How true yet stinging do Terry’s words ring?
Remember, the darker it gets, the brighter and farther our little light shines!
Maranatha, Lord come quickly!
This week for the “Nearing Midnight” column, I’ve chosen to use a small portion of a chapter I wrote for a book of chapters with colleagues. It is from the book: Blood on the Altar: The Coming War between Christian Vs. Christian (Defender Publishing, 2014).
I believe this is a message the body of Christ–the true church—needs to understand in these ominous times.
The latter part of the twentieth century brought profound changes to this once more morally anchored nation. Regardless of some of the less savory facts that have been brought out in recent times concerning America’s founding, this nation has truly been an experiment in principle based upon biblical precepts.
The year 1963, with Supreme Court decisions determined to try to remove God from public schools, proved to be a pivotal point in the slide toward oblivion that is even now picking up speed. Let’s have a brief review of the early part of that stunning century.
My research in writing the book The American Apocalypse: Is the United States in Bible Prophecy? (Harvest House, 2009) took me back to God’s harsh dealing with America in the 1930s. The things Americans suffered were considered by preachers and politicians alike to be God’s wrath and judgment.
One well-known writer, John Steinbeck, even gave his famous novel on that depressed time in America the title The Grapes of Wrath. America had gone through a tremendous time of growth and relative prosperity during the “Gay Nineties.” (For the younger readers, it had nothing to do with the Clinton years, nor with homosexuality. It was the 1890s, and the term “gay” still enjoyed its proper definition.)
Despite the early 1900s bringing about World War I, the nation leaped forward, and soon the “Roaring Twenties” brought forth the flappers and boisterous, even debauched, “good times.” Reformers tried to squash the hedonism, and with the passage of the 18th Amendment instituted prohibition against alcohol manufacture, sale, and transportation. The action only increased rebellion against morality. American gangsters took over, and illegal booze, gambling, and every other type of nefarious activity permeated culture and society.
Then in 1929 came the stock market crash in the United States, and worldwide depression quickly followed. The wrath of God had fallen!
Or had it?
No, it had not. Neither had His judgment against America’s sin fallen upon the nation, thus affecting the world—not in the sense of God’s great judgment that came upon the antediluvians, the wicked, violent, even genetically corrupted earth dwellers of Noah’s day. But God’s mighty hand of correction through the Great Depression and the horrendous “Dust Bowl” era came down hard on the backside of this nation He so manifestly chose to accomplish great things for His great purposes. Those things would include, in particular: 1) developing the technologies that would spread the gospel around the entire world; and 2) acting as midwife for the birth of modern Israel on May 14, 1948, and to become the Jewish peoples’ closest ally—an ally that just happened to soon become the most materially blessed, most powerful, and most influential nation the world has ever known.
America, despite the Great Depression and war that took thousands of young American lives, came to know a standard of living and pleasures—both unsullied and debauched—like no generation of any people in history. The thing to keep in mind is that during all of that degeneration of America and the corrective measures the Lord was employing, Christianity stood firm. The church—the “born again”—faced up to those efforts to totally debauch this United States of America. The Billy Sundays—the great evangelists—were anchors in the pulpits of the nation, as were a vast number of genuine Christians in the pews across the land. Even a casual perusal of the national landscape of morality today evokes the question: Is there such resistance to evil in these troubling days?
Today, other profoundly disturbing questions to ponder are: Will God choose to again correct this special nation called America? Or, will He take His hand off to an extent, allowing the U.S. to find its own way, which is what the majority of the electorate seems to want?
I get email daily from people who fear this nation will now feel the Lord’s hand of wrath. The die is cast, as one of Shakespeare’s characters said. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that “judgment-and-wrath-are-about-to-fall” opinion, at least not in the immediate near term the way many who send the fear-filled emails believe. Nonetheless, God’s wrath is building. It will be unleashed when the “prince that shall come” confirms the covenant with Israel and Israel’s antagonists (Daniel 9:26–27).
That pouring out of God’s anger won’t happen until the church is removed. However, there is almost certainly a heavenly decision that has already been made, and is even now in the process of implementation. It is likely the decision to either take corrective measures as in God’s past dealings with America in order to get this nation back on the moral course to complete its work in His grand prophetic design, or to give rebellious masses what they more and more demonstrate they demand. They demand freedom to choose what is right in their own eyes.
God’s decision to take His hand off to some extent would be far more fearful than His again taking corrective action like world economic depression. To let the rebels do what is right in their own eyes, thus casting God away from any semblance of divine guidance, means America’s work is done. That is indeed a frightening thing to contemplate.
Much of what happens next is dependent upon the true Christian church—born-again believers. How we choose to confront evil might well determine our nation’s—even the world’s—immediate fate.
I must say that I, with reverential consideration, don’t expect immediate meltdown and correction from Almighty God. I believe with all that is within me that He has been demonstrating corrective movements over the past years and months—movements that have gone unheeded by even the majority of His people. These have chosen to bury their heads in the sands of watered-down messages that have practically no relevance to God’s message of doctrinal truth. Rather than revival, there have been false, emotional outbursts that have done disservice to the Lord who purchased each and every one who has been born again. It seems to me that the church’s work, like that of America, has almost run its course.
Dave Hunt once wrote a book called Peace, Prosperity, and the Coming Holocaust. His basic premise was that this fallen world system, and particularly the United States and even the church, would be drawn ever deeper into believing in humanistic salvation by seeming peace and prosperity. He demonstrated, then, through historical precedent and Bible prophecy both past and yet to come, that the world of fallen man will at a future time of unprecedented evil activity on earth endure a holocaust far worse than that perpetrated by Adolf Hitler. The end will bring, he concluded, God’s wrath and judgment on an incorrigibly wicked world.
I believe America and the world can yet have another burst of so-called peace and prosperity—although I see it as highly unlikely. The “change” the country and the world are clamoring for through trust in human governmental entities rather than God’s moral governance will certainly, if not rejected, as my friend Dave Hunt wrote, swiftly bring the holocaust of the Tribulation.
Let us, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, pray for the president—even when it seems to do no good—and for all governmental leaders, so that we might lead peaceful lives. This is commanded of us by the Lord. But, let us work to complete whatever He puts in front of us to do for the kingdom. Let us, as Oswald Chambers entitled his book of devotions, do “our utmost for His highest” while our fleeting time remains upon this fallen sphere.
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In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile. He writes:
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5
What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law. But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved. It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.