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Laurie Grapples With the Obvious

Greg Laurie, pastor of one of the largest megachurches in the country and also a columnist for the Worldnutdaily, wrestles with the undeniable fact that the United States is nowhere mentioned in any Biblical prophecies about the end times. The result: He is pinned by logic very quickly.

When I look at Bible prophecy, one thing that is of great interest to me, and of great concern, is the absence of the United States. It is interesting to note that a number of nations are mentioned in the Bible that will be active in the last days. Libya is mentioned by name. Persia, which became modern Iran and Iraq, is mentioned. Ethiopia is specifically mentioned. Quite possibly China and Russia are mentioned. And certainly Israel is mentioned. But the one nation that is strangely absent is the United States of America.

Where is the United States? Why are we not in the last-days scenario? Why is it that we can read of nations like Iraq and Iran and Libya and that we possibly can find China and Russia mentioned, but we cannot find the United States?

Well golly gee, Mr. Laurie, here’s an idea: The United States is not mentioned because the men who wrote the Bible did not know it would ever exist. No one in the ancient near east at the time had the faintest notion that there was a huge land mass across the Atlantic Ocean. This really isn’t that complicated, but Laurie discards that obviously true explanation for some more fanciful ones.

I would like to offer three plausible answers.

One, perhaps the United States may not be mentioned in Scripture because it might be devastated by a nuclear war. It is a horrible scenario and one that none of us would want to see, but we cannot rule it out as a possibility. There is no guarantee this could not happen. The possibilities of it have never been greater. Some would think that because the former Soviet Union dissolved, the threat is gone. But many nations have nuclear weapons. It could indeed be a rogue terrorist nation with nuclear capabilities, or even a terrorist group that could set off the dominoes falling onto each other. I hope this isn’t the case, but we cannot rule it out.

Rome was once the reigning superpower on earth. They had the most powerful military anywhere. But before Rome collapsed externally, she collapsed internally. I think we would do well to look at the soul of our country right now. I am for a strong military. We need to take seriously any foreign threats. But having said that, what about an internal collapse?

The second possible reason our nation may not be mentioned in Scripture is that perhaps we will simply decline as a world power. As our country becomes more and more secular, systematically eliminating God and the Bible from our education system, courts, and the arts we will begin to reap the inevitable results of sin. We will begin to rot from the inside…

But there is a third possibility, which I find a lot more hopeful: a great revival takes place in the United States. That is not to say a revival would eliminate us as a world power. But if our nation had a revival, it would affect us. Think about this. Let’s say, for example, that one-fourth of all Americans are believers. This would mean that we have approximately 78 million true believers in our country today.

When the Rapture of the church takes place, don’t you think there would be an impact on the United States if 78 million people disappeared? If people in every level of government, the military, the economic sector, business, agriculture, medicine and communications suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, it undoubtedly would have a crippling effect on our infrastructure as a nation. For all practical purposes, when the Rapture takes place, it will impact every nation. It will cause the entire world to suddenly shift. This could be the scenario for the United States in the last days.

Or…they didn’t mention it because it was as unknown to them as rationality is to Greg Laurie.

Comments

  1. imrryr says

    Where is the United States? Why are we not in the last-days scenario? Why is it that we can read of nations like Iraq and Iran and Libya and that we possibly can find China and Russia mentioned, but we cannot find the United States?

    I think the obvious solution is to change the name of the country to Israel, or Magog… whichever.

    And imagine if by some amazing bit of prophecy the United States was mentioned by name in the Bible. How many nations would’ve adopted that name in the last 2000 years, especially if it was considered some sort of force for good?

    This would mean that we have approximately 78 million true believers in our country today.

    Yet you couldn’t get them all to vote for Romney.

  2. Mr Ed says

    But before Rome collapsed externally, she collapsed internally…As our country becomes more and more secular, systematically eliminating God and the Bible from our education system, courts, and the arts we will begin to reap the inevitable results of sin.

    Rome was a super power for hundreds of years, adopted Christianity as its official religion and then collapsed. This should be a warning to our government.

  3. Abdul Alhazred says

    I seem to recall that Herbert W Armstrong was real big on the idea that the USA (and British Empire) were so mentioned in Biblical prophesy. Something about the Anglo-Saxons being lost Israelites.

