(Editor's note: This article is taken from the postscript in the third edition of Dr. Reagan's new book, America the Beautiful? The United States in Bible Prophecy.)
As I view the future of our nation today, I must admit that I have ambivalent feelings. I am extremely sad, and yet I am full of joyful expectation.
I feel a deep sense of sadness as I see the Great American Experiment in representative government come to an end. We have been abundantly blessed by God ever since our forefathers arrived on this continent, and we have served as a channel of His blessings to other nations, both as a proclaimer of the Gospel and as a champion of human rights.
Keys to Our Success
One of the secrets to our great success was our commitment to the Judeo-Christian principles revealed in God's Word. Those principles served as the basis of our systems of government, education, and economics.
An even greater reason for our phenomenal success was our commitment to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our forefathers came to this continent in search of freedom to proclaim the Gospel. Our nation was established as a Christian nation. Our relationships were governed by Christian principles. Our laws were based upon God's commandments. The Church, whether Catholic or Protestant, provided us with our reason for being.
Our Track Record
We were far from perfect. We struggled with difficult issues like race relations, women's rights, and the balance between labor and management. But our hearts were in the right place because of the Christian principles which propelled us in the right direction. We steadily made progress in all these difficult areas, and many others.
Throughout the centuries as we sought to evangelize the American continent, we also sent missionaries to the uttermost parts of the earth.
In the first half of the 20th Century, we soared to great heights as we came to the world's rescue in two world wars. In both cases, we entered these international conflicts for selfless purposes — not to gain territory but to "make the world safe for democracy."
Our Stumbling Point
But at the height of our glory and power, following our victory in World War II, we began to turn our back on God. We took our eyes off the One who had blessed us so abundantly and began to focus on ourselves. We gave our hearts to materialism.
In the process, we began to divorce God from our lives — kicking Him out of our schools and separating Him from our government processes. The secularization of our society became our passion, and the result was increasing paganism in every aspect of life.
Our Persistent Rebellion
We have mocked God. We have given our hearts to idols. We have forgotten the source of our blessings. We have turned a deaf ear to the prophetic voices God has raised up to call us to repentance. We have ignored the remedial judgments He has placed upon us, writing them off to coincidence.
We must now face the consequences of our rebellion. God has stepped back and lowered our hedge of protection. He is allowing evil to multiply. Greed is destroying our economy. Incivility is ripping apart our social structure.
Money has become our god.
Belief in Man has become our religion.
The pursuit of pleasure has become our lifestyle.
And the payoff is nihilism. We are wallowing in despair.
We are destined for destruction. But even as I witness the disintegration of all that I hold dear, my heart is full of joyful expectation because the signs of the times are literally shouting that all of history is about to arrive at its consummation with the return of Jesus.
A Biblical Reminder
My mixed feelings remind me of Jeremiah after his beloved city and temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians and his nation had been taken into captivity. He wrote a funeral lament called Lamentations in which he vented the agony of his heart. But right in the middle of it, in a great act of faith, he suddenly paused and made one of the most hopeful declarations to be found in all of God's Word (Lamentations 3:21-24):
"This I recall to mind,
Therefore, I have hope.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning.
Great is Thy faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul;
Therefore I will hope in Him." (RSV)
Just like Jeremiah, even as I witness all I love being destroyed around me, I can look to the future with great hope and joyful expectation because of the marvelous promises concerning the future that are contained in God's Prophetic Word.
Based on those promises, I know with absolute certainty:
- That Jesus is returning soon;
- That He will defeat all the enemies of God;
- That He will establish a worldwide reign that will bring peace, righteousness, and justice to all the nations.
- And that all of us who are believers will be given the incredible blessing of ruling with Him.
I can hardly wait. All that is within me yearns for the glorious day very soon when Jesus will break from the heavens.
The New World on the Horizon
The corrupt world system that currently dominates this globe is destined to be destroyed. A new world is coming where there will be no homeless, no poor, and no hungry. Justice will prevail. Fairness and equity will abound.
The nations of that world will be committed to the Lord, and the blessings of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.
It is no wonder that the Apostle Paul wrote: "I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).
In the dark days that lie ahead, let us keep in mind that God is on His throne, He still hears prayers, He still answers prayers, and He has the wisdom and power to orchestrate all the evil of Satan and Man to the triumph of Jesus. Keep in mind also that:
"No eye has seen,
No ear has heard,
Nor has the mind of Man conceived
What God has prepared for those who love Him."
(1 Corinthians 2:9)
But God has revealed those things to us in His Word. Cling to those revelations in the days ahead. Cling to His glorious promises, and you will be sustained.
"Oh Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is your Name in all the earth!"