The Problem of Israel’s Unbelief

Romans

The Problem of Israel’s Unbelief

November 28th, 1954 @ 10:50 AM

Romans 11:1

I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
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THE PROBLEM OF ISRAEL’S UNBELIEF

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Romans 11:1

11-28-54     10:50 a.m.

 

 

In our preaching through the Word, we are in the great parenthesis, the ninth, the tenth, the eleventh chapters of the Book of Romans.  And today, in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Romans, we are to turn to the strong meat of the Word.  Now you cannot go to sleep this morning and the message mean anything to your heart.  But if you will stay awake, if you will listen, you will find here in God’s Word a message, a revelation, an apocalypse, a hope, and a promise that would give assurance to your life, to your trembling heart, no matter what shall ever happen, what headline you will ever read, or with what trembling and trepidation you might face any exigency; and God bless you for it! 

I have divided the sermon in two parts, and I am just hoping that I can encompass the first part between now and twelve o’clock this noon.  The sermon this morning is The Problem of Israel’s Unbelief, and the sermon tonight is The Future Fullness and Restoration of Israel, the Jewish nation. 

The great parenthesis of Romans 9, 10, and 11 deals with the problem of the Jew, the children of Abraham.  And in the tenth chapter of the Book of Romans, he closed the book quoting Isaiah.  “Isaiah is very bold, saying—and talking about us Gentiles—I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me” [Romans 10:20].  We were going after Venus, and Adonis, and Isis, and Osiris, and Poseidon.  And we were going after Jupiter, and Juno, and Jove, and Thor.  We weren’t looking after God, nor were we seeking to call upon His name. 

But in the providence of God, in the goodness and merciful kindness of the Lord, God so turned it that the Gentiles—and that’s you, that’s us—that the Gentiles, that we, are now calling on the name of the true Lord. 

“But to Israel He saith,” to His chosen people He saith, “All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” [Romans 10:21].  And that is the way the chapter concludes, the tenth chapter of the Book of Romans. 

So he begins the eleventh chapter, “I say then, Hath God cast away His people?  God forbid.  For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” [Romans 11:1].  And then he continues there with a remnant, an election in the days of Elijah; the seven thousand that God said that have not bowed the knee to Baal, when Elijah said, “There is nobody but just I.  I am alone.  All of the others have apostatized” [Romans 11:2-3; 1 Kings 19:10].

The Lord God said, “Not so, Elijah, there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  Seven thousand have not bowed the knee to Baal” [Romans 11:4-5; 1 Kings 19:18].  Then he discusses that.  Then, in the twelfth verse, and before and after, he is talking about the falling away of Israel being the means of our salvation, but that is not the end of it.  “If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more will their fullness?” [Romans 11:12].  If they have fallen, they become the channels of our salvation, what would it be if they were to come back, if they were to return to God?  “For if the casting,” in the fifteenth verse, “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” [Romans 11:15].  

And then he follows there the parable of an olive tree.  The branches were cut off; the original branches were cut down.  Israel was cut down.  And we, the wild olive branches that didn’t belong there, we were grafted in, we Gentiles, contrary to nature [Romans 11:16-24].  But, said Paul, some of these days, what if those original branches were to be grafted in where they belong?  Verse 24:

 

. . . how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 

For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. 

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 

And this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 

He never changes, for as in times past, and on and on. 

[Romans 11:24-30]

 

Now let’s begin.  In the first through the eighth chapters of the Book of Romans, Paul has developed for us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul has developed for us the revelation of the gospel and the mercy of God in Christ Jesus [Romans 1-8].  The Jew, he says, is not righteous before God, and the Gentile, Paul says, is not righteous before God [Romans 3:9]

He says that all alike, our kind of righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight of God, and by the works of the law, whether a Gentile, whether a Jew, we never are able to rise to the full measure of the holiness and perfection of God [Romans 3:19].  And Paul says that all of us are lost alike.  The Jew is lost and the Gentile is lost.  “We all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23].

Then Paul reveals the God kind of righteousness, which is the righteousness of faith.  It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  It is an imputed righteousness.  Not that we are good, but that He is good.  He has kept the law, and, by faith in Him, God forgives our sins, and He saves us [Romans 3:24-26].  And all of us are alike, are in that day and dispensation of grace.  In this day, in this hour, in this age in which we live, Paul says, God deals with all of us alike, the Jew and the Gentile.  All of us are sinners.  All of us are lost.  All of us, if we are saved, are going to be saved alike, through the grace of God in Christ Jesus.  Now that is what Paul says from Romans 1 through 8. 

