TEXT: Romans 11:1-10
1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
Israel in the End Times (Part 4)
Today, we are continuing our survey of Israel’s role in the end times. As we talked about last week, although many Jews have rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah, God has in place a remnant even now who believe in His Son as their Lord and Savior. That is what Paul makes clear in Romans 11:1-10. He also makes clear that although it may seem as though God has abandoned His chosen people, He has a plan that He is working out for their good and for the good of the entire world. Part of that plan is taking place right now — God is giving Gentiles like us the opportunity to become a part of His family by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Today, we are going to continue working our way through Romans 11 and uncovering all that God has there in order that we might fully understand how God will go about fulfilling His promises to Israel in the end times. As Paul proceeds with his discussion about the remnant of Israel who believe on Christ, he writes: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
Notice, first, that the Jews who are saved are saved by grace just like us. The remnant of Jews who believe on Jesus, who have not stumbled because of unbelief, believe only due to the “election of grace.” Leon Morris calls this “an important feature of the remnant.” We see here that Jews even today fall under the category of being “chosen” by God — that is the meaning of election. However, this election is not the same as it was when God chose the people of Israel over all the people of the Earth to enter into a covenant relationship with Him. The Mosaic Covenant, which God gave to the Israelites who had come out of Egypt was conditional. God told them, ‘If you obey Me, I will bless you; if you disobey Me, I will curse you.’ What they got out of the Mosaic Covenant depended on their actions. It was a cause and result relationship: obedience equaled blessings and disobedience equaled curses.
However, the “election of grace” is different. The election of grace is based solely on Jesus Christ’s work on the cross — not our works. Even the Jews cannot depend on their special status or their works as a means by which they can enter into this election of grace and thus gain favor with God and have a home in Heaven.
The story is told of a man who dreamed that he was building a ladder from Earth to Heaven. When he did a good deed, his ladder went up a few feet. When he did a very good deed his ladder went higher. When he gave away a lot of money to the church or to the poor, his ladder went up further still. This went on for many years until his ladder went up, he thought, past the clouds and clear into Heaven. When he died he thought he would just climb his ladder and be in Heaven. But when he got to the top all he saw was empty space. As he looked around in bewilderment, a voice rolled out from paradise. It said, “He that climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber.” The man’s ladder buckled beneath him, and down he came, ladder and all. This man who wanted to get to Heaven found that he couldn’t do it by his good works.
Even at the time of Paul’s writing — which was about AD 56 — there were sacrifices going on in the Temple in Jerusalem. Paul lets his readers know that those sacrifices are not what saves the Jews. The Mosaic law is not what saves the Jews. It is the grace of God and His sovereign favor that ultimately saves the Jews. As Leon Morris writes, even though the Jews rebelled against God, “God’s loving purposes are not defeated by people’s hard hearts.”
Paul continues, “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” What is it that Israel was seeking for in Paul’s day? Many of the Jewish religious leaders claimed to be searching for righteousness. The Jews as a whole were looking for national salvation — for someone, the Messiah, to come and deliver them from their oppressors and restore the full range of God’s spiritual rule in the Promised Land and beyond. However, Paul informs us that they, the Jews, did not find what they were looking for, but that the elect did. Who are the elect? The elect are those who are saved by grace. Those who rejected the Messiah were “blinded,” and thus did not find the salvation they searched for. We can look at the disciples and those who followed Jesus immediately after His resurrection: they were all Jews who believed on Jesus Christ for salvation. However, other Jews, such as Saul and the Jewish religious leaders were blinded to (or refused to see) the truth about who Jesus is. (Of course, Saul’s eyes were opened to the truth later in a big way.)
Now, did God blind the Jews? It sounds that way from what Paul writes in verse 8: “According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear.” However, this blindness came about as a result of their disobedience. As Ralph Earle states, “A drunkard may claim that he is not responsible for what he does. But he is accountable for getting [himself] into that state. So [it is the same] with those whose hearts are dulled by disobedience.”
Paul is not trying to make excuses for his fellow Jews. He is simply pointing out the severity of their blindness. He says, “unto this day” they have eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. Yet, God is at work in the midst of their predicament.
God was at work two thousand years ago when He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the sins of all mankind. It certainly must have been very disappointing to see His Son ridiculed and rejected by the children of Abraham whom He had chosen to display His glory before all the heathen nations of the Earth. Despite the disbelief of the majority of the Jews, God is at work among the Gentiles and a Jewish remnant to draw more people to His Son. And that is something we can be thankful for as we wait for His return.
Lord willing, we will continue our study of this passage in our next message.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.