We live in dark, perilous times. We turn on the television and our computers each day and see young men and women violently killed by police and cops assassinated on the streets. The religious “nones” have taken a ram to traditional mores, furiously denouncing those who don’t agree with them. Ordinary events like earthquakes and natural disasters rep heavy losses in human life. Political candidates are not trusted and have created social division. Peace and unity have become foreign terms. There is no question that there is a great deal at stake. Given our nation’s state of turmoil, many people wonder if God’s wrath is falling on America? Are we beginning to enter the end times? What will be the future of America?
The Bible addresses the “fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (Revelation 19:15). And the Bible exults that “Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). It is God Himself who sent Jesus to rescue us from His own wrath. The Bible tells us, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…Therefore, we shall be saved by Him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:8-9).
There are at least five ways the Bible talks about God’s judgment. In judgment, God hands over the impenitent to hardening in this life. The Bible says, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their righteousness suppress the truth…Therefore God have them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity” (Romans 1:18,24).
In judgment, God punishes nations in history, both Israel and others. The Bible tells us, “You [Jerusalem] shall be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations all around you, when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury” (Ezekiel 5:15).
We also know from Scripture that there will be a final judgment of all people at the end of history. The Bible says, “Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5).
We know from Scripture that there is final judgment. Is God currently judging America? Some leading Christian voices believe we are facing final judgment and the end times are near. Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of famous evangelist Billy Graham, has warned that the end times are near and that God’s judgment will be poured out on America.
“Our nation is in a mess. Why? Could it be because America is losing God’s blessing? His favor. Could our sin be provoking His judgment? Judgment that is not necessarily in the form of a nuclear dirty bombs, or another ISIS attack, or an economic collapse. But a Romans 1 judgment as God backs out of our national life and turn us over to ourselves,” Lotz wrote on her website. Graham recalled the Old Testament story of God punishing the nation of Judah for disobeying Him and going their own way.
“God warns a nation that judgment is coming. He doesn’t want any to perish. But If a nation does not heed His warnings, He unleashes His anger and there is nothing – no one – who can prevent it,” Lotz said. “If God would judge His own beloved nation of Judah, why would we think America could escape?”
Lotz emphasized that Americans must turn back to God in true repentance and stressed the importance of seeking God.
R.R. Reno, editor of First Things and one of America’s leading scholars of religion and politics believes our society is one step away from chaos and that Americans do not recognize their own country anymore. He warns, without a restoration of America as a Christian society, our culture will rapidly descend into an unhappy, shallow, lawless, and brutal place, divided more than ever between rich and poor and vulnerable to elite demagogues. Reno shows why a renewal of Christian ideas is fundamental in preventing the complete collapse of our country.
Yet, there is hope. While the post-Christian culture is failing, there is a solution that can save us all: a renewal of Christian ideals such as compassion, integrity, hard work and love. If we want to resort a Christian society, Christianity’s public influence must be restored.
As Christians, we are called to put on the “whole armor of God,” and contend “against the principalities, against the world rulers of this present darkness” (Ephesians 6:11-12). We can’t simply step aside. We owe our neighbors, Christian or not, a faithful witness to the truth, even if it provokes controversy. We follow a Lord who said, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). This is all true! But the armor of God includes “the equipment of the Gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). Christians are called not to win debates and elections but to build a civilization of love, which is not an easy task, especially in our nation today, but a necessary one. There is no greater One we can turn to if we want to reflect love than God because He is love.
There is no denying that Christianity has been unseated as America’s moral center point and that we’ve paid a terrible price for it. Despite this, a Christian society is not only possible, but also desirable and we have the power to change this. In order for a Christianity society to be possible, it requires a restoration of Christian values in the private and public sphere. We must ask ourselves: to what is God calling each of us? How well are we responding to His call?
It also requires us to make an important decision: Will we seek to live in accord with the idea of a Christian society, or will we accept the instruction of a secular society? We should not underestimate the dangers we face. In this time and in this place, a relatively small number of Christians can inspire and reinvigorate the public imaginations of the disoriented majority. We can renew our society by restoring our voices as Christian citizens. We have an active God, and we are called to show His love actively to those around us as we go out as Disciples of Christ. When light stands next to darkness, light always wins. While we may live in dark times, we have hope, because God, who is the Light, always wins.