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The Fall Of All Nations


We live in an age that most Christians call the "age of grace".  This age began at the cross and ends with the return of Jesus to earth.  One significant aspect to the age of grace is "personal salvation".  Through repentance and trust in Jesus, individual people can receive God's grace and blessing of salvation.  This is why Evangelicals have traditionally stressed the importance of "personal salvation" to the individual as the way God relates to mankind.      


God also relates to humanity on a national level.  In Genesis 25:23 God told Rebekah that she had "two nations" in her womb.  God saw Jacob and Esau as two nations, not just as two individuals.  In Genesis 35:11 God told Jacob that "a nation and a community of nations" would come from him.  Again, we see God viewing humanity in terms of nations. 


As human existence evolved, nations and empires were formed.  In the Old Testament we see the Babylonian Empire that was followed by Persia , Greece, and the Roman Empire.  From time to time God intervened in the affairs of these nations.  For example, He used Babylon to bring severe judgment on His own people Israel for their failure to obey Him.  Babylon overthrew Jerusalem and took the Jews captive.  The ironic thing is that God judged Babylon and caused her to fall to Persia because she overthrew Israel.  God actually used Babylon to do His will, and then clobbered her for doing it.    


Does God still judge nations, or does he overlook national sins in this age of grace?  God overlooks nothing.  His judgment isn't visible to the human eye, but it sure is to the spiritual eye.  In 70 AD God judged Israel again with the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews by the Romans.  The Roman Empire eventually fell too, and my guess is that her fall had something to do with the destruction of Jerusalem , and possibly the reconstruction, or should I say, the destruction of Christianity in the fourth century. 


In Genesis 12:1 to 3 we see the first mention of God's historic covenant spoken to Abraham.  Part of this covenant stated that nations who blessed Abraham, that's Israel, would be blessed, and nations who cursed Israel would be cursed.  There's no Biblical evidence that suggests God has withdrawn this covenant promise.  So for this reason, even though God used Babylon to bring judgment on Israel, Babylon was eventually cursed for her treatment of Israel.  God could not neglect his covenant promise even when He used Babylon to perform His will.        


God has, is, and will, relate to humanity both on a national level and an individual level.  Revelation 21:24 states that kings and nations will bring their splendor into the new Jerusalem.  Even in the next life, on the new earth, there will be nations that God relates to. 


One reason why God judges nations today is based on their treatment of Israel.  I know that sounds weird in our secular times, but that's what the Bible says, and it's clear to me that what the Bible says about these things is presently taking place. 


Israel is an ever-present concern to God, and she should be to Christians.  Of course, in the present political climate, Israel is a big concern, or should I say, a big burden to many nations.  I like how Zechariah 12:2 puts it.  It reads, "God will make Jerusalem a cup that sends all surrounding peoples reeling." (NIV)   The KJV reads, "I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling…"  Jerusalem right now is just that.  Nations are becoming increasingly agitated with Israel.  I'd suggest that God is becoming increasingly agitated with nations. 


The attempt to divide  Jerusalem is now under way.  The U. S. government's position was seen a couple weeks ago on the Sunday news shows when certain of President Obama's team said that  "peace to the middle east no longer goes through Bagdad but through Jerusalem."  Many nations, led by the U. S. want all building projects to stop in Jerusalem until the world community can decide what to do with Israel's most important city.  The general consensus is to divide it in two, half for Jews, and half for Palestinians.  No one seems to have consulted God on this issue.  Joel 3:1 to 3 states that He opposes such a division and will judge the nations involved in such a plan.               


Some Christians say we shouldn't support Israel because she is not serving God.  Throughout the Old Testament God dealt unfavorably towards nations who dealt unfavorably toward Israel , even when Israel was in blatant godlessness.  The apostle Paul calls this the "sovereignty of God" in Romans 9:16.  God is God.  He can do what He wants.  He has chosen Israel to be a distinct nation among nations, not based on how godly she is, but on His "sovereign choice" alone.       


In light of these matters we should align ourselves with the Kingdom of God, not with the kingdoms of men.  I think we're too nationalistic at times.  If we are coming to the end of this age, we should understand that the nation in which we live will fall in the judgment of God.  If we're not at the end, there's time for nations to repent and be blessed.  Whatever the case, our allegiance  should always be first to the Kingdom of God. 


Some day, when your nation and my nation completely turns its back on both Israel and Christians, we may have to proclaim as Peter and John did, "judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God." (Acts 4:20)  We might as well decide to obey God now rather than later. 

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