by Dr. Brad Harrub
The Bible is crystal clear that the church will continue until Jesus Christ comes again (Matthew 16:17-19). However, the Bible says nothing about a democracy. Check me: look for the words democracy or de mocratic in the Bible. You will not find them. While Jesus guaranteed that the gates of Hades will not prevail against His church, He never said anything about America or a democratic government. He also did not guarantee the church would be as predominant in America as it has been in the past. It very well could be that there will only be a remnant left for our posterity.
Whether people say it or not verbally, many have long considered America to be the 2nd Promised Land. We know about God’s promise to Abraham, but we look at our prosperity and affluence and consider ourselves to be a special land of milk and honey. Surely, God has blessed this great nation of freedom.
But there are a couple of problems with that mentality. Number one, it is not in the Bible. Number two, consider the following truths about this alleged “blessed” nation:
• Next month will mark 40 years of legalized abortion.
• Same-sex marriage has been legalized in nine states and the District of Columbia.
• The United States is the leading producer of pornography that is being sold throughout the world.
• Every state except Hawaii and Utah has legalized some form of gambling.
• Television has become a major portal for lasciviousness, adultery, homosexuality, cussing, violence, etc.
• Approximately 50% of marriages end up in divorce.
• For the first time ever, more than half of the births in America to women younger than 30 are out-of-wedlock.
• According to the 1990 Kinsey Report, about 50% of all married people will commit adultery.
How can we ask God to bless a nation that has immersed itself in what God has clearly described as sin? God will not continue to bless a nation so immersed in sin. Our nation has embraced immorality, and shows no sign of turning back.
Most scholars agree that democracy is a temporary state, lasting for a couple of hundred years before citizens sell their freedoms in exchange for something. There is a quote about democracy that has circulated quite a bit online. It is commonly attributed to Alexander Tytler. a Scottish professor at the University of Edinburg in the late 1700s (The Library of Congress attributes it to Alexander Tytler and Lord Woodhouselee, unverified). The quote says:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."
There is a similar quote that is also sometimes attributed to Tytler, although the Library of Congress notes that the author is unknown but attributes it to Benjamin Disraeli. It notes: "Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage."
While we may not know the original source for these two quotes, few scholars would argue that the basis for their conclusions came from the Bible. Repeatedly throughout the Old Testament we see a cycle of freedom and the people turn their back on God and are placed in bondage—after which they cry out to God and the cycle continues.
Many Christians looked at our last election and said in a calm voice, “I’m not worried because God is in control.” Indeed, He is. But understand that He was also in control when He sent Israel into Assyrian bondage. Likewise, God was in control when He sent Judah into Babylonian captivity. I believe the latest election was God’s judgment on our nation. We got what we asked for—and now God will deal justly with us for turning away from Him.
In this new land the church is going to be required to step up and confront an immoral culture. Whether we want to admit it to ourselves, America is much darker today than it has been in the past—and as such, our lights will stand out more. But that light is not going to be welcomed by those who have embraced same-sex marriage, abortion, cussing, gambling, and immorality. Friends, the United States has experienced a period of happiness and prosperity. But those days are in the past. We are about to leave the period of apathy, decadence and idolatry—a phase where we mainly stuck our heads in the sand. We are entering a new phase—a period of persecution, slavery, and destruction. Are our children prepared?
Hear me on this: If we are teaching Biblical Christianity we will be persecuted in this new phase. I believe this persecution will result in a purging or cleansing of the church, as many “Sunday morning only” Christians will give up their beliefs in the face of persecution.
I am convinced parents today are going to need to train their children about how to be persecuted—because it is coming much quicker than most ever believed. But how do we do that? How does a nation that has never known persecution train their children to prepare for it?
As I walk down the hallways of church buildings today and witness little children “color, cut, and pasting” I don’t see warriors ready to be jailed for their beliefs. I don’t see young people who are being trained to be warriors. We must wake up to realize our nation has passed the tipping point. The odds of us pulling back at this stage are miniscule. And thus, we must prepare to confront our culture with what sin really is.
I’ll freely admit that I don’t have all the answers. When I look into the eyes of my four children I would prefer to be naïve and think they are going to enjoy a peaceful life and grow up in an environment similar to what I experienced. But the reality is the changes are already taking place. Persecution is right around the corner. And so I look into their eyes and try to figure out how best to prepare them for something that is somewhat foreign. While I don’t know the precise tactics, I do know that I must instill a love for Jesus Christ in their hearts that is stronger than anything of this world.
Will my children be jailed for their beliefs? I am now convinced that is a very real possibility. Will the church lose its non-profit status over "hate speech" against homosexuality? Probably within the next five years. Will the church eventually have to go “underground” to remain the true church? I suspect that will be the case in many areas. But will our children’s love for Christ be stronger than whatever persecution may come during their lifetime? That my friends, is ultimately up to us.
Our Fellowship @ Asiana's...
Photos from our congregational fellowship at Asiana's Grand Buffet.
Does the truth of a statement become irrelevant because people may differ in understanding about that truth? "Buy the truth and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding" (Prov. 23:23). The problem is not the truth of the Scripture, it is the heart of man who "did what is right in his own eyes" (Deut. 12:8).
It is a true saying that if a lie has been told 1000 times, it will be the Truth that is considered a lie when someone comes along to correct the lie that has been spoken so many times. The truth that is intended to correct the lie is not a lie, but people will not believe it because they have been subjected to the lie (2 Thess. 2:9-12) for their entire lifetime.
Truth stands. It will be each person's responsibility to seek it more than silver and gold (Prov. 16:16) and keep it, finding wisdom from God through the Gospel which is the power of God to salvation (Rom. 1:16). God will use His Truth to judge the world (Rev. 20:11-15). Don't let man's misunderstanding (and God forbid, misuse) of His Word deter you from the determination to "seek the Lord" in the hope that you might "grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us" (Acts. 17:27).
May God bless your efforts to seek him diligently (Heb. 11:6), rightly dividing His word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15).