If my revelation that America’s death warrant has already been signed by the Judge, then why should we even care about our national sins? After all, the nation will perish no matter what we attempt, right? So why not just give up and move to Australia or Brazil?
In his day, the prophet, Jeremiah, was torn by the same revelations that we American Christians now face. Not only that, his commitment to the Lord was pushed to its limits by the adverse conditions he struggled through. He was not allowed to marry, to attend feasts, to go to the Temple or to proclaim his own prophecies. Cruel beatings, imprisonment and extreme persecution marked the last twenty years of his prophetic ministry to Judah.
But yet, Jeremiah faithfully prophesied over and over again that Jerusalem (the chosen City of God with its holy Temple) and Judah could save itself only by surrendering to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
Let’s place Jeremiah’s prophetic words into a more modern context. What if David Ben-Gurion (Israel’s first prime minister) had traveled to his native Poland and Germany in 1939? What if after talking with the Nazi leaders, he declared, “We Jews can trust Hitler. Don’t worry about being relocated to Auschwitz, Belzec and Treblinka. These camps will be safe havens for us Jews,” what would Polish and German Jews have thought of Ben-Gurion?
Certainly not much, considering Hitler’s many writings on the Jewish problem and his Final Solution comments. And Nebuchadnezzar, like Hitler, was a cruel despot who saw nothing wrong with slaughtering innocent people if it benefitted his empire agenda.
So, you can imagine the horrors the Jews felt when Jeremiah spoke his “Thus says the Lord of Hosts” messages about surrendering to the cruel Babylonian army. They considered his words as acts of treason.
But even after Jeremiah definitely knew the Lord was determined to destroy Jerusalem and Judah, he continued to plead for the Jews to repent. Why? What did it matter? After all, the Lord was going to destroy Jerusalem and Judah anyway, right?
At one time I will suddenly speak concerning a nation or kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it; and if [the people of] that nation concerning which I have spoken turn from their evil, I will relent and reverse My decision concerning the evil that I thought to do to them. (Jeremiah 18: 7-8 AMP)
Jeremiah knew God’s heart. He understood God is first and foremost a Redeemer who loves people and that His deepest desire is for people to turn away from sin and walk in His ways. In addition, Jeremiah most likely studied the words of Joel who prophesied about the day of the Lord, but also declared hope for nations who had received a death warrant notice from God:
Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met.] Who knows but what He will turn, revoke your sentence [of evil], and leave a blessing behind Him [giving you the means with which to serve Him], even a cereal or meal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion; set apart a fast [a day of restraint and humility]; call a solemn assembly. (Joel 2:13-15 AMP)
So, Jeremiah held onto hope that the people of Judah would repent and return to God with all their hearts. Then, if they met the conditions of genuine repentance, maybe God would revoke the death warrant pronounced against Judah.
But Judah’s heart was hardened. The nation no longer trusted God to be their Savior and only a few people believed the words of Jeremiah. Thus only a few people surrendered to the Babylonians and were saved. The rest were either slaughtered or taken to Babylonia.
What about America? Can our nation possibly repent enough so that the death warrant against America may be removed by God?
Yes, but it would have to be a Nineveh type of extreme repentance whereby the highest leaders down to the least among us would have to repent and humble ourselves before God. You see, our nation has a high level of accountability before God. Our money is stamped with the words: “In God We Trust.” Our pledge to the flag states, “One nation under God.” Our leaders place their hands on Bibles when they are sworn into office. Plus, America has received countless warnings from men of God about divine judgments, but these men have been rebuked and ignored.
So, America has absolutely no excuse before the throne of God. We are guilty!
Although it is possible America could repent enough to please God, I hold no hope that this will ever happen. Instead, I believe we Christians need to:
…strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus…(Hebrews 12: 1-2 AMP)
We Christians need to prepare ourselves for the dark days lying ahead so that we can be the Body of Christ reaching out to our neighbors, family and friends.
What do we need to do?
(Continued in Part 3)
Click on following link for earlier article: Part 1.