David Pawson - Israel in the New Testament (Romans)

In the Future Israel will be Saved Pt2 

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Thoughtful Thoughts 7.8.20 by John Dunning, “Israel in the FUTURE”, Part 2. Romans 11

Thumbnail of Romans 1-8 

Paul admits that Jewish weakness is to backslide into legalism. (ie “My righteousness will save me”.)

But, Gentile believers tended to backslide into ‘licence’, (ie. living without personal restraint on your lifestyle.) Given Paul’s experience with the church at Corinth, he knew what was talking about. 

Paul reaches chapter 8 to say that all believers now must overcome by living by the Holy Spirit.

Paul was writing to establish that Jews and Gentiles are now all on the same level under the new covenant. All have sinned and all are the same before God. Both can only be reconciled to God through the cross. All who come to the cross for reconciliation with God, become children of the faith of Abraham.

Catch up on Romans 9-10

Romans 9 says Jews were chosen.

Romans 10 says Jews continue to be stubborn.

Catch up on part 1 of Romans 11

Romans 11 says God is not finished with the Jews yet. 

The Jewish rejection of Jesus led to God opening the door to Gentiles and many accepted God’s offer. God let Jews continue on with their stubbornness as it has meant Gentiles turning to God. But, that does NOT mean that Gentiles have replaced Israel. And Paul emphasises that by saying “NEVER!” Gentiles are merely being grafted into the only vine of salvation established by God, which Jews were chosen to belong to. Gentiles can become part of it. God has not rejected the Jews as a people group, as He longs for them to turn back to Him. And anyway, God has always kept a faithful remnant of Jews that were true. In fact the entire church at first was entirely Jewish. Then God used them to take the good news to be a light to the Gentiles. 

Part 2 of Romans 11. The relevance of Paul’s message in Romans 11 today.

Messianic Jews have more to offer than Gentile believers as Jews nearly always know their Scriptures better. So when they turn to God in repentance and faith, they are far more useful servants. 

Abraham and his descendants were chosen by God to be set apart for God’s use and purposes. (Which is one definition of the word “holy”.) In that sense, Jewish rejection of God’s plan came to be used by God to attract Gentiles to Himself and thereby fulfil His great purpose. (In a strange twist I can use as an example Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ”. When it was banned by Israel, something unique happened. Moslem countries suddenly permitted its release!) As people from every people group the worldover, find God, their acceptance to the gospel will be used by God to cause them to eventually recognise Jesus as Messiah. (And many already have.) They will be the last people group to recognise Jesus as Messiah on a large scale, after which, the end will come, which will fulfill yet another prophecy! In other words, no-one will be able to say like a Pharisee, “I thank you Lord that I’m not like other people,” as they will realise they were only saved by the grace of God alone.

In the end, Gentile believers must recognise that their future is in a new Jerusalem, as described by our Jewish Messiah in a book written by Jews, the Bible, inspired by the one and only God, who chose the family of Abraham to complete His plan of salvation. No wonder Paul finishes this thought with a song of praise to God, at the point we call chapter 11:33-36. (We have a link to a hymn of praise at the end of the blog.)

Problems created by the church...

a). Anti-Zionism in the church.

There is a heresy called “Replacement Theology”. Anti-Zionists say Gentiles have replaced the Jews. Some go on to teach that the Old Covenant blessings are carried forward to Christians, whilst the curses remain with the Jews! That illustrates the lack of textual integrity some parts of church has sunk to, as Romans 11 teaches the opposite, as Paul says here that God has not finished with the Jews yet. (All of us are a work in progress.)

An English Anglican clergyman took his replacement theology heresy still further to say that Israel was behind 9/11, which was so outrageous that it can only be explained from hatred. Hatred towards Jews is anti-semitic, which the church has a very long history of being guilty of. It just goes to show that it is still with us. The clergy are like a bag of “licorice allsorts” - you don’t know what you’re going to get. Mixed up in the bag there’s probably some good ones, but you have to have your wits about you to discern them. One funny true story I heard from David Pawson was of a vicar’s child being told to say “Your Grace” to the Bishop when he came to the vicarage. Upon meeting him, the child said “For what we are about to receive…”! Having been brought up in a vicarage, and seen how full of self importance Bishops have been, it made me laugh, anyway! But there is an important principle behind that story, which is not to put people on a pedestal who wear robes and tassels. Don’t just believe their theology because they wear important looking clothes, (which originated from Roman togas!) Most senior church appointments are more political than spiritual. When clergy from the Popes down to Martin Luther and on to the present day teach that Gentiles have replaced the Jews, it shows a very limited knowledge of the Bible.

b). Extreme Zionism in the church.

Heresy 1

Some problems with Christian Zionists is that some extremists have argued that every single Jew will be saved. As Jesus and Paul both said the opposite, it cannot mean that, so when Paul says that all Israel will be saved, what it means is that, “in this way, the Israel of God will be saved”. 

So, what is the “Israel of God”? Last time we saw that Paul refers separately to the God of Israel as compared with the Israel of God. By reading the whole passage, to keep it in context, we see that the Israel of God is made up of those Jews who God has accepted into His family. Worldwide, there will be a realisation that Jesus is their Jewish Messiah. Then they will turn to Him in repentance and faith. Jesus is still a Jewish Messiah - even though He has offered salvation to the whole world. In this way, the family of God will become complete. 

Heresy 2.

Further, some Zionists teach what they call a “double covenant” meaning that Jews will continue to be saved through the Old Covenant, whilst Gentiles will be saved through the New Covenant. That too is heresy. There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. (Acts 4:12).

I once met a man who announced he had been circumcised and included his sons in that experience. 

He was a Gentile who thought he could go back to the Old Covenant. I said to him, “But the Old Covenant has curses that go with the blessings.” He hadn’t got a clue and walked away. David Pawson explains Paul’s use of the word “Israel” very well on the video which I trust you will watch. 

Real Zionism.

Real “Christian Zionism” recognises that God keeps His promises. His unconditional covenant with Abraham of giving his descendants land is still being worked out as evidenced by rainfall increasing in Israel as more and more Jews return. God has done it. Never in human history has a nation been replanted in their historical homeland - not just once but twice. God keeps His promises. That does not mean the Old Covenant may be resurrected. That was completed in Christ. 

In the end, Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah will have a Jewish future in a new Jerusalem, as described by the Jewish Messiah in that Jewish book, the Bible! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-15v9iworAU

As David Pawson has gone to be with His Lord now, in memory of his life’s work, we will start David Pawson’s mini series, “Legacy”, next week. 

I’m John Dunning and that’s Thoughtful Thoughts for another week.

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