Is There Any Hope for America?
One of the major prophetic voices that has emerged on the American scene in the past few years is a Messianic Jew by the name of Dr. Michael Brown. He regularly publishes essays in which he speaks out boldly about the rebellion of our nation against God’s Word. He also writes insightful essays in defense of the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
Dr. Brown, who is 64 years old, is a fascinating personality. He describes himself in his teen years as having been “a heroin-shooting, LSD-using Jewish rock drummer.”
His discovery of God’s Word led him to Jesus and a BA degree in Hebrew and an MA and Ph.D in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. Today he serves as President of the FIRE School of Ministry in Concord, North Carolina. Additionally, he is the host of a daily, nationally syndicated radio program called, “The Line of Fire.” He also hosts an apologetics television program called “Answering Your Toughest Questions.” His website can be accessed at https://askdrbrown.org.
Dr. Brown is the author of more than 30 books. One of his most recent ones is titled, Saving A Sick America (Harper Collins, 2017). This is a very thought-provoking book that is well worth reading.
Our Christian Heritage
It begins with the presentation of overwhelming and fascinating proof that our nation was rooted from the beginning in Judeo-Christian principles. He then provides anguishing statistics concerning the paganization of our nation during the 40 years between 1960 and 2000 — emphasizing not only how radical the changes have been, but also how quickly they have occurred.
But then he does something unique. He writes:
There is something even more striking than the contrast between the America of 50 years ago and the America of today. It’s the contrast between America in 1960 and America in the days of our Founding Fathers — or, even more so, in the days of the American colonies (page 13).
He then proceeds to prove his point through the presentation of exhaustive and enlightening proof. In the process he provides absolutely fascinating examples of how strong Christian values were in our nation in colonial days — and continuing through the 19th Century. His chapter titled, “The Bible in America History” is alone worth the cost of the book. All of his introductory chapters contain one priceless quote after another from the times of our Founding Fathers to the present.
The Book’s Organization
The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 is titled, “How Sick Are We?” And it will make you sick to read it. Part 2 focuses on “America’s Biblical Roots.” It will make you nostalgic for “the good old days.”
The third part is the longest. It’s the section that relates the most to both the title and the sub-title of the book: Saving A Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation. In anticipation of this section, Dr. Brown states in the book’s preface:
If you are looking for a book filled with divine optimism and hope, this book is absolutely for you, since in the pages that follow, I lay out a vision for the moral and cultural transformation of America (page iv).
This brings us to the theme of the book: “America can be great only to the extent that America is good, and for America to be good, it must recapture its biblical heritage” (page 39).
So, the major part of this book is devoted to explaining how our nation can be rescued from its decline into the dark pit of secularism and paganism.
It is at this point that I begin to differ strongly with Dr. Brown in his conclusions. His theme of America’s possible restoration is a conditional one that rests on an invalid supposition — namely, that America will “recapture its biblical heritage.” I see no possibility of that. I believe we as a nation have already passed the point of no return. In his book, Dr. Brown writes off people like me as “pessimists.” On the contrary, I consider myself to be a realist.
Dr. Brown points to the many revivals our nation has experienced in the past, and he argues that it can happen again. But those revivals occurred during times when we had become cold in our relationship with the Lord. That is no longer the case.
Today, we exist in outright rebellion against God and His Word. We have set our jaw against our Creator, and we are shaking our fist at Him — as we did when our President lit up the White House in the colors of the Sexual Perversion Movement in celebration of the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015.
How God Deals With Nations
As we will see, the Bible clearly teaches that there is a point of no return for a nation that has been greatly blessed by God.
When such a nation begins to turn its back on God, He will patiently call it to repentance through prophetic voices and remedial judgments. In my book, God’s Prophetic Voices to America, I identify 13 such prophetic voices that God has raised up in this nation — four in the past and nine in the present. And I would add Dr. Brown’s voice to that list.
As for the remedial judgments, God has showered us with them. I would point in particular to the Vietnam War, the 9/11 Attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 Stock Market Crash and the Obama Presidency. Our response to these disasters has been patriotism rather than repentance.
Despite our stubborn rebellion, God gave us a “window of grace” — as Francis Schaeffer called it in 1980 — with the election of Ronald Reagan. But as soon as he left office, we picked up where we had left off in our retreat from biblical principles. Our new President, George H. W. Bush, came into office exhilarating over the “New World Order” while forcing Israel to engage in an insane policy of appeasement. And then came the disgusting reign of the Clintons, followed by the ineptness of George W. Bush. Our retreat culminated in the Manasseh of our times — Barack Obama.
