With all of the bad news attached to America these days (and highlighted on this blog), I thought I would take some time to address a point.
Many of us who gather here and read these posts (and the church’s material, such as Tomorrow’s World magazine) or watch the telecast understand what is prophesied for the last days. We know that if America (and it’s British-descended siblings) doesn’t get its act together, it is in for some hard times. Harder times than it has ever seen before.
We also know that these things are a necessary occurrence before the return of Christ. And it’s certainly true that we want Christ to return! But does it mean that we root for the fall of the US?
No, it doesn’t. You know, I want the economic stimulus package to work. Does it seem odd that we’re in such a position that our government believes the key to surviving economically is for people to behave unwisely? Yes, it’s odd. (“Yes, things look potentially very bad for our economy. So spend, spend, spend!” Doesn’t sound like Mom & Dad’s advice to me…) Does it mean that I want it to fail? No.
Does it seem frightening that several of our major banks have felt it necessary to accept multiple tens of billions from foreign investors–even potentially hostile foreign investors–in order to stay afloat? Yes. Does it seem even more frightening that American sources of such capital were apparently nowhere to be found, and that the impression given is that if it were not for such massive capital sources outside our borders bailing us out we would be in even worse shape? Yes. Does this incredible dependency and lack of control of our own destiny add to the sense of a coming prophesied time when Israel (the modern US & Britain) is abandoned by her “lovers” and when she becomes the tail and not the head (e.g., Deut. 28:43-44)? Yes. But does it mean that I want these plans to fail? No.
Does it seem as though our military is losing respect in the eyes of our enemies, as they learn that what is (currently) the single greatest armed force in the world can be stymied and bloodied so effectively by nationless guerrillas and terrorists with improvised weapons? Yes. Does it seem as though the time described by Leviticus 26:16-17 nearer and one more element that composes the “pride of our power” (Lev. 26:19) is being broken before our eyes? Yes. But does that mean that I want us to fail in Iraq or in our efforts to parry Iran? Not at all.
Ideally, I want America to repent. I want America to seek out the God who gave her all she has, while she still has it. I want her to go to Him and ask for His paths and His ways. Should that not happen any time soon, I want America to continue to be strong enough to support the work of God and the proclamation of the Gospel in a powerful way. I see the dollar plummeting, but I do not want it to plummet. I see America becoming more of a burden on the world than a blessing, but I do not want it to be.
Yes, I want Christ’s return ASAP–even if that means a Tribulation beforehand, and difficult times for the nations of Jacob/Joseph (the US & former British commonwealth) and Judah (modern Israel & the Jews). Yes, when I see things that seem to fall in line with the times to come, I begin to turn my head upwards, reminded that my redemption is drawing nearer (Luke 21:28).
But we cannot be like Jonah, who preached a message of repentance from dead works to Nineveh but who hoped they would not repent, that destruction would come upon them and, perhaps, that their nation could not be the tool it was destined to be for the correction of his own people. In our warning message, we fill must be filled with hope — hope for our country and hope for our people.
And should the dollar rally, the economy turn around, or victory in Iraq finally be definitively claimed, then we should take the time to thank God for His mercy, for the opportunity such an oasis of circumstances would offer, and for the truth that the Lord “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
I hope these thoughts make sense. It just crossed my mind the other day that all of this talk about prophecy and the warning that God provides His people in scripture, as well as about the way circumstances seem to be falling into line with what one would expect based on Bible prophecy, could cause one to think we are rooting for America’s downfall. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I love my country, and I love her people. I will enjoy her victories and mourn her defeats. My spirit will bask in instances of her remaining nobility, just as it will sigh and cry at her abominations (cf. Ezekiel 9:4). I will thank God for the obedience and faithfulness of Abraham and the blessings He has provided for our father’s faith, but–in the words of Thomas Jefferson–I will also “tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
I hope these comments add a proper perspective to the posts that normally appear here in this blog.
Have a great Sabbath.
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For those who haven’t read our free booklet about the modern identity of ancient Israel, you ought to check out the online version, at least: The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. Better yet, order a free booklet to be sent to you in the mail.