Sunday, August 14, 2016

Judging America

"For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.’ " Jeremiah 30:11  NKJV

A question on the minds of many people today is when and how will god judge America for its sins.  You will, of course, notice that I did not say “if” as part of the question.  The one thing I believe most all true believers could agree on today is the fact that this nation is not only ripe for judgment, it’s well deserving of it.  The actions taken in the past few years have made it clear that the Word of God is not the standard by which decisions have, and are, being made by our leaders.  God’s laws are being totally ignored and His words to us are being thrown out as irrelevant, ignorant, and outdated.  If ever a nation deserved God’s judgment, I believe most of us would not argue America today should be found at the top of the list.

Should anyone question the possibility of God’s judgment falling on America, I would simply point out this verse from Jeremiah as an example of what to expect.  The very first sentence tells us that God intends to make a “full end” of all of the nations where the scattered Jews have lived since the diaspora began in 70 AD.  The phrase full end is the Hebrew word “kalah” and means literally “completion, termination, full end, complete destruction, consumption, annihilation”.  Now that definition sounds a lot to me, and many others, like the sort of judgment this country deserves after some of the decisions we have seen made in the past few years, and with America being home to one of the largest population of Jews outside of Israel, we certainly qualify. 

“And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the LORD."  Ezekiel 39:6  NJKV

If we accept that premise then we are left with our original question concerning the “when and how” of the judgment we are to receive.  Let us first look at the “how” part of God’s judgment and see how relevant it might be for our situation today.  The phrase “send fire” in the Hebrew is shalach- 'esh”, which is an expression used for judgment, not only here in Ezekiel but in Amos and Hosea as well.  The word for fire is also translated as a “supernatural” fire of divine origin such as the fire which consumed the sacrifices made on an altar to God.  This makes it clear that this is a judgment from God sent upon people and nations that He obviously is displeased with.

The second word we find is the Hebrew word “'iy”, which translates as a “coast, island, shore, or region”.  Many commentators believe this is the word you would use to refer to any habitable region at the farthest reaches of the known world at that time.  As such, especially because this prophecy deals with a still future conflict, it could easily be referring to the United States.  Take into account as well, God tells us in this verse that the purpose of the entire exchange is so that all the nations will know that He is the Lord. Combine this with Jeremiah’s prophecy and it soon becomes clear that when God decides to send a message to this world, it will entail the entire world and no one or no country will escape.

How will God judge America?  A reasonable conclusion based on His Word would be by fire.  Could it be a result of a nuclear exchange of some sort?  At this particular stage of the world’s development it would seem to be a likely scenario, but I will simply say that whatever type of fire God chooses to judge with, He will do as He has said.  So that leaves us with our next question concerning the “when” part of the equation. If we use this verse from Ezekiel as a guide, it seems clear that it is part of God’s decision to reveal to the world that He and He alone defends His nation, Israel, from its enemies.  

"Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”   Daniel 9:27  NKJV

So when does this conflict occur?  That is a question many have debated for a very long time.  Although there are still disagreements, most of the scholars and commentators I have read believe that this conflict revealed in Ezekiel is the conflict which allows the coming world leader, or antichrist to begin his reign on earth by confirming the covenant with Israel and bringing what will prove to be a temporary peace to the Middle East.  If one adopts that position, then the “judgment” of America many believe is in the near future will occur just before the seven year tribulation begins, and also I might add, just after another event of earth shattering proportions.

"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."  1 Corinthians 15:51-52  NKJV

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  NKJV

Considering my background in History and Geopolitics, I have always been intrigued by how the rapture of the Church will play out in the aftermath, and the moves nations will be tempted to make in the confusion which follows.  That said, it makes perfect sense to me that this conflict in Ezekiel, and the possible rain of fire on America, is in part a result of the rapture of all believers we know as the body of Christ.  Of course, considering the violence which will follow the taking away of the Church, it also bears mentioning what else disappears at the time of the rapture and the effect it has on an unbelieving world as well.

"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming."   2 Thessalonians 2:7-8  NKJV 

Is God going to judge America? Without a doubt He will, along with every other nation in the world which so richly deserves it.  With the removal of the Church and the restrainer, the Holy Spirit, He will be free to judge the world for its unbelief.  How soon?  If we are honest with ourselves about what we see happening all over the world today, especially here in America, it could happen at any time.  If we believe that, then I suggest that our deliverance is even closer, and as believers we should be looking up and living our lives as God has told us to by laying up our treasures in Heaven.  Of course, God has also told us that while this deliverance is available to all, only those who believe and choose to accept it will be delivered from the coming judgment on the entire world.

If you are reading this today and have never made that decision, you can do it right now wherever you might be by simply praying a prayer like this; Jesus I know that I am a sinner, and have sinned against you.  I believe you loved me enough to send your Son Jesus to die for my sins, and that He rose from the dead so that I can live.  Forgive me of my sins and come into my life and help me to live for you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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