The Late Great United States
Dr. Mark Hitchcock
“America is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, implying that it
would be crippled or taken out of the picture in some way.”
Glenn Beck (April 2009)
The number one question in Bible prophecy is—where is America in the end times? I’ve been asked this question so many times that I decided to write a book to address all the issues related to America in Bible prophecy. The book is titled The Late Great United States: What Bible Prophecy Reveals about America’s Last Days. The thesis of the book is that America is not mentioned in the Bible, either directly or indirectly and that this silence is significant. The Scriptures reveal that the major superpower in the end times, at least by the mid-point of the tribulation, will be a reunited Roman Empire (Revelation 13:4). This European dominance can only be explained in light of America’s decline.
John Walvoord sees no major end time role for America. “Although conclusions concerning the role of America in prophecy in the end time are necessarily tentative, the Scriptural evidence is sufficient to conclude that America in that day will not be a major power and apparently does not figure largely in either the political, economic, or religious aspects of the world.” Charles Ryrie agrees:
The Bible has made crystal clear the destiny of many nations. Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Egypt, Russia, and Israel . . . But not so with the United States . . . The Bible’s silence concerning the future of the United States might well mean that she will play no prominent role in the end time drama. A nation does not have to be named in order to be identified in Bible prophecy. When Ezekiel described the future Russian invasion he used the phrase “remote parts of the north” (38: 15). Surely some prophet would have predicted something about those countries or peoples in the remote parts of the West if God had intended a major end-time role for them in the Western Hemisphere.
The fact is that no one did. . . .
Instead, we are led to conclude that the United States will be neutralized, subordinated, or wiped out, thus having little or no part in the political and military affairs of the end time.”
To be sure, I don’t want to see the United States decline. I love this country, but it seems unlikely to me that the United States will play a key role in the end times. But what could reduce America to a subordinate role? What kind of event could bring America to its knees? While we cannot speak with certainty at this point—since the Bible doesn’t tell us—we can make some educated guesses. Several plausible scenarios fit the current world situation. They could occur alone . . . or in a fatal combination. In the last year, we have witnessed major developments on three fronts that threaten the continued role of the America as the world’s superpower. These three fronts are the internal, moral condition of our nation, the threat from the outside by nuclear terror, and the economic peril of a diminishing role for America and the dollar. Let’s update each of these areas briefly. I’m sad to say that the news is not good.
Robert Bork, in his book Slouching Towards Gomorrah, says, “American culture is complex and resilient. But it is also not to be denied that there are many aspects of almost every branch of our culture that are worse than ever before and that the rot is spreading.” Sadly, this is true. The national disaster of almost 50% out-of-wedlock birth, a $12 billion a year pornography industry, and 50 million abortions since 1973 are dreadful scourges on the national landscape.
Added to this, the homosexual movement continues to propel its agenda forward, tragically affirming America’s deepening slide into the death spiral of judgment described in Romans 1:24-31. Homosexual marriage has been legal in Massachusetts and Connecticut for some time, but more states continue to legalize it. The Iowa Supreme Court voided the state’s gay marriage ban in April 2009. Same sex marriages became legal in Iowa on April 27, 2009. Vermont, which has allowed civil unions for gays and lesbians for ten years, became the first state to passing legislation sanctioning same-sex marriage. The state legislature had the votes to override the governor’s veto. Same-sex marriage will become legal there on September 1, 2009. Maine has also approved same-sex marriage. More states are considering similar legislation as the dominos continue to fall. The sexual revolution of Romans 1:24-25 has been followed with shocking suddenness by the homosexual revolution of Romans 1:26-27.
The ridicule and derision of Miss California in the Miss USA contest and the federal hate crimes legislation are two more examples of the lemming-like rush to silence any speech or action opposed to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. America is hemorrhaging from within. The Huns and Vandals of moral rot are upon us.
