What are the consequences of a nation turning away from God?

Question
What are the consequences of a nation turning away from God? Where does America stand today?
Answer
Thanks for your question. Nations and individuals that turn away from God incur his wrath. Romans 1:18 states, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth." God's wrath is always just and to be feared, it is patient, consistent, and stores up; it is for sinners and for God's glory. At times, it is partial and at other times, it is complete. At times, though their ultimate end is Heaven and not Hell, even Christians may be swept away in the judgment of a nation.

The Bible speaks about numerous types of God's wrath (Psa 7:11); (1) a redeeming wrath (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 5:9; Gal 4:4-5), where God saves the sinner, by having placed his wrath upon Jesus instead of his elect; (2) a disciplining wrath (Heb 12:3-11), which is a temporary chastisement where God is acting as a loving Father toward his children, not damning them; (3) a consequential wrath (Gal 6:7), where one reaps what he sows; (4) a cataclysmic wrath (Gen. 6-9), or what we often refer to as natural disasters, such as a hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, et. al.), earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, or wild fires; (5) a wrath of abandonment (Judg 10:13; 16:20; 1 Sam 15:23; 16:1; Prov 1:24-31; Hos 4:17; Matt 15:14), that is when God abandons a person, nation or society because of their sin(s); (6) an eschatological wrath (Rev 4:1-20:15), which comes at the end of the age; and (7) an eternal wrath (Hell; see below).

Sin can cause God to abandon a nation. We see this idea over and over again in Romans 1: "God gave them up" (Rom 1:24), "God gave them up" (Rom 1:26), and "God gave them up" (Rom 1:28). Society rebelled in Noah's time and the entire world was flooded. Men sinned against God in building a tower in the land of Babel and judgment came. Sodom and Gomorrah were filled with homosexual lust and other sins and were destroyed. God sent the plagues to Egypt and ultimately destroyed Egypt's military force in the Red Sea. God told Israel to drive out the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites. In the Prophets, we read about the destruction of Edom, Babylon, Assyria, Moabites, and the Philistines. God most definitely abandons and judges nations.

As to America, it is already under divine judgment. America has been in a continued state of decline for decades:

      • In 1962, in Engel v. Vitale, school prayer was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
        • In 1963, in Abington School District v. Schempp, Bible reading in public schools was ruled unconstitutional.
          • In 1973, in Roe v. Wade, restrictions on abortion were lifted, and abortion clinics began to permeate the nation murdering children.
            • In 1985, in Lynch v. Donnelly, nativity scenes in public places were ruled to violate the so-called "separation of church and state."
              • In 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, laws against homosexual sodomy were ruled unconstitutional.
                • In 2009, ObamaCare was passed by Democrat and Republican alike, enslaving millions to higher health care costs and socialism; further abusing the poor, widow, orphan, disabled, and the elderly.
                  • In 2017, in the Washington Supreme Court case Arlene's Flowers v. State of Washington, a Christian florist was denied "free speech" and forced to participate in same sex marriages, if she desires to remain in business.

America, as Jonah of old, is going "down," "down," "down" away from the Lord; down to Tarshish, down to Joppa (Jonah 1:3); down into the ship, down to sleep (Jonah 1:5); down into the sea (Jonah 1:15); and down into the great fish (Jonah 1:17).

While meaning no disrespect to those that suffered immense losses during 9-11, unless America repents, 9-11 will be seen as a mere bump in the road as compared to what is coming. While the United States of America has contributed much in a positive way to the world in the past, at present it is a land stained with the innocent blood of abortion; millions have been slaughtered. Adultery, fornication, lesbianism, homosexuality, bisexual, intersex, and transgenderism, etc. are all too common place; even the law of the land. Covetousness, greed, and selfishness is the new red, white, and blue waving over the USA. The grave injustices to the poor, widows, orphans, disabled, and the elderly continue to increase while politicians, judges, and others line their pockets. This is not the America I and many others fought for in our youth. America is ripe for judgment!

There is a solution; blessings, not cursings. America we need to "Arise," "Arise," "Arise" (Jonah 1:2, 6; 3:2); and "Repent" (Jonah 2:10; 3:3, 5-9; 2 Cor 7:10). Government leaders, business owners, pastors, congregations, rich, poor, widow, orphan, disabled, young and old alike, we need our hearts turned around; we need to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek God's will, and turn from our wicked ways:

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

May God give us grace and mercy in this time of great need! (Heb 4:16).

Related Topics:

Sin had not reached its full measure?
When was Hell created?
An Eternal Hell is for Real - The Heresy of Annihilationism?
Annihilationism Error: Hebrew Word Definition Charts
Annihilationism Error: Greek Word Definition Charts
How can God exact infinite punishment for a finite sin?
What is Reprobation?
Is Abortion Murder?
Missing in Action: Mercy Ministry in Church?
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
A Gospel Summary

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).