06. THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL

It is written in Rom 9:27, that…Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. We need to see that the word “Israel”, not using “the nation of Israel”, but “the children of Israel”, huion Israel (υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ). Does this only refer to the Israel nation by the blood and flesh, or to all believers (either the physical or spiritual Israel)? This possibly refers to all people who know the Gospel, or the Christians. The reason is that the amount of the children of Israel is very huge, like the sand by the sea. It can be understood from this explanation that not all Christians will be the chosen people in heaven. This verse is surely still in context with the previous verses (Rom 9:24-26).

Romans 9:24-26 says, even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea:“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one, ”and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people, ’there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ” This statement of Paul clearly shows that many people-in huge amount- from many nations, become the chosen people, with the status as God’s children, and of course they could also be called as “the children of Israel”. The above truth is confirmed by Rom 11:17-21, which says that there are natural and wild branches which can be cut off. The natural branch is the Israel nation, and the wild branch is those who are not from the Israel nation. So, either the Israel nation, or the non Jews people, can be rejected from entering the Kingdom of Heaven, if they do not remain in His mercy.

The statement of Paul in Rom 9:27, is related with the statement of Lord Jesus in Matt 22:14, “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Not all Christians surely enter heaven, or not all those who profess believing in Lord Jesus are surely saved. Only those who “does the will of the Father” (Matt 7:21-23). We must struggle in a heavy struggle to do the will of the Father, that’s why Lord Jesus said in Luke 13:24, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” It is truly misleading if there is a teaching which says that it is easy to enter heaven, as if Christianity is an easy way to enter heaven. It must be understood that faith is an act, not just a mind activity. So, if we say that we believe in Lord Jesus, then we must act, which is doing His will.

Furthermore, Rom 9:28-29 says, For the Lord will carry out His sentence on earth with speed and finality. It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah”. The phrase For the Lord will carry out His sentence on earth with speed and finality, should not be wrongly interpreted, as if God has determined everything, including the people who enter heaven. This phrase can have two meanings, first, all that has been prophesied by God’s Word will surely be fulfilled. Second, the human life history, which is the map of truth and order, will surely be upheld, or fulfilled. Mentioning Sodom and Gomorrah, is to refer about their history in the time of Abraham, where the number of the righteous is less than five persons, but whatsoever, there still “remaining” people who can be saved.

In the above statement of Paul, he expands his thought, not only for the Jews, but also all nations universally in the world. God had left descendants means that He surely still upholds the life on this earth because there are believers who still want to be in His mercy, that is those who are being perfected like Jesus, to be corpus delicti. There are still remaining people who become perfect and saved; restored to God’s original design. This what extends the age of the world, but when the total number of the chosen people who become corpus delicti is filled, the world will be ended.
Therefore, it is understood now that the main message of Paul in the previous verse, is about the believers lives which must be “special”, to be classified as “the remaining people who will be saved”. Salvation is of course not only just entering heaven, but the lives of “the special chosen people”, who are called as “the children of the living God”. It surely a special life when we talk about the lives of God’s children, which pattern is the life of Jesus Himself, where they must be similar to Him (Rom 8:28).

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