The Sexual Sin of a Nation brings God's Judgment to bear upon it
God's Judgment of a Nation brings Sexual Sin to bear upon it
Contradictions or Parallels?
The Spiritual Health of the Nation
Sir John Glubb
Are we on the Brink of Destruction?
The Church as a Microcosm

I do not intend dealing primarily with God's individual judgment upon a man or woman's individual sin - although the nature of the passages dealt with will mean that this subject will be discussed where necessary.

Rather, we need to deal with the Biblical passages where an individual's sin has a collective effect upon the nation in which they live - that is, where many individuals commit specific sin, the collective effect of those transgressions causes YHWH to step in to that society and judge the entire nation because of the severity of what's been committed.

As such, I have, initially, brought together some of my previous notes to lay out the groundwork as the effects of sin upon individuals and groups is fundamental to the Gospel and was necessarily dealt with over the years prior to this work.

The Sexual Sin of a Nation brings God's Judgment to bear upon it
Adapted from my notes here

Leviticus chapter 18 represents the first series of Laws in the book of Leviticus that's tied in with the expulsion of the current inhabitants of Canaan (Lev 18:1-5,24-30). This will be repeated in Lev 20:22-26 where the passage sits as a conclusion to another series of statutes that have, at their centre, sexual immorality as here.

This makes the statutes rather important - we aren't dealing with legislation solely designed at keeping the nation of Israel ceremonially pure before God (even though the word for ceremonial uncleanness is used in verses 19, 24, 25 and 27 - and purity was to be maintained by the observance of these laws) but with legislation that would maintain their presence in the land of Canaan.

But, even more than this, the transgression of this moral code is seen to be the reason why the Canaanites were to be forcefully expelled from the land by the invading armies of the Israelites (the mention of the Egyptians as being transgressors in this matter appears in Lev 18:3 but no punishment is there related to that nation as a result of their sexual relationships).

We read (Lev 18:24-25,27 - my italics)

'Do not defile yourselves by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am casting out before you defiled themselves; and the land became defiled, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants...for all of these abominations the men of the land did, who were before you, so that the land became defiled'

Even though the Canaanites hadn't received the statutes of the Law as given to Israel, they're here described as being morally responsible for their sexual promiscuity and immorality – they'd no written code delivered to them by God on these matters and yet He'd judged their actions and decided that they must be expelled from the land.

This is significant for it shows us that the legislation given to Israel is that which God has laid upon the nations, it's not covenant-specific to keep the nation clean only (though the maintenance of the covenant and the continued presence of Israel in the land is the reason for the legislation - Lev 18:26-28) but universal in scope and application.

For this reason, it seems right to assert that the entire list of rules which run from Lev 18:6-23 are equally binding upon all nations and peoples of the world - that God holds mankind responsible to maintain sexual purity in all matters if they expect to remain within the land in which they find themselves resident. There doesn't seem any reason that I can see to think that God's reaction to the transgression of these laws is any different in the New Covenant age as it was under the Old Covenant and before (the transgression of the inhabitants of the land is spoken of even before the Covenant with Israel is made as being the reason for their expulsion - Gen 15:16).

Notice here that the punishment mentioned in these transgressions is only corporate - and it's in this context that we should interpret them. Individual punishment is spoken of in Lev 18:29 but how that's worked out - whether through removing the offenders from the land or through execution - will be detailed only in Leviticus chapter 20. Here, the general solution is given - that the transgressors must all be removed from the holy nation by the holy nation in order to show to God that they'll have nothing to do with Israelites or non-Israelite residents who practice such lifestyles - so keeping themselves pure and resident within the land.

A nation or region that sets itself against sexual morality and indulges in promiscuity and immorality stands before God in the same position today as both Canaan who are condemned under the Law and Sodom and Gomorrah who were condemned before the Law (Gen 18:1-19:29). However, I must repeat that the legislation here is primarily dealing with marriage ties.

