Is Israel still chosen?

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Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons. This last week in Esther, we saw the order come from Haman through Xerxes, really for persecution against all the Israelites in the kingdom of Persia. And we mentioned how often Israelites have been persecuted throughout the history of the world. So the question comes in this week, is Israel still God’s chosen people?

Is Israel still God’s chosen people? And the answer to that is complicated. It will be difficult to cover in just a couple of minutes, but it probably depends on what we mean by chosen. And it depends on what we mean by Israel. And I would encourage you to read thoroughly through Romans chapters 910 and eleven, which describes God’s relationship to Israel post Christ and what that looks like.

But first, let’s talk about what we mean by Israel. If we mean all of the biological descendants of Abraham, if that’s what we mean by Israel, then the answer is no. That very large group of people is not God’s chosen people. And in fact, they never were. Paul’s point in romans nine, he says not all Israel is Israel.

Not all descended from Israel are Israel. And he makes points. He doesn’t mention Ishmael specifically, but he refers to him and says it wasn’t him, it was Isaac. And then after Isaac, it wasn’t Esau, it was Jacob. So from the very beginning, it was never.

All the biological descendants of Abraham are included in what we mean by Israel. Get to romans eleven. And he talks about, you know, Elijah complaining that all these people are against him. And God says, I reserved 6000 for myself. This remnant is Israel and that will always be preserved.

You can say it’s the people of faith, the subset of, of biological descendants from Abraham is what he’s talking about. But even then, again in Romans chapter eleven, he says Israel because now because of their unbelief. Post Christ, large mass in general, of course, individual Jewish people believed in Jesus. All the disciples are Jesus. The 2000 who were converted on Pentecost are probably jewish.

There’s all kind of people who, all kind of jewish people even today, who believe in Jesus. But large scale mass on average has rejected Jesus as savior. And so Paul says they have been grafted out, Romans eleven. And it looks like the church has been grafted in there because he warns them. He says if you continue in unbelief, you’ll be grafted out.

So it seems all right, we’ve got inserted into this. People of God, people of the covenant promises the church gets to take part of it. Point in Ephesians two, as well, these Gentiles and these jewish believers have come together as now one people, God’s people. And so if that’s what we mean by Israel, then yes, these are still the people of the covenant promises. But let’s go back to what we might mean by chosen, which now that we’ve defined who Israel is, it might be easier to understand what we mean by chosen.

We don’t mean that every biological descendant of Abraham gets to go to heaven or something, if that’s what we mean. That’s not it, right? If it means that you have certain rights to the land, the promises for the land in the Old Testament are that we get to have the land forever. This is talking about new heavens, new earth. It’s not talking about specific parcel here on the earth as it currently is.

It’s talking about the redeemed earth. We’ll actually have it forever because we can’t have any spot on this earth, this unredeemed earth, for forever. So that’s not the promise. The promise is eternal. And that can only be in the kind of eternal world that God will bring about new heavens and new earth at the end, you see end of revelation and in Isaiah, right?

So if chosen means heaven for everyone, the answer is no. If chosen means we get this land on this earth, that means no, they’re not that. But if it means that there’s something special about Israel, then the answer is yes. And God still has a plan for Israel. And not only this Israel that is this new man that is created, that we see in Ephesians two of jewish believers and gentile believers coming together, not that group of God’s people, really the subset of, we will say, biological descendants of Abraham who end up being faithful.

That Israel in Romans 1125 and 26, after he’s talked about the grafting out and the grafting in, he says Israel, some subset of biological descendants of Abraham, has experienced a hardening in part. Until the full number of the gentiles has come in then verse 26, then all Israel will be saved. I do believe that there is a future plan for Israel. So if we mean by chosen that there will once again come a point when hopefully masses of them start coming to faith in Christ before the end of time, then yes, that seems to be going to happen again.

Romans 11 25 26, that God has a special plan, a special place that he has somehow reserved a seat once the full number of gentiles has come in for then all of Israel to come back and be saved.

But it won’t happen. Apart from faith in Christ. There is no other way to eternity with God except through Jesus. Whether you’re jewish, whether you’re gentile, you have to go through Christ. There is no way to get to God going around Jesus.

And so this saving of Israel that’s talked about there in verse 26 of romans eleven cannot happen without repentance and faith in Christ. And so we pray for that day to happen, not only for Israel, but for all people around the world, that they will put their faith in Christ and be saved. Well, I know that’s a lot to digest in a short amount of time. Again, I would just encourage you to read romans 910 eleven and sort it out for yourself. Reading, studying, learning God’s plan for Israel.

Thanks for the question. We’ll see you next time.