Pastor’s Note: I am reading a wonderful book by Ron Rhodes entitled: 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Ongoing Controversies. Actually, I’m studying it rather than just reading it, because over the years and being involved in the Pentecostal and Charismatic teachings, I have always felt there was too much emphasis placed on prophecy as a predicter of tomorrow and less about what it tells us as to what God wants us to do in the light of it. I do however believe very strongly in prophecy!
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. – Amos 3:7.
This is a fascinating book and Mr. Rhodes takes you step by step through the various controversies, but also gives you a view of how to use the Bible itself to interpret the prophecies within. My teaching for years has always been to allow the Scriptures to themselves confirm the Scriptures and especially when it comes to doctrines and denominational differences.
Anyway; I’ve been wanting to share some of his chapter on how America fits in and so I have taken some highlights from his chapter. I am NOT altering it in anyway other than using some sections and leaving other sections out for those who find the material interesting for themselves. Also understand that the Author is using Prophesies from the Bible and not Prophesying himself. He is only discussing scenarios that line up with Scripture in relation to world events.
All credit goes to the Author and the Publisher. Credit at end of article.
Is America In Bible Prophecy?
The question of whether America is mentioned in biblical prophecy has been the subject of much debate through the years. Some say yes, and others say no. Many theories on the issue have been speculative and far-fetched. Others have taken a more reasoned approach.
Some prophecy enthusiasts believe that Bible prophecy includes no direct references to the United States, but it may mention America indirectly. Here are some possible indirect references.
One of the Nations
Many suggest that a number of general prophetic references to “the nations” in the tribulation period are likely to include the United States.
- Events in Israel will become a cause of stumbling for the nations of the earth (Zechariah 12:2-3).
- God will “shake all nations” (Haggai 2:6-7).
- God will be glorified among the nations (Isaiah 66:18-20).
Of course, even though such passages may indeed include the United States, they do not tell us anything specific about the role of the United States in the end times.
Cooperation with Europe
Though the United States is not specifically mentioned in biblical prophecy, some suggest the possibility that a weakened United States—no longer a superpower—may become an ally with the United States of Europe (the revived Roman Empire) early in the tribulation period. After all, most citizens of the United States have roots in Europe and would likely be more open to allying with Europe than with any other geopolitical entity.
Eventually the antichrist, who begins as the ruler of the revived Roman Empire, will achieve global dominion. The United States will likely be subsumed in the globalism that will emerge and prevail during the tribulation. Even in our day, our present government administration seems to be moving us away from American national sovereignty and is open to handling more and more problems in a global way.
Related to this, when Armageddon breaks out at the end of the tribulation period, troops from around the world will stand against Israel, and troops from the United States may be included. After all, Zechariah 12:3 tells us, “On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.” The phrase “all the nations of the earth” would seem to include the United States.
Zechariah 14:2 likewise states, “I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Again, “all the nations” would seem to include the United States.
Revelation 16:14 reveals that “the kings of the whole world” will be gathered together “for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.” The “kings of the whole world” would apparently include the commander in chief of the US military.
You may be wondering how such a thing could ever happen. Keep in mind that following the rapture of the church, there will not be any Christians on the earth—including in the United States, where many Christians presently live. This means that many of the people in the United States who have long supported Israel will no longer be around to do so, but will be with the Lord in heaven. It is easy to see how a Christian-less United States could ally with the revived Roman Empire and then find itself in league with the antichrist during the tribulation period.
Possible Moral Implosion
Some suggest that America is not mentioned in Bible prophecy because it may eventually implode due to ever-escalating moral and spiritual degeneration. This is a real possibility. Alarming statistics reveal the moral and spiritual trouble in this country.
- Four out of five adults—some 83 percent—say they are concerned about the moral condition of the United States.
- Most Americans believe that gambling (61 percent), cohabitation (60 percent), and sexual fantasies (59 percent) are morally acceptable.
- Nearly half of Americans believe that having an abortion (45 percent) and having a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse (42 percent) are morally acceptable.
