As early as the mid-19th century, French philosopher and historian Alexis de Tocqueville warned that democracies will collapse once the majority realizes it can elect leaders who will give them free things. He said that all democracies die on the rocks of loose fiscal policies.
He also warned that the world’s great civilizations only last about two centuries.
Well, we’re working on our third century and the American electorate just got its first taste of the free goodies.
Some will argue that America has crossed the Rubicon; that the “gimme” generation has reached critical mass; that from this point on a majority of Americans will vote for a President based on what he will give them, not on how wisely he will lead the nation.
And the majority will vote this way because they are ensnared in the “entitlement trap.” And not by accident, unfortunately.
What else could explain the re-election of a leader who failed miserably to accomplish anything he promised in his first campaign? Yet repeatedly and clearly guaranteed that, if re-elected, he would double-down on his failures.
Wait a minute. I stand corrected. He did come through on one promise: ObamaCare. And it may help bankrupt America — which is not what he promised, but almost surely intended. (See the Cloward-Piven plan I described on “The Hal Lindsey Report” of July 9, 2010.)
Atlas Shrugged is a monumental novel written in the 1950’s by Ayn Rand, an atheist and philosopher-type. Ms. Rand believed that Reason is god and that man is his own greatest achievement. She was also an unabashed capitalist.
Atlas Shrugged imagines a dark, depressing American future where government intervention into the economy causes further economic downturn that extends and deepens the existing depression. In looking for someone to blame for the nation’s ills, the American leaders begin to blame the rich. They harass them for their ideas, initiative, profits, and wealth. Not to spoil the ending (although this is one of America’s most famous novels so you probably already know the ending), but the “men of the mind” go on a silent strike by shutting down the “motor of the world”, that is, their own inventiveness and industry.
In her epic work, Ms. Rand frames the confrontation as the “moochers and looters” versus the “inventors, workers, and the rich.” When the creators of work and wealth finally get fed up with having their efforts burdened with regulation and their rewards confiscated and redistributed, they check out. Eventually their loss starves the government of its financial ‘resources’ and, literally, Manhattan goes dark.
Interestingly, Ms. Rand wrote the book in the ’50’s and one of the pivotal years in her futuristic scenario is 2016.
As we used to say, that kind of gives cause for pause. But I’m not sure we’re going to make it to 2016. At least not on the path we’re following now. One thing I can guarantee, though, is that the America of 2016 will be a far cry from the America of 2012. And not for the better, I fear.
What we’ve recently witnessed in our nation calls to mind two poignant scriptures. One from the Apostle Paul and the other from God Himself delivered through the Apostle John.
Paul famously described these days in his second letter to Timothy. He says in part, “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive… ungrateful, unholy… without self-control… treacherous… conceited… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God….” I won’t go on, but, believe me, it’s a letter-perfect description of present day America. You can read it for yourself at 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV).
The second passage is found in the Apostle John’s Book of the Revelation. In it, God says to the church at Laodicea (which depicts the dominant characteristics of the Church just before the Rapture), “I know your deeds, that you’re neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” I won’t finish the passage, but you can find it at Revelation 3:15-18 (NIV).
I think God’s condemnation of Laodicea aptly fits many in today’s Church. How else can we explain how 21% of American evangelical Christians justified voting to re-elect President Obama, the first American president to openly support abortion, same-sex marriage, the forcing of religious institutions to violate their moral and spiritual codes, and who displays open hostility toward Israel.
I can understand a Christian voting for Mister Obama the first time. After all, he cleverly disguised his true beliefs on these issues. But I think the fact that 6.5 million born-again Christians voted for those values — after the President revealed his true convictions during his first term — tells us we are nearing the end of the prophetic timeline. Just as Paul and John described.
I truly believe Americans are in for some rough days ahead. But all is not dark. As I said last week, God is still in control and everything is unfolding just as the Bible prophets predicted. Rough times are coming, but they’re bringing with them unprecedented opportunities. Opportunities to see, up close, the hand of God at work. Opportunities to let Christ shine through your life and testimony. Opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who are discouraged, dismayed, and disappointed with how things are turning out.
Should Jesus delay His coming, the next few months and years will be the true Church’s greatest opportunity to reap a bountiful harvest of souls for God’s Kingdom. Let’s be ready for the moment and share the truth about Jesus Christ in boldness and joy. Take the scripture at face value. Speak the name of Jesus and speak the Word of God to others. It is “living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword….” It unleashes the power of the Holy Spirit to work in any situation, no matter how big or small.
By boldly sharing the claims of Christ and speaking the Word of God into someone’s life, you’re putting the ball in the Holy Spirit’s hands — and the Bible promises that He’s quite capable of taking it from there.
If we “crack the faith barrier” and trust God’s Word, I think the dark days ahead may well be the brightest yet.
Please have a wonderful Thanksgiving. In spite of all that is happening in America, it is still the most blessed nation on earth. God bestowed upon all of us who are fortunate enough to live here a truly magnificent favor. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for this wonderful land and all of Your blessings. May gratitude reign in our hearts.