God never pours out His wrath without warning. First, He will send prophetic voices, and if there is no repentance, He will start sending remedial judgments. He is patient, merciful and long-suffering, but He will by no means leave rebellious sinners unpunished (Nahum 1:2-3).
Past Prophetic Voices
God began warning our nation as far back as World War II, and He has continued to send very specific warnings ever since the mid-1970s. Consider the examples below.
In 1944, Peter Marshall, the great Scottish-American preacher, sensed in his soul that our nation was heading in the wrong direction — toward a secular, pagan society. He decried our racism and growing materialism. He proclaimed, “We badly need a prophet who will have the ear of America and who will say, ‘If the Lord be God, follow Him, but if Baal be god, then follow him and go to Hell!'”
In 1974, God began answering Peter Marshall’s prayer when He started raising up a series of prophetic voices who identified our nation’s sins, called us to repentance and warned us of God’s wrath if we refused to repent. The first was David Wilkerson, a Pentecostal preacher in New York City. In his shocking book, The Vision, Wilkerson cataloged the sins of our nation and predicted they would multiply and worsen in the future. He concluded, “I believe we have passed the point of no return.”
Also, in 1974, Francis Schaeffer began work on his book and documentary film titled, How Should We Then Live? It was an in-depth study of the rise and decline of the Christian world view in Western Europe and our nation. Schaeffer spoke prophetically about our society. He said, “As the memory of the Christian consensus which gave us freedom within the biblical form increasingly is forgotten, a manipulating authoritarianism will tend to fill the vacuum.”
In 1976, God anointed a country preacher in Tupelo, Mississippi with the courage to take a stand against the cascading filth in movies and television programs. His name was Don Wildmon, and he founded what is known today at the American Family Association. Strongly denouncing the increasing secularism in America, he proclaimed: “Atheism and agnosticism, with their step-children of humanism, hedonism and materialism, may not be the official religions of our country, but they have become the accepted practical religion by many in key positions of influence.”
In 1978, the Russian author, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (who had taken up residence in the United States in 1975 after his deportation from the Soviet Union) stunned the American intelligentsia at Harvard University when he strongly condemned the moral degradation of American society. He asked, “How did the West decline from its triumphal march to its present sickness?” He answered his question by saying it had occurred by “the elevation of Man over God.”
In 1983, Solzhenitsyn delivered his most pointed speech about the spiritual decline of our nation. It was delivered in his acceptance of the Templeton Prize for his contributions “to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” He declared that our nation was in the process of making the same mistake his forefathers had made in Russia: “Men have forgotten God.”
In 1984, in his last book, The Great Evangelical Disaster, Francis Schaeffer castigated the Church itself for contributing to the demise of our nation by its failure to stand for truth, its accommodation “to the world spirit of the age” and its abandonment of belief in the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
Current Prophetic Voices
In more recent times, God has raised up more prophetic voices to our nation. I have in mind people like Erwin Lutzer, David Jeremiah, William Koenig, Jan Markell, Albert Mohler, Jr., Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, and Messianic Jewish voices like Jonathan Cahn and Michael Brown.
Over and over, through these voices and others, God has called us to repentance and warned us of impending judgment. We as a nation have turned a deaf ear to these warnings. The judgment has begun.
Because you have turned from the God who can save you — the Rock who can hide you; therefore, even though you plant a wonderful, rare crop of greatest value… yet you will never harvest it — your only harvest will be a pile of grief and incurable pain — Isaiah 17:10-11 (TLB).