The Lord, in his grace and mercy, has given us a second “window of grace” with the miraculous election of Donald Trump. Despite his bullying with his crude and often vulgar tweets, we can rejoice over:
- His positive attitude toward Israel,
- His strong anti-abortion stance,
- His conservative appointments to our courts,
- His pro-business stimulus package,
- His support of the 2nd Amendment, and
- His enforcement of immigration laws.
Is There Any Hope for America?
But Donald Trump cannot “Make America Great Again.” Only God can do that, and you can be assured that He is not going to let that happen as long as we are shaking our collective fist at Him. God cannot bless a rebellious nation that:
- Kills over 3,000 babies per day.
- Worships the Almighty Dollar as god.
- Leads the world in the production of pornography.
- Serves as the moral polluter of our planet through its violent, immoral and blasphemous movies and television programs.
- Celebrates sexual perversion.
- Consumes more illegal drugs than any other nation.
The reason I am so convinced that this second window of grace God has given us will also prove to be temporary is due to three brutal facts we cannot ignore. Just consider that after eight years of the most ungodly administration in American history:
- President Obama left office with a 60% approval rating.
- His designated heir, Hillary Clinton, received 3 million more votes than Trump.
- And our nation’s future — the Millennials (18 to 29 year olds) — supported an out-and-out Socialist, and when he failed to get the nomination, they voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.
Even more important, consider the ignorance of God’s Word that has come to characterize both our nation and professing Christians. This ignorance is reflected in the latest polls conducted by the Barna Association which show that only 9% of Americans are Bible-believing Christians! And even more shocking, only 17% of professing Christians are truly Bible-believing Christians!
Can there be any doubt that we as Christians have lost the culture war? Again, Dr. Brown would label that conclusion as “pessimism.” I think it is realism, and I think we need to face up to it.
Furthermore, we need to keep in mind that there is a point of no return for nations. It is referred to in the Scriptures as the point at which “the wound becomes incurable.” This trigger point that motivates God to deliver a nation from judgment to destruction is revealed in the book of Nahum.
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.
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).
A Chilling Reality
This command to Jeremiah should be sobering to all of us. It illustrates 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.
God’s Pattern of Destruction
There are many Christians in our nation who refuse to believe that God will ever touch us — that He will ever allow us to be destroyed. They tend to think that God sits on His throne draped in an American flag. But, my friends, God cannot be deceived. He will not tolerate unrepented sin.
The Jews of ancient Judah thought the same thing about their nation. When Jeremiah warned them of imminent destruction, they cried out, “The Temple, the Temple” (Jeremiah 7:4), meaning they did not believe that God would ever allow anyone to destroy His Temple. But He did.
God is gracious. He is longsuffering. He warns and warns before He pours out judgment and ultimate destruction, but He will not tolerate unrepented sin.
He loves our nation. He was the One who raised it up on the foundation of His Word. He is the One who has blessed it so abundantly. He is the One who worked through us to spread the Gospel all over the world. But the Word of God says: “To those to whom much is given, much is expected” (Luke 12:48).
Again, our nation is in full-blown rebellion against God, and God is not going to tolerate it much longer. We are now in open rebellion against God — cursing Him and shaking our fist at Him and mocking His Son.
God in His grace may have decided to give us a little more breathing time, in order that more might be saved, but there is a limit to His patience.
This is exactly what He did with ancient Judah. Following the worst king in their history, King Manasseh, who ruled for 55 years, God raised up a righteous king named Josiah who reigned 31 years and led a national spiritual revival. But when Josiah was killed on the battlefield, the nation immediately fell back into its rebellious ways, and God destroyed it.
The problem was that evil had become too ingrained in the fabric of the nation.
And I believe that is where we are today. All of which brings me back to the crucial question: Is there any hope left for our nation?
My answer is, “How could there be?” We have turned our back on God and rejected the very One who gave us all our blessings.
And we need to be clear as to why that happened. It was not due to the attacks of the Secularists, the Humanists, the Atheists or the Sexual Libertarians. No, it has been due to the failure of the Church to preach the Gospel, call people to repentance and stand for righteousness. In short, the Church has sought popular approval, and in the process, it has gotten in bed with the world.
Just consider, for example, how quickly churches across America have surrendered to the demands of the Sexual Perversion Movement as they desperately seek the approval of the world.
