America’s Final Years

The Death of a Nation

By Dr. David R. Reagan

America

[read in Lamplighter (pdf)]

Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again!” He claims he can do that because he is “The Great Deal Maker.” He promises to create jobs, stop illegal immigration, bring American corporations back home and rebuild our military.

It sounds great, but there is no way he can succeed. The reason is simple. We as a nation have turned our back on God. We are in the process of thumbing our nose at the very One who made our nation the greatest one the world has ever known.

The Origin of a Slogan

The “shining city upon a hill” has become a darkened slum whose light has gone out.

The characterization of America as the “shining city upon a hill” has been traced to the Puritan leader, John Winthrop. He used the phrase in a sermon he delivered in 1630 on the ship Arbella while it was en route to the New World. He told his future Massachusetts Bay colonists that their new community would be “as a city upon a hill,” that would be watched by the world. It was one of the earliest examples of what would come to be known as the concept of “American Exceptionalism.”

The concept proved to be true as God poured out His blessings on the fledgling new nation. America became a shining example of freedom, prosperity and hope. People came from all over the world seeking an opportunity to escape from tyranny and poverty. And Americans responded to their blessings by sending out Christian missionaries all over the world and by printing and distributing Bibles in many languages.

As the 20th Century dawned, we became the “Arsenal of Democracy” as we came to the rescue of Europe in World War I and then fought in both Asia and Europe during World War II to defend the world against German and Japanese Fascism. By the end of the Second World War, we were the dominant power in the world.

America

But at the height of our glory, we took our eyes off God and began to revel in the pride of our accomplishments. The decade of the 60s proved to be the turning point as we thrust aside God’s Word and launched a sexual revolution. The free grace of God was surrendered to the free love of Man. Then came the plague of homosexuality which ultimately led to the abomination of same–sex marriage.

The Judicial Assault

Meanwhile, our Supreme Court became determined to secularize our nation. Whereas the Court had ruled in 1892 (in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States) that “this is a Christian nation,” in the last half of the 20th Century, the Court made several crucial decisions designed to put a wall of separation between Christianity and society.

Prior to the mid–20th Century, the ruling principle had been separation of church and state, in the sense that there could be no official state church. But the Court suddenly began to interpret the Constitution to mean there must be a separation of religion from the state. The crucial decisions were as follows:

  1. Engel v. Vitale in 1962 — The Court outlawed prayer in the public schools.
  2. Roe v. Wade in 1973 — The Court legalized abortion.
  3. Stone v. Graham in 1980 — The Court outlawed the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools.
  4. Lawrence and Garner v. the State of Texas in 2003 — The Court struck down anti–sodomy laws and thus legalized homosexual behavior.
  5. Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 — The Court legalized samesex marriage.

The Court, in effect, declared war on the Judeo–Christian heritage of our nation which is the reason we became “a shining city on a hill.” The clear intent of the Court was made plain in its declared reasoning for outlawing the posting of the Ten Commandments:

If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps venerate and obey the Commandments. This is not a permissible state objective under the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Unbelievable! The Ten Commandments have served as the cornerstone of Western civilization and law, and yet our children are denied exposure to them on the basis that they might obey them!

It is illuminating to consider the fact that ever since prayer and the Ten Commandments were banned from our schools, our educational institutions have become jungles of violence.

One Nation Under God by Jon McNaughton

“One Nation Under God” by Jon McNaughton.
For a detailed explanation of every aspect of this remarkable painting, see: http://jonmcnaughton.com/content/ZoomDetailPages/OneNationUnderGod.html.

Rampant Apostasy

Meanwhile, The Church began adapting to the paganization of our nation as it sought the approval of society. So–called Evangelical leaders launched the Emergent Church Movement which is designed to bring about a Second Reformation by abandoning the authority of the Bible, elevating the importance of feelings and denying the existence of absolute truths.

Concurrently, the Seeker–Friendly Movement sought to downplay the offensive nature of the Gospel by camouflaging the Church as a social organization designed to provide entertainment and social services.

