Thursday, August 10, 2017

Is America Finished?

Will America, because of its basic foundations as a Christian nation, receive a pass from God’s judgment for the audacious sins it now commits; nay, even promotes?  

Though the United States still has references to God on its money, in its pledge to the flag, and in several other cultural expressions — and though it still allows Christian activity (of a superficial and highly marginalized sort) — will the righteous Lord of hosts forego His wrath on our nation’s apostasy, blasphemy, sexual perversions, wholesale assault on preborn children, and other acts of rebellion that were, just a few decades ago, unthinkable?

Before you answer, consider God’s response to the treachery of His chosen people, Israel, in the 8th Century BC.

“For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen because their speech and their actions are against the Lord, to rebel against His glorious presence. The expression of their faces bears witness against them and they display their sin like Sodom. They do not even conceal it. Woe to them for they have brought evil on themselves.”  (Isaiah 2:8-9, NASB)

“Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; but they do not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord, nor do they consider the work of His hands. Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst. Therefore Sheol has enlarged its throat and opened its mouth without measure; and Jerusalem’s splendor, her multitude, her din of revelry and the jubilant within her, descend into it.”  (Isaiah 5:12-14, NASB)

“Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?”  (Isaiah 10:11, NASB)

Is America past the tipping point?  Is its fate already determined?  Or could the holy Hand of judgment be stayed even at this late hour?  I happen to believe there is a chance for recovery 1) because America is still here.  And 2) because of the immense and ever-fresh mercy of God. Where there is life, there is hope. And Scripture is clear that God desires to show mercy on the repentant. He desires to pour out blessings on those who, even at a late date, turn to him in humble faith. So, yes; I believe there remains the opportunity for America’s repentance and thus her restoration. But, make no mistake, the nation is in the most desperate peril. She must not delay that change of heart even for a day.

Please remember also that personal repentance must precede collective repentance.  The message of Isaiah’s warnings printed above are not solely for ancient Israel nor, in the application to our day, are they meant just for “the other guys.” No, indeed; they are very much pointed to you and me as well.  We too are called to repent of our cowardice and compromise, our license and laziness, our failure to let His light shine into every area of our lives and also, through our actions, into every area of the culture.

Earnest appeals to God (through the cross of Christ) for forgiveness, refreshment, and restoration are, in the individual case, always answered.  That is a wondrous, joyful reality with eternal effects for each individual regardless of what occurs in time and in culture.  But then again, if enough individuals act in sincere repentance, the nation can enter into great blessings as well.  Let us fervently pray (and act) to that end.