Students of end-of-time prophecy have puzzled for years over the apparent absence of any mention of America in the Bible’s descriptions of the end of the world. “When I look at Bible prophecy, one thing that is of great concern is the absence of the United States,” writes bestselling author Greg Laurie.
“Where is the United States in Bible prophecy?” asks prolific Christian author David R. Reagan . “One of the most asked prophecy questions by far is whether the U.S.A. is mentioned,” notes Wilfred Hahn of the Eternal Value Review. “The religious community today cannot find the United States, Great Britain, Russia or China in Bible prophecy. Why?” asks David J. Smith of News Watch magazine. “What,” asks Ron Graff, editor of Prophecy Central, “happens to the United States” in the End Times?"
A convincing argument can be made that Russia is described in Ezekiel 38:1-4: And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.
“Although there is considerable controversy over the ancient names given in Ezekiel's Gog-Magog war prophecies,” writes Terry James on the website Rapture Ready, “there is sufficient evidence to conclude” that Russia will be the culprit leading a massive end-time attack on Israel'” that sets in motion the violent end of the world.
Will China join in the fight? James at Rapture Ready, says Revelation 16:12 tells us: And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. Is this China?
“This prophecy, scheduled to coincide with Armageddon when all the armies of the world will be gathered in the Valley of Jezreel, almost certainly will include the modern nation of China,” writes James.
But what about America?
“It is interesting to note that a number of nations are mentioned,” notes Laurie. “Libya is mentioned by name. Persia, which became modern Iran and Iraq, is mentioned. Ethiopia is specifically mentioned. But the one nation that is strangely absent is the United States of America.”
Where is America? “ Given America’s influential role in the world,” writes Hahn, “There is a wide range of opinion. The debate continues even among learned and respected prophecy scholars.”
Irvin Baxter on the website End Time says the answer is simple: “Actually the U.S. was plainly foretold in the Holy Scriptures,” he writes. “The Bible prophesies a world government will rule the earth for a very short period of time. We are given a detailed description of the last world power that shall reign over the peoples of the earth immediately before the return of Jesus Christ."
“The beasts of Daniel’s vision, found in Daniel chapter 7, bear an uncanny resemblance to nations in our modern world, the lion, the bear, the eagle, and the leopard. The four beasts depict four individual nations.” America is the eagle, says Baxter.
However, notes Baxter, “in Revelation 13, the Apostle John saw a vision of one beast instead of four. The one beast was described as having the body of the leopard, the feet of the bear, the mouth of the lion, and the ten horns of the ten-horned beast. All of the beasts in Daniel 7 have now merged into this one unified beast except for one.” America’s eagle is missing.
“The eagle’s wings are not mentioned in the description of the world government beast!” says Baxter. “Could it be that the United States will be one of the dissenting forces against the Antichrist and his world government, a harbor of safety during the troubled times ahead?”
Reagan is not convinced. “Since the United States is not mentioned specifically by name in Bible prophecy, people have resorted to their imaginations to find our nation in the Scriptures,” he warns, citing Revelation 12:13-17. “In the middle of the Tribulation, God will provide a means of escape for the Jewish remnant in Israel. They will be carried into the wilderness to a hiding place on the ‘wings of a great eagle.’” Is that America? “Some people have seized on this imagery," he says, to teach that the U.S., whose national symbol is the eagle, will supply an End Time airlift that will save Israel.
Others, says Reagan, “have pointed to Isaiah 18 which speaks of a people ‘tall and smooth’ who are ‘feared far and wide.’”Is that America? “The passage further states that this is a ‘powerful nation whose land the rivers divide.’ The chapter ends by stating that the people of this nation will bring ‘a gift of homage’ to the Lord when He returns to reign from Mt. Zion. Because these verses speak of a powerful nation whose land is divided by a great river, some have jumped to the conclusion that the nation is the United States since it is divided by the Mississippi River.”
Exekiel 38 is another passage where people claim to have found the U.S. “The prophet describes an invasion of Israel that will be launched in the end times by a nation ‘from the remote parts of the north.’ The descriptive verses about the northern power make it clear that this nation is Russia. What is not so clear is where the U.S. fits into this invasion.”
Those who find America in the passage point to Ezekiel 38:13, which says that “the merchants of Tarshish – perhaps the British Empire – and all its “young lions” will speak out against the invasion. “The argument,” says Reagan, “is that Tarshish is Britain and the ‘young lions’ are the English speaking nations like the U.S. and Australia that were founded by British immigrants.”
