TEXT: Romans 11:30-36
30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Israel in the End Times (Part 10)
In his book “Future Israel”, Barry Horner calls Romans chapter 11 “the crucial passage regarding the New Testament teaching concerning the present nature and destiny of national Israel.” One of the important threads that we see in this passage is the sovereignty of God.
In the past nine messages, we have seen that the sovereignty of God is demonstrated in the election of grace which is spoken of in Romans 11:5 — “Even so then at this present time also there is a [Israeli] remnant according to the election of grace.” The sovereignty of God is demonstrated in God’s dealings with the Gentiles spoken of in verse 11 which says, “through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles.” And the sovereignty of God is demonstrated in the eventual salvation of Israel spoken of in verse 26 which says, “so all Israel shall be saved.”
As we have seen, Israel’s rejection of Jesus Christ opened the way for Gentiles to hear and receive the Gospel of Christ. What Paul makes clear in the conclusion of this passage is that we, Jews and Gentiles, are on level ground before the cross of Christ. He says in verses 30 and 31, “For as ye [Gentiles] in times past have not believed God… Even so have these [the Jews] also now not believed.” Both Gentiles and Jews are guilty of sin. Both Gentiles and Jews are guilty of nonbelief. Both Gentiles and Jews are guilty of rejecting Christ. But the good news is that both Gentiles and Jews are eligible for God’s mercy and grace. Regarding these two verses, Richard Lenski writes that Paul is saying “These still disobedient Jews are in the position you believing Gentiles once occupied with your disobedience: as their disobedience brought you mercy, the mercy you have is to bring them to the same mercy from their disobedience. God made no mistake and has nothing to regret in regard to the gracious gifts and the call he extended to the patriarchs and to the Jews. All is working out according to his wonderful plans.”
In fact, it is God’s intent to show His mercy to all people. Verse 32 tells us, “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” From this verse we see that God regards us all as unbelievers so that He can show His mercy to us. The Jews are no nearer to salvation than the Gentiles just because they are the children of Abraham. The Gentiles are no nearer to salvation than the Jews just because many accepted Christ when the Jews had rejected Him. Ultimately, we are all in the same boat in God’s eyes. And He will accomplish His sovereign will for both the Jews and the Gentiles by bringing a “fullness” of both groups into His family.
Unfortunately, it is human nature that when favor is shown to one group of people, that favored group tends to look on the other group with arrogance or disdain even though both groups are equally undeserving of favor. In the New Testament era, many Jews were prejudiced against Samaritans and Gentiles in general. Some of the early church leaders did not want to allow the Gentiles to become full members of the Christian community unless they also completely adopted Jewish rites and customs. In the Middle Ages in Europe, many Christians (mostly Catholics) harbored a hatred for the Jews and often persecuted the Jews. At different times in history, each group viewed itself as better than the other.
However, Paul lets us know that God has a higher, loftier perspective which sees Jews and Gentiles being loving and merciful toward each other just as God himself intends to “have mercy on all.” As Frederick W. Faber wrote,
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His justice
Which is more than liberty.
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man’s mind,
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
At the end of days, all of God’s children will unite in praising God for His marvellous, merciful plan which was worked out throughout history. We see a glimpse of this praise and worship in Paul’s conclusion to this passage. He breaks out in praise to God saying, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” In the end, God will get immense glory out of His dealings with Israel. W.A. Elwell writes that these verses of praise show that “Paul believes in the absolute God who controls the course of history and will faithfully bring it to an ultimate conclusion in salvation and judgment.”
In this chapter, and in the larger part of Romans in which this chapter is contained, Paul tries to explain to us some of God’s ways as it concerns His dealings with the nation of Israel. However, ultimately, as with much of Scripture, we must simply say that although we don’t understand it all, we believe God, and we choose to trust Him for Israel’s future and our own. It is humanly impossible to exhaust the depths of God’s wisdom and knowledge. We may not fully grasp why God has chosen to cut off Israel in order to graft in the Gentiles, but we can be glad about what God is doing. As the Scripture says, “Who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?”
God’s glory is manifest in His carrying out of the plan of salvation for the world which was put in motion before the beginning of time. John Piper said, “The vindication of God’s glory is the ground of our salvation, and the exaltation of God’s glory is the goal of our salvation.” God is glorified when sinners come to Him through Christ. He is glorified when Jews and Gentiles come together as the body of Christ under the headship of Christ. He is glorified when both communities show mercy and grace to each other. As the final verse of this passage states, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Through the cutting off of Israel, the grafting in of the Gentiles, and the eventual salvation of Israel, God will be ultimately glorified.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.