  4. Chiroptera says

    Huh. Hal Lindsey was convinced that the eagle which saved the woman in labor in Revelations is the US.

  5. Acolyte of Sagan says

    The second possible reason our nation may not be mentioned in Scripture is that perhaps we will simply decline as a world power.

    Because Libya, Persia, and Ethiopia are world powers?

    1.
    imrryr
    July 16, 2013 at 10:46 am (UTC -4) Link to this comment

    This would mean that we have approximately 78 million true believers in our country today.

    Yet you couldn’t get them all to vote for Romney

    Wrong sort of ‘true’ believer. No JC, no vote.

  6. slc1 says

    Re John Pieret @ #5

    Pieret is making the, perhaps erroneous. assumption that Laurie has a brain.

  7. Randomfactor says

    Maybe, Mr. Laurie, the reason the US isn’t mentioned in the “last days” is that the Apocalypse was predicted to happen thousands of years ago at a time when the US was not yet a nation.

    And they got it WRONG.

    Add that to the loooooong list of things predicted in the Bible which failed to come true.

  8. raven says

    When I look at Bible prophecy, one thing that is of great interest to me, and of great concern, is the absence of the United States.

    Two noteworthy things about the bible and bible prophecies.

    1. Many of the prophecies were wrong, they never happened.

    The big one was the imminent Kingdom of god that jesus went on and on about. It’s 2,000 years late.

    2. There is nothing in the bible that wasn’t known by the Iron Age sheepherders that wrote it.

    That tells anyone right there all they need to know. It’s all a human manufactured anthology.

  9. raven says

    Gred Laurie:

    When the Rapture of the church takes place, don’t you think there would be an impact on the United States if 78 million people disappeared?

    YES!!!!

    If 78 million xians like Laurie disappeared we would be so much better off. The average IQ of the US would rocket upwards.

    We would party for weeks and then get down to fixing all the damage crazed fundies have done to the USA.

    This would prove that there is a god, god is merciful, and he really doesn’t like fundie xians.

  10. raven says

    Greg Laurie is just babbling here.

    1. According to his magic book, the only people who will be raptured are 144,000 Jewish male virgins. I figure the average age will be about 12.

    2. Revelation is about things that are supposed to happen in the future. It says it right in the book, at the beginning and end. None of them have happened yet.

  11. tubi says

    OK, I’ll do the thinking that Laurie didn’t. As regards #2, if the reason the US is not mentioned in the Bible is because we decline to irrelevance as a result of internal rot, aren’t we who are causing that rot then doing EXACTLY what God wants to have happen? Aren’t we doing God’s will? And aren’t Laurie and his ilk then opposing God’s will?

    So that rules out #2.

  12. says

    If the Mormons are correct, and North America was populated by one of lost tribes of Israel, then it all fits. Of course, that would cause Laurie to admit Mormonism has facts unknown to his brand of Christianity, and that would cause some serious mental gymnastics.
    Admitting the Bible might be wrong? Hah.

  13. thebookofdave says

    I would like to offer three plausible answers.

    I have a fourth possible answer. The United States finally got fed up with the incessant god-bothering, and boarded the giant space ark to get away from it all. We are not mentioned in end times prophecy, because we opted out. It’s a comforting idea, and still meets your standards of plausibility.

  14. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    I would like to offer three plausible answers.

    . . . but first, here are three completely implausible ones.

  15. John Pieret says

    slc1 @ 7:

    Pieret is making the, perhaps erroneous. assumption that Laurie has a brain.

    Ah, quite correct. I should not leap to conclusions … especially when based on such scant evidence.

  16. Who Cares says

    @Mr Ed(#2):
    Actually the reason that it made Christianity the state religion was to stave of the collapse (didn’t work for the western part BTW.). If you want to look at similarities between the situation of the Roman empire and the USA I suggest going back a bit further to Julius Caesar. He initiated a military overreach by trying to conquer Europe which was continued by his successors who were unwilling to give up the new real estate, resulting in much of the same problems that the USA is currently experiencing.

  17. lldayo says

    78 million disappearing? I see imminent job prospects on the horizon. What’s the over/under of this happening within the next 2000 years?

  18. Reginald Selkirk says

    Quite possibly China and Russia are mentioned.