But the Jew has a question to ask.  In the Book of Romans, there are questions asked all through the book.  The Jew has a question to ask.  The question the Jew asks is this: “If God deals with the Gentiles according to a covenant of grace, then what about us, the children of Abraham? [Romans 9:1-5].  What about the promises to the fathers, and what about the covenant that God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and what about the covenant that God made with David? [Romans 9:4].  And what about the promises of the prophecies?  Has God cast away the Jewish people? [Romans 11:1].  Does He not deal with us anymore as a nation, as a race, and as a people? [Romans 11:1]  What about the promises to the nation?  And what about the covenants?” [Romans 9:4].  Has God cast away the Jewish nation?  Does the Jewish nation and does the Jewish people have no longer any future?  Because God is dealing with us in this dispensation, this age under grace, through the faith in Christ Jesus, is, therefore, He through with the Jew and with the Jewish nation? [Romans 11:1].

And that is the exact question that Paul raises as he begins the first verse of the eleventh chapter of Romans, “I say then, hath God cast away His people?” [Romans 11:1].  Is God done with the Jew?  Is God through with the children of Abraham?  Hath God cast away His people? 

Now the answer to that question from practically all Christendom is this, “Yes, God is done with the Jew.  God is through with the children of Abraham.  They are no more now in God’s sight than any other race or any other nation or any other people.”  And they say further, practically everybody, “Has God cast away His people?”  Is God done with the Jew and the Hebrew?  They say that the new Israel is the church, and that all of the covenants and all of the promises that were made to Abraham and to his seed [Genesis 12:1-3], that were made to David and to his son [1 Chronicles 17:11-14], that all of the prophecies and promises in the prophets of the Old Testament, that all of those covenants and promises now pertain to the spiritual Israel, to the church.  That is what they say. 

I have three comments to make about it.  Number one: if that is true, if God is done with Israel, if God is through with the Hebrew nation, and if the promises and the covenants that were made to Abraham and to David and to the Hebrew people, if they are now spiritualized and made pertaining and pertinent only to the church, I have this to say, that such a spiritualizing mode of interpretation brings to pass the exact thing that higher criticism claims for the Old Testament prophets. 

The higher critic says that the Old Testament prophet is nothing more than a Hebrew patriot and dreamer, and that he was not able to rise above the national provincialism of his day, and that his prophecies pertain just to those people there.  Whereas, when you read the prophecies in the Old Testament, they pertain to Israel all through the generations and all through the millennia, and those covenants were made forever and ever.  And if by a spiritualizing process you can get rid of those covenants and those prophecies, then the higher critic is right.  The prophet is no more than a patriot and a dreamer, and his promises and his prophecies will never be fulfilled.  They mostly fall to the ground.  

I have a second word to say: if God is done with Israel, and if the covenants and the promises are not to be fulfilled, then this thing that Paul says in Romans 11:29 is not true, “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”  If the covenants and the promises of God to Israel fall to the ground, then the gifts and the calling of God are not without repentance!  That is, they are not without shame.  God will make a covenant with a people, and then God will break it!  One day, God will make a promise, and the, the next day, then He does not keep it!  And if God will break the covenant that He made with Abraham and with David and with Israel, then how do I know that God will not break the covenant He makes with me when He says if I trust the Lord Jesus Christ, He will save and keep me forever [Hebrews 7:25].  If our God is a covenant-breaking God, and a promise-annulling God, then I have no assurance, no promise, and no ultimate hope. 

And then I have a third thing to say about that: if God casts away His people, if there is no future for the Hebrew race and the Hebrew nation, if that is true, then what Paul says here is not the inspired Word of God.  “I say then,” quoting Paul, the first verse, the eleventh chapter of Romans, “I say then, Hath God cast away His people?  God forbid!” [Romans 11:1]. That is the strongest way Paul can say, “Not so!  Not so!”  And in that eleventh chapter of the Book of Romans, Paul says they are not cast away totally as to individual salvation, and they are not cast away nationally as to an ultimate deliverance and restoration. 

