Op-Ed: Has God Already Abandoned America?
Some leading evangelicals believe and teach that America is now, as a nation, experiencing God’s judgment.
If those evangelical leaders are correct, it would stand to reason that as an individual believer or public servant working hard and sacrificing so much to turn our nation around, you are just wasting your time.
Are you laboring against a foregone conclusion? I think not. But let me qualify that position: I do not believe America is experiencing the forsaking wrath of God, but the consequential wrath of God. Whereas the latter form of God’s wrath can be reversed, the former cannot.
In this week’s D.C. Bible study, “Is God Judging America Today?,” I delve into this question in great detail. Is God similar to the lifeguard who has blown his whistle and said “Everybody out of the pool”? Or do we have an opportunity to make corrections and turn this nation around?
If God has already abandoned America, why would we be trying to remedy a downwardly spiraling condition that cannot be corrected? Is that the correct way to think about this important matter? Based on Scripture, I don’t think America is experiencing God’s wrath of abandonment.
Before examining pertinent passages, it is important to first understand God’s attribute of judgment (punishment) and the biblical forms in which it manifests itself. The question can then be asked as to which forms of judgment apply to America.
God’s wrath as revealed in Scripture exists in five forms: eternal wrath (hell), eschatological wrath (The Day of the Lord), cataclysmic wrath (Sodom and Gomorrah, the Flood), abandonment or forsaking wrath (removing restraint), and consequential wrath (reaping and sowing).
Of course, consequential wrath is evident in every epoch of biblical history, and in the church age of today it is applicable to individuals, groups, cities, states and nations.
Examples of this would be the many inviolate laws of the universe: In the world of economics, if you overspend you will suffer financial difficulties, if not bankruptcy; in the world of physics, if you jump off a building you will suffer broken bones, if not death. In a larger sense, if a nation violates God’s principles, that nation will eventually reap what it has sown.
You get the point: Consequential wrath exists today in America; it always has and it always will.
Most important to this study is ascertaining if abandonment or forsaking wrath relates to America today. Has God forsaken America? This is the more difficult question to answer from scriptural investigation, but nonetheless it is a question worth answering and of extreme importance as to how you and I spend our time.
Five biblical identifiers distinguish this form of wrath. A careful study of Scripture reveals that those distinguishing characteristics are not applicable to nations in our time; they are only applicable to individuals today.
Some passages related to individual abandonment are God allowing someone to pursue what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6) or giving someone over (Romans 1 states this three times). Rather than correcting that sinner’s path, God steps back and in essence says, “OK, have it your way.”
Scripture reveals six reasons why God’s wrath of abandonment, his forsaking form of wrath, does not apply to any nation today. Relying on Scripture, it follows that we still have a fighting chance to turn America around! We are not working against God’s foregone conclusion as some doomsday evangelicals would want you to believe!
A careful study of Scripture on this matter, including a painstaking examination of the Greek words that authors used in the original texts, reveals some tremendous insights into how we might turn around the decline that our nation is experiencing today. Armed with this scriptural understanding and knowledge of God’s various forms of wrath, we can and should be working to chart a better course for our nation’s future.
For more information on this subject, click here to read the Bible study “Is God Judging America Today?”
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