The Nuclear Front
Pakistan is in growing danger of becoming Talibanistan. The northwest region of the country could already be described as a “little” Talibanistan. There’s real and growing fear that the unstable government in Pakistan could be in danger of falling to the Taliban. The dailymail.co.uk reported that “Pakistanan teetered on the brink of collapse today as Taliban fighters threatened to overrun the volatile country.” The LA Times (May 8, 2009) ran an article titled “Pakistan on the Precipice?” General David Petraeus, the head of US central command, warns that the Taliban pose a threat “to the very existence of the Pakistani state.” The number one priority for the United States is to safeguard Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal totals at least 55 warheads. Allowing these weapons to fall into Taliban hands is not an option. Added to the Pakistan threat, North Korea continues to taunt the world with its nuclear program and Iran is close to crossing the nuclear finish line. The horrifying threat of a nuclear 9/11 is growing.
It’s the Economy Stupid
Thomas Macauley, a British Parliamentarian, wrote these sobering words about the United States in 1857. “Your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the 20th century as the Roman Empire was in the 5th century, with this difference—the Huns and Vandals who ravaged the Roman Empire came from without, and your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your own country. Tragically, we are witnessing this today on both the moral and economic fronts.
The economic tsunami is being leveraged by powerful world leaders as an incredible opportunity to drastically move the world to a global economy and one world currency. The recent G20 meeting in London, called “The London Summit 2008,” confirmed this sharp left turn away from American prominence toward globalism. Time magazine ran an article on April 6, 2009 titled “Is the Almighty Dollar Doomed?” that chronicles the growing consensus that the days of the dollar reserve system are numbered. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the days of U.S. primacy are gone and that “global problems require global solutions.” The G20 meeting is the wave of the future. It has been called the “archetype for future global negotiations.” “It’s the passing of an era,” said Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, who helped prepare summits for presidents Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. “The U.S. is becoming less dominant while other nations are gaining influence.”
It’s not great surprise why America’s stock is dropping. America’s national debt now stands at a staggering $11 trillion dollars . . . and counting. The numbers on America’s infamous debt clock near New York’s Times Square have been spinning like the dial on Clark Griswold’s electric meter. Major financial institutions have been nationalized. Many have noted that America is on the road to socialism. Newsweek’s attention-grabbing cover story on February 16, 2009 was “We Are All Socialists Now.” That same issue of Newsweek ran an article titled “Big Government is Back—Big Time” that highlights the fact that more and more Americans are looking to the government for support. Cradle to grave entitlements have led to what is being dubbed a “nanny state.” The words of Thomas Jefferson are a stark reminder and warning: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.” According to the Bible that’s exactly where this all is ultimately headed under the Antichrist.
The U.S. recession is having a devastating effect on entitlements. In 2008, U.S. debt was 41% of the economy; in 2010 it will be 62% of the economy—a 50% increase in just two years. This kind of debt load is unsustainable. Medicare is already paying out more money than it receives. This just began last year for the first time. The Medicare trust fund will be insolvent by 2017. Social Security will be paying out more than it receives in 2016 and will be belly-up by 2037. Time magazine (March 24, 2008) could be right: “The 21st century will overturn many of our basic assumptions about economic life. The 20th century saw the end of European dominance of global politics and economics. The 21st century will see the end of American dominance too.”
The End of America
Add in the rapture to all these surging problems and America will become a second-rate nation in the twinkling of an eye. The rapture will change everything! While there are believers in every nation, America has a larger percentage of believers than any other nation on earth. Think about the Dow Jones the next day. The bank failures. The immediate extraction of the salt and light from the U.S. may be God’s final judgment on America.
What Can We Do?
No one on earth knows when the rapture will occur and America will fall. In the meantime we must never forget to follow God’s domestic policy for our nation by praying earnestly for our nation and leaders (1 Timothy 2:2) and living righteous lives (Proverbs 14:34), and to fulfill God’s foreign policy by sharing the good news with the nations (Romans 10:15) and blessing the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3). We must remember that the fate of a nation is not ultimately dependent upon politics, military might, or economics, but on righteousness, goodness, and mercy.
 John F. Walvoord, The Nations in Prophecy (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1967), 175.
 Charles C. Ryrie, The Best is Yet to Come (Chicago: Moody, 1981), 109-110.