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Israel's Rejection Is Only Temporary!

In Romans 11, Paul makes it clear that God is not finished with Israel. He says the Jewish people have collectively experienced a spiritual "hardening"(1) that has three aspects.

1). It's a mystery ("this mystery," v. 25a). When the NT uses the term "mystery," it usually means something that was concealed in the OT but has been revealed in the NT. The fact that God's earthly people would become spiritually hardened (or "blinded." KJV) for a time and for a purpose was a phenomenon that wasn't foreseen in the OT. In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul says it's like a "veil" of unbelief that keeps many of our Jewish friends from seeing Messiah Yeshua as the fulfillment of the prophecies (v. 13-15). When a Jewish person comes to the Lord and submits to Him in faith, the veil is taken away (v. 16).2

2). It's partial ("blindness in part," v.25b). Not all Jewish people remain blinded. Many, like Paul himself, have come to faith in Yeshua. Jewish believers are called a "remnant"among Israel because they're in the minority (11:5). But the remnant is growing right before our eyes-hallelujah! So the hardening, or blindness, isn't total. Its only partial.

3). It's temporary ("until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in," v. 25c). The Jewish hardening isn't permanent. It ends with "the fullness of the Gentiles." One reason God's plan for Israel has been put on hold for a time is so that non-Jews can have their turn to hear God's message of life and hope and respond to it. Once the full number  of non-Jewish believers has entered the Family of God (fully populating the Gentile wing of the Church), God will resume His working among the People of Israel. The sovereign outworking of that divine plan will culminate in the ultimate and glorious salvation of "all Israel" at the end of the Tribulation (v. 26).


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Written by Gary Hedrick for Messianic Perspectives, a publication of CJF (Christian Jew Foundation) Ministries and Messianic Perspective Radio Network. April-June 2018 p4. "Seven Things every Christian should know about Israel"
For more information on this subject please contact:
The Christian Jew Foundation
P.O. Box 345
San Antonio, TX 78292-0345
Phone: (800) 926-5397

1). The Greek word porosis literally means "hardening" like a callous (or thickening of the skin) that develops in response to an irritation.

2). The context here indicates that Paul is talking about Jewish people. Note, for example, that he says they attend synagogue services where the Torah ("Moses") is read weekly (v.15). Such a statement wouldn't apply to non-Jews. The veil is lifted when they first trust Yeshua as Messiah and Savior. Note that unsaved Gentiles also suffer from a form of spiritual blindness (Eph. 4-18). So we're all in the same boat in that respect before we come to the Lord and our spiritual "eyes" are opened.

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