America’s Epitaph :: by Don McGee

When a person dies someone will often write a brief description, or epitaph, of their life. Whether it is chiseled into granite headstones or written in newspaper notices, epitaphs can always be found on the hearts of those who knew the deceased best. Some people have even been known to change pictures of headstones into amusing epitaphs.

Each person is different regarding the way they live their lives, thus their own peculiarities will make their epitaph different from all others. Whether humorous or melancholy, they will leave the family and friends with a sense of evaluation of the deceased’s life.

Individual nations can also have epitaphs. Though seldom thought of, God assigns distinction to nations based upon their national agendas. The consequences of a nation’s choices can be in the form of blessings, or in the form of judgments. Though this does not clear individual citizens of personal responsibility, it does foster an evaluation of a nation’s choices whether those choices are by law or by agreed common practice.

History shows that God has evaluated whole nations for their national choices, and in most all examples in Scripture the result was His judgment being poured out upon those nations. Even His own people were not exempt, and that is cause for serious consideration of America’s official national choice to dismiss God.

What is sobering is that the warnings given to those nations in biblical history are similar to the warnings given to the 195 U.S. State Department-recognized nations on this planet today. Nobody thinks much about that and the 6:00 p.m. news programs never make mention of it, but the warnings nevertheless are there. And for those familiar with Scripture, the warnings are glaring neon signs cutting through the thick darkness of national rebellion. To people sensitive to these things, what is about to happen is more clear than the noon-day sun. They understand that America will be held responsible for her choices, and that in the end her epitaph will not be an honorable one.

This is not good news, so what kind of people would warn of such things? Are they Christians who are just confused about Scripture? Are they religious reactionaries whose beliefs parallel those of the Westboro Baptist Church? Are they simply ignorant, backward people? The answer is obviously “no” to those and similar questions. That people would even ask such things is indicative of the prevailing but misguided belief that to speak of God’s judgment is non-Christian because it implies we are making ourselves out as judges—a terrible skewing of Matthew 7:1! The truth is those people are like the watchmen on the walls in Ezekiel 33, and thus have a great responsibility before God.

This subject prompts a lot of questions, and the most provocative ones go all the way back to the reason for America’s existence in the first place. Why did God allow America to happen? Why was she brought to such lofty heights among the world’s nations? So, why is she not in Bible prophecy? No one knows all the answers, but that does not mean we should avoid trying to find them. The search alone will reveal some important truths about our national choices.

Nobody really knows why God allowed events to transpire as they did in the closing years of the 15th Century. It is only with a look into world history that we can formulate some thoughts on the subject, and even with the witness of history we can only speculate in many instances. But, there are some things we do know. We know that America became a haven for the spiritually oppressed as seen in The Mayflower Compact.

We also know that the God-given liberty recognized in our founding documents testifies to the spiritual foundation and insight of our Founding Fathers. Many Christians believe that God used America as a reservation set apart from the growing spiritual degradation of Europe; a place where godly people could develop both the means and the motive for world evangelism.

We do not know exactly why America was allowed to reach such power and affluence. But, we know that, though certainly imperfect, the American soul was touched by the helplessness of the global masses. American sympathy is evidenced by this excerpt from Emma Lazarus’ “New Colossus” written on the plaque mounted on the pedestal of Lady Liberty, “…Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

There was a time when those words meant something noble, but things have changed drastically. It is clear that where they once extended great opportunity to those seeking a better life, they have now been bastardized by social-correctness in turning them into license for entitlement-spawned laziness, a violation of both Scripture (2 Thessalonians 3:10) and plain horse-sense.

Yes, benevolence and compassion are important in God’s eyes. From general policies such as avoiding the colonization of vanquished enemies to specifics like feeding the hungry through the Berlin airlift, America has consistently seen to the needs of weaker nations. In many instances, however, those acts of kindness would not have been extended to us by most of those same nations that benefitted from our generosity. The fact is our nation has gone far beyond the mere call of duty in order to help those who would later, and without a second thought, bite our national hand.

The logical question is this: Can a nation with such a benevolent past pay forward for its future rebellion against God? No. Rather, an emphatic no! That is akin to the idea of being able to buy indulgencies for future sin by presently giving money to some church. That is anathema in the eyes of God. If that is so, then what has happened?

Though progressives and historical revisionists gasp at this truth, the fact is the foundation of the American republic was intentionally fixed to God’s moral code. Remove or dilute that code and the foundation crumbles. It is that simple.

There is no doubt that the moral code once woven into American cultural fabric has been removed. Add to that the removal of constitutional liberties and the ignoring of our system of checks and balances and the face of America becomes horribly disfigured. Elected officials and appointed bureaucrats are complicit with those with evil agendas, and have no remorse or shame for being so. If pressed, any penitence shown is mere window-dressing for a gullible public. The results are obvious. We now have national support for moral decay, the shedding of innocent blood, the in-your-face attitude toward God, the undisguised hatred of Christians and all things godly, etc.

