11. When we witness to Jewish people, can we expect them to believe in Jesus as the Messiah?
This might seem like a strange question to some of you, but, I’m sad to have to say it, there are some who think Jewish people cannot get saved. They believe that they had their chance, but, when they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, God closed the door forever on them. I remember an instance far too well. I was being interviewed on a Christian television program, and before it was over, a person called and said I was wasting my time trying to witness to Jewish people. He said, “Don’t you know Jews can’t get saved?” Well, I immediately checked myself to see if I (a Jewish man) was saved (just kidding) and I’m glad to say that I was. This caller was wrong. The sad thing is that this man who called was a Pastor of a Church. How do we answer the above question? How do we know that Jewish people can get saved? Are we wasting our time in trying to evangelize them? The answer is no!!
1. Paul prayed for the salvation of Jewish people.
Rom. 11:1-2 – “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew…”
Why would Paul pray for their salvation if it was impossible for them to get saved? This verse wouldn’t make any sense at all. The fact that he prays for them is proof that the possibility is there.
2. Paul uses himself as an example that Jewish people can get saved and that God has not given up on the Jewish people.
If Jewish people can’t get saved, then Paul was in big trouble. But, the fact is, Paul was saved and he definitely makes it clear that he was from a Jewish background. Just by way of mentioning it, this is a good verse to prove that Jewish people remain Jewish, even after they trust Jesus as Messiah.
3. Paul puts the icing on the cake by stating that there is a remnant of Jewish people that will be saved.
Rom. 11:2-5 – “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine alters, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life. But what is the divine response to him? I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.”
This clearly answers the above question. We should expect to see Jewish people getting saved. There is a remnant today, just as there was in Elijah’s day. We don’t know who makes up this remnant, so we go to everyone we can. In God’s sovereignty, there will be a positive response by some as the Gospel is faithfully given out. This is what keeps us going. This is what gives us hope. We know that Jewish people can be saved and all who say otherwise are wrong. It’s not a waste of time or a waste of the Lord’s resources to seek to proclaim the Gospel to God’s chosen people.