America, America, What Will Be of Thee?
Charles Ryrie states that,
“The Bible has made crystal clear the destiny of many nations. Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Egypt, Russia, and Israel can read their futures today in the pages of Scripture as certainly as if they were reading history. But not so with the United States and many other nations such as Canada, Australia, and the countries of Latin America. In these cases the Bible is silent. Yet even its comparative silence says something.
The Bible’s silence concerning the future of the United States might well mean that she will play no prominent role in the end-time drama. A nation does not have to be named in order to be identified in Bible prophecy. When Ezekiel described the future Russian invasion he used the phrase “remote parts of the north” (38:15). Surely some prophet would have predicted something about those countries or peoples in the remote parts of the West if God had intended a major end-time role for them in the Western Hemisphere. The fact is that no one did.”1
What will be of this country we so much love? What will the United States do? What will the United States look like post-rapture? Many respected prophecy scholars agree that the only thing the United States will be able to do is to allow itself to be absorbed into the empire led by the Antichrist. No, the United States will not cease to exist, but it will become part of the end-time alliance of Western nations who is ruled by the Antichrist to ensure security and survivability. What causes me and others to reach that conclusion? To answer those questions, we must look at both our past and the present respectively:
Reason #1: America’s Roots
For those of you who never cared about studying American history, here is a short lesson: The United States of America began as a European colony. When this nation collapses, it only makes sense that the nation will consider returning to its roots and heritage and seek stability from those western nations whom it regarded as its allies. Charles Ryrie states that,
“It is not too far-fetched to envision the United States someday aligned with the Western Confederation of Nations which will be formed by Antichrist. National origin could be the link, since many United States citizens originally came from the countries which will make up the Western alliance of nations….So when the European Federation of Nations rises to power, the United States may find herself in a supportive role in favor of this powerful alliance and in opposition to the other power blocs in Russia, Africa, and the Far East. This would mean that the United States, haven for Christianity for two centuries, will find herself in a league with Antichrist.”2
Reason #2: We Are, After All, A Western Nation
Since the United States is a Western superpower, and it has traditionally had very good relations with most countries in the West, it only makes sense that when things don’t go well, it will seek the support and assistance from those nations in the West.
We also know that the Bible teaches that during the Tribulation, the world will be divided into four power blocs:
(1) The King of the North. This power bloc will be a coalition of nations led by Russia (see also Ezek. 38-39).
At the time of the end, the king of the South will engage him in battle, but the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and many ships. He will invade countries and sweep through them like a flood (Daniel 11:40).
(2) The King of the South (Daniel 11:40). This power bloc will be a coalition of the Muslim League of Nations which will be led by the leader of Egypt.
(3) The Kings of the East. This power bloc is composed of nations that will come from the east of the Euphrates River. These are nations from Central Asia as well as countries like China, India, Japan, etc.
The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east (Revelation 16:12).
(4) The King of the West. This power bloc is the revived Roman Empire, the confederation of Western nations led by its king, the Antichrist.
A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others. You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron—it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, and that the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly fired clay—part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. You saw the iron mixed with clay—the peoples will mix with one another but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay (Daniel 2:40-43).
They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against it?”
The beast was given a mouth to utter boasts and blasphemies. It was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme his name and his dwelling—those who dwell in heaven. And it was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. It was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All those who live on the earth will worship it, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered (Revelation 13:4-8).
Midway through the Tribulation period, Antichrist will successfully expand his empire and become the world’s dictator. He will become a worldwide ruler, for his authority will extend over “every tribe, people, language, and nation” (Revelation 13:7). Daniel tells us that he will “devour the whole earth, trample it down, and crush it” (Daniel 7:23).
