The Day of the LORD — All Israel will be Saved {Part 1}

And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

[Romans 11:26-27]

Israel

A name that spans some 4,000 years of human history and yet remains as relevant today as when it first was spoken.

Both Israel’s supernatural origins and purposes of election can be found in its name. Israel literally means God conquers or overcomes, which also speaks to the destiny of Israel.

All Israel will be saved in the end.

But what does that really mean? How are we to understand this concept? For example …

  1. Does this mean that every natural descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) automatically are saved as God’s elect?
  2. Or does this mean that the church has replaced Israel and therefore represents all who are saved in the end?
  3. Or does this mean that only the true believing remnant of ethnic Israel will be saved in the end?
  4. Or does this mean that all national/ethnic Israelites that survive the Great Tribulation will be saved when Christ returns?
  5. Or does this mean that true Israel represents the universal, corporate body of believers of all time who will be saved in the end?

As you can see, it’s easy to find yourself in deep waters really fast when considering the eschatological destiny of Israel.

As always, the Scriptures provide the answers we need to discover the truth about Israel and its interaction with the Day of the LORD.

The Deliverer will Come to Zion

The Apostle Paul in commenting on Isaiah 59 declares that all Israel will be saved “in this way.” Determining what is meant by “in this way” is the key to the interpretation. It is worth noting that the Old Testament connects the deliverance of Israel with the Day of the LORD. I will start with Isaiah 59.

“He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
According to their deeds, so will he repay,
wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;
to the coastlands he will render repayment.
So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun;
for he will come like a rushing stream,
which the wind of the LORD drives.

And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression
,” declares the LORD.

[Isaiah 59:17-20]

The prophet Joel agrees with Isaiah that Jacob will be delivered and saved on the Day of the LORD.

“The LORD utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.”

[Joel 2:11-13, 30-32]

Daniel also agrees.

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.”

[Daniel 12:1]

Jeremiah 30 provides one of the clearest descriptions of Israel’s future fate.

“Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale? Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it.

[Jeremiah 30:6-7]

There is no shortage of parallel content from the O.T. prophets, but I think Zechariah’s testimony is critical.

And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”

[Zechariah 12:9-10]

“Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.”

[Zechariah 14:1-3]

Now that it has been clearly established that Jacob {Israel} will be delivered by Yahweh on the Day of the LORD, it is essential to determine who “Israel” is in this context and how the LORD will save them.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this installment.

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