Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Darris McNeely] The world’s most powerful nation, the United States of America, is facing a time of great stress—but also of great opportunity. Growing debt and an uncertain economy, combined with credible terror threats, are creating fear and uncertainty. And, there are cultural changes occurring that bewilder many. And for the ﬁrst time in almost a century, other nations are challenging America’s leading role in the world.
However, this moment presents a chance and a unique opportunity for an urgent message of warning and hope to be given to those who will hear and understand. It is a time for you, even if no one else will hear, to awaken from slumber and understand a timeless message from God’s Word. It is not too late for you to take steps to change your life and realize God’s great purpose for life—even as we see our nation’s crumbling around us.
Join us on Beyond Today as we look at the question: “Will America Be Great Again?”
[Announcer] Join our host Darris McNeely and his guests as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today !
[Darris] Look around at today’s world. Major events are creating a period of change and uncertainty. Something is happening in America. There is a critical “leadership vacuum” that is exposing deeper spiritual issues. It is a crisis draining the hope and the conﬁdence of the nation. Many of us are worried the nation is in a decline and that we might not see a recovery in our lifetime. And, the decline has far-reaching eﬀects upon America’s allies and brothers in the Western world—in places like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Like you, I am watching and hearing and share a growing concern. Like you, my future is impacted by the stability of our nation.
What does this mean? What can you do?
Let me explain the fear and anger people have through a composite story of a typical couple looking for hope and answers to what we all face. Like many others they hope the solution will come from a political leader.
Let’s look at James and Terri, a middle class couple in their mid-forties. James and Terri were high school sweethearts who married soon after high school graduation. They did not attend college—school just wasn’t their thing. They wanted to get on with life. Twenty-ﬁve years ago the American economy was very strong: factories were hiring; the pay was good. Today they live in a rural America on a very small piece of land that they had to scrimp and save to buy. On this land, they built a modest home where they raised three children. Their oldest child, a girl, is a single parent still living at home. So, Terri and James are helping raise their grandson. Their second child is about to graduate from high school and the youngest is in middle school.
James holds a job in a factory doing work dependent on foreign contracts. But he worries the factory will close and the jobs will go to another country. Terri, she works part time at a daycare center and supplements this work as a weekend cashier at a quick mart—a small grocery store that sells gas. Like many today, they consider themselves religious but don’t regularly attend church. Life is too busy for God and the Bible although they know He’s out there somewhere and religion is for special occasions like Easter or Christmas. They have a “live and let live” approach to social issues like abortion or same sex marriage.
This family is barely holding on to what is known as a “middle class lifestyle.” They fear immigrants, they fear terrorists and they fear the future. They see America as having been built by “people like them” and now others want to take it all away. And when a straight-talking politician comes along and promises to stop the slide and return the glory of America, to make the nation great again, James and Terri are ready to listen. They have hope that this time a savior has risen who will restore glory and order to America, its neighbors, and the larger world.
James and Terri are part of a new class of people in our society that they are calling “throwaway people.” Hard working, sincere people who either can’t ﬁnd work or they are underemployed and in danger of being put on the street as homeless.
Many voices say we are near the point of no return. For months I have been watching candidates for the American presidency stand on a national stage shouting, “America no longer wins,” or “America is losing,” and “America is facing the growing threat of Islamic terrorism.” These statements have found a big audience. People know something is wrong. Even the biggest most positive observers of the national and world scene have begun to rethink this question. The signs of decline have become too strong to ignore. They correctly ask, “Has the nation been set on a course for decline”?
Many Americans are concerned about the direction of the nation on many fronts. There is a fear and anger working at many levels today. This entire election cycle has been turned upside down. Conventional leadership based on character and integrity seems lost and hard to discern within the messages. Visionary leaders of yester-year, once able to rally the nation behind messages of hope and meaning, are just not on the stage.
And this reﬂects signiﬁcantly deeper problems that are spiritual in nature. By virtue of America’s historic and prophetic world role, this then becomes a larger problem for the world.
Fear is driving much of the public discussion in not only America but other parts of the world. There is the fear of Islamic terrorist attacks coming to the nearest shopping mall or the nearest large sports event. There is the fear of recession, of economic collapse. And there is the fear among many in the American middle class that their world is threatened and the future uncertain. So, they look to politicians to provide policies of hope. Unfortunately, they elect these politicians only to be disappointed after their terms in oﬃce.
But our composite couple, James and Terri, and many others like them, will be disappointed, again. How about you? The promises of politicians, however well-meaning and sincere, will fall short of restoring America’s greatness.