And in the twenty-fifth verse here: “until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; and then shall all Israel be saved, shall all Israel be saved” [Romans 11:25-26].  According to the Word of God, the Hebrew nation will be here as long as God lives [Jeremiah 31:35-37].  According to the Word of God, the children of Abraham can never be destroyed.  In the thirtieth chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, the prophet said, “O My servant Jacob [Jeremiah 30:10]. . . O Israel … I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee” [Jeremiah 30:11].

The Babylonian nation may disappear.  The Chaldean nation may be destroyed.  The ancient Ninevites may disappear from the earth.  The Girgeshites, the Hittites, the Hyksos, and all of the other nations may disappear, but I will save thee, O Jacob, and O Israel.  “If I make an end of all of the nations of the world, yet will I not make a full end of thee” [Jeremiah 30:11].  And now listen again to the prophet Jeremiah this time in the thirty-first chapter, 

 

Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars by night, which divideth the sea from the land, The Lord of hosts is His name: 

If these ordinances depart from before Me—

if the night gets mixed up with the day, and if the sun gets mixed up with the stars, and if the sea gets mixed up with the land—

then, says the Lord, the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever. 

Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all of the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord God. 

[Jeremiah 31:35-37]

 

The Lord God says, “By Me, who made the light of the day and the moon of the night, and by Me, who made the land and the sea, by Me do I swear that Israel shall abide forever and forever” [Jeremiah 31:35]

And so Paul says as he begins that eleventh chapter, “Has God cast away His people?  No, no!  God forbid” [Romans 11:1].  And some of these days, all Israel shall be saved [Romans 11:26].  It is a race and a people that shall abide until the end of time. 

Now for a moment to look at the strange and tragic story of Israel: no nation, no people, no race has ever been persecuted, has ever endured the fury and the malice of the children of Abraham, yet they have been the source of the greatest blessings of all of the nations and to all of the nations of the world.  Moses was a Jew, and the basis of jurisprudence and statutory proceedings in all the civilized nations of the earth is based upon the Mosaic law.  The Bible is a Jewish book, written altogether, Old Testament and New Testament, by Jews, except possibly Luke, the Third Gospel and the author of Acts.  Our Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew. 

Under a hail of stones a lad fell in the street, an object of bitter hatred.  He was a Jewish boy.  A godly woman, seeing it, walked over to the boy in the street, lifted him to his feet, took her handkerchief and wiped some of the blood from his face, kissed him on his forehead, and said, “Son, God bless you, boy.  My Savior was a Jew.”  That was the beginning of the conversion of Dr. Gold-Levin, who now heads the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews in Great Britain.  The Savior was a Jew, and the Christian faith and the Christian religion is the product of the Jewish people.  Paul, through whose letters I am preaching now; John, the beloved disciple; James, the Lord’s brother, all of these great beginning fathers and founders of our faith, all of them, with the possible exception of Luke, all of them were Jews. 

It is hard to realize the terrible and bitter hatred that race has sustained.  Because they are criminals?  There is less crime among them than any other nation under the earth, under the sun.  Is it because they are thieves?  They may be shrewd bargainers, but they do not steal.  Is it because they are objects of charity in the countries to which they go?  No, no people ever cared for their own like the Jewish people.  But that terrible and bitter persecution has characterized their story from the beginning to this present day. 

In the days of Pharaoh he became alarmed at their multiplication and sought to destroy the race by giving the commandment that every male child of any Hebrew woman should be slain [Exodus 1:15-16].  In the days of King Ahasuerus, known to us in our schoolbooks as King Xerxes, Haman, the wicked favorite of the king, sought to destroy the entire race, confiscate their property and place it in the treasuries of the king [Esther 3:8-11].  And he would have succeeded had it not been for Esther the queen, who was a Jewess, and Haman did not know it [Esther 3-7]

In the days of Titus, according to the twenty-first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, all of the Christians fled out of Jerusalem and fled away from Palestine, fled over into Perea and up in Lebanon, according to the prophecies of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, and they were safe [Luke 21:21].  But all of the Jews of Palestine, thinking themselves to be safer inside the walls of the city than in the open places of the village and the country, as the Roman legions pressed in on every side, they fled before them and so came into Jerusalem.  And Josephus says that the Roman soldiers slew one million, one hundred thousand Jews.  He took one hundred thousand of them and flooded the markets of the world with slaves. 

