The Decay of Society: A Biblical Type of America
By Dr. David R. Reagan
Our prophetic type in the Bible is the nation of Judah. If you want to read about America in Bible prophecy, read Isaiah 5 and Jeremiah 5 and 6. These two prophets list the sins that motivated God to destroy that nation. The sobering reality is that they are the same sins that characterize America today.
Isaiah speaks of injustice, greed, pleasure seeking, blasphemy, moral perversion, intellectual pride, intemperance, and political corruption. Regarding moral perversion, Isaiah says people were "calling evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20). That's precisely what we are doing in America today regarding abortion, homosexuality and gambling. Isaiah sums up the root of his nation's decay (and America's) by asserting, "They have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 5:24).
Jeremiah, writing about 75 years later (God is so patient!), lists the same sins as still prevailing in the land. But he adds some new ones to the list: immorality and religious corruption. His summary statements are very revealing:
"They have made their faces harder than rock" (Jeremiah 5:3).
"They have refused to repent" (Jeremiah 5:3).
"This people has a stubborn and rebellious heart" (Jeremiah 5:23).
"They do not even know how to blush" (Jeremiah 6:15).
God destroyed this nation. Why would He deal any differently with a modern day clone? God "is the same yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Or, as it is stated in Malachi 3:6, "I, the Lord do not change."
As America descends further into a moral abyss, Christians are going to come under increasing attack. Already society has written off evangelical Christians as "intolerant bigots" because they are the only ones speaking out today in behalf of righteousness.
The media have declared open season on Christians. Christianity, the Bible and Jesus are openly mocked in movies, books, television programs and the arts. Similar attacks on blacks, homosexuals, Jews, or even Muslims would not be tolerated. But everything sacred to Christians can be trampled. There is no escaping the fact that we are in the midst of a culture war in America. The forces of paganism, secularism, atheism and humanism have launched an all-out attack on Judeo-Christian values.
The two sides in this war were well represented in the responses to the Columbine High School massacre in the spring of 1999.
Speaking from a Judeo-Christian perspective, Billy Graham said:9
I agree with those who have remarked that the problem is not guns. Rather, it is the hearts of people which need to be changed. I would add that only God can change our hearts. That is the reason Jesus said, "You must be born again." Only God can give us a new nature that is demonstrated by love.
Speaking from the pagan perspective, Howard Stern, the radio "shock-jock" said:10
There were some really good-looking girls running out with their hands over their heads. Did those kids [the killers] try to have sex with any of the good-looking girls? They didn't even do that? At least if you're going to kill yourself and kill all the kids, why wouldn't you have some sex?
A Double Standard
As the culture war intensifies, the press is practicing a double standard. For example, when reporting acts of violence against blacks, homosexuals or Jews, the deeds are instantly categorized as "hate crimes." But with regard to the acts of violence specifically aimed at Christians, these are written off as "random acts of violence."
Nationwide, people are being discriminated against in job hirings and promotions simply because they are Christians, something that would have been unthinkable in this country just a few years ago. Churches are being harassed as never before by zoning boards and building inspectors.
The situation is going to get worse rather than better. Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them just as it hated Him (John 15:18-19). Jesus also prophesied that in the end times, right before His return, all true believers would be hated on account of His name and would be persecuted (Matthew 24:9). The only reason more professing Christians are not being persecuted today is because most have become so compromised by the world that it would be hard to find enough evidence to convict them of being Christians!
The Prospect of Suffering
In addition to specific persecution, we as Christians face the suffering that is going to engulf our nation if Jesus tarries and delays His return until after America is judged for its rebellion. When God judges a nation, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Believers are not immune to the suffering, but they are promised that God will walk with them through the suffering and sustain them. As God got ready to destroy Judah, He spoke reassuring words to the true believers in the land (Isaiah 43:2-3):
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, Your Savior.
Many of the believers who heard these words suffered terribly from the long siege of Jerusalem. Many were carried into captivity. But the Lord was always there to encourage them and to see to it that their basic needs were met.
As those of us who are Christians face both focused persecution and generalized suffering, how then should we live? How can we live victorious lives in the midst of societal chaos? How can we endure persecution and suffering? How can we remain faithful to the Lord? Are we to withdraw from the world? Are we to arm ourselves, flee to the wilderness, and hunker down in bunkers?
No! A thousand times, No! We are to stand up for Jesus and speak out for righteousness.