I can tell you here, right now, the solution will not be found in any political leader we see on the stage. That one lesson should be clear for any who are concerned and deeply care about America and the well-being of mankind as a whole. The state, the government, the humanly devised solution, will never be the ultimate solution. Can you understand that point? It will take a spiritual intervention in the hearts and minds of our population. That is our sure hope.
America and the English-speaking nations have entered a time where the words of the biblical prophets apply more than ever. We have entered a time when the nations are being shaken by God. A diﬀerent world order will emerge. Now is the time for James and Terri and all of us who sense something is wrong to look for answers and solutions beyond the tired promises of politicians, governments and empty religious traditions. It’s a time to look to God and to understand the cause of our problems.
Let’s step back. Let’s take a look at a few trouble spots in the world. Let’s examine what expert observers say about America’s relationship with the nations. It can give context to the question about America’s “greatness.”
Because of its size and wealth the United States has been the world’s sole superpower for the past few decades. Its military and economy are the biggest and strongest in the world. For good or bad it has acted as the world’s policeman in recent years. America led two coalitions into the Middle East to deal with anarchy. It has attempted to instill a democracy to nations like Iraq and Afghanistan. America’s men and women bled and died in places like Fallujah ﬁghting to give a better life to the Arab peoples. We have even lost a dedicated American Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, when terrorists attacked his oﬃce in Libya in 2012.
War, genocide and the inhumane acts of evil repeatedly rise to plague our world. This conﬁrms the biblical teaching that human nature apart from the Spirit of God is “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Christ warned that war and the ever-present threat of conﬂict would be a feature of life right up until His appearing to restore His Kingdom to this earth. But in today’s political discussions and brokering between nations, this biblical worldview is never factored into the international relations strategy of today’s world leaders. Bible prophecy and history show the relentless opposition of powerful, spiritual forces in constant action against God’s purpose. History is a record of God fulﬁlling His purpose among the nations. Satan has also used the nations to try and advance his plan—to oppose God at every turn. And we are seeing that play out in today’s headlines. It’s time you understood the true meaning behind the events that are making news today. It’s time that you sat up and take notice.
America may have armed itself materially and militarily, but it has failed to arm itself spiritually. America is spiritually and morally blind because of its national sins. Because of this it has also entered this “jungle” without the guiding hand of God.
Iran, Syria and the Middle East may seem like irrelevant places to you, but they’re really not. What does it mean to your life right now? Understanding what is happening in today’s world is important to knowing what God is doing with humankind. We’ll return to our question, “Will America Be Great Again?” in a moment, but ﬁrst let me tell you about our free Bible study aid oﬀer today.
Through Bible prophecy, the eternal God foretold not only the rise of the United States and Britain, but also what will happen if—like their biblical ancestors—they reject the true Source of their blessings. Does prophecy reveal what the future holds for them? It certainly does! And to help you understand what lies ahead, I encourage you to order our free study aid, The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy by calling us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or you can write to us at the address on your screen or visit BeyondToday.tv to read or to download a copy [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254].
Our free 130-page book, The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy, complete with full-color maps, and charts and timelines, not only explains the amazing story of the rise to greatness of the United States and Britain, but what’s coming for these nations if they continue turning away from God and sink further into moral sin.
So, please don’t wait! Get your free copy today. You really need this unique and vitally important free publication.
So, will America ever be great again?
The answer to this question is spiritual. It will require us to examine the bigger question of “what has made America”—and for that matter Canada, Australia, Great Britain and all the English-speaking peoples of the world—“great”? The answer is not what you expect. The answer will not be found in any political candidate now or in the future. The answer will only be found in each of us turning to God in a deep, heartfelt repentance. And if your neighbors and the rest of the nation do not join you in repentance…then in the words of the prophet, you will at least save your soul” (Ezekiel 33:9).
For generations, America has placed on its currency the slogan, “In God we Trust.” Now is the time for us to take that slogan seriously and look to God’s Word to understand how America could get itself out of the problems it faces.
Let’s look at the prophet Isaiah. God sent this prophet to another nation who once trusted in Him, but now no longer did. Israel’s spiritual condition mirrors ours today. The message of Isaiah ﬁts us exactly.
Notice how the prophet begins in his ﬁrst chapter. “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider’” (Isaiah 1:2-3).
God says a people who once knew and acknowledged Him had forgotten what He once did for them. Ancient Israel literally turned their backs and ignored plain teaching and warning that would have caused them to return to God.