Very little is done to hide these things. God is out, anything goes and that is the way it is. The official response to all protests is a quick and abrasive, “Go to hell if you don’t like it.” A line has been officially crossed that seems to be our national point of no return. That nations have crossed it before and paid dearly is an ominous warning to anyone awake. To those who are asleep none of this means anything.

Two thousand years ago no culture was more corrupt than that of Rome. God sent a letter to the church in Rome that made clear His opinion of the Empire’s conduct, and the warning was clear. In the very first chapter God said He will vent His wrath upon those who endorse ungodliness and unrighteousness, and who suppress truth. He said such people are without excuse, and He called them fools. Further, He said He would give them over to their own lusts, degrading passions, self-deceit and depraved minds. And God then ended with a blazing indictment against any culture that might “give hearty approval to those who practice (such things).” And whether we will admit it or not, that pretty much sums things up for our nation.

Our country is guilty of everything listed in that text and much, much more. The America of the 21st Century is not the America many of us knew. What our nation has become is not what our Founding Fathers would have wanted. It is not what is wanted by what is perhaps many Americans. But, that is the way it is. And, there is no realistic recourse – not even in the voting booth. The decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer regarding homosexual “marriages” indicates clearly there is no recourse. Prayer for this nation will, at best, only result in the delay of God’s wrath by prolonging His mercy a short while. Maybe. And that is a very shaky “maybe.”

It is worth noting that what appears to have been the overriding issue in Romans chapter 1 was the pagan demand that homosexual relationships be considered normal. Their demand for the normalizing of that kind of perversion was so persistent that God “gave them over” to it. The result? They received “the due penalty of their error.” We are not given the whole scenario, but secular history gives us a picture of the horrid consequences of sexual perversion in the Roman Empire. And to the disbelief of some Americans, our country has chosen to follow that same path!

Recently Prof. Roberto De Mattei, deputy chief of Italy’s National Research Council, said the Roman Empire was brought down as a result of the homosexual agenda and its influence that came from Carthage, an ancient city that is in modern Tunisia. He called the city, which was defeated by Rome at the end of the Punic Wars in 146 BC, a “paradise for homosexuals.” Social and political progressives became very angry and said that De Mattei, a Catholic, is ‘a fanatic and a homophobic fundamentalist who has no respect for human rights or diversity.” (The Telegraph, 13 Oct. 2014.)
Do the words of that charge sound familiar, only with an American accent?

It appears from history that this form of immorality is the final straw that brings God’s judgment, and it could be for that reason that America will not recover. It might be that some historian will one day note that 2014 was the critical year for America regarding her place in God’s economy. Though that is speculation, it seems very possible to anyone willing to believe what God has said about these matters and willing to remove their socially-correct blinders.

Said another way, America has made an official decision to embrace what God has so clearly condemned and is willing to dance down that path to self-destruction. What is so damning is not just society’s fully transparent and exponentially growing hatred for God, His word and His people, but also that this hatred has been incorporated into our national agenda by law! If there were any previous doubts regarding our national, self-imposed depravity there certainly are none now.

The following is difficult to pen, but it must be. The external trappings of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, honoring the Armed Forces, standing for the National Anthem, wearing our time-shrunken military uniforms for special occasions and all those other things that can be seen and heard and even emotionally felt have not the sufficient whitewash to cover up the foul-smelling, festering character of modern American culture.

Folks, God does not begin His day by standing and saluting the flag, nor is it placed in honored glory at the right hand of His throne. We might picture this in the patriotic eye of our minds as our voices are lifted in the emotional strains of the grand national hymns of our American past, but all such confidence in America’s special place in God’s economy is simply a thin facade void of reality and truth. What once might have been held up as a gallant example for the nations of the world is today a national slap in God’s face. And that is a very fearful thought!

Can a nation’s benevolent past count more than its current rebellion before God? No. Will America repent? Probably not. Why is America not specific in Bible prophecy? We don’t know, but we do know her national heart has died spiritually. Patriotism is good when extended toward that which is worthy of honor. America’s official government policy, however, is not just Godless, but is caustically so and is thus without honor! We are overdue in admitting that our nation has made a free and informed choice to completely alienate itself from God.

Well, we now have what we officially wanted…but, the piper must be paid. And just the thought of the cost of that choice is bone-chilling. Yes, the church will be taken prior to the tribulation, but we have no guarantee difficult times will not come before that moment (2 Timothy 3). Intercession is greatly needed, especially for younger Christians whose discernment is still immature.

America will have something of an epitaph and, contrary to what we might think, it will be no different from that of all other nations – an inglorious one. To admit the inevitable is not unpatriotic, nor is it capitulation to evil. It is letting nations receive what they demand: estrangement from God thus harvesting exactly what they knowingly plant.

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