Apostasy in the End Times
The Bible prophesies in many places that the end times will be characterized by major apostasy — and we are up to our ears in it right now. It all began in the 1920s when our seminaries were captivated by the German School of Higher Criticism which argued that the Bible is not God’s revealed Word, but instead, it is Man’s search for God and is thus filled with myths, legends, superstitions and errors.
This produced the liberal Social Gospel that soon came to characterize the mainline denominations as they focused on social and political action rather than the preaching of the Gospel. This spiritual virus has since spread to the Evangelical sector of American Christianity in the form of the Emergent Church Movement.
In the mid-20th Century, to be an Evangelical meant that the Bible was your source of authority for all beliefs and actions. Today, the term, Evangelical, has lost its meaning because there are professing Evangelicals who believe:
- The Scriptures contain errors and contradictions.
- There is no Hell.
- There are many roads to God.
- Homosexuality is a valid lifestyle.
- Evolution is the true explanation of life.
- The ultimate purpose of the Church is not the salvation of souls but the saving of our planet.
It is no wonder that our nation is wallowing in spiritual darkness and rebellion against God. And how can anyone truly believe there is any hope for our nation in the midst of such gross spiritual apostasy?
Here’s how I put it in my Prophetic Manifesto:
We have turned our back on the very God who made us great and showered us with blessings. We have forgotten that God’s Word teaches that “to those to whom much is given, much is expected” (Luke 12:47-48).
We have stubbornly set our course. We have determined to live as we please and not as God has dictated. We have chartered a course of self-destruction, and God is going to allow us to have our way.
Hope for Believers and Unbelievers
But there is good news in the midst of the growing spiritual darkness and the consequent decay of our society.
There is individual hope for those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. God has promised repeatedly in His Word that He will never forsake us. For example, in Isaiah 43, He has promised to walk with us through the fire and high water, comforting us in our sufferings and providing our needs (Isaiah 43:2-3). And consider this promise: “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
We also have the incredible hope of the Rapture of the Church when true believers will be taken out of this world in the blinking of an eye to be with Jesus forever. There is also individual hope for those who do not know Jesus. As Robert Jeffress has pointed out, when the darkness deepens, the light of Jesus will shine more brightly, like a diamond on a black cloth, and more and more people will be drawn to Jesus as their hearts are penetrated by the Gospel.
The message of the Holy Spirit for believers in these end times is twofold: Commit your lives to holiness and share the Gospel with as many people as you can, as quickly as you can.
The message of the Spirit for unbelievers is, “Jesus is coming soon. He is returning to pour out the wrath of God on those who have rejected the grace, mercy and love of God. Reach out now and receive Him in faith as your Lord and Savior before it is too late.”
Ironic Good News
I must add that there is an ironic way in which there is good news that can be derived from the collapse of civilization all around us.
It can be found in the statement of Jesus in Matthew 24:37-38 where He said His return would occur at a time when society has gone full circle back to the immorality and violence that characterized the days of Noah. In 1996, a federal judge named Robert Bork published a book about the moral drift of our nation that was titled, Slouching Towards Gomorrah.
Well, we are no longer slouching. We have arrived. And that terrible fact points to the good news that Jesus is returning soon.
In conclusion, let me say we live in the midst of an increasingly secular and evil society — a society that calls good evil and evil good. As we look around the world today, we can see that evil is multiplying. It is as if the whole world is falling to pieces.
But the truth is that from a biblical perspective, as Jan Markell has put it, the pieces are all falling into place for Jesus to return.
Which is why the great pastor, Adrian Rogers, once said, “The world is growing gloriously dark.”
As we wait for Jesus’ return, we need to realize that all of us have been desensitized to some degree by the sin that is abounding around us and to our participation in it. And thus, before we go forth to confront the evil in society, we need to face up to it in our own lives and respond in repentance. Righteousness must begin in our hearts before we challenge the unrighteousness of society.
And as we confront society, we should expect increasing hostility and persecution. But the Bible assures us that God will sustain us. Consider these words from Psalm 34:
15) The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.
16) The face of the LORD is against evildoers, To cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17) The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18) The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19) Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
22) The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
Let us, therefore, keep our eyes focused on Jesus, for He is “the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
In summary, as we await the Lord’s return, we are:
- To stand for righteousness.
- To pray for courage.
- To commit to holiness.
- To share the Gospel.
- To put our trust in Jesus and in Him alone.
And don’t forget to cry out daily, “Maranatha, Maranatha! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” (1 Corinthians 16:22).