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John Tay, PhD; Dean, Faculty of Biblical Studies BIU; Chairman of APM | 2011

We and all who serve our Lord Jesus Christ love this verse. To all our graduates from the Bethany International University. I wish to encourage you to walk faithfully and confidently with God, and seek to fulfil His calling, purpose and destiny for your life. Remember that His gilts and His calling are irrevocable. He will not go back on His Word, but will fulfil every plan and purpose He has devised for you.

The apostle Paul, in this verse, is stating a general principle. It is also important to look at the specific context he is writing about. He is writing about God’s purposes for the nation of Israel. In the preceding verse he writes: “As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs.” (Romans 11:28). God’s purpose and calling for the nation of Israel is irrevocable.

In chapters 9-11, and especially in chapter 11 of Romans, Paul is affirming that God has not rejected Israel: “I ask then: Did God reject his people ? By no means !” (Romans 11:1).

The expression “By no means” in the Greek is a very strong expression, saying no, not at all. Read what Paul writes in the same chapter: “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all ! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring ! …For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead ?” (Romans 11:11-15).

In the subsequent verses Paul writes about the grafting of the Gentiles into the olive tree, and the re-grafting back of the people of Israel to the same tree from which they were broken off (Romans 11:17-24).

Today there is a growing Messianic movement in Israel: more and more Jews are placing their faith in our Lord Jesus as the Messiah. In the time of the Six Day War (1967) there were about only 100 believing Jews in Israel. Today they number in tens of thousands, and there are Messianic Fellowships (the equivalent of our churches) in almost every major city and town in Israel. The numbers are growing, although they are still in the minority in Israel.

There is a great significance in this growing Messianic movement. Recall the words of our Lord Jesus: “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Matthew 23:39). When these Messianic Jews call to our Lord Jesus using these words, our Lord Jesus will return. With the growing Messianic movement, that day is coming closer and closer.

Paul writes about the final salvation of Israel: “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited : Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number (fullness) of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:25-26).

Our Lord Jesus spoke about the gospel of the kingdom to be preached to the ends of the world, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14). When this happens (when the full number of the Gentiles has come in) all Israel will be saved. These are the two final signs for the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus. That day is drawing very near!

The nation of Israel has a very important calling and destiny from God, and every nation also has a destiny from God. To fulfil your own calling and destiny, you must do this in the context of the nation God is calling you to serve in. Your nation cannot fulfil her calling and destiny unless the individuals in that nation fulfil their individual calling and destiny. Your personal destiny and the destiny of your nation are inseparably intertwined.

The understanding of Israel and God’s purpose for this nation is crucial to your personal destiny and the destiny of your nation. Remember God’s words to Abraham: “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen 12:1-3)

To receive the fullness of God’s blessings and to fulfil your personal and national destiny, you must understand God’s purpose and calling for Israel. I Pray for Israel. Learn to bless Israel ! May God grant you understanding and insight on this very important issue.