A Sobering Pattern Of History
The nations fall before you (Psalm 45:5, NLT).
Will America fall into a predictable pattern of history, or rise above it, by God's grace?
Great empires before us have been reduced to rubble by the same identifiable forces that prevail in our country today.
In his powerful study, When Nations Die, Jim Nelson Black identifies ten factors that have appeared in great civilizations of the past and led to their decline and fall. In some cultures, Black observes, as few as three or four of these symptoms of social, cultural, and moral decline would be enough to bring a society to the point of imminent collapse. The list includes:
1. Increase in lawlessness
2. Loss of economic discipline
3. Rising bureaucracy
4. Decline in education
5. Weakening of cultural foundations
6. Loss of respect for traditions
7. Increase in materialism
8. Rise in immorality
9. Decay of religious belief
10. Devaluing of human life
Tragically, according to Dr. Black, the United States is the first nation in history where all ten symptoms are present in one society at one time!
In his assessment of the risks to any society that tries to live without God, Charles Colson states: "You smell the decay, you smell the rotting flesh of Western civilization today, much like you would have smelled the decay in fourth- and fifth-century Rome."
Dr. Charles Stanley remarks, "Unless there is a revival, this nation is going to get worse and worse and worse."
This is echoed by Pastor John Hagee, who gives this warning, "America is history. It's over unless there is a broad, sweeping revival of righteousness."
God says, "They have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. On this account the anger of the Lord has burned against His people, and He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them down, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses lay like refuse in the middle of the streets. For all this His anger is not spent, but His hand is still stretched out" (Isaiah 5:24,25, NASB).
Notice God's warning of judgment, but also notice that because of His desire for mercy, "His hand is still stretched out."
What must we do to reach His outstretched had of mercy? This will be addressed in a future message.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.