We are looking a questions that concern Christian teenagers. They are a great group of young people who think and feel deeply about spiritual things. You can read previous questions and answers here.
Here’s another tough question for us to consider.
[Podcast version available at the end of this post.]
“Will God judge our country?”
My short answer is “yes.” My longer answer is “God already has.”
Here’s why I say that.
How God Judges Nations
God has judged nations for thousands of years. We see many examples in the Bible. God even judged the nation He founded, Israel. No nation is immune from God’s judgment.
We can see from history that there comes a point where God judges nations and there’s no turning back. Israel and Judah are good examples. God sent prophet after prophet after prophet to Israel and Judah to warn them about their sin and impending judgment. Israel and Judah, for the most part, continued to disobey God and do what they wanted. Even though some of the people gave God lip service, it’s still rebellion against God. God looks on the heart. He knows what people really believe and think. God finally gave them both kingdoms up to be judged and both were destroyed by foreign armies.
Jesus Christ is another example. He was Israel’s Messiah, but the religious rulers of Israel pressured the Roman government to kill Jesus because they didn’t like Him or His message. He was not the kind of Messiah they wanted. Even though Rome killed Jesus, the Lord rose from the dead and returned to Heaven. What happened to Israel’s religious leaders? The Roman army destroyed Israel and killed the religious rulers 40 years later. Israel ceased to be a nation for more than 1,800 years and only became one again after World War Two.
The United States is not Israel, but there are certain things we can look at to get an answer to your question. We’ve seen this same thing repeated many times in other countries through the centuries. We learn how God judges nations in Paul’s letter to the Romans.
In Romans 1:18-19 Paul wrote that the “wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.” The truth Paul wrote about is the existence of God. I used to be an atheist, so I know why people become atheists. I was introduced to godless ideas through the public school system as a child and those ideas were more powerful than what I learned at church. I had no interest in attending church as a teenager and became an atheist in college. One of the big things going on in American society when I was a teenager and in college was that “God was dead.”
Paul then wrote — “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” Evolutionary teaching in public schools played a big role in leading me toward atheism, so I get that. In other countries it might be worshipping idols and false gods. The point is that God revealed Himself to the nations of the world and the people rejected Him.
So, what did God do? He judged them. Paul wrote, “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.” The phrase “gave them up to” in the original language of the New Testament (Greek) is a judicial term. The word means “to give into the hands of another, to give over into one’s power or use.” People abandoned the God who created them, so God turned them over to do what they wanted to do. God delivered people up to the desires of their heart. That’s been happening in America for decades.
Paul used the Greek word paradidómi (give them up, give them over, delivered) three times in just five verses. That’s a clue to what happens to a nation that rebels against God. Look at Romans 1:24-28 ..
- “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”
- “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
- “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.”
Once God lets a nation go and delivers them up to do what they want, the downward spiral begins. It goes from sexual sin (male and female) to homosexual sin (female and female, male and male) to a debased (depraved, disapproved, worthless, rejected, castaway) mind. I can look back over my life of 70+ years and see how all of this unfolded. The sexual revolution led to the homosexual revolution which led to the insanity that has taken over the minds and lives of so many people in our country today.
Here are some of the things that Paul wrote “are not fitting.” I think you’ll agree that we can see our nation in every part of this list.
- being filled with all unrighteousness
- sexual immorality
- full of envy
- they are whisperers
- haters of God
- inventors of evil things
- disobedient to parents
Paul ended the list with this statement: “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Not only do people who do those immoral things love to see other people do the same terrible things, we now have legislators passing laws to legalize immoral behavior, government leaders enforcing those immoral laws, and judges upholding immorality as if it’s moral.
It reminds me of what the prophet Isaiah wrote thousands of years ago as he prophesied to God’s people: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) That sounds like so many of our leaders today who have turned good and evil upside down.
I believe God judged the United States decades ago and gave people up to do what they wanted to do. What we see now is the result of that judgment.
What Do We Do Now?
So, what should a Christian do when they find themselves living in a nation that God has judged and delivered up to immorality? Do what the Bible says. Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Live godly in this present age. Make disciples of every nation. Teach them to obey God. In other words, live your life according to what God tells us to do through His Word. If there’s ever been a time when Christians should be reading and studying God’s Word and praying for His guidance, that time is now.
Should we pray for revival? I think that’s appropriate as long as we understand that revival needs to begin with Christians. Unfortunately, much of the blame for what’s happened in our country can be laid at the feet of disobedient, lazy and often ungodly church leaders and members. As the Apostle Peter wrote, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
Jesus Christ dictated letters to the Apostle John to be delivered to seven churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 2 – 3). Five of the seven churches needed revival. Jesus called on them to repent and overcome. American churches definitely fall into that category. Much of the preaching and teaching is weak at best and heretical at worst. Our worship services are more like heathen concerts than true worship of the Almighty God. How can we ask God to revive our nation if we aren’t willing to submit to His discipline first.
The author of Hebrews wrote in Chapter 12 that God will deal with His true children as “sons” and will “chasten” (discipline) them. He added that if we are without chastening, we are illegitimate and not sons. What good is God’s discipline?
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.Hebrews 12:11
Pray for revival, but pray it begins with us first. Christians need God’s discipline. America needs to repent and turn to Christ.
Thank you for your question!
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Previous Tough Questions
You can read answers to other tough questions from Christian teens here.
The Next Question
In the next part of our special series, Tough Questions From Christian Teens, we will ask …
Was It Right For Israel To Kill Children?
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.