- About one-third of Americans give the stamp of approval to pornography (38 percent), profanity (36 percent), drunkenness (35 percent) and homosexual sex (30 percent).
If the moral fiber of this country continues to erode, the demise of this country may be only a matter of time.
Another possibility is that the United States is not mentioned in Bible prophecy because it will be destroyed or greatly weakened by a nuclear attack and will play no significant role in the end times. This scenario may be hard to swallow for some Americans. However, there is certainly a good chance that the United States will be attacked with nuclear weapons at some point in the future. Government advisors are presently saying that a nuclear attack on US soil within the next ten years is more likely than not.
I personally think it’s a stretch to say the entire United States could be destroyed. However, if a major city—New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago for example—were destroyed, this would have a devastating and long-lasting effect on the US economy.
Nuclear terrorism is not merely the talk of sensationalists or alarmists. Some of the greatest thinkers in our land are sounding warning bells. National security experts say the risk of attack by weapons of mass destruction within the next decade may be as high as 70 percent. Some US senators are saying the United States faces an existential threat from terrorists who may get their hands on weapons of mass destruction. In the next decade, they say, we face the very real possibility of nuclear jihad.
The United States faces the problem of having many easy entrances. A terrorist could easily smuggle a nuclear bomb across US borders or into its ports. Only 5 percent of the 50,000 cargo containers shipped into the United States each day get screened. That leaves 95 percent that remain unscreened. A bomb could easily make its way into the country in one of the unscreened containers.
A terrorist group could also launch a nuclear weapon from a commercial ship off the coast of the United States. About 75 percent of the US population lives within 200 miles of the coast. With more than 130,000 registered merchant ships sailing off US coastal waters, the nuclear danger is obvious.
Yet another possibility is that the United States is not mentioned in Bible prophecy because the country may become incapacitated due to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. This realistic possibility is documented in a report issued in 2004 by a blue-ribbon commission created by Congress. In the report, titled “Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack,” some government officials lamented that the technology is now here to bring the American way of life to an end.
According to the report, a single nuclear weapon delivered by a missile to an altitude of a few hundred miles and detonated over the United States would yield catastrophic damage to the nation. Such a missile could easily be launched from a freighter off the coast of the United States. The commission explained that the higher the altitude of the weapon’s detonation, the larger the affected geographic area would be. At a height of 300 miles, the entire continental United States would be exposed along with parts of Canada and Mexico.
The electromagnetic pulse produced by such a weapon would be likely to severely damage or knock out electrical power systems, electronics, and information systems—which Americans daily depend on. At high risk would be electronic control, the infrastructures for handling electric power, sensors and protective systems of all kinds, computers, cell phones, telecommunications, cars, boats, airplanes, trains, fuel and energy, banking and finance, emergency services, and even food and water. Anything controlled or delivered electronically is at risk.
American society would be catastrophically affected because the infrastructure of our society—civilian and military—virtually runs on electricity and electronic components. The commission estimated that it could take “months to years” to fully recover from such an attack.
Starvation and disease could even follow in some parts of the United States following an EMP attack. Expert testimony presented before the US Congress indicated that an EMP attack could reduce the United States to a pre–Industrial Age capacity in terms of transportation options and the ability to provide food and water to the general population. Instead of cars, buses, and trains, people would be reduced to using bikes, horses, and buggies.
Weakened by the Rapture
Still other Christians suggest that the United States is not mentioned in Bible prophecy because the United States will be decimated by the rapture. It seems fair to say that because of the large population of Christians in the United States, the negative effect of the rapture will be greater in America than in most other nations.
Following the moment of the rapture, many employees will no longer show up for work, many bills and mortgages will go unpaid, many college tuition bills and loans will go unpaid, many business leaders will no longer show up to lead their companies, many law enforcement personnel will no longer be here to keep the peace, and the stock market will likely crash because of the ensuing panic. This and much more will result following the rapture.
A Combination Scenario
Several of these scenarios could take place concurrently, and their combined effect could greatly weaken the United States. For example, America could morally implode, a nuclear weapon could detonate in an American city, and the rapture could happen. The combined effect would cause the United States to plummet.