Titus, seeing the beautiful temple, gave orders for it to be preserved.  But the Lord Jesus Christ, one greater than Titus, had said forty years before, “One stone shall not be left upon another” [Matthew 24:2].  And a Roman soldier, frenzied, threw a flaming torch inside the temple; it was set afire, and ultimately completely destroyed. 

In the years that have passed, in our own day, a few years ago there were fifteen million Jews in this world.  Hitler destroyed more than five million of them.  And in these present days and in these present hours, there is not a nation in this earth that has a more precarious hold upon life than the Jewish people, scattered throughout the Soviet orbit; the Jewish people who live in the former Fascist-dominated countries; and the little nation of Israel over there in Palestine, that the king of Saudi Arabia says is “like a cancer on our body and must be cut out.” 

And here in America, anti-Semitism, it died down in our war against Hitler, but it is still here.  Riding on an elevator in New York City, a Jewish man across stepped off.  The fellow next to me said, “Look at him.  You know who he is?” 

“Yes,” I said, “I know his race.” 

“We’re having a meeting tonight,” he said, “wouldn’t you like to come?”  It was a Fascist meeting, anti-Semitism.  And God’s Word says that there is yet to be a time of Jacob’s trouble, in the days of the awful tribulation, when the nation will be sifted as it has never been sifted before [Jeremiah 30:7]. 

Through all of those years I have tried in this moment to portray, there has been effort time and again to destroy them.  And they fall from one tragedy into another.  And yet, he is still here, the Jew is still here, their race and their tribe; he is still here; he is indestructible. 

Jonah is a type of the Jewish nation.  He is a type of the Jewish people.  He disobeyed God, and he fled from the presence of the Lord [Jonah 1:1-3], and he fell into great trouble [Jonah 1:4-15], and he was swallowed by a big fish prepared of the Lord [Jonah 1:17].  But he was undigested and unassimilated [Jonah 2:1-10].  Jonah is a type of the Hebrew people.  They have been swallowed up; they have been engulfed by the nations of the world.  But contrary to all natural law—when any other people, when any other nation is swallowed up, they become assimilated as they live among the people—but the Jewish nation is contrary to all natural law.  He has never been digested.  He has never been assimilated.  He still stands, in America, in Soviet Russia, in Germany, wherever in the world he is, he still stands a separate race, a separate faith, a separate religion.  He is still a Jew. 

And if I could digress for the moment, being a type of Jonah, I say, the Hebrew race will be like Jonah.  Jonah repented, and he cried unto God, and the Lord saved him and delivered him.  And he was sent a second time, and he preached the message of God and all of Nineveh repented [Jonah 3:1-10].  That is a type of a Hebrew nation; in unrepentance, in disobedience, they lie undigested and unassimilated.  But someday, someday, they will repent. They will accept their Lord and Christ Messiah [Matthew 23:39].  The Lord Jesus shall appear [Matthew 24:30]. He will claim the throne of David and seat Himself upon it [Luke 1:32].  And the Hebrew people shall be the first nation that is all Christian.  And they will become the evangelists of the world [Revelation 7:1-17]; but more of that in the eleventh chapter of Romans tonight. 

Now may I return to Paul and the eleventh chapter of the Book of Romans?  “I say then, Hath God cast away His people?”  Is God done with Israel?  Is God done with the Hebrew children?  “Nay, God forbid” [Romans 11:1].  And he gives seven reasons here why God hath not cast away the Hebrew people, and I speak of two of them briefly this morning. 

His first reason is, “For I also am a Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” [Romans 11:1].  And his second, beginning at the second verse and continuing for the next four or five, his second: there is a remnant of grace, an election of God [Romans 11:2-5].  The Lord has not cast them away.  He did not cast Paul away [Romans 11:1], and He has not cast a remnant of the Jewish people away [Romans 11:5]. 

Now let us take this first one.  “God forbid.” Has God cast them away? [Romans 11:1]. Is He done with them?  “No, for I am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” [Romans 11:1].  It is a strange thing that in this great parenthesis, Romans 9, 10, and 11, that all three chapters begin with the apostle Paul, all three begin with him.  The apostle Paul’s conversion is itself a type; it is a model; it is a pattern.  The apostle Paul’s conversion is recounted three times in the short Book of the Acts [Acts 9:1-18, 22:6-16, 26:12-23].  His conversion is a typical, a pattern, a model conversion.  Of whom?  Of whom? 

