Monday, November 03, 2008

Citizens of heaven

Barry Maxwell reflects on nationalism and fallenness:
In no way do I suggest America is the new Israel or the chosen people of God. I do suggest that America is no better than ancient Israel because Americans are no better than Adam. Old covenant, national Israel proved to be Adam’s sons in that, despite having every advantage of grace, they resorted to worshiping stuff rather than God. We learn that nations eventually become what they are because its citizens are idolaters.

Perhaps America has had unique advantages of grace. God has “shed his grace on thee.” But despite every intention otherwise we’ve resorted to worshiping life (as long as its sexy and viable), liberty (as long as there are no strings attached) and the pursuit of happiness (as long it’s makes me feel good) rather than the God of eternal life, eternal liberty and eternal happiness. And we will soon go the way of very other “blessed” nation in history.

What is God’s answer to all the national failures? Will any people he’s blessed rightly remain faithful to and thankful for him? Enter the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is God’s chosen people and favored nation (1 Pt 2.9). We often confuse kingdom language with that of American patriotism so far that it’s hard to see a distinction between the two.

Mighty kingdoms will come and go. They always do. Hell will swallow up every earthly kingdom, but will not leave a scratch on the church (Mt 16.18). Whatever wounds hell inflicts on us here quickly fade forever into the eternal scars on the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
Amen. That's a long quote, but I strongly recommend reading Barry's whole article.


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