David Jeremiah - The Apathy of America
I will never forget the day I first read this paragraph and felt like it was so descriptive of where we are today as a nation. Democracy is always temporary in nature. It simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promised the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose physical policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
And then he said, "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been 200 years". During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence, from bondage, to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from great courage to liberty, and from liberty to abundance, and from abundance to complacency, and from complacency to apathy, and from apathy to dependency, and from dependency back to bondage. It is not a stretch to describe the United States as a nation that has become apathetic. With all the blessing we have in this country, everything that God has done for us in this nation, how easy it is for us to take it for granted and just to fall into a sense of entitlement that we deserve this, that we should have this, when in reality, what we have is the result of sacrifice on the part of many people who paid dearly for the American way of life.
So, I want to talk with you today about the subject of apathy. Why are we apathetic and what can we do about it? How can we move back into the right cycle in our own lives as Christians and as Americans? First of all, let me talk to you about the founding fathers of this nation and what they believed was important for America. Many people argue that our founding fathers were not Christians. I don't know whether they were all Christians or not but I know most of them believed in God. And it's very evident as you read the documents of this nation that this nation was founded on the principles of the Bible. The very foundation upon which we were built, the very foundation that caused our nation to be the kind of place that it is, we're little by little pushing those things away.
Is it any wonder that we've become apathetic? We're losing our core values and that's one of the reasons why we have become what we've become as a nation today. Now, let me talk to you about why that is so hard to comprehend. America and the provision of God. In his providence in ways that you and I know down deep in our hearts, Almighty God has provided for America and provided for us like it seems as if he has provided for no other nation in the world. Considering a few of these blessings might help us to get a little better feeling about who we are and why we should be a nation under God. First of all, the blessing of our forefathers.
Herbert Hoover, who was the thirty-first president of the United States said, "Our forefathers built for the United States a government, new and different from all the governments of the old world by three strokes of genius. First, they enacted a written constitution. They made, secondly, a division of powers within the federal and state governments by separating the legislative, judiciary, and executive branches. And third, they reinforced all of this by declaring to establish a government of laws where every citizen was equal before the law".
Those were the founding three principles of American establishment. What was the source of these ideas? You'll be interested to know while they knew they were not recreating Israel, they studied the Scriptures and they discovered some interesting facts. Number one, they discovered that Moses gave to the people of Israel a written Constitution. God gave it to him, he gave it to us. And a tripartite government in Israel was made up of the prophets, the priests, and the kings, just like our three-part government.
And in the early years of this nation when those principles were being followed, we were knocking it out of the park. I remember days when it seemed like America could do no wrong. There was prosperity, there was excitement, there was a sense of pride in our nation and all of that was the result of this that God gave to our founding fathers as he blessed our nation with this tremendous way to begin. And then, another blessing that we have is the blessing of our freedom. I don't know if you ever thought about it, but the pilgrims came to America for one reason. They came here to be free. They came here to worship according to their conscience and the founding fathers fought for the right of these citizens, rather than restricted subjects of an earthly king, to be able to practice their faith.
And you know what? Ever since that happened when we opened the doors of this nation, Americans have welcomed those yearning to breathe free. You remember the words of Jesus? He said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"? Freedom is the yearning of the human heart and Americans' Declaration of Independence reflects where it comes from. Let me just read a paragraph of it because we don't talk about this very much anymore. "We hold those truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator," not by their government, not by their nation, not by their state, "By their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
We have what we have as individual citizens of this nation because they have been gifted to us by Almighty God. And when we forget that, when we think the government controls that or we think the politicians control it, that's when we start to lose our way. And how many you know, we've kind of lost our way in recent years? And then, have you ever thought about the richness of this nation? I think people are quite surprised when they realize that America's only about 6% of the population of the world, yet we are so much richer than the rest of the world.
And so, that brings us to this question, if these blessings are ours, how could we be apathetic? How could we not care? Well, it's easy, isn't it? We sort of get a feeling that we are entitled, that we deserve this. We don't deserve this any more than any nation in the world, but Almighty God has poured out his incredible blessing on this nation. We are so blessed to be Americans. And so, people say, "Well, okay, we're a blessed nation. Well, what's gonna happen to us in the future"? America and the plan of God is what I want to talk to for just a moment.