Sexual transgression, therefore, isn't a matter of breaking a written code (of having what's unacceptable in God's sight written down to be able to read and observe - after all, Sodom transgressed in this matter and were judged accordingly) but it does demand a response by God against any nation that chooses to sell itself out in that manner.

The actual laws may be upheld by many people - both God-fearers and God-haters - but, if these laws are to be considered binding upon men and women today, the law that a man shouldn't lie with a woman when they both know that she's in her menstrual discharge is equally applicable and mustn't be glossed over, just as the command that homosexuality is to be shunned must be taken seriously and applied.

The Church may uphold sexual relationships only within defined parameters and condemn both bestiality (18:23) and homosexuality (18:22) thinking itself righteous through the matters that it disapproves of, but there's an obligation laid upon all who are married and having sexual intercourse within that relationship to make sure that it doesn't occur, for example, within the woman's discharge period.

'Sex laws' are also mentioned in the New Testament where they're mainly directed towards believers, to remind them to keep pure before God - see, for instance, I Cor 5:1-2 for a case of incest, Gal 5:19 which speaks against fornication and I Cor 6:9 which speaks out against both the adulterer and the homosexual as being incapable of inheriting the Kingdom of God. The early Church also decided that sexual immorality was still necessary to be avoided (Acts 15:29).

Though each and every case mentioned in the Old Testament isn't mentioned in the New, there are sufficient representative types of sexual sin outlined to consider the Old Testament laws as being equally binding using the authority of the situations that are commented on.

In conclusion, we can see that the maintenance of sexual purity is necessary for a people or civilisation to be allowed by YHWH to maintain their presence within the boundaries of their own Sovereignty - and that failure to maintain God's standard of morality will bring God's judgment to bear upon the entire nation and not just the individuals concerned.

Apathy in this matter, clearly, is not the wisest option for any society to adopt - neither is it particularly clever for the Church not to deal with the problem within its own ranks.

God's Judgment of a Nation brings Sexual Sin to bear upon it
Adapted from my notes here

Although most readers will have agreed with the header of the first section to these notes ('The Sexual Sin of a Nation brings God's Judgment to bear upon it'), this second header will have many of you baulking at the implications behind the statement - am I saying that God causes men to sin? Categorically, no!

But, as we consider Rom 1:18-32, we'll see that the action of God in judgment as a reaction to the sin of man is what causes men and women to slip in to worse sin.

In my notes on 'Propitiation', after having established that the following chart held true:

I went on to consider the opening chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans, under the header statement that 'God's wrath and judgment rest upon all men'. There, I showed that a new chart could be drawn up that explained and expanded upon the first, representing it as:

Here, the sin of man is seen to be the rejection of the Truth about God that can be plainly seen in the Creation around them - not that they've transgressed a law that they didn't know existed, neither that they ignored their nation's or society's moral or legislative code, nor that they'd refused to believe the Gospel.

The sin of all men is simply that the obvious truth about God is rejected.

And that means that God's wrath rests upon all men - and rests upon all men now - because (Rom 3:23)

'...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (that is, God's perfect standard)'

And, a consequence of wrath is judgment - but there's no thunderbolt from heaven here and neither does the earth open up and swallow the transgressors whole (if only life was that simple). Rather, God withdraws His presence from society and gives men over to their own appetites and desires (Rom 1:24-32).

The Church has often looked upon some of the things here listed by Paul as being man's sin, his responsibility (for instance sexual immorality and a whole list of characteristics that Jesus outlined as coming from within a man in Mark 7:21-23).

Indeed they are.

But the reason such sins take a hold in a person's life is because God's restricting influence withdraws from men and women. These sins are, in themselves, a Divine judgment upon that far greater sin which is the refusal to acknowledge the truth about God that an individual can plainly perceive.

Left to itself, society will gradually degenerate and disintegrate so long as it refuses to accept what little revelation it has. Because all men sin in this manner, there can be no moral uplift, just greater wrath and greater judgment which leads to even greater sin and even greater judgment.

