There was a time before Jesus Christ came to the earth when God saw fit to select one nation for Himself to whom He would show mercy. That nations was of course Israel and grew from the basis of the faith of Abraham.
All the other nations of the time were under condemnation for their sins against Gos were great. We saw in particular how the nations of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the extent and magnitude of their sin.
But they were not the only such nation who were wanton against God. And in later days Israel itself fell from Gods grace many times, and suffered judgment for their sins until they repented and turned back to Him.
But it was never God's will that any person who sought Him out and aimed to do right should be lost. Even prior to Jesus Christ coming there were instances of Gentiles who had faith and were blessed for their faith. People like Namaan the Syrian and the Queen of Sheba and Rahab the harlot from Jericho. All of these were shown God's mercy and salvation because they had faith.
And so this process of redemption was opened through God's mercy to all nations and all peoples, not just the Israelites desended from Abraham, but also to those who would become his children and the children of God through faith.
Promise to the Gentiles
Here we see Paul speaking of the fact that God creates certain people to carry out good things or bad. And God has that right for He is the Creator and He can do whatever He chooses with His creations. If He were to choose to use someone to execute an evil purpose because it was necessary in the larger picture, then that is God's right.
He did this with Pharaoh and with Judas Iscariot, both of whom were raised up and selected to carry out His purpose for evil because there was a greater good and a greater purpose at hand. One was the release of Israel from slavery and the other was the release of all mankind from sin through faith in Jesus Christ.
But just as God originally chose Israel for His people, so now we see He has chosen good for all peoples, nations and tribes of the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. God has opened up His mercy to provide salvation to all who choose to come to Him.
This was always His purpose for there are many prophetic words in the Old Testament showing that the Gentiles who were excluded and without His favour for a time, would be fully included. Not on the basis of physical descendancy nor works of law, but on the basis and through their faith in Jesus Christ.
Thus God says now,
25 As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'” 26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'” (Romans 9:25-26)
But we see also that although the nation and peoples of Israel who originally had the favour of God, most of them will not now be saved. They had His favour because of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but they lost His favour because they turned away from God and turned to sin.
And so the prophets stated, as quoted here by Paul,
27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” (Romans 9:27-28)
The promise to Abraham was that his descendants would be as many as the grains of sand by the seashore or as many as the stars in the sky. And certainly his physical descendants cannot be numbered. In fact we are not even sure who all his physical descendants are today for when the tribes of Israel separated and ten and a half of them were dispersed across the known world, they lost their genealogy.
But of those who were physical descendants only a remnant will be saved. But we also know that the full nation of Israel will be saved from other scriptures. But when it talks about all of Israel being saved we are talking about all of spiritual Israel.
It is not the children of the flesh to whom the promise of entering God's kingdom belongs. It is the children of spiritual Israel to whom the promises will come and who will inherit the earth. These are Abrahams children through their faith in Jesus Christ and their worship towards God. These people of faith, regardless of their physical genealogy, will come together with the remnant from Israel and so the true Israel that is based upon faith will be saved and enter into the kingdom of God.
That is why scriptures like this one that remind us that there is hope for the Gentiles and that the Gentiles will be part of God's promise are so important.
It does not matter who you are, where you come from, what your nationality or genealogy is. If you accept Jesus Christ you are accepted and will receive the promises of the Father, for God through Jesus Christ has opened up His mercy to all mankind. In Christ we are not different nationalities but are citizens of the kingdom of God, and more than that, we are family. Brothers and sisters of Christ and children of God the Father.
(Image sourced from free images.com provided by Sanja Gjenero)
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