Are you encouraged by the promise of God in Romans 11:26: And so all Israel will be saved. We will put that verse in context in a few minutes, but first, let’s consider that promise. A day will come when all Israel will indeed be saved. In fact, it will be a national salvation. Those who understand Bible prophecy believe that will come after Jewish eyes are open and they invite the Messiah into their midst with these words, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:39)
Are we moving in that direction? Is there a spiritual awakening happening in the global Jewish community ahead of that prophecy? Though neither Jewish nor Christian outlets are talking much about it, Chosen People Ministries (led by Dr Mitch Glaser) and The Joshua Fund (led by Joel Rosenberg) commissioned a study several years ago and have released data that suggests there are about 1 million Jewish followers of Jesus worldwide!
The commissioned study was well designed and highly accurate based on statistical analysis. So, let’s consider the findings.
First, some history! Jews began coming to faith in Yeshua (Jesus, in Hebrew) in the early-1900’s. It was estimated that at least 230,000 Jews believed. But then, the Holocaust wiped out 2/3 of the Jewish population in Europe and Russia, including most of those believers. A separate study by Israel College of the Bible estimated only 23 known believers in Jesus in Israel in 1948, when Israel was reborn.
But the Jesus Revolution of the 1970’s saw Jews and Gentiles alike, particularly in America, come to faith in Jesus. Millions of pagan, secular Americans professed faith. The “Jesus Movement” was characterized by bold (though not always theologically sound) evangelism, which reached into Jewish American communities and many professed faith in Jesus the Messiah.
Fast forward to the 2016 study conducted by Lifeway which revealed solid evidence of an estimated 871,000 Jewish followers of Jesus in the US alone! Couple that with Israel College of the Bible’s conservative estimate of 30,000 Israeli Jews who follow Yeshua and the number is right around 1 million Jewish believers in America and Israel!
What is happening to cause Jews to look to Jesus? Perhaps several things, not the least of which is the work being done by One for Israel, a sister ministry of Israel College of the Bible. The Jewish-led evangelistic ministry in Israel produces massive amounts of instruction, articles and videos pointing Jews to Jesus! Among the most effective videos are 5-7 minute videos of Jews who have come to Christ. The Hebrew-speaking videos have drawn over 50 million views in Israel alone! Along with the English versions, those testimonial videos have been viewed by 200 million people around the world! Check out I Met Messiah.
Indeed, a spiritual awakening is happening, but little is heard of it. Now, you are in the know!
Let’s close the loop by getting back to the context of Romans 11:26. Yes, Israelis are slowly beginning to see through the veil, and some are coming to Christ. But ultimately, there will be a national salvation when all Israel is saved. To understand when that will occur, we must consider the context.
Paul is in the midst of a treatise in Romans 11, indicating that, despite the fact Israel denied Jesus as Messiah, it is never too late for them. Unbelievably, their denial opened up opportunity for us Gentiles to enter into relationship with the Jewish Messiah! As believers, we are grafted into the olive tree (Israel’s spiritual heritage), and it is now our responsibility to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy. We have the Jewish Messiah, and our hope and our ambition should be to cause them to want Him back!
So, in immediate context, leading up to verse 26 (all Israel will be saved) is verse 25: For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery [Gentiles being grafted in], lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
You see, the final salvation of “all Israel” will happen only when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. When the last Gentile to accept Jesus does so, we (including believing Gentiles AND Jews) will be taken from here and the 7-year tribulation will commence. That will be a horrific time of trouble for Jews, but their blind eyes will be opened, and they will ultimately invite Him back, saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Then, the spiritual awakening will be complete and all Israel (that has survived the tribulation) will be saved! Oh, glorious day! Let’s pray many come to faith in Messiah before that terrible tribulation. In fact, let’s take every opportunity to provoke them to jealousy! After all, that’s our calling!