Paul wrote - "What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened"Is their hope for "the rest" who were hardened? We know that these "non-elect" "rest" were "hardened", "broken off because of unbelief", "given a spirit of stupor", and that "God has shut their eyes so that they can not see and closed their ears so that they can not hear."But is this their final fate? Is there still any hope for "the rest"?Did Paul leave any room for hope for "the rest"?To answer the question, read the passage carefully and follow the personal pronoun - "THEY". I was reading through the passage in the Koine Greek and found this very enlightening. You don't need to read Greek to follow the personal pronouns. Once you have read the passage, see if Paul had any hope for "the rest". We know they were not "the elect" - but did he leave room for the possibility that they could still become a part of "the elect". We know that they were broken off because of unbelief and were hardened. We know that they stumbled because of their unbelief. But did they stumble beyond the point of recovery? Is their hope for "the rest"?
_________________Alan and Dina Martin
makrothumia: I have asked the same question in my own mind. I am reminded of Jesus going to preach to the spirits that were in prison. We see that there was an opportunity for a select group of people, pre-flood people, to accept or reject Christ. I am not trying to say that this will happen to any other group. Scripture does not say that. But I am saying that there are some things we do not quite understand sometimes, like what happens to a people who are blinded by God. One thing I do know for sure. Paul in the earlier part of this same letter shows that all men are concluded under sin. God will be just in condemning anyone, of that I am sure. Here is a question to ponder. Scripture says that these Jews were cut off because of unbelief. Their unbelief was the cause of their being blinded and hardened, not the result of their being hardened or cut off. In other words, their sin of unbelief preceded God's action. He cut them off because of unbelief.I think these three chapters, Rom. 9-11 are extremely powerful to study. Not only are there lessons for us, but in these chapters lie the answer to many of the "isms" that Christians often argue about.