There are many different beliefs about salvation. It is true that the Bible gives us assurance of eternal life, but the promises of God are conditional. Scripture makes it plain that only the obedient will be saved. This article may be published if the resource box is unaltered.
The nation of Israel was chosen out of all the others to be the treasured possession of the Almighty (DT 14:2). The few who were faithful are our spiritual heritage. Unfortunately, the majority could not decide whether to serve the God of heaven or the false gods of the nations around them. They did not keep the Lord’s ordinances; they even lost the book of the law! The Lord was so disgusted with them that he instructed Nebuchadnezzar to take them to Babylon in captivity.
Christians are said to be chosen by God in First Peter 2:4 and 2:9, Ephesians 1:4, and Second Thessalonians 2:13. We were chosen before the foundation of the world to be the Lord’s holy possession. Whether or not we reach, heaven depends totally upon our obedience. It is demonstrated time after time in Scripture that our God will not put up with sin and disobedience
In the parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew 22:14, Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen. ” The NIV replaced the word called with invited. Everyone that hears the gospel is called or invited. Only those who respond to the requirements and are faithful to death (REV 2:10), are chosen for salvation.
It is true that in the Roman letter it says that all Israel will be saved (11:26), but what does it mean? Some look forward to Christ reigning for a thousand years in Jerusalem and think all their people will be saved then. It is highly unlikely that every person will be saved in the light of Matthew 22:14 and Jesus’ statement about “few who will enter the narrow gate” in Matthew 7:14.
The question of the millennium is beyond of the scope of this article, but Scripture says Christ will meet us in the air (1TH 4:17). I find no passage where he will set his feet upon the earth.
The term, “All Israel” in 11:26 of the Roman letter has been interpreted in three ways. (1) the total number of Jews saved from every generation, (2) the total number of Jews and Gentiles of every generation saved, (3) the total number of Jews of the final generation who will be saved. There is another way it can be interpreted.
In Hebrews 12:22, in reference to the church it states, “You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. ” It is depicted as spiritual Israel. “All Israel” in the Roman letter could refer to physical or spiritual Israel, it makes little difference.
Jews and Gentiles are saved the same way. In Acts 2:38 they were told, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. ” This includes all nations, in fact Peter was addressing the Jews.
Paul added the word, “so, ” in the Roman passage (11:26), meaning “thus, or in this manner. ”
Israel has experienced a hardening, in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion, he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins. ” This is quoted from Isaiah 59:20.
The “hardening” refers to Acts 13:44-46 when the Jews rejected the gospel, just as their forefathers had rejected the prophets. Paul had been appointed from heaven to preach to the Gentiles, but the Jews were to be preached to first. The Gentiles gladly received it.
Jesus Christ has already come and gone from the earth. He died to forgive the sins of the obedient. Paul is not saying that every Jew will be saved, but that all who are, will be redeemed in the same manner as the Gentiles, by obedience to Christ.
The idea that only a few will be chosen is not a popular belief, but it is scriptural. It is comforting to think there are many ways to heaven, but Jesus said there are only two ways. One leads to life, the other to destruction. Learn the simple gospel that leads to life, Read more at: http://thelynnbradleybook.com .