Having considered the above facts, what power bloc do you suppose the United States will gravitate toward? When the Tribulation begins and the shifting of power takes place, every nation in the world will be rushing to align themselves with one of these power blocs. Without question, the United States will align itself with the Western confederation led by Antichrist. In fact, presently the United States and Western Europe are bound together through NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Walvoord states,
“Although the Scriptures do not give any clear word concerning the role of the United States in relationship to the revived Roan Empire and the later development of the world empire, it is probable that the United States will be in some form of alliance with the Roman ruler. Most citizens of the United States of America have come from Europe and their sympathies would be more naturally with a European alliance than with Russia or countries in Eastern Asia…. Based on geographic, religious and economic factors, such an alliance of powers seems a natural sequence of present situations in the world.”3
The United States of America, a Sovereign Nation?
If I had written this about the United States several decades back, I would have probably been put in a strait jacket. But not today, because nobody can deny the scary plausibility given the national and international political climate. We do not even have to use our imagination anymore to conjure such a scenario; we are witnessing it with our own eyes! We are seeing the final preparations being made as humanity quickly marches towards its own destruction.
Over the last few decades, we have seen the United States slowly being drawn away from national sovereignty into globalism. Organizations like NATO, the UN, GATT, WB, WTO, WHO, IMF, ICC, EU, USMCA, and many other acronyms clearly point to the fact that nations around the world, including the U.S., are more and more surrendering their national sovereignty and submitting to multinational treaties, organizations, and courts of law. Hitchcock writes that,
“When the trumpet sounds and all the Christians in the United States disappear, the final countdown to the end of America’s sovereignty will begin. Before she knows it, America will find herself taking her place in the kingdom of Antichrist.”4
The State of the Union as of 2020
I will only touch on a few areas. Terry James states that,
“Every great culture has gone through the following cycle in one form or another:
- The formation/founding based upon ideals
- The rise to a highly productive society that uniquely contributes to civilization
- An acquisition of power, wealth, and ever-increasing taxation, in confluence with leisure, marked by a fixation with entertainment
- A decline into immorality and debauchery that leads to overthrow or dissolution
It is saddening to have to say that the United States of America has not escaped this pattern. Rather, it fits precisely the bell-curve model for decline and fall, according to the cycle just outlined.”5
In 1996 Robert Bork, former Attorney General of the United States, Solicitor General of the United States, and Judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, wrote in his book entitled Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline,
“American culture is complex and resilient. But it is also not to be denied that there are aspects of almost every branch of our culture that are worse than ever before and that there is rot spreading.”
He wrote that in 1997, twenty-three years ago. It would be interesting to see what his insight would be today.
In 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States overturned all state and federal laws outlawing or restricting abortion on demand.
According to Wisconsin Right to Life, there are 1.1 million abortions performed yearly in the United States. Since Roe v. Wade was passed legalizing abortion in 1973, 58 million babies have lost their lives to abortion.6 We often talk or hear about the horrific Jewish holocaust perpetrated by Hitler during World War II, well, abortion is the American holocaust, which has been just as horrific.
There has been widespread acceptance and societal celebration of homosexuality. We went from the availability of legally recognized same-sex marriage in only one state in 2004 to all fifty states in 2015. In 2015, in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court ruled that all state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, making gay marriage legal throughout the United States.
According to PUREHOPE, who has gathered statistics from numerous sources:7
- About 12% of internet websites are pornographic websites
- The adult industry in the United States alone is estimated to generate revenues in excess of 14 billion dollars
- 40 million U.S. adults visit pornographic websites regularly
- 70% of men between the ages of 18 to 24 visit pornographic websites in a typical month
- Consistent use of internet pornography by a spouse was a factor in 56% of divorces
- Before the age of 18, 93% of boys and 62% of girls have been exposed to pornography.
Over the last few decades, we have seen premarital sex skyrocket. Ron Rhodes documents that,
“Back in 1972, only 28 percent of Americans admitted to having sex before marriage. In 1978 the figure rose to 38 percent, and in 2004, 44 percent. In 2012 the figure rose to 58 percent. The figure is even higher today. Premarital sex is on a steady upward trend.
