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America in Bible Prophecy


One of the conundrums raised by the dispensational understanding of end-times is explaining why the United States of America is not mentioned in biblical prophecy.

Greg Laurie is one of the latest to offer an explanation as to why America is not mentioned in connection with end-times (America's Inevitable Collapse),

In a November 30 sermon entitled "Israel, Iran, ISIS and Bible Prophecy," Laurie preached that Christians are now living in the "last days" before the fulfillment of various End Times prophecies laid out in the Bible book of Revelations. Current events such as Israel establishing itself as a nation, Russia alignment with Iran and the rise of Islamic extremism, he said, are setting the stage for a predicted conflict in which the world's forces turns against Israel.

One force that will be missing during that conflict, Laurie says, is the United States of America. "[As] the forces of antichrist emerge, I believe that America will fade from the scene." Putting the United States in the context of Scripture, he explained, "We are not found in the End Times scenario."

Laurie believes that America's absence in the global map described in the Revelations can be explained by one of two scenarios. "No one can say with certainty, but it would appear that we're going to fade as a world power [because] maybe we fall in line as one of the confederated nations under the antichrist but the version I prefer the most is we would have the rapture and so many Americans would be taken to heaven that that would be the explanation for our demise as a nation."

The article goes on to explain,

The California pastor quoted Bible passages and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to show that the Great Tribulation is at hand.

"Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was quoted recently stating that the world is experiencing 'historic defining times that will result in a new world order' while questioning America's role in the emerging world. Elaborating further Hagel said 'This is a time of global transformation. We are essentially seeing a new world order evolving and being built. I don't think we've seen such a time since right after World War II.'"

He summed, "I don't know what Defense Secretary Hagel meant by that but I believe a new world order is coming."

Since the United States is supposedly missing from the new world order, an explanation must be offered.  According to Laurie, America will be weakened and enter into an alliance with the Antichrist, or else greatly weakened by so many Christians being taken away in the Rapture.  The usual explanation given for America's massive decline, is our nation's current moral, economic, and political situation.  Laurie doesn't go there. 

Although Laurie believes that America is missing, Russia, Iran, Sudan, and Israel are specifically mentioned.  This is based upon the usual dispensational misreading of Ezekiel 38-39 (A Russian-Iranian End-Times Alliance?).

Israel's future is discussed by Paul in the New Testament (in Romans 9-11), but in that passage, Paul speaks of the future of Israel in terms of the Jews as a race living after the first coming of Christ.  Furthermore, Paul's discussion takes place in light of God's larger redemptive purposes until the Lord returns a second time.  If dispensationalism is correct, you would think that in the one passage where Paul speaks of Israel's future, the Apostle would make mention of Israel's return to the land in Palestine.  He doesn't.  In fact, Paul makes no mention of a "golden-age" millennium occurring either before or after Christ comes back.  He makes no reference to Jesus returning to occupy David's throne in Jerusalem (a key feature of the dispensational understanding of the millennium).

The reason why America is not specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy is because there are no specific nations mentioned in biblical prophecy!  Israel is spoken of only in terms of the Jewish race, (i.e., true Israel, the believing remnant, and "all Israel") but not as the modern nation we know in the Middle East.

The great irony in all of this is that although dispensationalists are patriotic citizens and fellow believers, their eschatology pushes them to anticipate (if not root for) the decline of America so that Christ can return.  The irony is greater still when we consider that many dispensationalists (certainly not all) are "Christian America" folk who mistakenly believe that America has a national covenant with God, much like Israel possessed in the Sinai Covenant.  So, God must "cut-off" America, in order to bring about a new world order, and then allow Russia, Iran, and Sudan to invade Israel, at or about the time of the Rapture and the tribulation.

It is a shame that none of this is taught in Scripture.  It does make for a good story, and it surely sells many books.  America's absence from the end-times even explains, to the satisfaction of many, why Barack Obama is ruining America--after all, he's fulfilling biblical prophecy! 

Greg Laurie, however, holds out hope that so many Americans will become Christians that when the Rapture occurs, America will be seriously weakened and will not be a player in the new world order.  This is a less-politically oriented view than is usually offered, but ends up making Greg Laurie a postmillennial, dispensational, premillennarian.

Now that is ironic!

Reader Comments (5)

Book of REVELATION, not Revelations.
January 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterraub
One aspect of this debate about Eschatological Systems is the ability for observers to stereotype and categorize people based on what they (the categorizer) think they know what the categorizee believes. Kim, how does anybody know what Laurie truly believes as a whole on this ? These systems have grown so complex and have been altered and revised so many times over the last 200 years or so that an average person has no hope in figuring out who or what to believe, so who can blame the average Christian for being "ignorant" or "non-intellectual" as you guys like to say on these matters. We (the average Christians) are focused on making a living, putting our kids through school, functioning in the frontlines in a society that largely hates God, and doing so while maintaining a Christian Testimony.

I am no fan of the Calvary Chapel organization (having attended there for 10 years), but I have found many of the people there to have a genuine love and passion for the Scriptures and Christ, which (BTW) I do not see exhibited in many of the "Reformed" churches I have attended. On one hand you say Dispy's are our beloved brothers, yet on the other hand you call them "Kooks", I don't get it.
January 31, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergrant
Just because you have kooky family members doesn't mean that you don't love them : )
January 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick
Or, another possible explanation as to America's role in the end times is it does have a role: America is the Daughter of Babylon. I happen to believe this.
February 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
February 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

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