HOW? … “All Israel will be saved”

“In this way”… in what way? This is an important question because this is the way in which “all Israel will be saved,” and that is really important to me!

This comes from Romans 11:26, a well-known verse to anyone in Jewish ministry. It is the climax of Paul’s discourse on the connection between natural Israel and the Gentile believers in Romans 11. This is where he is informing and teaching the Roman church about God’s plan for Israel. The church in Rome seemed to have embraced an unbiblical, anti-Israel theology—that God was finished with her (Israel) and had, indeed, rejected her.

No! May it never be!

He explains that God has not rejected Israel (v. 1, 11) saying literally in the Greek, no, may it never be. He expounds on the beauty of God’s plan, that the enlightened Gentiles will make Israel jealous. Israel’s future acceptance of Yeshua will lead to a “greater riches” revival (v. 12) that could be characterized by the phrase, “life from the dead.” (v. 15)

But then Paul makes a dark statement, warning that, while born again Gentiles are grafted into the household of God/olive tree, they can be cut off if they judge Israel, God’s firstborn (v. 17—23). Why? Because it will take the embracing of their backslidden older brothers, not rejection, to bring about God’s plan—the “in this way.”

Paul then illuminates his readers to the mystery of God’s plan for Israel and the nations. And caps it off with one of the most exciting statements in the New Covenant, as we say in Hebrew, col yisrael yivasha—all Israel will be saved.

Don’t be Ignorant!

Well, he gives us a clue in those few words before: In this way. So, our question must be: What way? In order to understand that, let’s go back one verse.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25)

Let’s break it down:

  1. Paul is concerned that the Romans had become arrogant.

  2. They became arrogant because of ignorance.

  3. They were ignorant of something that was not obvious—he calls it a mystery.

  4. If they remain in arrogance, they could be cut off.

  5. Thus, Paul seeks to reveal this great mystery.