Will the first become the last?

Timber Butte Chapel in a storm

For the past four years, we, the American people, have lived under the mantra of two slogans: “Make America Great Again” and “America First”. For those who perceive themselves as Bible believing Christians, we recall the words of Jesus when He clearly told His followers, “The greatest will become the least” [Luke 9] and “The first will become the last” [Mark 10]. As Christians, we have been called from the beginning to humbly live in what is referred to as “An upside-down Kingdom”, a Kingdom that is in clear opposition to a materialistic world. These mantras, which we have been living under as a people, have been in direct conflict with the heart of Christ. Just as Israel did so many times throughout Old Testament history, many have been willing to forsake clear biblical truth to achieve personal and political agendas. Whenever Israel made this mistake, God’s favor was lifted and the entire nation suffered until His people chose to repent and return to His mandates. In my mind, America has been taken to its knees over the course of the last four years, while many have stubbornly refused to recognize and acknowledge it: 

  • America is sick – We are one of the sickest nations in the world; 17 million have become infected with the COVID-19 virus. 
  • Americans are dying at an alarming rate – Over 300,000 in less than one year have perished, many dying alone without family (compare this with 400,000 American citizens who died in WWII after five years of battle).  In the month of December alone, our death rate has risen to 3,000 a day (this is the same number of people who died in the Twin Towers on 9-11, only every day). 
  • America’s condition has exposed un-Godly attitudes of racial injustice and extreme prejudices–  White supremacy has been endorsed and empowered and is gaining momentum nationwide.
  • America is hungry – Every evening on news broadcasts across the nation we have observed historic food lines of desperate families. There are now 54 million suffering extreme food insecurity. 
  • America is bankrupt – $27 trillion in national debt – A staggering $7 trillion increase in just the last four years alone. Thousands of citizens have lost employment due to business closures and cutbacks requiring government assistance just to survive.
  • America has lost its place of dignity and respect among other nations– We have lost our place at the table with those we have considered friends and allies. By isolating ourselves from the world community, we have made America an island of vulnerability. 
  • America has suffered the devastation of unprecedented climate crises – Thousands have been driven from their homes because of increased intensity and frequency of hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and historical wildfires.  
  • And, maybe the scariest thing of all, America (as well as the American church) is horribly and dangerously divided– The greatest strategy of any enemy is to divide and conquer. As a result, we have become weakened and vulnerable to our natural enemies  more than we have ever been. We have become the “Divided States of America”.  Even as I write this paper, we find ourselves under siege. It is reported that our enemy, Russia, is boldly taking advantage of our weakened condition for the sake of attacking our national security using devastating cyber warfare.

America is in grave trouble! Our only salvation to the dilemma we now find ourselves in, requires not only a political solution but a spiritual one as well. The questions we need to ask are obvious: Is America experiencing the lifted hand of God, which had blessed us for so long? Are we as a nation under judgment? Is it time for us as one family to humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness?   Repentance is our means of admitting we have been wrong and honestly saying we are sorry for the part we have played as a nation of people who have lost their way. Repentance means to turn away from wrongdoing and turn back to the will of God. Christ is a God of second chances for those who dare to admit guilt and receive His open hands of forgiveness. He is a God who demands justice, yet he is also a God of compassion, grace, and mercy for those who choose not to live in denial and self-justification.  He is looking for a remnant of His people who would dare to humble themselves, admitting they have compromised biblical values to get personal and political agendas satisfied.   Some have winked at immorality and dishonesty, believing they would get their way by playing the system. Others have been complicit, unwilling to speak truth for the sake of offending others. No matter, we are all one nation of people who will crumble if we pridefully point fingers without being willing to own our part. It is time for Americans to stop listening to the angry, divisive, deceptive voices of unfounded conspiracy theories and turn to the pure and simple gospel, to biblical truth, to compassion, civility, and the attributes of Christ.  

2 Chronicles 7 13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.


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