I don't understand. I thought God only has mercy on those who believe. Help me understand this better, please.
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Your question: "What does God mean that He has "concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all"? Romans 11 begins by Paul asking a question: "I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin." This question is based on the information provided in chapter 10. To get a clear understanding of Paul's argument we most definitely need to consider both chapters. Writing to Gentiles (Romans 11:13) Paul is discussing 2 distinct classifications of people, Jew and Gentile. He further writes as to how and by what means salvation became available to Gentiles and how both Jew and Gentile stand positionally in God's overall plan of redemption (v. 14-31). The word "all" can and is used speaking individually (each, anyone, everything) and also collectively (some of all types). In Romans 11:8-10 we read: "(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day". v. 9 "And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:" v. 10 "Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway". (See also Isaiah 6:9-10, Matthew 13:12-15, John 12:37-41, Acts 28:25-27). If "God" gave Israel a spirit of slumber, blind eyes and deaf ears as stated in the above passage and accompanying references, the word "all" has to mean a collective group from each classification of people, Jew and Gentile. Plain and simple, would God blind the eyes of those he wanted to save?
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