And so all Israel will be saved, …
Does this mean we should not waste our time witnessing to Jews since they will be saved anyway? Does it mean they will be saved just because they are Jews without having to trust in Jesus?”
Often when we don’t understand a passage of Scripture a little diligent study will reveal that the Bible is the best interpreter of the Bible. Questions we have are often answered somewhere else in God’s Word.The key to understanding this passage is how does God define “Israel”. Is it everyone who is born to Jewish parents? Or is it everyone who is a citizen of the political nation of Israel? Or does God define “Israel” as something totally different?
Laziness would lead us to just guess or jump to our own conclusion and often this is the foundation of mistaken ideas so rampant in the church today. We don’t have to wonder or guess. God tells us very clearly who He regards as a true Israelite and Jew, in fact the answer is in the same book – Romans.
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly … But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter…
Philippians 3:3 conveys the same idea, “we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
So “Israel” is not all the citizens of the earthly nation by that name nor all those born to Jewish parents or a convert to the religion of Judaism. A true Israelite is one who, like Abraham, believes God and demonstrates that by putting their confidence in God’s plan of salvation -which has always been believing, never by works.
Is it a waste of time to witness to Jews? It can be frustrating but Paul certainly thought it a worthwhile use of his time to pray for their salvation and to present the gospel to them. It is never a waste of time to share God’s plan for all mankind – come to God through faith like Abraham did.
Romans 10:1, 12-13
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile — the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”