Of course, as an American patriot, I want only the best for this country. However, the scenarios I have described above are entirely possible. They are consistent with what we know of Bible prophecy.
A Historical Note: Great Civilizations Can Fall
Many great nations have risen and fallen throughout human history. In each case, the nation probably had no expectation of its impending demise. Most of the citizens of these nations were not likely to expect their nation to fall. The harsh reality of documented history, however, is that great nations do fall.
- The Babylonians never thought Babylon would fall, but its demise came in less than a century.
- The Persians never thought the Persian Empire would fall, but it finally capitulated after about two centuries.
- The Greeks never thought Greece would fall, but it waned in less than three centuries.
- No one thought the mighty Roman Empire would decline, but it waned after holding out for nine centuries.
Is the United States invincible? We tend to think we are special—that we will succeed where others have failed. But such a mentality may be as arrogant as it is unwise. Research demonstrates that many of the fallen civilizations in history also thought they were superior to their neighbors and forebears. Few of their citizens could imagine their society would one day collapse.
God Controls Nations
God is absolutely sovereign over human affairs. God rules the universe, controls all things, and is Lord over all (see Ephesians 1). Nothing can happen in this universe that is beyond the reach of His control. All forms of existence are within the scope of His absolute dominion. God asserts, “My counsel shall stand, and I accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:10). God assures us, “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand” (Isaiah 14:24).
God is certainly sovereign over the affairs of individual nations in the world. Scripture reveals that God “makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away” (Job 12:23). We are told that “he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place” (Acts 17:26).
What does this mean for the United States? God is absolutely sovereign over the nations, and He is a holy God of judgment. Therefore, is it possible that God may sovereignly judge America in the end times for turning away from Him?
Those who doubt this possibility should consult what the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:18-28. If this passage tells us anything, it warns that when a nation willfully rejects God and His Word, God eventually reveals His wrath against that nation. One way God reveals His wrath is by allowing the people of that nation to experience the full brunt of the ravaging consequences of their sin.
Consider America’s high prevalence of pornography, premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexuality, same-sex marriages, abortions, alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, and much more. America is presently in a dangerous place!
God’s judgment on America for its moral and spiritual degeneracy in the end times could be just one more reason why global power will shift away from the United States of America to the United States of Europe in the end times. Rome will rise again with the antichrist as her ruler.
My personal assessment is that America is not mentioned in Bible prophecy. I also believe America is likely to weaken in the end times. More specifically, I believe that America will continue to plummet morally, that weapons of mass destruction may well be detonated on American soil, and that when the rapture occurs, America will suffer more than most other countries.
*Credit: Ron Rhodes, The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Ongoing Controversies (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2014).
The following is the online summary used for the advertisement of the book:
You’ve heard about the tribulation, millennium, rapture, and antichrist, but you may wonder, what’s all the debating about? Do most Christians agree on the big issues? And what about other topics—dispensationalism, interpretive views, timing of events…are they too complex for most folks to understand?
Not at all! In this concise and easy-to-read review, respected Bible teacher Ron Rhodes identifies eight of the most important end-times discussions. Avoiding complex arguments, he highlights the most important biblical passages, summarizes a few of the most popular interpretations, and provides succinct conclusions. He demonstrates that the Bible’s end-times teaching is intended to be a blessing for every believer.
As you compare and contrast the various viewpoints, you’ll be able to enjoy constructive conversations with other Christians and support your own informed convictions. You’ll also enrich your reading of the Scriptures and see how passages fit together in God’s great plan for the ages.
Title : The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Ongoing Controversies
Author: Rhodes, Ron
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication Date: 2014
*Pastor’s Note: You can get this book through Amazon with their Kindle app for about $10.00 or in paperback for under $16.00. You can get it through Logos Software for just under $10.00. It’s well worth the price. I hope you would consider it as a worthwhile study.
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Debates-Bible-Prophecy-Understanding-ebook/dp/B00LFWFC1E/
Logos.com Link: https://www.logos.com/product/43684/the-8-great-debates-of-bible-prophecy-understanding-the-ongoing-controversies