Many popular end-time preachers like to start their teachings about Israel in Romans 11:26, “And so in this way, all Israel will be saved.”
From here they declare that a future revival of the Jewish people will bring the entire nation of Israel to Jesus. This is an admirable sentiment, as our desire as Christians is for the entire world to become Christian, but it isn’t what Paul is saying.
Notice that in Romans 11:26, it begins with: And so in this way… Paul is about to conclude a premise that he has been developing. Most of Paul’s thought has been developed between chapters 9-11, but actually the right teaching on who are the true Israelites is threaded throughout the whole book of Romans.
In Romans, Paul is showing that God is no longer focused on ethnicity. No longer is race of any consequence, but faith is the distinguishing mark of God’s true people. Thus God shows no favouritism. Romans 2:10-11
According to Paul: A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. Romans 2:28-29
Paul goes on to assert that Abraham is not just the father of the Jewish people, but that he is the father of all those that walk in faith: Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: I have made you a father of many nations. Isaiah 51:1-8, Romans 4:16-17
The definitive statement from Paul on this comes in Romans 9:6-8 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary: It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.
So far, Paul has stated that (1) God doesn’t show racial favour, (2) those that are of faith (no matter Jew or Gentile) are deemed to be Abraham’s descendants and (3) that those that are Abraham’s descendants in the natural (the Jews) aren’t considered to be Israel in the eyes of God automatically, only those that are holding to faith in Jesus are considered to be Israelies. Revelation 2:9…..some claim to be Jews, but are not, they belong to the synagogue of Satan.
Paul restates his argument in Romans 10:12: For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.
Try as some might to rebuild the wall of racial division, as those who hold to the rapture theory must do, Jesus came to tear that wall down and he made Jew and Gentile into one new man. That is a past-tense accomplished fact, not a promise for the future. John 10:16
And so in this way… In what way Paul? His conclusion is that God only regards people of faith in Jesus as the true Israel. It is in that way, all genuine Christian believers will be saved!
We Christians ARE His chosen: John 15:16, His children: 1 John 3:1, His sheep: Hebrews 13:20, and are the true Israelites of God: Galatians 6:16, Ezekiel 34:30-31