Romans 11:26-36

Preached by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Tuesday Morning Bible Study, 4/24/18, the Year of Our Lord


I dedicate this teaching to the 70th anniversary of Israel’s restoration as a nation.  The 70th anniversary memorializes and celebrates their sudden rebirth as a nation on May 14, 1948.  Israel’s rebirth was the most momentous prophetic fulfillment in recent history as they became an independent nation again in their former homeland against all odds.  After being scattered throughout the world since their rejection of Christ and the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Jews were banished from their land for centuries.  Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul and other prophets prophesied that after many years and in the Last Days they would return.  Isaiah prophesied they would be born in a single day:


Isa. 66: 8-10:  Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?  For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.  Shall I bring to birth, and not cause to bring forth” says the Lord; shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? Says your God.  Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her; all you that mourn for her.


Israel was reborn on the 5th day of Lyar which was the 14th day of May in 1948.  The month of Lyar is the eighth month in Israel’s civil year calendar.  According to the Jewish calendar, the 5th day of Lyar this year falls on April 19, 2018.  This was the reason that Israel’s 70th anniversary was celebrated on April 19th and not May 14th.  The celebration in Israel continues through this month.


It has been 70 years since Israel declared statehood in 1948, and it has been 100 years since the Balfour Declaration that permitted the Jews to return to their land.  Furthermore, it has been 50 years since Israel regained control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the miraculous Six-Day War.  On Israel’s 70th anniversary, everything appears to be falling into place for Israel’s date with destiny in the Latter Days.  


11:25-27:  “For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, less you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles 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 (Isa. 59: 20-21).  For this is my covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins.”


The apostle does something here which he has done before---drops a big bomb of truth.  At Rome, where the church was predominantly Gentile, he has to deal with the matter of pride and superior feelings.  So this time he unveils the truth that the Gentiles will only be in the olive tree for a specified time.  Their day of opportunity will come to an end. 


The times of the Gentiles have been fantastic.  The nations have risen to dazzling heights in terms of academic, financial and technological achievements.  In the Gentile era, prosperity and freedom have come to mankind wherever the gospel has been received.  The Gentile believers could easily become conceited and feel their exalted position is permanent.  To take the wind out of their sails, and check any conceit they might feel having the inside track with God, he tells them their present supremacy is temporary. 


The Gentiles had better be careful not to lord it over God’s nation during the time of her humiliation. 


Here Paul is speaking as a prophet with the statement that, “all Israel will be saved.”  This truth could only be apprehended by divine revelation.  That is why he calls it a “mystery”.  There are still those today without the revelation of this “mystery”.  Those who would judge her future in the light of her distress at the time of Paul had no insight to God’s secret purposes.  Once the full count of Gentiles (a precise number known only to God) has been saved and added to the church, the Gentile era will end and God will again restore the salvation store to the Jew.


As evidence that all Israel is to be saved, the apostle offers three confirmations from Scripture:  two from the prophets and the third, God’s covenant with Abraham.  Drawing from Isa. 59: 20 and the 14th Psalm, the apostle says, the Deliverer shall come out of Zion and turn away ungodliness from Jacob.  The use of the word “Jacob” is significant for it stands for fleshly Israel.  It is the fallen and rejected Israel that is to be saved.  The spirit of stupor and blindness which is now over her will be removed.   In John 5:43, Jesus is prophesying to the Jews.  I have come in my Father’s name, and you did not receive me.  If another shall come in his own name, you will receive him.”  Those who come in their own name are those who are of the spirit of anti-Christ.


God’s promise to Abraham is Paul’s third proof that Israel will be saved.  His spiritual descendents of like precious faith whether Jew or Gentile will reign with Jesus.


Isa. 2: 2-5: It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it.  And many people shall go and say, come you, and let us go up- to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sward against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.


Zion is where the Throne of God is eternally established and sure against all attacks of an enemy. (Ps. 2:6; 87:5)


Zion is the dwelling-place of God, where he is gloriously praised, where His doings are known.  (Ps. 9:11; 74:2; 76:2)



Zion is the place where God’s most glorious praise is known because there the fullness of salvation is known in the lives of the redeemed. (Ps. 9:14)


Zion is the source of continual salvation.  Those who discover Zion know the fullness of salvation, and yet learn day by day more of an increasing fullness (Ps. 14:7; 53:6; Isa. 46:13; 59:20; Joel 2:32; Rom. 11:26).


Zion is the joy of the whole earth, experienced already by many, anticipated by others, travailed after by all. (Ps. 48:2)  The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh. 8:10).


Zion is the place of the sacrifice of the blood of the Lamb of God.  It was also the place of the sacrifices of the Temple worship. 


Romans 11:28:  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.”


It is easy for anti-Semitism to flourish as long as Gentiles remain ignorant of God’s program for the Jews.  Those nations and peoples who have favored Israel will be favored by God.  Those who have abused Israel during her humiliation will be sorry.  (Mt. 25:31-34):   When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory:  And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say to them on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:


There is no way for the Lord to go back on His promises; no way for Him to change His mind about the gifts He makes or those He chooses.  There is a general principle which operates in connection with all of God’s dealings with man: once He makes a choice, He never retracts it.  Many are called, but few are chosen.   There is no way for God to change his mind about us.  There is no way for evil to frustrate the plan of God.  He uses it to accomplish His purpose.  However, if we go off course, and begin to teach error and/or allow sin to rule over us, we can expect to be taken home.  I have seen it happen.