Reagan isn’t convinced. Neither was bestselling author David Wilkerson. The late New York City street preacher who wrote The Cross and The Switchblade warned that America will not play a part in the final battle because the U.S. will have collapsed. In his book A Final Warning co-authored with Nicky Cruz, Wilkerson wrote: “I am speaking out right now in my ministry about the death of the United States, the downfall of America. We have reached a point where Noah, Daniel and Moses began to pray the Lord would deliver their own souls. But people don’t want to hear that sort of thing, Nicky! I’m very hopeful for the church, but as far as our society, we are under divine judgment.” Wilkerson foresaw that powers in the Far East “will quit buying our government bonds – as will all other nations. We will not be able to finance our massive debt. It will all tumble and fall.”
James disagrees. He says America is not mentioned in the prophecies because the Rapture will have taken place. All Christians worldwide will have been taken into heaven, leaving the wicked to fight it out among themselves on earth. James says America’s Christians will have been snatched away, rescued by Almighty God from the terrible things about to befall the earth.
James says that’s the probable explanation for America’s absence when Gog and Magog surround Israel. “It is hard to believe that such a massive attack as prophesied by Ezekiel would be allowed to take place by such nuclear powers as Great Britain and particularly the United States.” The answers, he says that hundreds of millions of Christians will have vanished – causing enormous consternation among those who remain.
“Many believe the rapture of the Church could so confuse leadership of these nations as to make them temporarily incapable of organizing military opposition to the assault into the Middle East by Russia and her coalition hordes,” says James.
Laurie says it’s not all that clear. “Where is the United States? I would like to offer three plausible answers. One, perhaps the United States may not be mentioned in Scripture because it might be devastated by a nuclear war. It is a horrible scenario and one that none of us would want to see, but we cannot rule it out as a possibility.”
“The possibilities of it have never been greater,” says Laurie. “Some would think that because the former Soviet Union dissolved, the threat is gone. But many nations have nuclear weapons. It could indeed be a rogue terrorist nation with nuclear capabilities, or even a terrorist group that could set off the dominoes falling onto each other. I hope this isn't the case, but we cannot rule it out.”
“Rome was once the reigning superpower on earth. They had the most powerful military anywhere,” writes Laurie. “But before Rome collapsed externally, she collapsed internally. I think we would do well to look at the soul of our country right now. I am for a strong military. We need to take seriously any foreign threats. But having said that, what about an internal collapse?”
“The second possible reason our nation may not be mentioned in Scripture is that perhaps we will simply decline as a world power,” writes Laurie. “As our country becomes more and more secular, systematically eliminating God and the Bible from our education system, courts, and the arts, we will begin to reap the inevitable results of sin. We will begin to rot from the inside."
“Historian Will Durant pointed out that a great nation is not destroyed from the outside until it has first fallen apart on the inside. Certainly you can see the moral decay in America today. The Bible says, ‘Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34). If we forget God and abandon the Bible, which is his Word, then we will reap the inevitable results.”
“We have seen the breakdown of the family, rampant crime and so many other problems that have come from disobeying God. But here is the thing we need to remember. The freedom we enjoy is built on the foundation of absolute truth. And when you remove that foundation, this freedom actually can turn into anarchy.”
Reagan agrees. “I personally believe that the reason the U.S. is not mentioned in end time prophecy,” says Reagan, “is because we will suddenly cease to be a world power and will therefore play no significant role in end time events.”
“The destruction of American power is most likely to occur in two stages,” writes Reagan. “The first could be an economic catastrophe that will result from our out-of-control debt situation. Our god is the dollar and the Lord is going to destroy that god when the weight of our debt collapses our economy.” In such a scenario, writes Graff, “America will have suffered a financial collapse by the time of the last days, and would still exist, but not be a superpower. That is exactly what many political and financial analysts are saying about our current course. The United States will not be gone in the last days. We will just not be worth mentioning.”
That doesn’t have to be, writes Walid Shoebat in World News Daily, “For many years, it has been taught that in the Last Days literally every nation of the earth, including the United States, will be utterly dominated by the Antichrist; that there will be no place to escape from the dreaded Mark of the Beast, that every last nation of the world will come against Jerusalem,” including America.
“Zechariah 12 is usually used to validate the theory,” continues Shoebat. Revelation 13:7 says “the Antichrist will be given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. This would seem an ironclad case for the Antichrist ruling the globe. It is this dilemma that caused many to believe that America will be taken over by the Antichrist."
“However, the Bible clearly states that some will resist the Antichrist and defeat him,” notes Shoebat. Those verses “are rarely even discussed.” However, Shoebat believes the following passage confirms that a superpower such as America will annihilate the Antichrist. Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas (Ezekiel 28:7-8).
“God will raise up several nations that will carry out God’s judgment and attack the Antichrist in the end,” says Shoebat. Will America have turned back to God? Will America come to the world’s rescue?
It is possible, says Shoebat. The future is not etched into stone. “This promise is as the rainbow for Noah,” says Shoebat. It is a prediction of what could happen. What actually happens, he says, is America's choice.