THE WORD IS
The Apostle Paul writes: "All Israel will be saved" (Rom. 11:26). A peculiar doctrine has been developed by some on the basis of these words. According to this doctrine of theirs all Israel according to the flesh will be converted and then all Jews will be zealous in doing mission work. However, the Apostle Paul says: "A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in" (Rom. 11:25). It will be impossible to convert Gentiles after their full number has already been saved. After that time no Jews will be converted either, because then the end of the world will occur. The teaching that the Jews as a nation will be converted stems from the fact that Jesus' spiritual kingdom has been made into an earthly kingdom. Jesus Christ's kingdom will not be established here on earth in a visible manner. It is rather a kingdom of faith in human hearts. The Apostles were among those Jews who did successful mission work among the Gentiles. The Old Testament prophesies concerning them. We can no longer expect a new era. "It is the last time", writes John (1 John 2:18).
What Paul says about the salvation of all Israel has to be understood in the context in which he presents the matter. He has much to say about the position of Israel in his letter to the Romans, chapters 9:11. In these chapters Paul stresses the fact that Israel according to the flesh is not the same as spiritual Israel. Israel according to the flesh has indeed received much from God: the Covenants, the Law, the Prophets and the Son of God Himself, the Messiah.
But when Israel hardened its heart it remained under God's wrath. The Bible does not err in this matter, for the true Israel was the remnant that believed. Not all the Jews hardened their hearts, and this is how it will be at all times. Some branches have at times been broken off from the cultivated olive tree because of their unbelief, but when they are converted they are grafted back in again. While in the state of unbelief such people are "enemies from the standpoint of the Gospel" but from the "standpoint of the election they are beloved". All of Israel according to the flesh will not be saved, because this matter cannot be understood to mean that God's Word has failed, "for they are not all Israel who have descended from Israel" (Rom. 9:6). "It is those who are of faith that are the sons of Abraham" (Gal. 3:7).