Nate Hunt - Bass
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Nate Hunt grew up in Muscatine, Iowa and came to IHOP in July 2008. His passion is to know Christ and make Him known through prayer, singing, playing, and preaching His beauty until every tribe, tongue, people, and nation have heard the true gospel.
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! (Romans 11:1 NKJV)
God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. (Romans 11:2 NKJV)
So, I admit it. I'm a Psalm junkie. Psalms are the meat and potatoes of my daily prayer diet. I love taking Psalms and singing them in an intercessory way. I'll say to God, "Ok God, pretend I'm America." Then I'll bust out a few lines of Psalm 67 in my best vibrato. They go like this:
"God be merciful to us, and bless us.
Cause His face to shine upon us.
That your way may be known on the earth,
Your salvation among all nations."
Now any ethnocentric American like you or me can clearly see what this verse means. It means that the missions movement out of America is God's ultimate strategy for redeeming the rest of the world's unreached. "God shed His grace on thee" must basically be a paraphrase of this Psalm. Can I get an amen?
Oh wait. No, I can't. If you already gave me one before you got to this paragraph, oops! It's ok. God totally accepts you. But last I checked, America wasn't even a nation when any of these Psalms were written. Last I checked, there is no mention of America in the eschaton. Last I checked, God has never made a covenant with America. And that, my friends, is perfectly ok.
"Remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you." Romans 11:18
Once upon a time, God was about to wipe out most of Israel and start over with Moses. Contrary to subconscious American pride, He has never done this with us. All of His promises to Israel are irrevocable.
A survey of Ephesians 2:11-14 blew my mind one day. Our situation as unsaved Gentiles was pretty bleak. What did we have to our name? We were:
- (and last, but definitely not least...) Godless
Are we feeling encouraged out there? Good. Glad to hear it.
There's good news, however. Now that we're in Jesus, we've been brought near. All the things we used to be without, we now have. We now have a Savior King, a green card into the Holy City, and our names are written into the clause of the sure promises to Abraham. Now we serve the real, living God. He let us partake of the promise to Jews of having the law written on our hearts and minds. He let us be sealed with the guarantee of the Spirit that was promised to Jews. The New Covenant is a Jewish covenant.
God didn't cast Israel away and start over with us. Rather, He just let us join the family. He didn't just want Jews in His house. He wanted a much bigger family than that. Now we're fellow Israeli citizens and members of the Jewish household of God.
So where did we go wrong? When did we start editing Israel out of all of this? It goes way back to some very misinformed church fathers who must not have had a copy of Romans to read. Then Gentiles actually became the majority party in the church. I guess we started feeling free to call the shots. Constantine called a few racist shots that did away with most of our Jewish ties for many centuries. These days, we're so far removed from all the debates that we forget it ever was about a minority group in a little land east of the Mediterranean.
This produced gratitude in my heart. The one who comes to Jesus, He will by no means cast out. This goes for me, you, and every breathing Gentile and Jew.
It's one thing to get it intellectually. It's at least a starting point. What does it look like in daily life?
- Say goodbye to American pride. God still has good plans for us, but they won't come without serious economic and military shaking. We're a superpower that is presently generally displeasing to a superpowerful God. Say hello instead to solemn assemblies, evangelism, comparative poverty, and persecution.
- Say goodbye to some "Christian" traditions. We would be appalled to see how little some of our holidays have to do with a real calendar and a real God.
- Say goodbye to stereotypes and blanket statements. Throughout history, things have gone bad when we categorize whole people groups. This is exactly what leads to absurdities like God casting away an entire people group. Individuals in any people group can end up hardened or redeemed.
- Say goodbye to your fear of man. Make friends with some Jews and start evangelizing them.
© 2012 Nate Hunt