For the beginning years of my ministry, I thought Paul’s conversion was typical; it was a pattern of our conversion.  And it plunged me into deep distress and awful agony.  I had not seen any light from heaven.  I had not seen any angel.  I had not seen the face of Christ.  The Lord had not appeared unto me.  And I came to the conclusion that I had not been saved, all because I had not been taught the truth of the Word of God. 

The conversion of Paul is a pattern.  It is a model.  It is a paragon.  But the conversion of Paul is not a pattern of our conversion.  There never has been a man converted like the apostle Paul.  He alone of all of the followers of Christ has ever been converted in that miraculous way, as he was saved on the road to Damascus [Acts 9:1-18].  “Well, did you not say it is a pattern?”  It is a pattern of what?  Paul tells us.  In speaking of his conversion, in the fifteenth chapter of the 1 Corinthian letter, and the eighth verse, Paul says, “And last of all the Lord appeared unto me, as of one born out of due time” [1 Corinthians 15:8], an abortion, that is, he was before the time.  Paul’s conversion is a pattern of the conversion of the nation of Israel.  He should not have been saved when he was, if he was saved at all, if he was alive at that time, he should have been saved in that way that Israel is going to be saved [Romans 11:25]

But he says, “No, I was born before the time.  I am an abortion.  I am born out of due time” [1 Corinthians 15:8].  Well, what does he mean by that?  And what do you mean when you say all of Israel shall be saved, and all of Israel shall be converted unto God? [Romans 11:26]. 

According to the Word of the Lord, when the Lord is done with us Gentiles, “When the fullness of the Gentiles be come in,” verse 25 [Romans 11:25], “when the fullness of the Gentiles be come in,” when the last one, according to election, comes into the church and into the fold of Christ [Romans 11:25], then the Lord will take away the church.  According to the fourth chapter of 1 Thessalonians [1 Thessalonians 4:13-17], it will be taken up to God in heaven, and then the Lord is going to deal with Israel [Romans 11:26].  The Lord is going to deal with the Hebrew nation as a nation and as a people.

And in those days, in those days, the Lord God will appear unto Jacob.  He will appear unto Israel. 

 

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son…

 [Zechariah 12:10]

 

And one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hands?  And then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the hands of My friends.

[Zechariah 13:6] 

 

And in that day, His feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a great valley . . .

[Zechariah 14:4] 

 

And it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

 

 [Zechariah 14:7] 

And you have the glorious restoration of Israel. 

 

In that day, there shall be fountain opened unto the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

[Zechariah 13:1] 

 

In the day after God is done with the Gentiles, after He is done with the church, after the last elect one has come in [Romans 11:25], and the church is taken out of the world [1 Thessalonians 4:13-17], then the Lord will begin to deal with the nation and with the tribes of Israel.  And He will appear to them, and they will look upon Him, and they will mourn for Him as an only son who was lost and is alive again, who was dead and is found [Zechariah 12:20]

And according to the Revelation, “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him” [Revelation 1:7].  The Lord will return, and Jacob, Israel, the Hebrew people, will look upon Him, and they will turn and receive Him and be saved [Romans 11:26].  And a nation shall be born in a day [Isaiah 66:8]

In the sixty-sixth chapter of Isaiah, “Who heard ever such a thing? who hath seen such things?  Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?  But Zion shall rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her” [Isaiah 66:8-10].  And once again, in the third of Zechariah, “And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” [Zechariah 3:9].  Israel, the nation of the Jews, shall be turned to Christ in one day.  The nation shall become Christian in one day, when the Lord appears to them, and they accept their King and their Messiah and their Savior [Romans 11:26]

Now that is the first answer of the apostle Paul, “For I am an Israelite, one born ahead of the time” [1 Corinthians 15:8].  Born out of due time, an abortion, typical of the day when the whole nation shall be born again, and all Israel shall accept the Lord Jesus and “all Israel shall be saved” [Romans 11:26]