Man's sin initiates a process that leads only to increasing degeneration within civilisation. We can represent this process by the chart below:

And we have to note that, unless a strong movement of God's presence is being allowed and encouraged within a society, the gradual degeneration of a culture and people seems inevitable because God's restraining presence will need to withdraw in judgment as worse sin is committed.

Contradictions or Parallels?

Having now considered two very different ways to view society, it seems plain that they appear to be either contradictory or parallel. While the OT says that God will remove a nation from before Him if they commit gross sexual sin ('gross sexual sin' as defined by God and not man), the NT says that the gross sexual sin that's being committed is actually a result of God's judgment that is already falling upon the people in question.

So, are they contradictions or parallels?

Actually, neither.

They are, in effect, two parts of the same story.

The OT believers were only told the 'end game' - for that to take place, the preliminary 'first shots' of Romans 1:18-32 must take place. In other words, the reason why a society may be removed by God (for example, sexual immorality) is a warning to them that they have already refused to accept the clear and simple truths about God that can be clearly perceived - that is, the obvious breakdown of the society in which they live that comes as a judgment of God upon them, is actually a warning that, to continue in a similar manner, will destroy them 'beyond healing' because God is readying a full and final end of that society.

A nation, then, that begins life disciplined and morally pure (or who have become such through a revival of God's people within their society) will decline into lawlessness and immorality if they reject those things about God that can be (Rom 1:20)

'…clearly perceived in the things that have been made'

because (Rom 1:19)

'…God has shown it to them'

Rejecting those things that can be clearly perceived, means that God withdraws His presence from that society and, as a consequence, His restraining hand is removed so that He gives them up (Rom 1:26)

'…to dishonourable passions…'

further giving them up to (Rom 1:28)

'…a base mind and to improper conduct'

and all the while withdrawing further from that society so that it experiences a degeneration and a social breakdown of the fabric of the nation, the experience being, at one and the same time, a judgment of God and a warning from God that destruction will be the only conclusion if it continues on the path it's chosen for itself.

After all, God desires that men and women would repent and turn to Him - not that He would have to continually judge people because of the continuation of their sin (Ezek 18:23).

Eventually, the judgment of Leviticus chapter 18 is brought to bear on the nation and God will wipe that people out from being a nation before Him - this could take many forms, however, and a cataclysmic overthrow by an invading army that annihilates the entire population is only one of the options.

What seems clear, however, is that the freedom to run their own affairs is withdrawn from them and a more disciplined nation is imposed over them who are 'more righteous' in the matters about which they have become liberal and enemies of God.

In Leviticus Chapter 18, God states that He will remove the Canaanites entirely through the agency of the righteous nation of Israel (although, because of Israel's sin and failure to press God's judgment upon all the inhabitants of the land, they never fully wiped out the people) which is what we would imagine happening. That is, a good nation is given authority over a bad nation.

However, this isn't always the case for, as Habakkuk was to find out, the less wicked nation of Israel was about to be given over into the hands of the more wicked Babylonians - as were all the nations that existed in and around that area.

The instrument of God's judgment is solely of YHWH's choosing and that can mean that what appears to be a worse scenario may come about after judgment has been poured out fully. Yet, even with the case of the Babylonians, they too were to be ultimately judged once they had served YHWH's purpose (for example, Jeremiah Chapters 50 and 51).

The Spiritual Health of the Nation

As an indication of where a present day society stands before God, the list of sins and attitudes in Rom 1:18-32 is a good passage to employ.

Although there will probably never be a nation where not so much as one individual has ever not done any of those sins, if society is increasingly concerned with the demonstration of those actions, it is certain that God's judgment is increasing towards the point where the loss of their own sovereignty and right to independently exist will be removed from them.