The Barna Group found that the majority of Americans are “delinking” marriage and sex:
Whereas practicing Christians still overwhelmingly tie sex to marriage, the move among the greater U.S. population—most evidently among younger generations—is a de-linking of marriage and sex. Sex has become less a function of procreation or an expression of intimacy and more of a personal experience. To have sex is increasingly seen as a pleasurable and important element in the journey toward self-fulfillment.”8
In the United States we are facing an epidemic of substance abuse. We have made drugs and alcohol more readily accessible to all demographics and we are well on the road to legalizing several drugs for recreational use.
Terry James captures the following in his book The American Apocalypse, which appeared in the Spring 2001 issue of Legislating Morality:
“James Davison Hunter, professor of Sociology and religious studies at the University of Virginia and director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, points out that although “American culture has always been in flux,” since about the middle of the 20th century there has been growing confusion over some basic issues as the meaning of family, “family values,” how to raise children, the meaning of life, and the rules for living an honorable life. “Where a consensus remains in our moral culture,” he states, “it does so only in terms of the shallowest of platitudes.”
Hunter contends that “the changes that have occurred are not just cultural. They have been accompanied by profound changes in the social environment in which children grow up. The increases in family instability, the absence of the father from the children’s lives, the number of hours children are left alone and unsupervised by adults, and the role of television and other electronic media of popular culture have all been well documented.”9
In November of 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2018 Families and Living Arrangements Tables. According to the report:
- 15% of young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 lived with an unmarried partner (up 12% from 2008).
- Among those in the 18 to 24 age range, “cohabitation is now more prevalent than living with a spouse.”10
In February of 2020, U.S. News & World Report published a story on the state of American households. Here are some of their findings:
- In 2020, 48.2 % of households contain married couples, down 30.6% from 1949 which had 78.8%.
- Marriage rates for white, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans had dropped by about 5, 8 and 9 percentage points, respectively, since 1990.
- According to the Census survey, divorce rates have also gone up. In 1990, 6.8% of men and 9.4% of women were divorced. In 2019, 8.3% of men and 11.1% of women were divorced.11
According to the Pew Research Center in a report published in 2018:
- About one-third of children in the United States are living in a home with an unmarried parent. This number is double from what it was in 1968.
- According to their analysis of the data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 3% of children in America do not live in a home with either of their parents.
- The report documents that 24 million children under the age of 18 live with an unmarried parent, that number in 1968 was 9 million, that is a 167% increase.
- 21% of children under the age of 18 live in a fatherless home.12
In 2015 the Barna Research Group performed a study of unchurched people. For reporting purposes, they combined atheists and agnostics into one group, which they called skeptics. According to the study, 25% of the unchurched adults are either atheists or agnostics. The study showed that this demographic was younger individuals (under the age of 30), more educated, mostly women, racially diverse, and regionally dispersed around the country.
The study also revealed that,
“Just as believers arrive at their belief in God by amassing a variety of information and experiences, skeptics piece together different inputs to draw their conclusions. According to our research, however, it seems the three primary components that lead to disbelief in God’s existence are 1) rejection of the Bible, 2) a lack of trust in the local church and 3) cultural reinforcement of a secular worldview.”13
“Bottom line: As a nation, we are thinking less and less about God. We are God-less. And the fallout from this fact is eroding our foundations. From a purely human perspective, you could attribute this declining spirituality to a combination of secular and atheistic voices advancing an anti-God agenda, along with Christians’ failure to impact and infiltrate their communities.”14
Rhodes writes that,
“Because people are now making moral decisions based not on the Bible but rather on self, they have a much more liberal attitude on a variety of ethical issues. For example:
- 71 percent of Americans now believe that divorce is morally acceptable. Ignored is the fact that God Himself created marriage, and He intended it to be permanent (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6). God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Marriage in the Bible was intended to be dissolved only when one of the marriage partners dies (Romans 7:1-4; 1 Corinthians 7:8-11; 1 Timothy 5:14).
- 68 percent of Americans now believe that sex between an unmarried man and unmarried woman is okay. Ignored is the fact that Scripture affirms that the body is not for fornication and that a person should flee it (1 Corinthians 6:13-18). Fornication should not even be named or spoken of among those who call themselves Christians (Ephesians 5:3 ESV).