Likewise today, America and the English-speaking nations have forgotten who made them great. Our nations have created the greatest expansion of wealth in the history of the world. We did this because the God of Abraham was faithful in His promise to bless that patriarch’s descendants in the modern age. America, Britain, Australia and many other nations they touched are those people. Sadly, we don’t know this. As Isaiah said, “we do not consider.” Because we do not know this, we have turned to false religion, godlessness and moral sin.
America cannot be replicated in this world. If it could, it would have already happened through all the foreign aid, intervention and nation building. There is only one America. God did place this land and its people here for a divine purpose. This fact was long recognized long ago by our founders. They recognized this land seemed to be prepared and sheltered from history until it was God’s time to give it to people whose time on the world stage would come.
God guides the destiny of nations. God determines when a people, a nation, an empire will rise in the world. The apostle Paul spoke this truth while standing in the city of Athens when he said God, “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26). God determined the time America, Great Britain and the English-speaking nations would rise and become what the British author, Andrew Roberts describes as the “most decent, honest, generous, fair-minded and self-sacriﬁcing…” peoples the world has ever known.
These nations grew large and great and free because the God of heaven made a promise long ago to a man named Abraham. God has fulﬁlled that promise in history and because He has, He will fulﬁll the spiritual promise of eternal salvation to all peoples.
If we then are living through the unraveling of America’s time of greatness, then now is a time, a moment of opportunity to acknowledge God and turn to Him with a changed heart. Now is a time for all the James’ and Terris’ to understand this missing dimension. Now is the time for all to understand that America has been great because God gave the wealth and the power and the blessing. Now is the time for you to understand America can only return to greatness through the path of a biblical repentance in the order and magnitude spoken by the prophet Isaiah. And if no one else repents, then God calls on you and me to sigh and cry for the nation and change our lives and ask for God’s mercy.
“ Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward” (Isaiah 1:4).
Sin is not a popular word. A modern mind does not want to consider that sin, the transgression of God’s law, could be the cause of so many problems. Sin is a big problem and it’s a word that has disappeared from our vocabulary. We cover up great moral problems impacting families and society by using language that softens and hides the impact of personal sin.
The next prophetic passage in Isaiah speaks louder than almost any other Bible passage to describe the national condition of a nation that has known the greatness of America. Through the timeless words of a prophet from another time, God cries out to us today, “Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment” (Isaiah 1:5-6). America, Great Britain and other English-speaking peoples are morally and spiritually sick, from head to toe. The disease will kill us if we don’t cut it out and beg the pardon of the God of Abraham.
This remarkable passage gives us insight into why our social and moral problems never see a solution. God has stopped hearing the prayers. Right here is a warning to our religious audience who think the religious base of the nation will still see a rising to restore the moral underpinnings of the nation. They can’t. The religious leaders themselves are the blind leading the blind. They have forsaken the law and the way of God at its core. They may wear a shroud of righteousness but God does not hear them as well. Do not look to the conservative evangelical wing of the country to produce a solution. It will not happen.
Turn again to your Bible and read what God says. Apply it personally, recognizing this is what God requires. It is what you can and what you should do. Change yourself before God. Then, you will be ready to face the monumental challenges before us. God ﬁnishes this passage in Isaiah with a direct challenge.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword’; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:16-20).
Beyond Today is on a multi-city United States tour called “America: The Time is Now. ” At the heart of our message is the question we ask here, can America be great again? The answer is yes, it can. It is not too late for a national repentance that acknowledges God. God made a promise to the Israel of old and it applies today. If, in a time of national distress and trial, the people could ﬁnd their way back to the right paths and ways, God could hear and help. He said, “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 will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
We believe the answer to the problems that concern us all lies in obedience to God and the individual understanding of the purpose of life. Any revival, any change, any eﬀort to restore security and hope for the future, must begin at the level of the individual. We are taking that message across the country and we invite you to come and to engage with us and this message and ﬁnd out more. The return to the greatness of America can begin right now with you.
[Steve] Hi, I’m Steve Myers. I’m the pastor here at the United Church of God Cincinnati East congregation. I’d like to welcome you to come and join us on this great spiritual journey. We have hundreds of congregations around the United States and across the world. Click on the “Congregations” tab to ﬁnd a church near you. We’re committed to growing in our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ as well as fellowshipping with each other.
If you’re looking for a home that encourages living what the Word of God really teaches, you’ve found the right place! We’re a family—a family of Bible believers committed to following Jesus Christ in everything we do. We’ve found God’s way is the best way to live.
We’re happy that you’re looking into what God is doing in our eﬀorts to bring His message to the world. God is certainly pleased that you’re looking into knowing Him better. And we’re here to help! We would love to have you come and visit and worship with us. We’re looking forward to meeting you soon! Come and join us!