Now his second reason: the remnant, the remnant.  What you know about what the Scriptures say about Elijah, when Elijah says, “I am the only one.  There is nobody else” [1 Kings 19:10].  “Nay,” says the Lord, “but there are seven thousand that have not bowed the knee to Baal” [Romans 11:4; 1 Kings 19:18].  According to the election of grace, there is a remnant of Israel that even now trusts, believes in and accepts the Lord Jesus Christ [Romans 11:5].  There has always been a remnant faithful to God through all of Israel’s history: in the days of Elijah, those seven thousand [1 Kings 19:18]; in the days of the Babylonian captivity, the faithful remnant that never gave up the true God; in the days of Pentecost [Acts 2:1-40], all of those people who first believed; all of them were Jews [Acts 2:41-42]

And through the ages since, some of the greatest Christians of all of the earth have been Hebrew Christians:  Benjamin Disraeli, the great Victorian prime minister of the last century in Great Britain; Mendelssohn, Sullivan, Rubenstein, some of those marvelous and immortal musicians and composers, they were all Jewish Christians; Neander, a kinsman of Mendelssohn, the greatest Christian church historian who ever lived; Alfred Edersheim, who wrote The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, the greatest life of Christ ever written, a Jew; Rabbi Rabinowitz of Russia, of a few years ago, who was converted and who was able to take his entire synagogue into the Christian faith with him; Adolph Saphir, who wrote the incomparable commentary on the Book of Hebrews, all of them great Hebrew Christians. 

And the last twenty-five years there has been a greater turning to Jesus among Israel than at any other time since Pentecost.  Right now there is 1 out of every 66 Jews that is turning to Christ today, whereas out of all of the other religions in the world there is only about 1 to every 525.  Did you know that this moment and this Lord’s Day morning there are more than 800 Jewish pastors who are standing in Protestant pulpits and who are preaching the unsearchable riches of the gospel of Christ? 

Even though he is not a believer, I copied out of Albert Einstein: “I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.”  Then when he was asked about the historical existence of Jesus, which some Jews deny, he declared, “I believe in the Lord Jesus, in His historicity, unquestionably.  No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus; His personality pulsates in every word.  No myth is filled with such a life.” 

And according to the apostle Paul, if the falling away of Israel was our salvation, if the casting of them away temporarily was our reconciling in the world, some of these days, “what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” [Romans 11:15].  How much more their fullness when “the times of the Gentiles” be done, and God converts all of Israel, and all Israel is saved [Romans 11:25-26], and they become the evangelists and the preachers of the world?  “For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.” [Romans 11:29] 

And I hate to quit.  So much of what I have said is not established, but I haven’t time.  I will do it tonight.  I just conclude with this brief little word.  The Lord God said to Abraham, “I will give you this land, and to thy seed will I give it forever” [Genesis 13:14-17].  And the Lord God said to David, “Thou shalt have a Son to sit upon thy throne, and His throne shall abide forever” [2 Samuel 7:12-16].  And the Lord God said to Israel, “I will gather you up out of the nations where you are scattered, and I will bring you back to your homeland, and you will live there and abide forever and ever” [Ezekiel 11:17]. 

The Lord God made those and other like covenants and promises with Israel.  If those covenants and those promises can be broken, and if the Lord is such a one that He changes and He turns, then what am I going to do when the Lord God says to me, “Trust in Me; and I will give you eternal life, and no one will be able to pluck you out of My hand”?  “My Father, who gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand” [John 10:27-29].  But maybe God changes His mind and I fall into hell after all.  Maybe the Lord changed that promise, and I will be lost after all.  Can I depend upon God?  Can I?  Can I trust in the word and in the promises of God?  Can I? 

“Hath God cast away His people?” [Romans 11:1].  Does God do that?  Paul says His gifts and His calling are without change [Romans 11:29].  And every promise He ever made to Abraham, every covenant He ever made with David, every promise that you read in God’s Book concerning Israel, will be fulfilled to the last jot, to the last tittle, according to the immutable word and promise of the living God. 

