by Terry Wane Benton
Romans 11:26 is typically misunderstood and misapplied.
The church is the true Israel that will be saved. The gospel is the power to save (Romans 1:16). Being a mere Jew in the flesh does not save. There must be the circumcision in heart to make a true Jew (Romans 2:28-29). So, all true Jews will be saved.
But, true Jews believe the truth God revealed to them about the Messiah, and true Jews are not hardened against Jesus Christ being the Messiah, Immanuel, God manifest in the flesh. 3,000 Jews in the flesh became circumcised in the heart on Pentecost by listening to the evidence of Jesus. And so (in this manner ) all Israel (true Israelites in heart) will be saved.
The physical nation of Israel is not true Israel. “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (Romans 11:20). “If they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted back in again” (Romans 11:23). They can be blessed if they are not too hardened in heart to hear God’s gospel evidence of salvation in Christ Jesus. If hardness is only in part, then that Jew can and will open his heart to the truth of Jesus and be saved. But, that is the way all of true Israel becomes the true Israel of God. So, there is no big plan to save the physical nation of Israel today.
The plan is for any person, Jew or Gentile, to come out from under condemnation by the convicting power of the gospel, and in this manner, all true Israelites (those who are converted by the gospel) will be saved. There is no other plan for saving unbelieving national Israel. They are outside God’s blessings because of unbelief. They can come back in the same way the 3,000 Jews did on Pentecost (Acts 2:36-41). The church of Christ that began on Pentecost was the true Israel of God. Gentiles came into that same vine of blessing. Jews who are not too hardened in heart can be grafted in again. But, all who reject Jesus are not part of the Israel that will be saved. God’s blessings are on the spiritual Israel, Jesus’ church, not on the old national Israel.