- 63 percent of Americans now believe that cohabitation—living together outside of the bonds of marriage—is okay. Ignored is the fact that God Himself instituted marriage, and Scripture instructs that if a man and woman are sexually attracted to each other, “they should go ahead and marry” (1 Corinthians 7:9).
- 63 percent of Americans believe it is okay to enjoy sexual thoughts or fantasies about someone other than one’s spouse. Ignored is Jesus’ injunction to maintain purity in one’s thought life: “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
- 63 percent of Americans believe that gay or lesbian relations are okay. Ignored is the fact that Scripture consistently calls homosexuality a sin (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
- 61 percent of Americans believe it is fine to have a baby out of wedlock. Ignored is the biblical emphasis that childbearing should take place within the marriage relationship (Genesis 1:28; 1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:3-5).
- 69 percent of Americans believe “euthanasia is acceptable, and more than half of them support doctor-assisted suicide…Fifty-one percent of Americans say they would consider ending their own lives if diagnosed with terminal illness.” As well, 40 percent of Christians agree with the practice.11 Ignored is the fact that issues of life and death properly lie in the sovereign hands of God alone (Job 14:5; Psalm 139:16). Euthanasia and suicide violate the sixth of the Ten Commandments: “You must not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
- 53 percent of Americans agree that it’s okay to have a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex to whom you are not married. Ignored is the fact that adultery is consistently condemned in Scripture (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10; Matthew 5:27-28; Hebrews 13:4).”15
The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” The premise that only God is the source of human rights and freedom started eroding in part because of the post–World War II economic boom and the growing protest culture of the 1960s. We turn the clock forward to 2020 and what we find is that freedom is nothing more that the removal or elimination of virtually all moral restraints. It has become a license to do whatever one wants to do, whenever one wants to do it. We have blurred the line between right and wrong, good and evil. Everything became relative with no more absolutes (except that one, of course).
Consequently, religion—particularly evangelical Christianity—has been marginalized because of its adherence to biblical morality and for speaking out against the liberal, anything-goes, unrestricted freedom that so permeates the American culture. Paul Nyquist wrote that,
“For nearly 250 years, Christians in America were able to live in relative freedom from persecution. We escaped because our society historically embraced and promoted biblical values. Our founding fathers penned a Constitution esteeming religious freedom and establishing that rights come from God, not the government.
But we’re witnessing an epic change in our culture—a spiritual climate shift threatening to reshape life as we know it. Hostility and intolerance are replacing toleration. Rejection and even hatred are pushing aside acceptance.”16
For decades, Christianity has been steadily declining in the United States. Although studies done by the Pew Research Center and other research organizations report that up 70% of Americans self-identify as Christians, the truth is that only about 18% of Americans attend church on a weekly basis.17 That decline is only increasing with a secular worldview on the rise. David Jeremiah states that,
“The downward trend has begun, and momentum is building. The government, the educational system, the entertainment industry, and the media no longer share our values, which means faithful Christians are becoming alienated from the dominant forces in society. Christianity is now a religious subculture, increasingly demonized, ridiculed, and marginalized.”18
Nyquist says that Christians need to,
“Get ready, an exciting, yet terrifying era is beginning for American believers. As cultural changes sweep our country, we’ll soon be challenged to live out what the Bible says about confronting and responding to persecution.”19
In his book, Nyquist states that,
“John S. Dickerson, in his well-researched book The Great Evangelical Recession, writes, “In the coming decades United States evangelicals will be tested like never before, by the ripping and tearing of external culture change—a force more violent than any of us expect. Evangelicalism in the United States has stood strong through centuries of difficulties and setbacks. She has not seen anything quite like what she will see in the next fifty years.”
What is coming? Dickerson make four observations:
- The United States’ broader host culture is changing faster than most of us realize.
- The change includes pro-homosexuality and anti-Christian reaction.
- The rate of change will accelerate as the oldest two generations die, taking their traditional values and votes with them.
