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I would say that Paul is making the point that if God, despite his mercy and patience, had finally altered the unique, exclusive status of His own chosen people because of their failure to bear fruit (as evidenced especially by their general rejection of Christ during His earthly life, which had resulted in Gentiles (including the Christian community at Rome whom Paul was addressing) being placed in the same "chosen" status formerly reserved for the Jews, and which would also lead to the temporal judgment that would occur through the coming destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 that Jesus foretold (Matthew 23:37-39; Matthew 24:2)), then it would also be possible for those same Gentile churches to be subjected to a similar temporal fate if they failed to bear fruit for Him. At the same time, I would also say that this action on God's part would be caused by both egregious and persistent disobedience or even abandonment of the faith, as well as by repeated failure to repent and be restored, to such a degree that it would not allow anyone to question the righteousness of God's judgment. (Jesus used this same metaphor in His parable of the unfruitful fig tree in Luke 13:6-9.) (By contrast, however, He also commended possession of an amount of faith even as small as a grain of mustard seed (Luke 17:6).)
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