The overall result was the abandonment of biblical preaching in favor of warmed–over inspirational talks from the Reader’s Digest. Church members were rendered biblically ignorant, and thus they became sitting ducks for all sorts of apostasy. Before long, Christians were embracing homosexuality, same–sex marriage, gambling and even abortion. And churches began to ordain practicing homosexuals and persons who did not even believe in the deity of Jesus.

In summary, the Church got in bed with the world, and it ceased to have any meaningful impact on society — all of which contributed to the acceleration of the secularization and paganization of our society.

The irony is that none of this seemed to placate the haters of Christianity. In fact, as they witnessed Church leaders giving in to their demands, they lost all respect for them and started accelerating their demands. Whereas the Judeo–Christian faith had always been the foundation of American society, by the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, it had been abandoned in favor of a Humanist and Hedonistic culture.

The Significance of Rebellion

What the vast majority of Americans do not understand is that when a nation that is favored with God’s blessings decides to rebel against the One that has blessed it, there are severe consequences that will result because “to those to whom much is given, much is expected” (Luke 12:48).

The average American voter today seems interested only in the economy and jobs. There appears to be little, if any, interest in social and moral issues like abortion and sexual perversion, but God is very interested. He is a God of righteousness and holiness, and He will not stand idly by when a society wallows in sexual perversion and spills the blood of the innocent.

That’s why Donald Trump, or any other politician, cannot promise to improve the economy and create more jobs. God will not allow it as long as we are rebelling against Him.

God in His grace and mercy has sent prophetic voices to call this nation to repentance — voices like Dave Wilkerson, David Jeremiah and Franklin Graham. But we have shut our ears to their pleas for repentance, and so God has also sent remedial judgments like the Vietnam War, the 9/11 terrorists attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

But we have stiffened our resistance to God and have dug in our heels, determined to have our own way.

The Tipping Point

Now it appears that we have reached the point of no return. Be assured that there is such a point. Romans 1:18–28 explains it in detail.

This passage of Scripture tells us that when a nation commits itself to ungodliness and unrighteousness, it provokes the wrath of God (verse 18). It then reveals that God’s first step is to lower the hedge of protection around the nation, allowing a sexual revolution to break out (verses 24–25). This occurred in our nation in the decade of the 1960s.

If this does not prompt repentance, then God will take a second step back, lower the hedge further, and a plague of homosexuality will be inflicted (verses 26–27), as happened in our nation in the 1980s.

If the nation persists in its rebellion, God will take a third and final step back, lower the hedge again, and the nation will be delivered over to a “depraved mind” (verse 28). That is where we are now as our national government tries to force us to provide transgender restrooms.

Just think for a moment about the insanity of this new pagan demand. Transgenders are mentally ill people who are delusional, like a person who thinks he is Napoleon or Elvis. Instead of trying to get them mental and spiritual help, our society has decided that their insanity must be applauded and enforced upon all of us.

There is a point at which God delivers a rebellious society from judgment to destruction. The Bible reveals that God will destroy a nation when its rebellion reaches a point of no return. The trigger point that motivates God to deliver a nation from judgment to destruction is revealed in the book of Nahum.

Patrick Henry

The prophet Nahum came on the scene 150 years after Jonah. Like Jonah, he was called of God to preach to Nineveh. But, unlike Jonah, he was not sent to call the people to repentance. Rather, he was told to inform them that the time had arrived for their destruction. This warning was in accordance with God’s character, for He never pours out His wrath without warning.

In Nahum 1:11 God reveals the reason for His unalterable decision to destroy the city and its empire: “From you has gone forth one who plotted evil against the Lord, a wicked counselor.” Thus, the trigger point of God’s wrath is when neglect or rejection of Him turns to war against Him. In response, God declared, “Your wound is incurable” (Nahum 3:19). In short, their fate was sealed.

