming believers in our current church age prior to "all of Israel will be saved" in Romans 11:26 during the tribulation period.
Amazing Prophecy 500 Years Prior to Christ
The Old Testament prophet, Zechariah (12:10-14), also confirms that at some point prior to the end of the Great Tribulation our Lord will pour out his spirit on the house of David (Jews) and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Israeli citizens) and they will become believers. What follows is an incredible prophecy written around 520 B.C.
…"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" (Zechariah 12:10).
Note that at the time Zechariah uttered this prophecy, crucifixion was unheard of. Yet, the ancient prophecy states that "they will look on Me whom they have pierced…"
Truly it is clear that Jews will then recognize Jesus as their Messiah!
By the way, Zechariah's prophecy is one of those futuristic proclamations that convicted me of the truth of Christianity and the validity of the bible.
House, H. Wayne. 2009. The future of national Israel. Bibliotheca Sacra 166. Available from: www.dts.edu. (Accessed September 3, 2013).
McArthur, John. Will all Israel be saved? Available from: www.gty.org. (Accessed September 3, 2013).
Piper, John. Five reasons I believe Romans 11:26 means a future conversion for Israel. Available from: www.desiringgod.org. (Accessed September 4, 2013).