America is in grave danger on three counts. I will describe the first two briefly since they confront you every day.
We are in danger of internal collapse. Recently I read an article indicating that a major part of the unemployment problem is that a large segment of Americans is too addicted to drugs to work. One employer said that half of the applicants for a certain job either did not show up for the drug test or failed it. I encountered an article yesterday indicating that the number of children in foster care North Carolina has increased by 40% since 2012 due primarily to opioid use.
Though this increase primary entails the use of hard drugs, the legalization of marijuana by some states hardly constitutes a rational response, which leads us to another problem that is promoting internal collapse—the American abandonment of reason. Like President Trump or hate him, a rational analysis leads to the conclusion that most if not all of his initiatives would promote the welfare of America: lower taxes, replacement of ObamaCare, strengthening of the military, energy independence, etc. Yet, all but a very small segment of the powerbrokers in our nation are vehemently opposing him. Other considerations are given precedence over reason.
Virtually countless other factors could be listed that expose American cultural rot, which is leading to our societal demise.
External challenges make our future look equally as bleak. China continues to expand its military capabilities, Russia is becoming more belligerent, Iran, enabled financially by Obama, threatens to destroy us, and North Korea continues to develop its weaponry, presenting a clear and present danger. Reports across the past 24 hours indicate that this latter threat is imminent and serious. In addition, we are exposed to attack by an electromagnetic pulse bomb. Our power grid is vulnerable to enemy destruction. An assault of this type could quickly put us in an economic tailspin, resulting in widespread starvation, riots, and other disasters. Our experience of peace and safety inoculates us against the reality that our way of life could be terminated at almost any moment.
The third and greatest threat, and one most Americans, including most evangelicals, are unaware consists of the judgment of God. Jeremiah, living in the kingdom of Judah during times in many ways paralleling contemporary America, prophecies frequently of the wrath of God about the fall on the nation. For example, Jeremiah 7:20 warns,
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.
In Jeremiah 21:5-6 the Lord exhorts the people of Judah:
I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger and in fury and in great wrath. And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence.
America has offended God in virtually countless ways. After God has blessed us above any nation in all of history we have shown our thanks by removing His Word from schools and Scripture from the public square, we have not only violated His commandments but also used our influence to promote wickedness around the globe, we have killed our unborn children by the millions, we have made lying a way of life, we fund universities that do all within their power to reject God and teach our children to do so, and so the list could go on.
If God conveyed the great hostility expressed by Jeremiah toward His covenant people in the Old Testament, how much more might we expect He will do the same toward America? This realization should be a concern on any count, but especially so in view of the internal and external power kegs described above on which America sits, which any spark could ignite.
What should be the response of God’s people in light of the precariousness of our existence?
One would think that American pulpits would be warning God’s people of the danger of judgment. In most churches on a given Sunday morning you will hear the love of God mentioned at least several dozen times, but you would have to attend for a month of Sundays before hearing any warning regarding God’s wrath and judgment. You will be assured of God’s unconditional acceptance despite verses such as Jeremiah 12:8, “My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her.” Continually stressing the love of God while totally ignoring His wrath and judgment, especially in the face of our national wickedness, might be viewed as theological malpractice.
During times when we might anticipate the wrath of God, one would think that when we meet together on Sunday morning we would spend time on our faces before God seeking His forgiveness and mercy and asking His healing, beginning with His church. Instead, we sing our happy songs and clap as if everything is okay. This response is understandable because evangelicals have been told that they need not literally fear the Lord, despite many passages indicating that we should.
Unless pastors begin to warn of impending judgment and God’s people begin to pray for His compassion and restoration, we can anticipate the same outcome experienced by Judah, the one prophesied in Jeremiah 11:11,
Therefore, thus says the LORD, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.