God’s Pattern of Destruction
There are many Christians in our nation who refuse to believe that God will ever touch us — that He will ever allow us to be destroyed. They tend to think that God sits on His throne draped in an American flag. But, my friends, God cannot be deceived. He will not tolerate unrepented sin.
The Jews of ancient Judah thought the same thing about their nation. When Jeremiah warned them of imminent destruction, they cried out, “The Temple, the Temple” (Jeremiah 7:4), meaning they did not believe that God would ever allow anyone to destroy His Temple. But He did.
God is gracious. He is longsuffering. He warns and warns before He pours out judgment and ultimate destruction, but He will not tolerate unrepented sin.
He loves our nation. He was the One who raised it up on the foundation of His Word. He is the One who has blessed it so abundantly. He is the One who worked through us to spread the Gospel all over the world. But the Word of God says: “To those to whom much is given, much is expected” (Luke 12:48).
Again, our nation is in full-blown rebellion against God, and God is not going to tolerate it much longer. We are now in open rebellion against God — cursing Him and shaking our fist at Him and mocking His Son.
God in His grace may have decided to give us a little more breathing time, in order that more might be saved, but there is a limit to His patience.
This is exactly what He did with ancient Judah. Following the worst king in their history, King Manasseh, who ruled for 55 years, God raised up a righteous king named Josiah who reigned 31 years and led a national spiritual revival. But when Josiah was killed on the battlefield, the nation immediately fell back into its rebellious ways, and God destroyed it.
The problem was that evil had become too ingrained in the fabric of the nation.
And I believe that is where we are today. All of which brings me back to the crucial question: Is there any hope left for our nation?
My answer is, “How could there be?” We have turned our back on God and rejected the very One who gave us all our blessings.
And we need to be clear as to why that happened. It was not due to the attacks of the Secularists, the Humanists, the Atheists or the Sexual Libertarians. No, it has been due to the failure of the Church to preach the Gospel, call people to repentance and stand for righteousness. In short, the Church has sought popular approval, and in the process, it has gotten in bed with the world.
Just consider, for example, how quickly churches across America have surrendered to the demands of the Sexual Perversion Movement as they desperately seek the approval of the world.
Apostasy in the End Times
The Bible prophesies in many places that the end times will be characterized by major apostasy — and we are up to our ears in it right now. It all began in the 1920s when our seminaries were captivated by the German School of Higher Criticism which argued that the Bible is not God’s revealed Word, but instead, it is Man’s search for God and is thus filled with myths, legends, superstitions and errors.
This produced the liberal Social Gospel that soon came to characterize the mainline denominations as they focused on social and political action rather than the preaching of the Gospel. This spiritual virus has since spread to the Evangelical sector of American Christianity in the form of the Emergent Church Movement.
In the mid-20th Century, to be an Evangelical meant that the Bible was your source of authority for all beliefs and actions. Today, the term, Evangelical, has lost its meaning because there are professing Evangelicals who believe:
- The Scriptures contain errors and contradictions.
- There is no Hell.
- There are many roads to God.
- Homosexuality is a valid lifestyle.
- Evolution is the true explanation of life.
- The ultimate purpose of the Church is not the salvation of souls but the saving of our planet.
It is no wonder that our nation is wallowing in spiritual darkness and rebellion against God. And how can anyone truly believe there is any hope for our nation in the midst of such gross spiritual apostasy?
Here’s how I put it in my Prophetic Manifesto:
We have turned our back on the very God who made us great and showered us with blessings. We have forgotten that God’s Word teaches that “to those to whom much is given, much is expected” (Luke 12:47-48).
We have stubbornly set our course. We have determined to live as we please and not as God has dictated. We have chartered a course of self-destruction, and God is going to allow us to have our way.
Hope for Believers and Unbelievers
But there is good news in the midst of the growing spiritual darkness and the consequent decay of our society.
There is individual hope for those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. God has promised repeatedly in His Word that He will never forsake us. For example, in Isaiah 43, He has promised to walk with us through the fire and high water, comforting us in our sufferings and providing our needs (Isaiah 43:2-3). And consider this promise: “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
We also have the incredible hope of the Rapture of the Church when true believers will be taken out of this world in the blinking of an eye to be with Jesus forever. There is also individual hope for those who do not know Jesus. As Robert Jeffress has pointed out, when the darkness deepens, the light of Jesus will shine more brightly, like a diamond on a black cloth, and more and more people will be drawn to Jesus as their hearts are penetrated by the Gospel.
The message of the Holy Spirit for believers in these end times is twofold: Commit your lives to holiness and share the Gospel with as many people as you can, as quickly as you can.
The message of the Spirit for unbelievers is, “Jesus is coming soon. He is returning to pour out the wrath of God on those who have rejected the grace, mercy and love of God. Reach out now and receive Him in faith as your Lord and Savior before it is too late.”
Ironic Good News
I must add that there is an ironic way in which there is good news that can be derived from the collapse of civilization all around us.
It can be found in the statement of Jesus in Matthew 24:37-38 where He said His return would occur at a time when society has gone full circle back to the immorality and violence that characterized the days of Noah. In 1996, a federal judge named Robert Bork published a book about the moral drift of our nation that was titled, Slouching Towards Gomorrah.
Well, we are no longer slouching. We have arrived. And that terrible fact points to the good news that Jesus is returning soon.
In conclusion, let me say we live in the midst of an increasingly secular and evil society — a society that calls good evil and evil good. As we look around the world today, we can see that evil is multiplying. It is as if the whole world is falling to pieces.
But the truth is that from a biblical perspective, as Jan Markell has put it, the pieces are all falling into place for Jesus to return.
Which is why the great pastor, Adrian Rogers, once said, “The world is growing gloriously dark.”
As we wait for Jesus’ return, we need to realize that all of us have been desensitized to some degree by the sin that is abounding around us and to our participation in it. And thus, before we go forth to confront the evil in society, we need to face up to it in our own lives and respond in repentance. Righteousness must begin in our hearts before we challenge the unrighteousness of society.
And as we confront society, we should expect increasing hostility and persecution. But the Bible assures us that God will sustain us. Consider these words from Psalm 34:
15) The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.
16) The face of the LORD is against evildoers, To cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17) The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18) The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19) Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
22) The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
Let us, therefore, keep our eyes focused on Jesus, for He is “the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
In summary, as we await the Lord’s return, we are:
- To stand for righteousness.
- To pray for courage.
- To commit to holiness.
- To share the Gospel.
- To put our trust in Jesus and in Him alone.
And don’t forget to cry out daily, “Maranatha, Maranatha! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” (1 Corinthians 16:22).