Last week, Randy Hekman raised this question, and I daresay that most who read it immediately answered “yes” in their hearts.
You see, over the past four years, as I’ve had opportunity to minister the Word in many churches around the nation, I have asked the question, “Do you believe that our nation is under some degree of judgment from God?”
No matter what region in America I am, or what Christian denomination the person I am asking the question is, 90% of the time the answer coming back is “yes.”
But I don’t stop with that question. My second question is, “How many of you believe there is a greater judgment to come if we stay on our present course?” Again, there is at least 90% affirmation.
But it’s the answer to my third question that is the most disconcerting. I ask, “Then how many of you have actually changed the way you live, either in the physical, the emotional, or most importantly the spiritual realm?”
If you have watched the Doomsday Prepper series on the National Geographic Channel, you can see that numbers in our nation are seeking to prepare for future catastrophe. For example, they are beginning to store up extra food, water, and other supplies for what could become difficult days ahead.
I have also met more and more people who love to discuss topics of judgment or societal collapse in general, thereby attempting to prepare themselves and their families mentally and emotionally for future challenging days.
And then there are the few who are responding to the times in which we live with greater spiritual fervor and preparation. But only a few!
Back to my third question mentioned above. Even though 90% of those in the church sense that we are under God’s judgment, with greater judgment to come, fewer than 25 percent of those say that they are actually doing anything about it. After all, they reason, if God is judging us, we will just be judged.
As Randy mentioned in last week’s article, “The good news is that when families and churches sincerely repent and seek forgiveness from the Lord and those they have wronged, He responds in mercy and blessing.” We must not get caught in the trap of feeling hopeless or helpless, and we must not be unresponsive to God’s discipline and judgment if it truly is upon us.
What About Nations?
In the summer of 2010, I wanted to find out the answer to this question: “What does God say about nations, and does God still judge nations?”
I was overwhelmed with how many references there are to nation or nations in Scripture. In fact, 650–700 times these concepts are used in the Old and New Testament.
Certainly the majority of those are in the Old Testament and often in the context of judgment. But I can find no suggestion whatsoever from any text in the New Testament that God has ceased to deal with nations, despite His ongoing emphasis on individuals.
The biblical text that most gripped my heart is found in Jeremiah 18:1-12. Please take time to read the whole passage, but let me refer to part of it here:
At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it (vv. 7-10 NASB).
There should not be a paltry 25% of the church that is responding to God’s judgment and greater judgment to come. We must respond with overwhelming brokenness and repentance and prayer … with ONE VOICE, CRYING OUT TO HIM!
What About Me?
We each need to respond—individually, as a family, and as a Christian community, the church. If there is any hope for our nation, it must begin in the church. Since judgment begins in the church, “the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17), then let repentance and prayer begin there also.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! What about you?