All that follows I will preface with, "I believe." I am not attempting to establish theology for anyone or to declare that anyone who does not agree with me is a heretic. I am merely sharing my beliefs, grounded on study and prayer, since my opinion has been solicited on this topic more than once.
Many Christians today bring every conversation back to, "Do you think these are the last days?"
This may be based on a personal reading of the Book of Revelation in the Bible. It could be based on the broadcast sermons and teachings of any number of professional End Times preachers who have built careers on pointing to an apocalypse around the corner.
The signs of the times are always easy to read they just aren’t so easy to interpret. Nero was the Antichrist as was Diocletian, King James II, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. False Prophets have equally abounded from the Pope to Martin Luther, from Henry VIII to Rasputin to Jim Jones.
Is the End coming? Most certainly. Can we know when it is coming? Most certainly not. Since it is impossible to know when the end is coming I cannot believe that God would want us wasting any of the precious time He gives us speculating as to when it will arrive instead of being His witnesses to the world .
Since it is anti-biblical to believe we can know the date of the End, it is obviously not a Godly use of our time to try and figure it out anyway. What can we know? Just as we can look at the clouds and know when a storm is coming or smell the wind and know when a rain is on the way, so to we can look at the present state of our nation and know the time of the season. If we use the analogy of a year’s cycle it is obviously fall headed for the winter. It has been fall headed for the winter since the crucifixion of Christ: the fulcrum of History.
Some may ask, "Why has fall lasted so long?" The problem is we really don’t know how long the previous winter and spring were. The belief that the Bible tells us that there were approximately X number of thousand years before Christ and there will be X number of years after Christ equaling 7,000 years as a week in God’s time as taught by some popular TV preachers is based on the a tissue of strung together scriptures and cherry-picked verses. Equally, the belief that the time from Adam and Christ is discernible from the Biblical text is based on the erroneous belief that the Bible is presented as a linear historical document.
While I believe that the Bible contains real History and that it is literally true I do not believe that it presents a year for year time-line type of presentation. The Old Testament is above all a spiritual History of how God chose one people and eventually one person to bring forth the Chosen One: Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the Jews and the Savior of man. I do not believe that by counting up the lives of everyone mentioned in Old Testament genealogies it is possible to know how many years elapsed between "Let there be light" and the birth, death, or resurrection of Christ.
Most of the names mentioned in the many Old Testament genealogies have no age associated with them so the would-be Biblical timeliner has to make a guess. Also when you compare the genealogies there are obvious overlaps, repetitions, and omissions. Compare the New Testament genealogies of Christ found in Luke and in Matthew and you will see the problem with genealogies as linear History. Now multiply that by all the genealogies in the Old Testament and you will begin to see the problem with this method of calculating time.
The people who tell us that the Old Testament gives us an accurate count of the years between the beginning and the beginning of the end are the same ones who tell us that they can figure out from the book of Revelation when the end of time will come. They do this in spite of the fact that Christ Himself tells us in Matthew, "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Then to make the point again it was one of the last things He told us before ascending to Heaven in Acts, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority."
Since we cannot know the day or the hour, the times or the seasons how godly can it be to spend so much time trying to figure it out? So much for trying to figure out when THE end is since it can’t be done. However, I felt I had to deal with that before I moved on to the real subject of this column: whether or not America is under judgment.
I believe that is a topic that can be discerned by anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. I am not talking about the end of the United States. It is and will be called by the same name, waving the same flag. I will let you judge if it is the same country we grew up in.
Looking at the spiritual History of the Old Testament as a guide we see that Judah the southern kingdom of the Jews, the believing remnant that carried on the covenant after the apostatized Kingdom of Israel had been carried off into exile was finally delivered into the hands of its enemies because they had sacrificed their children to pagan gods and walked in the ways of the world. Since 1972 when a case based upon a lie was used by an activist Supreme Court to invent a constitutional right to abort babies over 54 million Americans have been deprived of the most fundamental right of all: Life.
God does not condemn societies because of the sin within them because the same sins are in all peoples at all times. Rather God condemns societies for the sins they condone. Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities of the plains were not destroyed because they were filled with more evil than the Canaanites that God eventually sent the Israelites to destroy. No, these cities were consumed by fire and brimstone because they gloried in what others did in shame.
Stroll down the streets of San Francisco. Flip the dial from the Modern Family to Two and a Half Men from The Jersey Shore to Glee and it seems Jerry Springer has defined the new America. On cable and satellite hard core porn fills the overnight hours while state after state legalizes pot on their way to legalizing everything. The government has taken over the numbers racket, calling it a lottery as they plunder the poorest amongst us by selling them false hope where winning is as likely as being struck with lightening.
What is the judgment of God on nations that have moved out from under His blessing by rejecting His guidance? He casts them down from the heights their former obedience had achieved. In the near future we may become the tail instead of the head as our leaders continue to wag the dog.
Alexis de Tocqueville one of the most astute observers of America said in the early 1800’s "America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Now survey the current state of America for yourself. Don’t accept the opinion of someone else, but make up your own mind. Is America good? The answer to that will provide the answer to the question posed in the title of this column "Is America under Judgment?" For if we are not good what are we? And what is the result of that? Then remember God has told those who follow Him, "A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you."
Keep the Faith. Keep the peace. We shall overcome.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens [email protected] Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens