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Judicial Abandonment: When God Abandons a Nation

Mar 3, 2016

As things look more and more hopeless in America, with a likely presidential race featuring two pagan egomaniacs who mostly care about only themselves, it really does seem like America is a goner. It seems like God has finally lifted his hand of grace over this once great nation, and is allowing it to descend into the pit all by itself.

Those with a watchman on the wall type calling, or a prophetic sort of ministry can only grieve and mourn as they see what is unfolding all around them. It is so painful to behold, and our broken hearts only in small measure reflect the broken heart of God over all this.

We read in various places in the Bible where God abandons a people – even his own people. Think of the departure of the glory of the Lord from the temple and Jerusalem, as we find in Ezekiel 9-11. In Romans 1 we read about how God gives people over to sinful desires, shameful lust, and a depraved mind, while in 2 Thessalonians 2 we read about God sending a people strong delusion so that they will believe a lie.

america 12I certainly believe that if Americans in November elect either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders as President, America is finished. They will simply complete the job begun by Obama. But each passing day I am coming to strongly believe that the same will be true if Donald Trump wins.

The more I learn about the guy, and the more we learn from what he says and does each passing day makes me utterly horrified at a Trump presidency. I am beginning to believe it will not be better than a Democrat presidency, and may in fact end up being worse.

So all three prospects make me wonder if God is not saying ‘adios’ to America. It sure seems that way. When righteous leaders are rejected by the masses, and completely reprobate narcissists and demagogues are preferred instead, then it may well be curtains for a country.

Nearly 500 years ago John Calvin spoke about how “a wicked king is the Lord’s wrath upon the earth,” citing passages such as Job 34:30; Hosea 13:11; Isaiah 3:4; 10:5; and Deuteronomy 28:29. There certainly is something to that, and to see Obama or one of these three as part of divine judgment on the US would not be hard for me to believe. I speak to Calvin’s view here: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/02/27/calvin-on-wicked-rulers-and-gods-judgment/

It is sad but true: When a nation forgets God, God returns the favour. And what is true of nations is true of individuals as well. As R. C. Sproul says concerning Romans 1:

Three times in this section we read about human beings being given up by God. They are given up to their vile passions, the lust of the flesh, and their reprobate minds. When God judges people according to the standard of his righteousness, he is declaring that he will not strive with mankind forever. We hear all the time about God’s infinite grace and mercy. I cringe when I hear it. God’s mercy is infinite insofar as it is mercy bestowed upon us by a Being who is infinite, but when the term infinite is used to describe his mercy rather than his person, I have problems with it because the Bible makes very clear that there is a limit to God’s mercy. There is a limit to his grace, and he is determined not to pour out his mercy on impenitent people forever. There is a time, as the Old Testament repeatedly reports, particularly in the book of the prophet Jeremiah, that God stops being gracious with people, and he gives them over to their sin.
The worst thing that can happen to sinners is to be allowed to go on sinning without any divine restraints. At the end of the New Testament, in the book of Revelation when the description of the last judgment is set forth, God says, ‘He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still’ (Rev. 22:11). God gives people over to what they want. He abandons them to their sinful impulses and removes his restraints, saying in essence, ‘If you want to sin, go ahead and sin.’ This is what theologians call ‘judicial abandonment.’ God, in dispensing his just judgment, abandons the impenitent sinner forever.

And it seems this is just what we see happening on a much larger scale – in America. God seems to be giving people there just what they want – and they are paying the price for it. Plenty of other Christian leaders have been saying such things. Indeed, back in the 1970s and 80s prophetic voices like Francis Schaeffer warned about this very issue.

Plenty of others could be mentioned here. But let me finish with just one. Almost a decade ago American pastor John MacArthur gave a sermon entitled “A Nation Abandoned by God”. He mentioned the story of the decline of Sampson, then he went on to say this:

I can’t imagine anything worse than being abandoned by God. To the sons of Israel earlier in the book of Judges in chapter 10, God said this, “You have forsaken me, you have served other gods, therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen. Let them deliver you in the time of your distress.” This was God saying to Israel, “I’m done with you, abandoned by God.
Proverbs chapter 1 records a similar sentiment. “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out My hands and no one paid attention. You neglected all my counsel, you did not want my reproof, I will even laugh at your calamity. I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind. When distress and anguish come on you, then they will call on Me but I will not answer. They will seek Me diligently, they will not find Me because they hated knowledge, did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would not accept My counsel, they spurned all My reproof, so they will eat of the fruit of their own way and be satisfied with their own devices.” Again being abandoned by God, turned over to the inevitable consequences of sinful choices.
A haunting line is found tucked away in the little prophecy of Hosea chapter 4 and verse 17, and it refers to Israel by the name Ephraim and it says this, “Ephraim is joined to idols,” so says God. The next line, “Leave him alone.” Sounds out of character for God, doesn’t it? “Ephraim is joined to idols, bring him back,” might sound a little more like God. “Let him alone?”

He continues:

People and nations, even the covenant nation Israel can come to a point where they are abandoned by God. Jesus reiterated this in Matthew 15 when He confronted the Pharisees and then described them to the disciples. He said this, “They’re blind leaders of the blind. Let them alone.” When God lets you go, it’s serious. When Jesus pronounces over you abandonment, it’s serious.
Now I’m going to say something, you’re going to have to hold on to your seat a little bit. I’m convinced beyond doubt that in this same sense, God has abandoned America. I know that’s a strong thing to say and I’m going to show you why I believe you can see that clearly in Scripture.
Open your Bibles to Romans 1…Romans 1. Don’t be surprised, by the way, by that statement because while you’re turning there, Acts 14:16 says this, this is from the Apostle Paul, “In the generations gone by,” that’s past history, “God permitted all the nations to go their own way.” This is not the first nation God has abandoned, nor if Jesus tarries is it the last, or is it now the only. This is the cycle of history and it is this very cycle of history that Paul describes in Romans chapter 1. Here in Romans chapter 1, beginning in verse 18 running to the end of the chapter, you have the most clear presentation of God abandoning a nation, what that looks like, what happens and why He does it. This is the most graphic and the most detailed and the most comprehensive discussion of what it means for a people, a society to be abandoned by God. And it perfectly describes the moral chaos in our own nation today.
It starts with very familiar words. Verse 18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.” Now let me stop you there for just a moment. We’re talking about the wrath of God and I need to just let you know that in the Scripture and in reality there are five different manifestations of God’s wrath. Okay? And you will recognize them. There is eternal wrath. That is that wrath which God unleashes on the unbelieving dead in hell…eternal wrath, suffering forever eternal punishment. That’s eternal wrath.
There is also in the Bible eschatological wrath, that is the unfolding of divine wrath at the end of the age described in detail, for example, in Revelation 6 through 19, the pouring out of God’s wrath in the breaking of seven seals, the blowing of seven trumpets, and the dumping of seven bowls of wrath…eschatological wrath, that wrath is yet to come as is eternal wrath for all society, yet right now there are many experiencing eternal wrath, all the unbelieving who have left this world are experiencing.
The third kind of wrath is what I guess you could call calamitous wrath. That is that wrath of God which produces calamity in the world and the most notable illustration of that is the Flood which drowned the entire world, only eight people were saved. Massive wrath on the part of God against sinful man.
Fourthly, there is consequential wrath, that’s sowing and reaping wrath. That’s the natural end of patterns and choices of sin. Whatever a man sows, he…what?…he reaps…that’s consequential wrath.
But there’s one other kind of wrath that is usually overlooked. We all understand eternal wrath, eschatological wrath, calamitous wrath, we all understand the calamity of the Flood or God destroying Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, etc., etc. Throughout history these calamities continue to even happen and they all fit in the category of God’s judgment of sin. But there’s this other category of the wrath of abandonment, it is a form of God’s wrath in which He lets go of a society and lets it catapult full speed without restraint in the direction of its own sinful desires and devices and choices. That’s the wrath being described here. This is the cyclical reality of this wrath that has defined human history and will always until Jesus comes. As Paul said, in all the generations gone by, God permitted the nations to go their own way.

You can hear his entire sermon with the link below. Let me finish by saying I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I am not inspired in anything I say – only perspired. But I would not doubt for a moment that America in 2016 is a perfect candidate for judicial abandonment. We can and should pray for America. She needs the mercy of God big time. But it is certainly possible that the day of mercy is now over for this once great nation.

www.gty.org/resources/sermons/GTY109

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21 Responses to Judicial Abandonment: When God Abandons a Nation

  • God isn’t finished with America. Ted Cruz will win as the people will come to their senses.