But that can become a very subjective matter for determination - after all, we are probably all aware of the people older than us, who speak of eras when we weren't yet born and which were 'the good old days'. The times when you could leave your doors unlocked with no fear of robbery or violence being directed towards you.

Whether these times actually exist is difficult to determine because mankind has a tendency to yearn for 'better days' - the memory becomes rose-tinted when compared with the experience of the present day.

Even Government crime statistics don't help matters because, very often, figures 'prove' that there are less crimes taking place than ever before and the inference is that our society is becoming more morally upright (when most of us believe the opposite).

But figures can be manipulated - for example, when we lived in Worksop, we were the victims of many attacks on our property. To get an insurance pay out, we had to report the matter to the Police, get an incident report number and then submit that to our Insurers. We actually suffered nine destructions of our rear fence in the space of five years and, by the end, we were on pretty good terms with the Police!

These attacks were always recorded as 'Violent Crime' - it made sense. After all, they were violent attacks and the nature of them was criminal. But, towards the end, the two policemen who came to our house to record the incident discussed between themselves under what category it was to be listed.

The first officer proposed 'Violent Crime'.

'No' said the other 'the new instructions say that Violent Crime is only a label to be put on attacks against people and not property'

And so it was - and, amazingly, the incidents of 'Violent Crime' in the Nottinghamshire area fell that year, proving, said a spokesman, that the Police were finally coming to grips with the criminal element and that society was getting 'cleaned up'. It also justified a whole lot of other incentives within society because they were seen as having had the effect of restricting lawlessness.

To give another example of how statistics can be manipulated in favour of a conclusion, notice statements from the BBC News On Line article entitled 'Racism and Race Crime Redefined' (dated 8 November 2006).

Mark Easton, the author, writes that

'Until the mid-nineties, the government's British Crime Survey only asked ethnic minority groups whether they had been the victim of a crime which was racially motivated'

In other words, any figures on racially motivated crime were collected purely from attacks on ethnic minorities and, therefore, failed to detail any racially motivated attacks committed by ethnic minorities. Therefore, until the redefinition of what a racist attack is, society believed that all racist attacks were committed against ethnic minorities!

But, more relevant to the point needing to be made, Easton goes on to comment that

'The most recent analysis shows that in 2004, 87,000 people from black or minority ethnic communities (BME) said they had been a victim of a racially motivated crime. In the same period, 92,000 white people said they had also fallen victim. Focusing on violent racial attacks, 49,000 BME were victims. Among whites, the number was 77,000. Of those that involved wounding 4,000 were BME. Among the white population it was 20,000. The numbers can be highly misleading, though. Since about 90% of people in Britain are white, the statistics actually show the risk of being a victim of race crime is significantly greater if you are from an ethnic minority'

Notice the conclusion here - that, if you're part of an ethnic minority, you're much more likely to be the victim of a race crime. What he doesn't conclude, however, is that the statistics show that there is a higher percentage of ethnic minorities committing racially motivated crimes than there are whites which is, in my opinion, more alarming.

Why doesn't he conclude this? Because it's not an acceptable conclusion to be drawn in the present day society. Therefore, as we said above, using crime statistics don't tend to help us see where we stand as a nation before God as laid out in Rom 1:18-32.

In my own opinion (and this is purely a subjective one), the way a society deals with sexual promiscuity is far and away a better indication of the spiritual health of a nation. We have already seen that Leviticus Chapter 18 mentions sexual transgression as being the underlying reason for the overthrow of Canaanite civilisation by the Israelites as God's tool of judgment - and Rom 1:18-32 is also clear that excessive sexual freedom is the prime cause of God withdrawing His presence further from society.

The 1960s in Britain was a time when the female contraceptive became widely available and paved the way for the incidents of sexual promiscuity to explode - the decade that announced itself to the world as being one in which love and peace would be ushered in has actually done more to fuel the breakdown of society through its attack on faithfulness than, perhaps, any other that I can think of.