John Adams

A contemporary of Nahum’s, the prophet Jeremiah, spoke of the same principle regarding God’s relationship to Judah. He proclaimed that the nation’s wound was “incurable” (Jeremiah 30:12). He added, “There is no one to plead your cause, no healing for your sore, no recovery for you” (Jeremiah 30:13).

The Point of No Return

One chilling point is that the Bible teaches that when a nation reaches this point of no return — this point where “the wound becomes incurable” — prayer is no longer of any avail. Thus, Jeremiah was told by God that he was not to pray for the deliverance of Judah! “Do not pray for this people, and do not lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you” (Jeremiah 7:16). Later, God made this same point again in even stronger terms: “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go!” (Jeremiah 15:1).

Ezekiel was told the same thing when he tried to pray for Judah, but in even stronger terms. God named three of the most righteous men who had ever lived — Job, Noah, and Daniel — and He told Ezekiel that even their prayers could not deliver the nation from His wrath (Ezekiel 14:12–21). “I have set My face against them,” the Lord concluded (Ezekiel 15:7).

God is patient and longsuffering. But He cannot be mocked. “Whatever you devise against the Lord, He will make a complete end of it” (Nahum 1:9). God will ultimately deal with the sin of every nation. “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Nahum 1:3). Some nations will be destroyed before the Great Tribulation begins, but all nations will taste God’s wrath during that terrible period of international judgment.

America’s Current Position

I believe our nation has reached the point of no return. We have the blood of 54 million aborted babies on our hands. We are polluting the world with our violent, immoral and blasphemous television programs and movies. We have become obsessed with sex, and we are hooked on drugs.

John Quincy Adams

To illustrate how bad the situation is, let me share with you the story of a prayer. The story began in 1995 when a great prayer was written by Bob Russell who, at the time, was pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, one of our nation’s largest churches. The prayer was written in response to an invitation to pray at a breakfast hosted by the Governor of Kentucky.

A year later on January 23, 1996, Joe Wright, who at the time was pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas, decided to deliver the same prayer, with some minor changes, before the House of Representatives of the Kansas Legislature. It garnered nationwide attention when the Democrat leaders in the legislature called a press conference and condemned the prayer! Later, when it was read by Paul Harvey on his radio program, it prompted the largest response in the history of the program as thousands wrote in requesting copies of the prayer.

Here is the prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask Your forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we’ve done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it “moral pluralism.” We have worshiped other gods and called it “multi–culturalism.”

We have endorsed perversion and called it “an alternative lifestyle.”

We have exploited the poor and called it “the lottery.”

We have neglected the needy and called it “self– preservation.”

We have rewarded laziness and called it “welfare.”

We have killed our unborn and called it “freedom of choice.”

We have shot abortionists and called it “justifiable.”

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it “building esteem.”

We have abused power and called it “political savvy.”

We have coveted our neighbors’ possessions and called it “ambition.”

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it “freedom of expression.”

We have ridiculed the time–honored values of our forefathers and called it “enlightenment.”

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas and who have been ordained by You to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule, and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will.

I ask this in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Can you imagine political leaders publicly condemning such a prayer? And that was over 20 years ago! Since that time, our nation’s moral deterioration has greatly accelerated.

I believe we have reached the point where evil has become so entwined in the fabric of our nation that “our wound has become incurable.” I see no hope for us because we have turned our back on our only Hope — the Lord Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

The “city on a hill” is no longer sending forth any light. This point was emphasized by Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn of New Jersey in the sermon he delivered at the Presidential Inauguration Breakfast in 2013 (which President Obama skipped). Here’s what he had to say: The “city on a hill” has grown dark. Its lamp has grown dim. Its glory is fading. For God is not mocked. No nation can war against the very source of its blessings and expect those blessings to remain. And as it was with ancient Israel, the city on the hill now stands under the shadow of judgment.

If we end up in the next election having to choose between a dishonest, power–hungry Jezebel and an ego–maniacal, guttermouth Clown, it will be because God has given us the kind of leaders we deserve.

In the meantime, let’s pray earnestly for the Rapture.

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