With the end times dominating so many headlines of late both before and after a failed Sept. 23 doomsday prediction, there are a plethora of eschatological questions emerging over what the Bible really says about the end of days.
Among them: Is America part of biblical prophecy? This is a question that author Jeff Kinley tackles in his new book, The End of America? as he explores what various theologians have to say about the matter.
Of course, the U.S. isn't mentioned by name in the biblical Scriptures, leaving the door open to an array of debate about what role, if any, America plays in end times theology.
"It's a very relevant question that we ask, because there are theologians who believe that America is mentioned in Scripture," Kinley recently told "The Billy Hallowell Podcast." "Obviously not by the name of America, but I outline in the book ... six views of popular theologians who believe that America is identified in Scripture, specifically as it relates to the end times."
In the end, while much is uncertain, Kinley said that there are two facts people can focus in on. First, he spoke of Israel's founding as a nation in 1948—something that many people believe to be prophetic in nature.
"We were a part of that as Americans, as a country rather," he said. "We sort of acted like a midwife in helping Israel be born and we have supported Israel through that. In fact, [we've] been Israel's greatest ally from that time, until now. In that sense, we've had a role in the end times."
Kinley also noted that the U.S. has "really pioneered the modern world expansion of the gospel" like no other country, explaining how America has taken that message to the globe.
"As we are living in these last days, I think America has had that role," he said. "The question then becomes, what will happen to America and what will America look like when we actually reach the days of Revelation?"
Kinley attempts to answer these questions by providing potential scenarios in The End of America?
As for the current state of the country, he said that the U.S. is "in crisis right now" and is "at a critical state of decline," tackling in his book the reasons why he believes this is the case, including the fact that the proportion of "nones"—those unaffiliated with a faith—has grown in recent years.
"I think we're just, we're thinking less of God," he said. "We're becoming much more secularistic in our approach to things and more religiously unaffiliated as ever before. I think there's a decline in spirituality."
In the end, though, Kinley said that he believes it's possible to turn things around in America via her citizens.
"Can America be saved? My answer to that is, I'm not sure that America as the country will or will not be saved in the end, but I do know that Americans can be saved," he said. "That's really our call is to rise up and to make this our finest hour as believers, because we may well indeed be in those last hours."
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