When New York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg tells audiences that America isn’t mentioned in Bible prophecy, many are stunned and ask how the wealthiest, most powerful nation in history isn’t a specifically defined player in the last days.
“The Bible doesn’t say what happens to us,” Rosenberg says. “But by the absence of us being clearly defined in the text, it means something has happened. The question is what—what will happen to us that will neutralize our ability or desire to be an influential player in the last days of history before the return of Jesus Christ?”
In his recent book Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time? Rosenberg outlines several potential scenarios he believes could explain why the United States isn’t mentioned in Bible prophecy: The nation—facing $16 trillion in federal debt and $120 trillion in total unfunded obligations—could implode economically, he hypothesizes. Perhaps the U.S. is hit by a surprise nuclear or military attack, blind-sided by a series of terrorist attacks or devastated by an unprecedented spate of natural disasters. America could suddenly lose tens of millions of people in the rapture, triggering any number of cataclysmic events. Or it could be a combination of these events.
Though it’s unknown what tsunami of terror might sweep across our nation, Rosenberg’s book—along with another New York Times best-seller, The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future—indicates a rising wave of public interest regarding America’s role in the end times. These and other end-times books, combined with the appearance of ominous signs such as record-breaking extreme weather and a historic drought, fuel a growing sense that America is in danger of judgment and near collapse. Add a recent, albeit surprising alarm sounded by famed evangelist Billy Graham and it becomes apparent this isn’t just a faddish surge of end-times fascination.
“There is not only a renewed interest in end-time prophecies, but a sense that America is in decline—that the days of what has been called the American age are numbered, and if we don’t change course, they are coming to an end,” says Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, the author of The Harbinger and senior rabbi at the nation’s largest messianic congregation, the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J.
Cahn’s best-seller frames a biblical warning of national judgment in a narrative, as a man encounters “The Prophet,” who claims the same nine harbingers of divine judgment that preceded the destruction of Israel 2,700 years ago are now manifesting in America. The book is based on a real-life prophetic mystery Cahn discovered in Isaiah 9 that unveils the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the “War on Terror,” the economic collapse in 2008 and even public speeches by U.S. leaders as part of a modern replaying of an ancient drama involving a series of intensifying judgments.
“The absence of any clear reference to America in end-time prophecy is a warning of America’s fall from its position of head of nations—the end of the American age,” says Cahn, a descendant of Aaron, the high priest of the ancient Hebrews and the brother of the biblical prophet Moses. “The Harbinger is the filling in of that gap, what happens between now and the scenario foretold in end-time prophecy. I believe that’s one of the reasons The Harbinger has become a best-seller throughout the nation since the first week of its release [in January 2012]. And since its release, that which it foreshadows is already coming true.”
Both The Harbinger and Implosion hit the New York Times best-seller list this year. This marks the first time two books about Bible prophecy by different authors have simultaneously been on the list, says Jerry B. Jenkins, co-author of the 16-volume Left Behind series that has sold more than 65 million copies.
“We live in scary times and people are curious about the future and interested in things beyond themselves,” Jenkins says. “As for the U.S. facing judgment or disaster, it seems to me we’re in the middle of it. Drought, fire, floods and tornadoes—these aren’t new, but they’re worse than ever.”
Jenkins’ Left Behind co-author, minister Tim LaHaye, says the world is on the “verge of chaos, just as the Bible predicted in the end times” and many people are “getting ready for something catastrophic.”
“There are so many signs of what the Bible outlines for the latter days, or the end times,” says LaHaye, 86. “Israel is the super-sign. The Jews were scattered to almost every country in the world for 1,900 years, and in the last 100 years they have been brought back to their homeland. The whole world’s focus is on this super-sign that we prophetic teachers have been talking about for 150 years, and now it’s gaining momentum.”
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