And when we turn to the New Testament, to God’s covenants and His promises with us, we can count on Him.  He will never fail.  He will not leave us, nor forsake us [Hebrews 13:5].  That is our God, who never changes [Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8]

Let us sing.  And while we sing— 

The preacher, all he is doing is going through that Book.  These are not my ideas.  I’m just a voice.  That’s all.  I never heard of these things.  I was never taught them.  I have just been reading the Book.  And I told you a long time ago, I had set myself to preaching this Word.  And as we come, and as we reach each page, we just read it and believe God.  And I don’t understand all of these things.  And I don’t see them.  But they are in the Word.  And God said, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but My [words shall not pass away]” [Matthew 24:35].  “The flower fadeth, the grass withereth, but My word shall endure forever” [Isaiah 40:8].  And that, every time I preach, may not just be an evangelistic sermon itself, but, every time I preach, that’s what it is.  You can trust the Book.  You can believe in the Word. 

You can give your life to Him who said it.  And if you will, you come and stand by me.  If you will, put your heart and life and soul with us in this ministry, to make it known, to preach its message, by confession of faith, by coming in the church in baptism or by letter, however God would say the word, while we sing and make this appeal, you come and make it now, make it now.  As the Spirit calls, make it now, while we stand and while we sing. 

THE PROBLEM OF ISRAEL’S UNBELIEF

ROMANS 11:1 10/82 <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

Romans 9,10,11

Romans 1-8, Jews, Gentiles alike are lost. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Romans 3:23. Only in Christ saved. Romans 6:25. Paul’s arrival. Romans 2:28,29. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> But the Jew and we have questions.  (Romans a book of asked foundations). <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 1. Is God through, done, finished with the Jew?  Completely, finally rejected? <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 2. What of the national promises, blessing in OT now fulfilled? <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 3. Does God break his covenant, cancel his promises? <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 4. Then the question of Paul in Romans 11:1. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> The answer of all liberals and of so many besides: <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 1. Yes, the Jew has been cast aside forever.  The chosen people have no future in God’s purpose for the world. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 2. The church is now Israel, all the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David find now a spiritual fulfillment in the church. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> But: <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 1. If this spiritualizing made of interpretation is correct, then it is true what the infidel casts is constantly affirming; that the Jewish prophets were patriots, dreamers and were by no means inspired of God. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 2. Contrary to Romans 11:29 the gifts and calling of God are not without repentance.  God can summarily break his covenants “not with the paper written on.” <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 3. There is no meaning to the teaching = of our Lord (Acts 1:6) = of the apostle Paul = and of the apocalypse. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 4. It is false, Romans 11:1,2 the direct, replicate, categorical inspired answer of Paul.  He says. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 1. They are not totally cast away as to individuals. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 2. They are not finally cast away as to the nation. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Israel’s rejection is neither total nor perpetual. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 1. He, himself, is an Israelite. 11:1. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> His conversion recounted 3 times in Acts 9,22,26. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> His conversion a type, pattern, model for us? <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> I Timothy 1:16. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> a. In the country, amazing testimonies.  My doubt.  Never seen a ball of fire, a light, an angel, no, a type, pattern, prophecy for Israel. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> I Corinthians 15:8 as it were, before the time, an abortion. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> The future conversion of Israel, he before the time. What God did in his case, he will do for Israel. Zechariah 12,13,14. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Saul in unbelief – heaven open – Jesus appear. The nation saved in a day, Isaiah 6:8,10, Zechariah 3:9. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 2. There is always a remnant of believing Jews.  Romans 11:2-7.  Never a complete apostasy, Romans 11:2-4, the 7,000. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Today, last 25 years, more Jews turning to Christ than at any time since Pentecost. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> In America, 1 to 156. Now more than 800 Jewish preachers, staff members. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> a. Albert Einstein. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 3. Their rejection, unbelief as a nation not perpetual, final. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Romans 11:25-29. Isaiah 10:1-4, 19-22. John 30:10-11, 31:31-34. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> In this unusual, the deliverer, restoration of Israel by the direction intervention of God? NO.  Always seed. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 1. Egyptian bondage – Moses. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 2. Judges again, again. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 3. Babylonian captivity. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> 4. The ultimate, final time by the hand of God.  Romans 11:25. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> The full number. Then God begins to deal with Israel as a nation. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> If their fall our salvation, what blessing their restoration? <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> God’s purposes, to make this world in glory, brethren in the faith, in the Lord. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> a. Israeli, “Will you break bread with me?” <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> b.

Let us love our God supremely,

Let us love each other too,

Let us love no glory for sinners,

Till our God makes all things new.

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Then He’ll call us home to heaven

At His table we’ll sit down,

Christ will gird Himself no longer,

With sweet manna all around.

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