    Some parents currently support Trump only to be embarrassed when their own kids repeat his vulgar language. They’ll wake up that Trump is not presidential!

    As for the other two pagans, Hitlery and Sanders, no working household will vote for them either as big and medium businesses will have even more reason to employ robots……from being overtaxed!

    Thanks for all your good work Bill. God Bless.

  • Hi Bill.
    The US is finished as we know it, this much is abundantly clear.
    Can’t quote the actual scripture, but when Israel was led into captivity, the Lord preserved 7,000 righteous people in the land.
    So while the US finishes its drain circling, can we remember that God will always keep a remnant.

    Never let them get you down, stick with God and you are instantly a majority.

  • Thanks Neil. The remnant of 7000 goes back to the time of Elijah – 1 Kings 19:18.

  • Hi Bill, thanks for the reference.
    Acquired brain injury has stuffed up some parts of my memory, but has increased information retention.
    I can remember lines of thoughts of most of the prophets, but can never remember exactly where it was.

  • You don’t claim to have prophetic utterances in any of your writing Bill. This is your modest nature and refusal to claim greatness. Just you wait and see what will come true in the near future. Thanks for quoting John MacArthur. We love hearing his sermons. Our Sunday morning home church thrives on people like John, Matt Chandler, Alister Begg, and Timothy Keller. We have our bias, toward great American pastors like these. Makes you wonder why the nation is not responding to truthful preaching by men like these.
    Bill Heggers Bridgetown W.A.

  • This is happenig on the whole world.

    Resistance against tyranny is obedience to God. Thomas Jefferson

  • I guess I have a slightly different view though it may not impact your vision for America at all.I think.both Trump and Sanders running is great news..the status quo if all the powerbrokers has been challenged.there is an angry electorate out there,and they are fed up with everyone in Washington.If they will turn out and vote,we could indeed change things a great deal.you don’t have to like who wins if the process is intact.a.message is being sent…and I.am glad.whether it will stop.the slide..probably not.i see an America in a very short time where the nineteen percent of us not.presently in cities will be removed from.our rural settings..to.make way for.more.corporate farms.as.our.masters.reap the bounty of this land and give us only basics.where we get some small amount to.pay for things while the rest if our.money goes to a central government supposedly to be distributed.to.all.but just fueling their own lifestyles.and anyone with a dissenting voice disappears into.some.reeducation camp.
    .i have prayed for God to.preserve enough liberty to.allow us to share the gospel.to.ask.for.more when we deserve his wrath..i wrestle with that.He is merciful.but Sodom and Ninevah,among others found out when the evil.goes.too.deep,God rids the earth of it.and I remind you of one more thing…the electoral.college.that’s right they can change their votes.what a great protection the founders put in the constitution! So.i am more hopeful than upset..on a personal.note,I voted in my first primary ever.i voted for Cruz.there are rumors he could be tapped.for the Supreme court if not nominated

  • Thanks Faith. You suggest Trump or Sanders would stop the slide. I say they will only make the slide worse!

  • I’m willing to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. IF he is able to do two things, that is slow down the the illegal immigration and smash the power of the liberal media and their allies, which includes the many in the Republican Party, then he is most definitely worth it. What i think what you want, Bill, is a complete 180 turn, but I think that getting back on the right track will require time. I don’t think anyone on the Republican side can be as bad as either HRC or Sanders. Shame the saner of the Democrats never had any chance against the Democratic machine. While my preferred candidate is Cruz, it seems like the message Trump has resonates with the electorate, because they are tired of having Washington dictate what they think is what’s best for them.

  • Thanks Ian. But given that Trump is a lifelong liberal and Democrat supporter, why would anyone think he will challenge liberalism anywhere, let alone in the media? And 9 times out of 10 when I ask Trump supporters why we should support him, all they can offer is his claims on immigration, building a wall, etc. But given that he changes his views more often than he changes his shirts, why should we believe him on this? And just what good is a wall if he will destroy the country from within? He is pro-abortion and pro-homosexual for starters, and has made it clear he thinks little of the Constitution. Why would any Christian and conservative support this?

    And no, I never said I want a complete 180% turn, politically speaking (I do spiritually speaking, for the church and nation, but that is another matter). Politics cannot save, only Jesus can. That is why all that any real Christian and conservative can do is hope that a man of integrity and principle can get in and at least slow down the rot. Trumpites really look at him as the messiah. Real conservatives and Christians know this is fool’s gold, and that a Cruz presidency would simply give us some time for the really important things, like national repentance!

