We have the case of Sodom, in which not even 10 righteous people could be found. The result was destruction.
A nation can partially turn back to God through the influence of godly leaders, as the southern kingdom of Judah did under King Josiah, experiencing a revival during their rule, only to backslide over the next generation and face judgment. In that case judgment was postponed.
Finally, a nation can turn completely to God in repentance, as Nineveh did after the warnings of the prophet Jonah, and avoid judgment for generations to come. In that case the judgment was turned back and the city was saved.
Between a future of judgment or revival, there is another possibility: There can be both. Sometimes revival only comes through judgment, through shaking, through loss. Most people come to the Lord through such shaking and loss, or some kind of crisis, external or internal.
So it is with nations. After 9/11 people flocked to houses of worship. It looked as if there could be a national revival. But the movement was short-lived. There was no real repentance, no changing of course. And without repentance, there can be no revival.
But what happened in those first few weeks after 9/11 shows the connection between calamity or shaking and revival. It is often only through such calamity and shaking that people return to the Lord and to their first love. So there is possibility also for a dual picture: judgment concerning the ungodliness of American mainstream culture, but revival for those who in the midst turn to God in repentance.
Which course will America follow? A look at end-time prophecy may provide some answers.
One of the key signs that we have entered the end times is the miraculous return of the Jewish people to their land, following 20 centuries of exile—all in accordance with biblical prophecy. In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet delivered two declarations from God concerning this that have been fulfilled:
“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land” (Ezek. 36:24).
“Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and ... bring you into the land of Israel” (Ezek. 37:12).
As the Bible foretells, the reborn nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem will be the center of controversy (Zech. 12). Besides Israel returning as a nation, a further sign of the end times will be the rise of a one-world government, the most powerful in history. It will be associated with a godless ruler, alluded to in the book of Daniel and described more fully in the book of Revelation. Called “the beast,” he is worshipped by the world, blasphemes God, wars against God’s people, and conquers the nations through war and seduction (Rev. 13:4-8).
As the book of Zechariah foretells, Israel will eventually be attacked by all nations. As Revelation 16 relates, it is the one-world ruler who gathers them against her. And as both Zechariah and Revelation state, God will, through the return of the Messiah, destroy this final attempt to wipe out Israel and set up His kingdom in Jerusalem.
The Missing Superpower
All this leads up to the question: Where is America in all these prophecies? The answer is that there is no clear reference to America in end-time prophecy. Moreover, not a word is said in these end-times prophecies about Israel’s most powerful human ally rescuing Israel. It is God who literally does so in the end.
Thus between where we are now and where the world is at the end of the age, there is a gap and a question: How do we go from the American age where America stands preeminent among nations, to a post-American age as revealed in end-time prophecy? Something has to happen.
The Harbinger fills in the gaps between where we are and what is yet to come.
At the same time, even though the overall direction of American culture points to a continued progression of moral descent, apostasy, shaking and judgment, we cannot underestimate the power of prayer and the Lord’s Spirit. And even amid apostasy, shaking and judgment there can be true revival among those who seek Him.
That alone means there is still hope.
Jonathan Cahn is the author of the New York Times best-seller The Harbinger. He leads the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel in Wayne, N.J., a worship center made of Jew and Gentile, people of all backgrounds. He also leads Hope of the World ministries, an international outreach dedicated to spreading God’s Word and love to everyone.
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