I have a friend, some of you may have heard of him, maybe you've heard him speak. His name is Joel Rosenberg. He's an incredible writer, wonderful friend, and he's written many books about the end times. And he's been consulted by leaders of Israel, the United States, and many other nations. He recently said in my presence that when he first started talking about all of these things, people would come up and ask him questions like, "Joel, how can you be Jewish and believe that Jesus is the Messiah"? They would ask him that question. But he said, "Since 2000, the most frequent question I get asked is not that question anymore. Since 2000, the question is, 'What is going to happen to America in the last days?'"
And since he's a student of prophecy, they're hoping that he could open the Bible someplace and show them a page where it says, "This is what's gonna happen to America". But he said what I believe to be true, America is a great nation, but there is no record of America anywhere in the Bible, not one place. You can scratch and claw and try to find it, some people make up things, but they're not there. There is no reference to America in the Bible. Somebody said, "Well, why would that be true? God is so blessed this nation as we've just discussed. Why wouldn't he say something about the future"? And I want to give you some reasons why.
Somebody's gonna ask you that question one of these days and here's some reasons. First of all, there aren't any nations in the Bible mentioned that weren't in existence when the Bible was written. Can you imagine somebody living in Israel reading about America when America didn't even exist? So they wrote about the nations that were in existence and that's just one of the pragmatic reasons why we're not mentioned in the Bible, but here are some other reasons I'd like you to consider.
First of all, some people think that the reason we're not included in prophecy is because when you look at the world today and you see the European common market, all the nations in Europe, and since most of us, our ancestry comes from Europe, that we're sort of kind of grandfathered in to all of the prophecies about the European common market. But there's no evidence of that. That's really weak. That's not something you can hang your hat on. You don't want to use that argument, but maybe they think that America gets swallowed up in the one world money system where everybody's going right now. We call it globalism. We've gone from having the world's reserved currency, which we've always had as the dollar, and being the greatest creditor nation in the world to being the greatest indebtor nation in the world.
And some people think, "Well, look, we're $19 trillion in debt. We got $129 trillion of unfunded entitlement programs and America won't be in the future because America will be gone. America will be swallowed up in her debt". Maybe that's possible. Here's another reason people give, America might be invaded by outside sources. I mean there was an idea years ago that that could never happen, not in this country. No one could come into this country and do us harm, and then 9/11 happened.
All of a sudden, oh, that kind of revised our approach because, as you can see, terrorists don't care how they hurt you. Terrorists don't want to bargain with you because you don't have anything they want except your life. They're operating on the philosophy that doing harm to you raises their status with their god. It's no longer impossible that America could be invaded. I watch the news just like you do. I see the missiles and all the things that are being developed in other countries and how they always talk about how they now have a missile that can reach America. Maybe we won't be involved in the future because we'll be attacked and destroyed by an outside force. I don't believe that's the truth, though. I don't think that'll happen. I think God will continue to allow America to exist. I don't think we're gonna go out of existence because we're blown away by another nation.
Here's another one, this is really possible in my estimation. Maybe we aren't in prophecy in the future because we've been infected by moral decay. You know, most of the nations that have fallen in history haven't fallen from outside attacks. They've fallen from inside decay. Yes, we have moral decay in our nation, and if we continue down that road without a revival, without some sort of reversal of what's happening, it won't make any difference whether we get attacked or not. We will lose our moral will to survive because that's what happens when moral decay takes place. But I can't to give you my most favorite reason, if you can have a favorite reason for something like this, the reason I believe America is not gonna be in history. And this is not a negative reason, in many respects, it's a positive one. Here it is, America will be incapacitated because of the Rapture.
Now, just stop and think about this for a moment. Think about this. Imagine, imagine, men and women, what would happen to the moral and spiritual health of America if every true Christian suddenly disappeared. I mean, we don't know how many true Christians are here. We don't have the ability to take an x-ray of a person's heart and know that, but some people have actually said that it could be as many as 70%. I think that's a little bit exaggerated, but let's just say 50%. Suppose 50% of the people who live in America were suddenly Raptured out of here, and what was left was what was left.
More devastating than the number would be the absence, first of all, of the Holy Spirit because, you know, the Holy Spirit doesn't live in the world at large. The Holy Spirit lives in the heart of every Christian, so if all the Christians are gone, the Holy Spirit's gone from the earth. And, you know, the Holy Spirit was given to the world to provide judgment and cause conscience. So, with the Holy Spirit absent, there's no judgment, there's no conscience. It's free for all immorality. But let me just give you some encouragement as we come to the end of this session.