Whereas, before the sixties, sexual experience was generally frowned on and certainly not promoted, it readily became more fashionable and more open to discussion.

Therefore, perhaps we aren't going too far to see in the explosion of promiscuity, the first major outpouring of God's wrath upon the nation that has since developed alarmingly with all manner of sexual practices being the accepted norm - with the consequence that men and women are (Rom 1:27)

'...receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error'

The explosion of sexual experience, therefore, makes way for a society's moral breakdown, God withdrawing further and giving men over (Rom 1:28-32)

' a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them'

And that's where we have to stop because, although I would affirm that the society I knew back in the seventies and eighties was 'less wicked' than the current one, it's difficult to be entirely sure whether it's my perception of the world about me that's changed or whether it really has.

As Sol Robeson's character (played by Mark Margolis) in the film 'Pi' states when the main character Max suggests that there is a 216-digit number that underlies all life on earth

'You want to find the number two hundred and sixteen in the world, you'll be able to find it everywhere. Two hundred and sixteen steps from your street corner to your front door - two hundred and sixteen seconds you spend riding on the elevator.

'When your mind becomes obsessed with anything, you will filter everything else out and find that thing everywhere. Three hundred and twenty, four hundred and fifty, twenty-two - whatever. You've chosen two hundred and sixteen and you'll find it everywhere in nature'

In other words, when we look at society, are we finding something that we believe because we believe it or does the evidence truly confirm what we believe that this generation stands on the brink of one final cataclysmic outpouring of God's wrath and judgment upon it because of, primarily, its refusal to accept the truth about God that was clearly obvious in the world around it?

Sir John Glubb

Although Sir John Glubb's booklet 'The Fate Of Empires' is now out of print (and very difficult to locate second hand at any price), William Goetz's treatment of the work in 'When the Empire Strikes Out' is sufficiently detailed enough (in the first 57 pages) for us to see an alternative, non-Biblical comment on the way Empires (and, possibly also, civilisations that aren't dominant worldwide) arrive at the forefront of world history before their eventual decline and fall into subjugation and, sometimes, even overthrow and annihilation.

On This Christian Life's web site, an article exists dated July 25 2005 that summarises the progression of an Empire's rise and fall, here reproduced below (with some explanations added) and, although these stages appear to be 'cut and dried', it must be stated that the stages listed here aren't always divided up so strictly, there's a lot of bleed over between areas and some characteristics (for example, the 'amazingly rapid expansion') aren't always evident:

Stage One - Outburst - amazingly rapid expansion (Macedonian, Arab, Mongol, Spanish), reckless bravery and daring initiative.

Stage Two - Conquest - incredible enterprise, courage and hardihood, more organized than outburst, exploration, pioneering, duty, glory.

Stage Three - Commerce - unified empire in economics, language and law enables great growth.

Stage Four - Affluence - rise of prosperity, epically commercial classes, desire for [money] becomes prime focus instead of glory and duty, persure education that gives highest salary [students choose a profession that pays well rather than one that reflected stages one and two], expansion ends (the great wall [Empires try to cement in place safeguards to stop them losing their lands whether physically, legally or otherwise]).

Stage Five - Intellect - Efforts funded by commerce and affluence, great number of universities arise, loss of duty and self-sacrifice.

Stage Six - Decadence - civil dissensions, influx of foreigners [where they don't become assimilated into the Empire's culture], loss of morality, accelerating materialism, influence of women [where 'domination by women' is the inference in the work rather than equality], rise of the welfare state, frivolity, pessimism, and the decline of religion.

Stage Seven - Decline and Collapse - barbarian attacks, civil war, fragmentation, decline to irrelevance.

and concludes (as does Glubb and Goetz) that

'Each age is easily identified by the heroes in the popular culture'

I couldn't possibly do justice to either Glubb's thesis or Goetz's treatment of it (the latter is primarily concerned to deal with Glubb's hypothesis and then apply it to present day American Culture) and the interested reader should access either work for a full treatment (see the References section below).

