A Study of Romans 11:25-26
This passage, Romans 11:25-26, has been more widely misunderstood than almost any other passage in the Bible. In fact, it is amazing that so many Bible teachers try to make Romans 11:25-26 say just the opposite of what it says.
This is terrible because they are saying, “Thus saith the LORD,” when the Lord has not said that.
The setting of Romans Chapter 11 is that God is explaining that most of the people in the nation of Israel were blinded, but there is a remnant, chosen by grace, who have become saved. Paul used himself as an example of those who have become saved. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says in verse 5:
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Then he says in verse 7: “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”
Spiritual blindness was the condition of national Israel throughout its history and is still the condition right up to the present day. They absolutely do not want the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not want Him as their Messiah. In verse 25, God begins to bring the first 24 verses of this chapter to conclusion. It is addressed to the Gentile world so that we will have an understanding of how national Israel fit into God’s salvation plan.
God says in Romans 11:25:
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel [verse 7 says it happened to most of national Israel], until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
“Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” means that national Israel will continue to be spiritually blind, except for a remnant chosen by grace, as long as there is one Gentile, or non-Jew, anywhere in the world, who is still to be saved. In our generation, Israel has been a nation for over 50 years, and they are as adamant about their opposition to Christ as the Messiah as they were at any time in their history. There has been no change, and there will be no change. God says that their condition will remain the same until the last person who is of the elect of God becomes saved. When the last Gentile has become saved, it will be the end of the world. The world will continue to its predetermined end, but before the world can end, all those who have been elected to salvation will have become saved.
Then we read in the first part of Romans 11:26:
“And so all Israel shall be saved…”
All kinds of Bible teachers do terrible violence to this verse. They understand this verse to say, “And then all Israel shall be saved.” In other words, they change the word “so” to “then.”
They teach that after the Gentiles have been saved, God is going to do a work in national Israel. First of all, that does not make any sense because national Israel, that is, the blood descendants of Abraham, have been on earth for 4,000 years.
What about all the Jews who lived and died unsaved during the past 4,000 years?
They are part of national Israel. They are not going to be resurrected and have a second opportunity. More than that, the word “so” does not mean “then.” “So” is not a chronological word. “So” means “in this manner,” or “thus,” or “in this way.”
In what way?
In what manner?
In the manner in which God describes in Romans Chapter 11, namely, that most of national Israel is blinded, but there is a remnant chosen by grace. In this manner, all Israel that is to be saved, shall be saved. This is not talking, in any sense, about a future change in God’s plan. It simply ties back into everything that has gone before, as God has reported in the previous 25 verses. God explains why His salvation can come to the remnant of national Israel that is chosen by grace.
He says in the second part of Romans 11:26-27:
“…as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
When Christ came and took on a human nature, to whom did He come?
He came to the Jews. He was born in Bethlehem, a Jewish city. He was reared in Nazareth, a Jewish city. He was crucified in Jerusalem, a Jewish city. For three and half years, He ministered mainly around the Sea of Galilee, a Jewish area. He came to the nation of Israel, and a remnant of national Israel was chosen by grace. Later, He told the disciples that they were to go into all the world with the Gospel because salvation was to come to Gentiles as well. These verses are easy to understand if we read them carefully.
We cannot superimpose something we have been taught upon these verses. God does not have a future plan for national Israel; that idea is not found anywhere in the Bible. The Bible indicates that we are in the last days; we are headed right toward the end of time. When the last Gentile has become saved, that will be the end of the Gospel era. It will be the end of the world.