When the ancient Israelites served God, He blessed them! — “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” When they turned their backs on God, He allowed them to go into captivity. First the 10 northern tribes of Israel went into the Assyrian Captivity. Many years later the southern kingdom of Judah, to whom Isaiah 1:4 was spoken, went into the Babylonian Captivity.
What were Judah and Jerusalem guilty of that led to their 70 years of captivity? The prophet said they had become a sinful nation of corrupt evildoers who had forsaken the Lord and turned their backs on Him. That is a trend I see in the United States of America today. We are a nation in moral and spiritual decline, drifting steadily farther from serving God Almighty and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
For example, thousands of innocent babies growing in their mother’s womb have their lives violently terminated each and every day by abortion in America. Moral looseness has led to illegitimacy rates even exceeding 50% in some American cities. As a result, millions of children are being raised without fathers. The Bible and prayer have been removed from the public arena by legislation and the courts. The Constitutionally guaranteed free exercise of religion is being widely attacked. Marriage as God created it — “male and female…a man…[and] his wife” (Matthew 19:4-5) — has been perverted by antiscriptural, alternative definitions of marriage. People are (supposedly) changing their genders, in defiance of Jesus’ clear teaching that “the creator ‘made them male and female’” (Matt. 19:4). Jesus prophesied that in the end times “lawlessness will abound” (Matt. 24:12, NKJV). This is happening right before our eyes in America as lawless mobs prowl the streets of many of our cities [as I write this in November, 2020]. Many more examples could be given of a nation in moral decline.
Why is America in decline? Because the warning the prophet Isaiah issued from God to Judah and Jerusalem just as surely applies to us today: Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. As we saw in ancient Israel and Judah, so we see in the USA today—a nation declines when morality declines and the people turn their backs on God.
And this is happening in a nation where, until recent years, about 80% or more of the population identified themselves as Christian. Recent polls show this number to be declining significantly. The respected Pew Research Center’s 2018-19 polling showed only 65% of U.S. adults identifying themselves as Christian. I am reminded of Jesus’ warning to the Christian church in Ephesus in Revelation 2: “You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent…” (vss. 4-5).
Is there hope for declining America, or for any nation in spiritual decline? Yes, that hope is national revival. God has promised that “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
It’s important to understand that we humans inhabit earthly “kingdoms” or nations: the USA, Germany, India, Nigeria, Brazil, etc. But beyond that, each of us also inhabits one of the two spiritual kingdoms: that of Satan or that of God. Jesus spoke of Satan’s kingdom (Luke 11:18) and of its polar opposite, the kingdom of God (Mark 1:15 and numerous other Scriptures).
The natural kingdom/nation I was born into and live in is the USA. For my first 25 years my spiritual kingdom was what Jesus called “Satan’s kingdom.” I didn’t know Jesus as Savior, so I lived in the dominion, the spiritual kingdom, of my “father the devil” (John 8:44). Then all that changed.
How does a person (I or anyone) come out of the devil’s kingdom and into God’s? By the new birth, through repentance for sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). A Jewish religious leader privately inquired of Jesus and was told by the Lord, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again…  You must be born again” (John 3:3,7).
When we repent of our sins and have faith in Jesus’ blood shed on the cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:2-4), we are saved/born again and are instantly removed from the devil’s kingdom and into the kingdom of God and His Son Jesus. We have a new Father (God) and a new Lord, Jesus! We are now citizens of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. What does that mean for us?
Earthly kingdoms can rise and fall. Some decline into oblivion—for example, who today knows any descendants from the ancient Hittite civilization? If America continues to decline, there is no limit to how far the nation can fall, unless there comes individual and national repentance.
BUT…as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, you are a citizen of an eternal kingdom, the unshakable kingdom of God. There are cataclysmic events coming in the last days. God has promised, “‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:26-28).
Come to God through the only Way, Jesus Christ. You will be born again, will become a son or daughter of God (2 Corinthians 6:18), and will enter into a glorious, eternal, unshakable kingdom—the kingdom of God.
The world has its “kingdoms.” And many of those are in spiritual and moral decline. It appears that my nation, the USA, is on a downward trajectory. Can God save America? Yes, He can, if the nation will repent and turn back to Him. But in all cases, every true believer has a reliable, permanent, unshakable kingdom of heaven, ruled by God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
So we can live victoriously in this world, come what may (for good or for bad), encouraged and strengthened by Jesus’ great promise:
Come to Jesus, love and serve Him. No matter how events turn out in this world, you will be on the eternally victorious side as citizens of the kingdom of the beloved Son of God! In closing I offer three very encouraging Scriptures about our ongoing victory in our Lord and Savior Jesus:
Postscript: If you haven’t yet been born again, here are some Bible verses to help you receive salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ. God bless you!
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©2020, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons &
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Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.