But, as the framework is drawn from the evidence and experience of history, independently of the Biblical record, one can see, on the one hand, what might be considered to be an inevitability of Empire and, on the other, the real Hand behind the Rise and Fall of the Empires of history.

The reason why Empires fall, then, is not that they're doomed to destruction because 'that's the way of it' but because mankind's sin is the underlying factor that prevents them from continuing to exercise dominance and control over their territories and possessions.

Are we on the Brink of Destruction?

The answer to this question, as I've said above, can become more subjective than objective because, as we grow older, we judge our current situation and experiences on the basis of our experiences of many years ago when our perception of the world was different.

Generally (but not universally), children enjoy themselves - it isn't until they begin to understand that the society in which they live has dangers as well as pleasures that they develop to be not so naive and led astray (although some people never learn). Their view of the world then becomes changed from something close to an Edenic Paradise to one where they could perceive peril lurking around every corner.

The world hasn't changed, however, only their perception of it.

And that's the problem with trying to come to terms with the state of our own society before God - it's all too easy for us to see what we want to, to substantiate the belief that we hold when the evidence is presented to us.

Goetz, after dealing well with Glubb's thesis, goes on to consider the state of the USA and draw unnerving and worrying parallels, saying that the UK has already gone past the point of 'Empire'. But, although the UK doesn't hold absolute sovereignty over many lands anymore, Glubb's stages would surely see us only at number six but standing on the brink of seven.

However, the excesses that are plain within American society are, in my opinion, so much more destructive than those within Britain that I'm forced into the position of seeing America as being closer to the 'end of Empire' state of destruction than Britain is at the present time.

And there you have the problem - one concludes one thing, while another sees it differently.

Even down through the ages within the Church, there have existed believers that have been certain that they have been living in the final generation that would usher in the return of Christ to earth. But each one has been wrong - and the present generation may be equally so!

However, what seems plain to both is that, from Glubb's thesis, Western Society appears to be heading for breakdown and an implosion that will tear the culture of the West apart within a short space of time. And, from the Biblical perspective of Rom 1:18-32, the conclusion drawn must be the same.

Although revivals throughout history have been the means whereby God has brought Himself back into society to bring salvation and to restrict sin (if He'd not intervened, an overthrow of that society would have been inevitable to protect what was left of the image of God in the earth), there's no guarantee that YHWH will do the same with the West and offer it the chance of repentance in a more real and tangible way than He's already doing by the obvious judgment upon Society at the present time.

Therefore, tentatively we must conclude that Western Culture is on the brink of destruction because of the choices it's made to reject the simple truth about God that was plain to men and women - and that it has continued running away from God's will even when society continues to be judged by Him.

One final observation needs to be made here.

The destruction or overthrow of an Empire is the fitting backdrop for the time when a 'World Leader' could arise who would then be seen as a saviour from the disasters that have come upon the Empire. As mankind rarely ever faces up to the consequences of their own actions, a turning to God would be the least likely scenario when there would be a man or woman who promises deliverance from trouble.

Some of the Book of Revelation - as well as other Scriptures - seems to paint a picture of the Beast being in place in order to destroy the Empire that currently exists - he is certainly the one who sets about destroying materialistic Babylon (Rev 17:15ff), a clear characteristic of the end of an Empire as listed above.

It may be best to see that the rise of the necessary antichrist/Beast will take place towards the end of one Empire (during Stage Seven in the list above) but that it will continue into the formation of a new world order in which he or she is heralded as the 'answer to the world's prayers'.

Goetz suffers from the well-known and often repeated problem of raising up a theory and then making the 'prophecies' fit the theory to suggest that we're living in the last days before Jesus' return. The latter chapters are more suggestions than definitive parallels but the inference that's got from his writing is that we appear to be living slap bang in the middle of the final decade or so of the present age before Jesus' return.