    And Trump is of course the ultimate insider! If you want a real outsider who will stick it to the Washington cartel, we already have one: his name is Cruz.

  • 2Pe 2:18 For, uttering great swelling words of vanity, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by lasciviousness, those who are just escaping from them that live in error;
    2Pe 2:19 promising them liberty, while they themselves are bondservants of corruption; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he also brought into bondage.
    2Pe 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the last state is become worse with them than the first.
    2Pe 2:21 For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
    2Pe 2:22 It has happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog turning to his own vomit again, and the sow that had washed to wallowing in the mire.

    (ASV)

  • To fall into the hands of the Judge of all the earth is a fearful thing. How much worse must it be when He abandons the defendants in His courtroom to the full extent of their darkest passions …when He leaves them to adore their most vile demons as angels of light! When people no longer tremble at God’s word, they are unlikely to tremble at going beyond ethical boundaries their forefathers once deemed impassable and inviolate.

  • Another slightly off-topic but important matter. For Australians on the euthanasia issue:
    http://noeuthanasia.org.au/take-action/federal.html

  • Bill, my preferred candidate is Cruz, but I am willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. But judging from what I have seen so far it’s looking very likely that Trump will be the Republican candidate. Now who would you rather have, Trump or a Democrat in office?

  • http://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/pro-abortion-judges-neuter-sunshine-laws-in-maryland

    This is extremely disturbing. Abortion is given the green light because of judicial ruling. Legalisation of murder by judicial fiat.

  • Neither, Ian. And it is not over yet, so wait till if and when we get to that ugly dilemma.

  • Trump would have to make a massive mistake for that to happen. Currently he has as many of the delegates of the as the rest of the field has. Right now Trump is going to be the Republican nominee based on what’s happening right now.

  • Looks like Cruz i starting to close the gap, so hope this continues.

  • Of Hypocritical Evil-doers and the “sin of hypocritical indifference”:

    It is BEHAVIOUR (and NOT Chest-thumping and extravagant claims) which DEFINE what a person REALLY is. A vast number of the population – and not just egotistical politicians world-wide – have failed to realise this.

    In Matthew 7:23 and Luke 13:27 Jesus tells us “then I will declare unto them, ‘I never knew you; depart you from Me all you evil-doers …” and in Revelations 3:16 Jesus speaks His verdict on “lukewarm / hypocritical Christians” immersed in indifference: “I will spit you out of my mouth!”

    * Every sin is a vote for Satan to take charge of the world.
    * The sheer volume of sin and unwillingness of people to regain self-control in the world has put Satan into unprecedented power.
    * God has given us all the gift of Free Will to choose between good and evil and has given us rules to live by for our benefit and happiness.
    * If mankind, individually or en masse, rejects God’s Love, then all God can say is: “As you wish” and allow us to sink into whatever hell-hole Satan has in store for us.

    Seems much of the USA, in succumbing to legislation recognizing homosexuality and same-sex-“marriage” and embracing as reasonable the ideas of abortion, euthanasia, divorce, careless copulation, blasphemy and all manner of sins, has paved its way to hell where there is no longer (true) freedom of speech and with similar indifference to the days of pre-Hitler and pre-Stalin, etc. and the horrors that followed.

    Of the SELF-punishment that is bound to follow for the USA, God can only say: “AS YOU WISH”

    There is only ONE constructive alternative – to turn back to God and his commonsense rules, the Ten Commandments.

  • I like this article very much, Bill. It’s very informative, Scripturally-based, (solid), and something that needs to be said. So, here we are in January 2019, and Prez D.T.’s supporters are still acting like the wall is all they require to give him their vote again in 2020. I am grateful he is making a few stands in a variety of ways to keep what’s left of religious freedom here in the US, and he is nominating judges who appear to be more conservative and honoring of our Constitution….but time will tell. Judges can really fool the public and those who nominate them. I can only see our Prez as a Cyrus-type leader who is in there momentarily for providential purposes. Maybe I’m blind or nuts, I don’t know. But I truly believe he goes in the directions he goes for the sole purpose of being reelected. If that is what motivates his positions and achieves God’s purposes for now, so be it…I guess.

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