[Darris] We’re now joined by fellow Beyond Today presenters Gary Petty and Steve Myers to further discuss the topic: “Will America Be Great Again?”
It’s no question that America has been a very powerful inﬂuence on the world scene. Is that going to continue?
[Steve] Well it won’t continue, not unless we change our ways. When you look to the Word of God it’s pretty clear the Psalms says, “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalms 33:12). God is not our Lord in this country anymore. And when we make other choices, how can we return to greatness unless we recognize the true God?
[Gary] You know, the United States has been a product of both good and bad on the world scene. But, the good came from because we are people who believed in this book.
[Darris] There was an acceptance of the basic tenants of this book.
[Gary] Yes, and as we give up this book, our ability to be a good inﬂuence on the world is going to disappear.
[Darris] Why would we say, as I did today in this program, that the ultimate solution is not in the realm of politics which so rapidly consumes us in this country?
[Steve] Well, often times, we think our leadership, our human leadership, holds all the keys to our success, but over and over again the Word of God points out very clearly it’s not even within us as human beings to direct our own steps. So unless we seek God, seek His will and His direction in our life, we’re going to be going oﬀ on the wrong path.
[Gary] If there is a God and He created us, He has a reason for us, a purpose for us. We believe that. We know that. We see that. As the leaders of this nation or any leader of any nation does not recognize that God and follow that God, He is not going to direct where they go. And as human beings we will always eventually fail. Without God, we’ll fail. So, as this country becomes less and less of a Christian nation, it’s going to be less and less of an opportunity or the ability to do good and our leaders are going to have to change, and the nation—would the nation even follow a true Christian leader?
[Darris] Well, just follow that up for a moment, we see this attempt to mix politics and religion in America. It’s been going on for several decades and still is a part of the mix. Why can’t those two get together and create a solution?
[Gary] Because they’re not compatible. There’s God’s viewpoint and there’s humanity. And you had even mentioned there in Jeremiah where it talks about how we’re desperately wicked. We have to come to grips with: only God knows how this works. So until we’re willing to submit to Him, the human element has to be given to God.
[Steve] It seems like the whole lesson, at least one of the major lessons from the Old Testament was that very thing. When you choose your own ways, you want to mix it up with what God says, it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. You do things God’s way because it is the best way.
[Darris] From a religious point of view.
[Steve] From a—from any point of view, really! If you want success, God says choose life. Choose His way. He knows us. He created us. He knows everything about us. He knows the best way.
[Darris] So, if someone listening to us today ﬁnally comes to a point, well then, if there’s no answer in politics, what can I do? What should they do?
[Gary] Here’s the thing. Religious freedom is part of this country, so we can’t go around enforcing…
[Gary] …a religion on people. So we have to accept where the society is going, but each of us individually can make a choice to follow God, and when we do, we can become a positive instrument of change in His hands. So we have—we can’t look at well, I’m going to force my religion on others. We have to say, no, I’m going to turn to God and let Him be involved in my life.
[Steve] We have got to be that committee of one that chooses God’s way. He tells us in Deuteronomy, choose life. Make that choice. Start it in your own life. Recognize where you’re at and make those positive, right, godly choices and that will start that process with you.
[Darris] Even if a national revival doesn’t take place, it can begin with the individual.
[Gary] That’s right.
[Darris] When you request our free Bible study aid, The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy we’ll also send you a free subscription to our bi-monthly Beyond Today magazine. This edifying, 40-page publication oﬀers you help for your life today and hope for your future—by focusing its message on the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. Beyond Today magazine not only explains what is happening in our troubled and confused world, but oﬀers an amazing vision of a positive and fulﬁlling future that lies ahead for you and for all people.
So, please call: 1-888-886-8632. Again, that’s 1-888-886-8632, or go online at BeyondToday.tv for the free Bible study aid: The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy and our eye-opening Beyond Today magazine. Or, write to us at the address shown on your screen [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254].
We are living in a period of great change and great opportunity. This is the time when you can come to understand the divine plan at work in our world. Have a part in that plan. This is a moment of opportunity to acknowledge God and turn to Him with a changed heart.
God’s plan for salvation is unfolding to all of humankind. It’s the true message of the gospel of the Kingdom.
Join us next week on Beyond Today as we continue to discover the gospel of the Kingdom. We also invite you to join us in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today I’m Darris McNeely. Thanks for watching.
[Announcer] For the free literature oﬀered on today’s program, go online to BeyondToday.tv . Please join us again next week on Beyond Today!