I have, above, observed how the final years of a crumbling Empire or civilisation is a fitting backdrop to the Beast or Antichrist's appearance but in no way should we think that our current situation is clear evidence that the return is just around the corner.

We must observe the signs within the Empires and civilisations that speak of their overthrow, but must also note that this has continued throughout world history and is a symptomatic outcome of the effect of the nature of mankind - that man continues to sin means that the cycle will continue to occur.

The Church as a Microcosm of the World

And here we become even more subjective!

I can't help but wonder that the cycle that Glubb saw as being indicative of most of the great Empires of world history is also indicative of the way the Church develops (or, better, degenerates) after God has visited it with revival.

I don't intend even vaguely trying to document the stages as listed above but there are a few things that seem to have characterised Church movements in history. When 'revival' comes, there always appears to be a rapid expansion in both the Church's influence in Society and in the number of converts that are made.

Often from one location, the message of the Gospel goes out far and wide with almost unopposeable effects, turning men and women back into a lifestyle that's radically more acceptable to God than they had been living prior to conversion.

But, with time, that expansion wanes.

Whereas great achievements were accomplished with little or no money but great hardship, soon money is looked to in order for great works to be accomplished and, because society begins to turn in favour of the believer, hardship can become a memory of the past more than an experience of the present.

Very soon, Bible schools spring up that represent the new move of God and the poor, being blessed materially, tend to settle down into comfortable lifestyles rather than pay the price for the advance of the Gospel.

Eventually, compromise enters congregations that are direct sin - the acceptance of various sexual lifestyles, belief becomes errant theology and even dissension and strife amongst leaders and fellowships develops.

In short, without a continued commitment to the 'early years' of a movement of God, even believers have a tendency to find a place where they're comfortable and begin to compromise their own relationship to the one who bought them.

The reader can refer back to the seven stages that were reproduced above and consider them carefully - I don't intend doing that here. But the Church often reflects the state of the nation in which it finds itself.

If, however, it arrives at 'Stage One' by a move of God, you can be assured that persecution must fall if the nation in which it resides is towards the end of the process, because the two ways of living are diametrically opposed to one another.


We have seen that the Biblical passages that deal with God's treatment of the nations and civilisations of the world is in keeping with a little-known theory of Sir John Glubb in which he proposed that Empires rise and fall within generally observable stages.

It appears that Glubb proposed no specific reason for the Rise and Fall of such Empires but, from the Biblical record, we see that God's purpose in raising one people up over another is often to bring to an end the existing Empire that has grown too disobedient to the clearly perceived concerns of God to allow them to continue.

The bottom line is, as is nearly always the case, the effects of man's sin.

As Western civilisation seems to be in the very same 'end game' of Glubb's theories - and also displaying sexual immorality at unprecedented levels - we asked whether this was indicative that the 'end of the age' and the return of Jesus was imminent, concluding that this collapse is but one of many that has occurred throughout history and actually tells us nothing about the nearness of the Second Coming (except that, logically, we must be nearer now than we were yesterday!).

Yes, this could be the 'end of the world' - just as every other Empire collapse could have been - because what accompanies such a phenomenon is very closely paralleled in the events that are described in prophetic Scripture. However, that there have been loud proclamations throughout history that Jesus was about to return in the lifetime of those who were declaring such an event should warn us against falling into the same trap and we should, rather, simply watch.

Finally, we noted that such a 'Rise and Fall' is also eerily close to what happens from 'revival to revival' in the Church - perhaps, more specifically, within the denominations that are established within history's revivals.


Pi - 'Pi' written by Darren Aronofsky, 1998

Goetz - 'When the Empire Strikes Out - Are We Repeating The Pattern Of Past Civilisations?' by William R Goetz, Horizon Books, 2001

Glubb - 'The Fate Of Empires' by Sir John Glubb, Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons Ltd, 1978 and currently available on line here

Mark Easton/BBC News - The cited article is currently available here

This Christian Life - The cited article is currently available here