If you go to the New Testament, you need to be reminded that the New Testament books were written by the apostles during a time when the world in which they lived was very much like what we're dealing with now. I mean, it was quite a bit worse, if you want to know the truth, 'cause Rome was in charge and the emperors like Nero and Domitian were wreaking havoc on the church. And so, many of the writers would write to these believers to encourage them as they faced the situations that they were facing. And perhaps the guy who wrote the most powerful and encouraging things was a man by the name of Peter. His first book, 1 Peter, is a book of hope, and it is filled with encouragement for us for such a time as this.
Peter addressed his letter, and you know who he addressed it to? Pilgrims and strangers. That's what we are. We're Christians. This isn't our home. I remember growing up, we used to sing this spiritual, "This world is not my home. I'm just passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue". So I'm a citizen of this earth, but my ultimate citizenship is in heaven, and that's what Peter, he described this, as he wrote his letter. He says, "Okay, pilgrims and strangers, you are living in this world and it's not your home world. Let me give you some hope. Let me give you some encouragement". And he said, first of all, "You're living hope rests in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ".
Here's the first thing. There's three things I want you to get them all. Number one, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the first reason we have to have hope. Listen to 1 Peter 1:3, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". If Christ has overcome the last enemy, which is death, then surely there is no situation we face that cannot be overcome through Jesus Christ. We are enormously blessed by this reason. You know, you can look around at everything that's wrong and just stop and say, "But the one thing that nobody knows how to deal with is death". Almighty God already dealt with it. He dealt with death when he put Jesus in the tomb and raised him back up from the grave.
And you know what it says? Jesus said, "Because I live, you too shall live". In other words, "I'm the guarantee. Since I came out of the grave that one day you're gonna come out of the grave". So let me stop and put this in perspective. If everything goes south, if everything you think could happen does happen, you still win because Jesus Christ is the living Savior and he is reigning and death cannot, death cannot take you away. So our living hope rests on the power of the resurrection. Secondly, our living hope rests on the promise of a reward. The Bible says that when all of this is done down here, if we're faithful to the Lord, one day we're gonna stand before him and hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant". And the Bible says we're gonna be rewarded.
And if you read 1 Peter, you will discover how special that reward is. The Bible also says that while God is protecting your reward in heaven, he's also protecting you for the reward. How many of you know God works both sides of the street? He does. He protects the award so it's safe, and he protects you so when you get to heaven, you're safe. And nothing's gonna happen to you that you gonna take away the reward that God has prepared for those who walk uprightly for him. So when you're discouraged down here and it looks like nobody's noticing that you're hanging in there and you're doing what God wants you to do, remember, all of us play out our lives before an audience of one, don't we? It's what God thinks that's most important.
If you do things that people don't like, if you're not careful, you get swayed to do the wrong thing. But God cares and God sees and he keeps good notes. And one day you're gonna stand before him. But then you would say, "Well, what if I don't make it"? No, no, if you're a Christian, God says, "You're gonna make it. I'm gonna take just as good a care of you on your way to your reward as I'm taking care of your reward that's already secure in heaven". God works both sides of the street. He covers all of the options so that one day, you're gonna have a reward in heaven. You know, I'm sure some of you understand what I mean when I say this, as you get older, you start thinking about heaven in a little different way.
First of all, I have a lot of friends in heaven. My parents are in heaven and some of the people that I've worked with are in heaven. But most of all, my Savior's in heaven. Amen. So, God is in charge. God has put all this together. He knows what's going on. When I get discouraged, I just look up and I'm reminded that every place in the Bible where there's a prophetic passage, in that very context is a passage of Scripture that talks about how to live today. Have you ever noticed that? Here's one in John 14, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it weren't so, I'd have told you. I'm gonna go prepare a place for you. And when I go and prepare a place for you, I'm gonna come and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you might be also".
But what is the admonition? Don't let your heart be troubled. Almighty God's got it in control, amen? And over and over in the Bible when you see that, you begin to realize, you begin to realize that the future is like an anchor. I like to think of it this way, God's promises of the future are like an anchor. And you know where that anchor is? It's wrapped around the throne of God in heaven and I got a hold of the other end of the line. And I'm safe because my future is secure in heaven. So, in these days when we look around and we have a tendency to get a little discouraged because of what we see, I'm here to tell you, God is still in charge and God is on the throne.