- These changes will reach an intensity where they directly affect the church and our values as individual evangelicals.”20
Erwin Lutzer states that,
“We have crossed an invisible line, and there are no signs that we are capable of turning back. Like a boat caught in the mighty torrent of the Niagara River, we are being swept along with powerful cultural currents that just might put us over the brink. Seemingly irrevocable trends put in motion forty years ago continue to gather greater momentum and speed. Our Judeo-Christian heritage that gave us the freedoms we have enjoyed is for the most part gone, and in its place is an intolerant form of humanism that can boast of one victory after another. The “cultural war” we used to speak about appears to be over, and we have lost.”21
We have seen over the last few decades an increasing number of court rulings that have been prejudicial against religious freedom. Nyquist states that,
“The second game-changing trend is the erosion of religious freedom. Nothing is more precious to Americans than freedom. The Statue of Liberty stands boldly on the shores of our nation proclaiming to the world that this is the land of the free. For over two centuries brave American soldiers have fought and died to protect our freedom.
While this liberty includes political freedom from totalitarian rulers, our nation’s founders also ensured that it included religious freedom. The first line of the First Amendment in the United States Constitution is, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
But over the past few decades, religious freedom has been eroding. A Pew Research study rates the United States at a moderate level of restrictions in religious practices compared to other countries. In addition, the study indicates there’s been a “marked increase” in hostility toward religion since 2009. Since religious freedom and persecution operate in a converse relationship with each other, this guarantees tough days ahead for believers.”22
Nyquist goes on to say,
“If you’re under age forty, it may not seem like the culture has significantly changed, but in the eyes of those in our forties, fifties, and beyond? It’s been dramatic… Now the environment is hostile. Now we are told our views aren’t welcome. Now we’re hated. We’re lumped into the same bigoted, narrow category as Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Researcher George Barna, in his book Futurecast, writes, ‘Americans are becoming more hostile and negative toward Christianity.’”23
1 Charles C. Ryrie, The Best is Yet to Come (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1981), 109.
2 Ibid., 110-11.
3 John F. Walvoord, The Nations in Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1967), 173.
4 Mark Hitchcock, Is America in Bible Prophecy? (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2002), 81.
5 Terry James, The American Apocalypse (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2009), 105.
6 Source: https://wisconsinrighttolife.org/abortion-statistics/.
7 Source: https://purehope.net/resources/statistics/.
8 Ron Rhodes, End-Times Super Trends (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2017), 106-107.
9 Cited in James, The American Apocalypse, Op. cit., p. 110.
10 Source: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/families.html.
11 Source: https://www.usnews.com/news/elections/articles/2020-02-14/the-state-of-american-households-smaller-more-diverse-and-unmarried.
12 Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/27/about-one-third-of-u-s-children-are-living-with-an-unmarried-parent/.
13 Source: https://www.barna.com/research/2015-state-of-atheism-in-america/.
14 Jeff Kinley, The End of America? Bible Prophecy and a Country in Crisis (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2017), 24.
15 Rhodes, End-Times Super Trends, 52-54.
16 J. Paul Nyquist, Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2015).
17 Source: http://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/139575-7-startling-facts-an-up-close-look-at-church-attendance-in-america.html.
18 David Jeremiah, Is This The End? (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), p. 60.
19 Nyquist, Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture.
20 Nyquist, Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture.
21 Erwin W. Lutzer, Where Do We Go From Here? Hope And Direction In Our Present Crisis (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2013), 5.
22 Nyquist, Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.
Dr. Miguel J. Gonzalez is the Founder and President of Reasons for Faith International Ministries. He served as a pastor for ten years in Charlotte, NC and has taught in churches and conferences throughout the United States. He currently hosts the Time in the Word and Truth To Live By podcasts and writes at KnowingChristianity.blogspot.com.
Copyright © 2006–2021 by Miguel J. Gonzalez Th.D. and published by Reasons for Faith International Ministries, Inc. by permission. No part may be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright © 2006-2021 Miguel J. Gonzalez Th.D.) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.