The verse so often referred to is Romans 11:26 where Paul said, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
Never, ever forget, when you read the scriptures, the key point established in Romans, chapters 9-11: "They are not all Israel which are of Israel." The central questions to ask concerning Romans 11:26 are: to whom does "all Israel" refer? how are they saved? and when are they saved?
The "who" should be obvious. Paul didn't spend three chapters establishing the truth that from a spiritual standpoint, so far as God's purposes were concerned, "Israel" referred to the remnant only to dismiss that truth in one sweeping statement!
Remember that in Romans 9:27 he said, "... a remnant shall be saved."
Romans 11 begins with the question, "Hath God cast away his people?" This is a natural question that might arise in the mind of one who thought of all Jews as God's people.
Paul began his answer by pointing, not to some future time of blessing, postponed by the Jews' rejection of Christ, but to himself as being a Jew. He tells us the significance of that statement in verse 2: "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew."
To further explain what he meant by that, he used the time of Elijah as an example. At that time God told Elijah, "I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Who were those God "foreknew" in Elijah's day? the whole nation? Of course not! It was the remnant of seven thousand.
Using that as an example, Paul continues in verse 5, "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
Verse 7 says, "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." Here, Paul is speaking of "Israel" in a natural sense. He's referring back to what he had said in Romans 9:31-32 about Israel's failure to attain righteousness because they sought it through law and not by faith.
Despite the general failure of the nation, Paul said, "the election hath obtained it." What of the rest? "... the rest were blinded." Does this not make it clear who Paul meant when he later says "all Israel." Only "his people which he foreknew" were indeed "Israel."
Verses 11 and 12 say, "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. 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?"
At Home With The Lord
Of course, many believers have died physically since that day. What of them? Paul shares his hope in these simple words: "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8.
Listen to his declaration in Philippians 1:21-24: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body." There is a place right now where the redeemed who have gone on are "with Christ," awaiting the glorious day to come.
Today, the promised return is drawing nearer and nearer. Why has it not happened? Why does God allow such evil things to happen in our world? 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." His work is not done.
Yet the day will soon come when it will be and opportunity will be gone. As it was in Noah's day, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever." Genesis 6:3. All heaven awaits the day when God says, "Enough! Go and bring my children home."
What a day that will be!
Access To The Father
[ by F. B. Meyer ]
Prayer assumes a new complexion as soon as we properly appreciate God's Fatherliness. Granted that it must always be through Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit, yet, ultimately, it is access to the Father. The first thought of a little child in any need is Mother, Father. There's instant movement of eyes, and feet, and voice, towards the one dear source of help and comfort. And so, when we have learnt to know the Father, as revealed in Jesus, our heart will be constantly going out towards Him. The Father's heart has twelve gates, that one of them may be contiguous to every conceivable position in which his children may be placed. Of course there will be times when we shall deliberately bow our knees unto the Father; but there will be many more when we shall have access to Him in a swift-winged thought, a tear hastily brushed away, a yearning, a loving, restful glance of mutual understanding. Strange that we make so little of these wonderful opportunities of access to the Father!
All The Fatherhoods Of Earth Derive Their Meaning And Value From The Great Fatherhood (Ephesians 3:14-15)
As the Tabernacle, with its sashes, cords, and curtains, was an embodiment of things in the heavens; so the homes of men are intended to represent aspects and conceptions of that love, which can be set forth by no one phase of human affection, but combines in itself, mother, father, brother, sister, lover, loved. The tenderest, noblest home-life is, at the best, but "broken light"; and yet it's a type, an emblem, an embodiment of God's love to us, its prototype and ideal. Were you the nursling of a blessed home, receding far away in the vista of the past? Transfer its memories to the present, and know that they live still as facts in your relationship to God. And you, who never knew a home-life that you care to recall, be sure that the tenderest that man ever knew is not to be compared with that in which you are living, if only you knew it.