We’re in deep doo-doo
If you had a choice of how America will be judged for all the evil things done and being done here, what would it be? Here are some possibilities:
- military conquest by a ruthless, dictatorial nation
- annihilation in a nuclear war
- a nationwide, deadly epidemic
- an enormous asteroid colliding with earth in the middle of the Great Plains
- an invasion of menacing aliens
Which seems the least cataclysmic to you? There are other possible modes of divinely decreed destruction, but if God allowed us to choose from these five options, which would you prefer? That may seem like a ridiculous suggestion…God giving us a choice of how to punish us…but the Bible actually records an instance when he did just that. You can read about it here.
Based on other things the Bible records, I think it’s safe to say that, unless we experience another Great Awakening, however and whenever judgment comes, it will come. Someday. Though there is much good being done in these United States, and many faithful believers living lives “worthy of the Lord,” I am quite certain that if we saw all the evil that God sees, including within our own circle of family and friends, it would stagger and stun us.
So here’s another list.
- sexual molestation of children
- production and consumption of pornography
- sexual immorality
- abandonment of children by their fathers
- racist prejudging
- breaking of marriage vows
- perpetrating falsehoods
- neglecting to give children the stable, loving home they need because of selfish desires
This is a non-comprehensive list of evils committed daily by millions in this country alone. It doesn’t even include murder, physical assault, theft, and other crimes. Most of us clearly see the legitimacy of divine judgment on ruthless, murderous groups like ISIS that hack off the heads of their captives, but is the repeated sexual abuse of a seven-year-old girl any less evil? I think not.
And many if not most of us would rejoice to witness a gigantic fireball from heaven nosedive into the desert hideout where ISIS is holding its annual convention. We know they deserve judgment, and our sense of justice mandates it. But what many if not most of us don’t know is that as great as America is and has been, we deserve it too. We may not produce ruthless, brazen, and suicidal terrorist groups or allow government-led mass killings or starvations, still our society is saturated with evils less dramatic but just as ugly. And we certainly have plenty who harbor the kind of hatred motivating the evil deeds. And didn’t someone in the Gospels equate hatred with murder?
So there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that the stench of evil is quickly overpowering the aroma of good, and we deserve God’s judgment. The good news is that he is merciful and may relent if we repent. The story of Jonah is not primarily about him being swallowed by a whale and regurgitated after three days. It’s about how God loved the unrighteous people of Ninevah enough to send Jonah to warn them of impending doom if they didn’t change their ways. And how they did, and he didn’t. Go through with his threatened judgment, that is.
God help us to hear and believe the Jonahs of our day.
Caroline, I’m not much into studying eschatology but I do believe some type of cataclysmic world event will motivate people en masse to turn to the antichrist. I always have in mind #4, an asteroid hit, but 1 through 4 are all possibilities. Also, scientists are now estimating the limits of the world’s supply of drinkable water and oil reserves.
I think we had some discussions a long time ago around this. I don’t think in terms of nations collectively following God as was once very popular. Brits certainly once thought of their country as a “Christian nation” blessed by God with a vast empire, although few in that nation would think in those terms today. The view that America was a Christian nation was ingrained via pastors and politicians and was dependent on the conflation of church and state. To some degree, there was a misapplication of Old Testament Scripture meant strictly for Israel. Given the rapid “secularization” of the country, I believe we have to concentrate on reaching individual souls with the Gospel rather than focusing on legislating morality (e.g., Jerry Falwell) and hoping for a collective national “return” to Christ.
I’m not trying to be quarrelsome. I fully realize my views aren’t the norm among evangelicals in America. But I don’t think we can talk in terms of Americans being collectively blessed or cursed any longer. What percentage of Americans are genuine believers these days? I imagine it’s a much smaller percentage than the churched would assume. Anyway, thanks for the post! Good grist for the mill.
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Thanks for your comments, Tom. I agree that “reaching individual souls” is what will turn the country around, and that’s the end goal of my blog. But I think at the same time we should be actively involved in upholding, and legislating, traditional morality because conforming to God’s will is his ultimate desire for all of us. And I do believe, because the Bible gives us examples of this, that God may delay a judgment if enough people are awakened to their sin and dire predicament.
I think of how God told Abraham he wouldn’t destroy Sodom if even 10 righteous people were found there. And his relenting of the judgment on Ninevah mentioned in this post. I seem to recall other examples as well, but I’m not sure where to find them.
I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I’m looking forward to meeting you in heaven someday!
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Yup, I had in mind some of those OT passages that seem to contradict my argument as I was writing my comment. I don’t have a good answer other than the NT doesn’t seem to emphasize the collective faith/beliefs of a city/nation/kingdom/people the way the OT does although I think it’s safe to say the vast majority of those references to collective faith are in regard to the Lord’s covenant relationship with Israel. I’d like to see a good examination of this topic.
Thanks and I’ll be looking forward to our meeting in heaven as well!
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It’s sad that far too many people that identify as Christians are not really God-abiding people. Of course, we all sin, but there are too many “Christians” that choose to engage in sin (from your list and more) on a regular basis. We have a son that has turned away from his faith because he says he can’t tolerate the hypocrisy he sees within the church. Of course, there is more going on with him, but he has a legitimate complaint. I pray for an awakening for Christians as well as the un-saved, that we all turn toward really following God and doing our best to live righteously in him. Thank you Caroline.
Bad and pseudo-Christians have done so much damage to the spread of God’s kingdom. I’m sorry your son was so impacted by them. Does he have intellectual barriers to Christianity as well? There are so many good resources for the defense of Christianity that make it difficult to reject on a purely intellectual or evidential basis. But many reject Christ for emotional or volitional reasons instead. Those are harder to persuade.