Q. After reading the book of Romans, a question came to mind: is the hardening of Israel’s heart due to the fact that they rejected Jesus as the Messiah? And if so, once the Rapture occurs, will Israel’s heart be softened and the will recognize Jesus as Messiah?
A. In Luke 19:41-45 Jesus said because they didn’t recognize the time of His coming to them, it would henceforth be hidden from their eyes. It’s been that way ever since. Their hearts have been hardened toward God and their eyes have been blinded to His Son. But after the rapture, Israel’s hardening will be progressively reversed (Romans 11:25). It will start with the Battle of Ezekiel 38 and their realization that is was God who defeated their attackers. This realization will trigger Daniel’s 70th Week and they’ll construct a Temple to worship Him. But many of them will think the anti-Christ is the Messiah and will follow him in fulfillment of the Lord’s prophecy of John 5:43.
At the middle of the 70th Week the true believers will follow the Lord’s warning and flee for their lives (Matt. 24:15-16), knowing that the anti-Christ is not the messiah but an impostor bent on destroying them. Toward the end of the Great Tribulation God will pour out the Spirit of grace and supplication and they will finally see that Jesus has been their Messiah all along (Zech. 12:10).