Romans 11: 30-32:  “For as you in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.  For God has concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”


This verse should forever silence those Christians who are biased against Israel.  Paul is admonishing us to show mercy to the Jew in the same way that we received mercy and have been saved into the program of God.  That should take the wind out of the sails of all anti-Semitism, criticism, pride and arrogance toward the Jew.


God has locked all men into the sin program that he might show mercy to us all.  He could have abandoned the human experiment when Adam and Eve sinned.  But he didn’t.  He allowed the races to appear, knowing all men would be sinners because of Adam’s fall.  He deliberately let the human program roll in sin.  Why?  The only way to know the mercy of God is to be a sinner.  Only sinners can be forgiven.  And God wants all of us to know this side of His nature---by experience.


As the Lord is preparing the “church universal” for the Harvest.  We, like Israel, are going to have to lay aside our conceit, spiritual pride, self-righteousness, condemnation, criticism, false judgment and prestige if we are to be used of the Lord for His next program of salvation.


11: 33-36:  “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!  For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?  Or who has first given to Him and it shall be recompensed to him again?  For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom is glory forever.  Amen”


Having laid out God’s program for working with men and nations, the apostle is filled with such wonder that he cannot contain himself.  He breaks forth in rapturous praise to God!  Having laid out God’s remarkable plan for restoring Israel, his mind goes over the entire program for saving men out of a guilty world.  In a single view, he beholds the history of man from Adam’s fall to Christ’s reign as King of Kings.  His discussion dissolves into worship for theology is doxology or it is nothing at all. The interpreter of God’s program to man is forced to break out in spontaneous praise to God:  How Great Thou Art!”


As He does, this, he realizes it is not man’s history that is before him, but God’s wisdom!  He is overwhelmed by the wisdom needed to take sinful bits of dust and raise them to the level of sons of God.  How God can give sinners a free will, allow Satan a free hand with them as the “god of this world,” and still end up with His will being done---is too much for the human mind.  To try and figure out God’s reasoning is like a five year old trying to fathom a formula developed by the genius of an Einstein.  That God can take the failures of men and nations and weave them into a program that fulfills His plan to a tee, is so incredible the apostle has to stop and say…”Praise the Lord!”


Paul borrows the question of “who has known?” from Isaiah.  The ancient prophet asked who has directed God’s Spirit or who has been God’s teacher? (Isa. 40: 13, 14).

If you listen to some people they sound as if they are in a position to counsel God and act as His critic.  You’ve heard their challenges to God’s wisdom:  “If God is so great, why does He allow so much suffering this world?  If He’s so powerful, why can’t He see to it that people don’t go to hell?  Why does He have to make people so that they sin in the first plane?”  With finite reasoning they seek to impugn God because they can’t figure out why He does what he does. 


Not a few think they are smarter than God.  Consider those who look on this world as an accident, or think that it came into being through a blind uncaused process known as “evolution.”  They are exalting their wisdom above the Word of God.


Paul’s idea of God’s riches goes beyond His wisdom and knowledge.  He isn’t thinking in terms of money and possessions.  That’s the way the world thinks.  God’s wealth consists of His ability to bless people and enrich their souls to walk in the Spirit.  His wealth is unlimited and is the pearl of greatest price.  No earthly king every dreamed of such wealth.  It is beyond imagination to have such wealth that you can make all of your son’s kings in their own right (that’s what we are in Christ) with unlimited riches of our own.  He has seen God’s purposes of lavish grace.  There is still a vast universe of divine wealth beneath and beyond, out of human sight. (Isa. 40:13; Job. 41:11).


No man will ever out-give God.  We can only come to God and give to Him what He has given us.  He asked us to give to Him to keep our heart from hoarding, selfishness, and greed.  When a man humbles himself before God, the Lord reaches out with his wealth of mercy and exalts him as a “joint heir” with undreamed riches of his own. That is why Paul said in Rom. 10:12, God is rich unto all who call on Him!  He is the source of every blessing.  He created us all with his Word and is the author of every gift we receive (Ja. 1: 17, 18).  The entire creation was made by Him and for Him.  He runs it to suit Himself.  Paul has preached himself “happy”.  To Him (Christ) be glory and honor forever!  He is standing on the Mountain top of Faith of his arguments in Romans.  And we say, Amen. 


The spiritual blessings promised to Abraham are received by Faith in Christ.  Israel’s rejection of Christ as the Messiah temporarily resulted in her loss of being the store of salvation.  However, this did not wipe out her election.   They are objects of His election-love as heirs of the glorious Israel of old.  The never-changing God does not take back a gift or cancel His election.   


Abraham has two kinds of seed:  spiritual and natural.  Those believing the Lord’s promises concerning the Messiah receive the blessings. For God is “Source, Guide and Goal of all that is.”


Next week we will continue with Chapter 12.  Up to this point in Romans, Paul has given us the believing side of the Gospel.  The next four chapters have to do with the behaving side.


Preached by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Quotes from K.J.V.; Text from C. S. Lovett’s Lights on Romans; F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Leslie Allen; Principles of Present Truth from Isaiah by:  Kelly Varner. Sermon by Carolyn Sissom 9/26/10.   Comments and conclusions are my own and not intended to reflect the views of those from whom I have gleaned.


Happy Anniversary Israel