Though believers are called the “elect” of God in the New Testament, the concept of election is larger than individual salvation. In Romans 9 through 11, Paul affirms that Israel remains elect—even though he is in anguish over Israel’s condition. Understanding what it means that Israel is, and remains, elect helps us understand Paul’s view of election.
Paul is describes a sequence of events in Romans 9 that involves God’s election, the response of people born into the covenant to election, and the tragedy that comes when God’s people are offended by the one He elects. Paul’s use of Israel’s history reveals how divisive election can be and how serious an issue it is that we understand election and respond to it biblically.
As we look at the Middle East it is difficult not to despair as we see the carnage created by radical Islam, the suffering of the Christians, and the lack of substantial help from the outside word. However, that is not the end of the story, and it is important for us to recognize that the Bible predicts great success for the gospel in the Middle East.