Monday, October 23, 2017

Great Nations

I recently listened to a video clip of a well-known Christian leading prayer in the Washington Mall. He prefaced his prayer by saying, “To become great again, America must turn back to the God that made it great in the first place”. While many Christians believe this statement to be true, it is seriously flawed.

The speaker assumes that God wants “great nations” and that he uses “great nations” to fulfil his plans. The “great nations” in the scriptures are called “beasts”. They are energised by the spiritual powers of evil, not by God. He sometimes uses great nations to accomplish purposes, by destroying another great nation, or by chastening the people of God by attacking them, but they are not the main vehicle for the accomplishment of his purposes.

I challenge anyone to show me from the New Testament that God has plans to use great nations to accomplish his purposes. Rather, it says that God is creating a new nation of people who trust in him. Jesus did not say that he was establishing a great nation to fulfil his work. Rather, he spoke incessantly about the Kingdom of God. He came to establish the Kingdom of God, not a great nation.

Persuading a group of states to unite and become a greater one and then making it bigger by conquering territory is not part of Jesus plan for redeeming the world. According to my reading of Revelation, this is the strategy of the dragon (Rev 13:1).

There is no doubt that the United States has become the most powerful and wealthy and powerful nation that has ever existed. It was made great by hard work, enterprise, and political power. But that does not make it pivotal for Jesus plans to establish his kingdom.

150 years ago, many Christians believed that the British Empire would be instrumental in establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. Historians say that the British did much that was good, but they also did great harm. That is the best that a great nation can do. No one now claims that the British Empire brought the Kingdom of God closer. In fifty years, I suspect that historians will make the same judgment about the American empire.

The message of book of Revelation is that all great nations will have to collapse and fall, before the Kingdom of God can come in fullness.

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