A Christian Nation Once Again

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, September 30, 2015 0 comments

by Logan Ames

There is a country that was founded on Christian principles by forefathers who were constantly guided by their faith in the Lord and his divine providence. This nation has become morally and spiritually bankrupt over the years and generations as they went away from their foundation little by little. God desires to bless this nation and to cause a giant revival started by his faithful followers that continue living as a bright light even in the midst of the spiritual darkness around them. Someday, this nation will understand that Jesus Christ is Lord, salvation will return, and believers will be too numerous to count. And no, I’m NOT talking about the United States of America. I am talking about the nation of Israel.

I’ve heard too many well-meaning believers talk about our great country as if we have replaced Israel or as if God has promised us the same restoration that he has Israel. Some have come right out and said that “America is the new Israel.” They may have gotten this narrative from older generations in their family or church, but I can assure you that it is absent of truth. I love the United States of America as much as anyone, but it would be arrogant to put our beloved nation on par with Israel regarding their standing with God.

In this week’s passage, Paul reminds us that just because the nation of Israel is currently in a state of disobedience it doesn’t mean God’s plan for them has changed. He writes that Israel is “loved on account of the patriarchs” (Romans 11:28). This refers to the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others in the Old Testament on account of their faithfulness. Every time they obeyed, God promised to bless them and their descendants. The next verse states that “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” (11:29). This means we should not think that God has given up on Israel and that America or any other nation has somehow taken its place.

Paul concedes that this is a mystery, but he also states that he does not want his audience to be ignorant of it because it is truth based on God’s words through Isaiah and Jeremiah (Romans 11:25-27). The truth is that “all Israel will be saved” and this will specifically happen once the gospel has been preached to all Gentiles and given them an opportunity to receive salvation (v. 26). But what does it mean that “all” Israel will be saved? Does that mean that every single person of Jewish descent everywhere will be saved regardless of their reaction to Jesus? Or is Paul talking about a “spiritual” Israel that is comprised of those who were “grafted in” based on their faith? I can tell you that the answer to both questions is NO.

We must not assume that Paul is talking about a “spiritual” Israel that would include us and all who believe, because just a verse earlier he is stating that “Israel has experienced a hardening in part” (v. 25). This would not be the case if he were talking about only those who had come to believe. We are not believers while we are still hardened to the gospel. So, if Paul is not talking about his native country in a spiritual sense, then the only alternative is that he is talking about it in a physical or national sense. But the notion that everyone in the physical nation of Israel would be saved also has some problems. Jesus himself, when speaking to a group of Jews who were looking for a way to kill him, stated that they are “doing the works of their own father” (John 8:41), then later stated they “belong to their father, the devil” (v. 44). If Jesus refers to some of the Jews as belonging to the devil, then it’s safe to say that not every single person of Jewish descent will be saved. God allows for free will, and sadly some Jews will reject Jesus as their Messiah even up to their final breath.

The truth about Paul’s statement that “all Israel will be saved” can be found by looking at this quote from biblical scholar F.F. Bruce: “Even as the apostasy of Israel did not extend to every last Jew, so the salvation of Israel will not extend to every last Jew; Paul is speaking of the ‘mass’ of Jews when he says ‘all Israel’. All Israel is a recurring expression in Jewish literature, where it need not mean 'every Jew without a single exception,' but 'Israel as a whole.'” In other words, Israel will once again become a nation that believes in and follows Jesus as the Messiah. Yes, there will still be the ones who choose to reject him despite the revival taking place all around them, but the leaders and the country as a whole will be repentant followers of Jesus Christ.

You may feel like this has nothing to do with you and it may feel very distant. But I want you to ask yourself whether you spend any time praying for and supporting Israel as God’s chosen people who are to proclaim his truth to all nations. Yes, you are an “ingrafted branch” of Israel if you have come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. But that doesn’t change God’s plan for the physical Israel. And we SHOULD care, because God told Abraham from the very beginning, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3). I don’t know about you, but I’d certainly like to receive God’s blessing rather than his curse. Continue to pray for and bless Israel, and pay attention to which potentially elected officials are willing to stand with Israel should they take office. It’s much more important than we may think.

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