TEXT: Romans 11:8-15
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.
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
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?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
Israel in the End Times (Part 5)
Starting this weekend, Jewish communities in Israel, the United States, and around the world will mark the Days of Remembrance leading up to Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday, April 16th. The plight of the Jews after World War II caused many Jews and others to realize that the children of Israel needed a homeland that they could call their own, and that led to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 which was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Several Old Testament prophets spoke of the regathering of the children of Israel in their homeland. Isaiah 66:7-8 says, “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” On May 14, 1948, the Jews declared independence for Israel as a united and sovereign nation for the first time in 2900 years. On that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel’s sovereignty. And, only hours before, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel formally ceased. Modern Israel was literally born in a single day — just as Isaiah had prophesied.
Today’s Israeli government has a mandate to prevent another Holocaust from occurring. According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, there are approximately 140,000 Holocaust survivors in the world today, and their numbers are quickly dwindling. It is our hope and prayer that many of the ageing Jews and supporters of the Jews would come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior before it is too late. As one Holocaust survivor, Fred Wertheim, said, “First I escaped from Hitler as a Jewish refugee. Then I was liberated as an American prisoner of war. But I was never free until Messiah saved and rescued me.”
Today, we are continuing our study of this very topic: how and when will the Jews ultimately turn to Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Savior?
Last week, we learned from Romans 11:1-10 that the Jews who accept Jesus Christ as Savior are saved by the ‘election of grace’ just as the Gentiles are. As we continue in this passage, we see that Paul gives another reason why the Jews will eventually come to Christ as Savior. He asks the question, “Have the Jews stumbled that they should fall?” In other words, does the unbelief of the Jews (their stumbling) mean that they will be lost forever? He answers, “God forbid.” And then Paul goes on to say, “but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”
Paul is saying that our salvation was intended to arouse in the Jews a desire for the same thing. When the Jews look at the Christian community, they ought to be able to say, ‘I want what they have.’ Our responsibility as Gentiles is to put on display the benefits and blessings of a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. We all have experienced feelings of jealousy in life. When we notice that someone else has received something or has reached a particular goal, it often spurs us on to do what we need to do to get what they have or reach the same or a similar goal.
Liberty University founder and evangelist Jerry Falwell is famous for saying, “If it’s Christian, it should be better!” The job of the Gentile Christian community is to show through our words and lifestyle that a real relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ is better than dead religion and ritual. It is our job to show that the “living hope” we have for the second coming of Jesus Christ is better than the futile hope that many Jews have that the Messiah will be someone other than Jesus Christ.
This is not a responsibility that we should just pass over. The question we must ask ourselves is: have we as Gentile Christians done a good job of putting Christ’s glory on display before the world in general and before the Jews in particular? Sadly, as Leon Morris comments, “It is a matter for profound regret that just as Israel refused to accept this salvation when it was offered to them, so the Gentiles have all too often refused to make Israel envious. Instead of showing to God’s ancient people the attractiveness of the Christian way some Christians have characteristically treated the Jews with hatred, prejudice, persecution, malice, and uncharitableness. Christians should not take this passage calmly.”
During the Days of Remembrance for the Holocaust, consider what you have done to make the Jews jealous of salvation. Consider what you have done to show Christ’s love to the people of Israel.
Now, as we move on in Paul’s discussion on this issue, he says, “Now if the fall of the Jews be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of the Jews the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” What he is pointing out here is that if “salvation is of the Jews” (and it is) and the Gentiles benefit greatly from that salvation, when the Jews come around to accepting Christ, they will benefit all the more.
History has been inundated with depictions of Jesus — in paintings, in movies, and on TV. Because the Jews did not make paintings or sculptures, we are stuck with the European interpretation of what Jesus looked like. When the European Christians began making depictions of Jesus, they did as the Greeks had done with their gods, and made Him in their own image. So, it is easy for many Gentile believers to forget that Jesus is a Jew. He was born a Jew, raised a Jew, and educated in the Jewish tradition. Certainly, the man Christ Jesus has an affinity for the people whom He identified with culturally and ethnically on Earth. Certainly there will be an abundance of rejoicing in Heaven when the Jews come to Christ. Certainly that is something which God the Father longs for — to see His chosen people come back to Him through Jesus Christ.
Recently, there has been much consternation over the status of Iran’s nuclear program. Iranian leaders and military officials have said on multiple occasions that they want to see Israel wiped off the map. Israel, of course, is rightly concerned about such statements. Twice already in its history, the Arab nations around israel have tried to drive Israel into the sea. The so-called nuclear framework agreement that was drawn up last week has done nothing to calm Israeli concerns about Iran’s capabilities and intentions. However, as songwriter, Glenn Douglas Tubb, wrote in the aftermath of the announcement about the agreement:
You say one day your rockets will start raining down
And not even one Israeli will be found
Well remember that God said they’re the apple of His eye
Do you really think that God would tell a lie?
Now there’s a spy in the sky and He’s a Jew
So be careful what you say and what you do
When you’re making all your plans, think ’em through –
There’s a spy in the sky and He’s a Jew
In other words, God is personally looking out for Israel’s safety. And if He cares about the political and physical safety of His chosen people, certainly He will ensure that they become spiritually safe and secure through Jesus Christ.
Paul lets us know that the salvation of the Jews should not only be a concern, but is partially a responsibility, of Gentile believers. We have a role to play in the salvation of Israel. And that role is carried out as we demonstrate the difference that Christ makes in our lives through our interactions with Jewish people.
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 University School of Divinity. 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.