    Pththththt. Neither “china” nor “russia” appear anywhere in the text of the King James bible. It takes considerable creative interpretation to come to the conclusion that they are “quite possibly” mentioned in the Bible. If you are willing to undergo that much creative interpretation, why not go a bit further and imagine the US is mentioned as well? There are two references to eagles in the Book of Revelation, for example.
    .
    You know what other countries are not mentioned? New Zealand (nor Old Zealand), Australia, Sweden, Thailand, Japan, Madagascar, Congo, Bermuda, Portugal… heck, most of the nations of the world. Remarkably, Atlantis isn’t mentioned either.

  19. slc1 says

    Re Reginald Selkirk @ #19

    Interestingly enough, none of the nations in the Western Hemisphere are mentioned. Could it be the ole Yahweh was unaware of the existence of the Western Hemisphere?

  20. slc1 says

    Re Who Cares @ #17

    Actually, his successors attempted to form a defense line in the North against the German invaders, particularly after the disaster at the Teutoburger Wald where 2 Roman Legions were utterly annihilated.

  21. kantalope says

    The big one for me is no mention of kangaroos…edible? or not edible? If you are the all knowing knower and designer of everything, you would definitely mention a six foot tall bouncing rodent if you were making out a list.

    Also, China? In the Bible? Where?

  22. bcreason says

    If the Rapture did occur and 78 million people disappeared from the US. Think of which people would be gone. Few scientists are true believers, business people etc.

    Most of the people dragging us down are the true believers. Just think, no more Tea Partiers in congress that can’t pass a jobs bill in 5 years. That their first concern is what people do with their private parts rather than the economy or the ecology.

    With 78 million raptured away we would have a new renaissance. A post singularity, Star Trek like future. Can’t wait.

  23. dukeofomnium says

    My question is always, “other than Wal-Marts being critically understaffed, what would be the down side to all the christians leaving at once?”

  24. francesc says

    “That is not to say a revival would eliminate us as a world power”
    Yes, you mean that. Also, you know that may be offensive to some of your followers so you are disguising it.

    I’ll help him b offering three other “plausible” answers.
    1.- Obama will change US name. He wanted to change it to kenya but someone told him it was too obvious and he settled for Ethiopia (yes, @1 beat me)
    2.- The mighty Lybia will invade the US and defeat his army.
    3.- God said US twice. The first one when he said “Israel and US are my choosen people”. The writer though God was illiterate and corrected him taking out that spare pronoun

  25. Who Cares says

    @SLC(#21): A destruction of 2 legions & defense line that only existed because Julius decided to gain power by conquering everything south and west of the river Meuse and his successors trying to gain power in the same way by trying to go east. Add in that this was occurring while they already were straining to manage the territories that were pacified and easier to get to around the Mediterranean (Remember that stunt by Hannibal, the one where he got not just an army but also elephants across the Alps, that was considered impossible).

  26. says

    bcreason “With 78 million raptured away we would have a new renaissance. A post singularity, Star Trek like future. Can’t wait.”
    How delightfully naive. More likely, new lines and alignments would occur, and existing ones would harden. People are tribal.
    And keep in mind, while this would mean “they” would be gone, it will also mean “they” were right and “we” were wrong, so they won’t be leaving behind a new paradise, they’ll be abandoning a burning hellhole, and the cheering of those left behind won’t be cheering. Unless Rush goes on tour. Then there’ll be some cheering.

  27. Dennis N says

    So in this argument, only 1/4 of Americans are believers. But who wants to bet what fraction he will claim when he wants to support some bullshit Christian nation bill?

  28. typecaster says

    Rome was a super power for hundreds of years, adopted Christianity as its official religion and then collapsed. This should be a warning to our government.

    Well, the Western part of the Roman empire collapsed soon after adopting Christianity. The Eastern parts of the empire kept going for another thousand years, Christianity and all, until the West tried to commit suicide by attacking and sacking Constantinople in 1204. That city was re-taken by Byzantium’s successor states a generation later, so that the last Roman emperor died on the walls of Constantinople in 1453, defending it against the Turks.

  29. Chiroptera says

    typecaster, #30:

    The Eastern Empire were Orthodox, which is the wrong kind of Christianity. That’s why they lost to the Turks. Who were Muslim and not Christian at all. Meanwhile, the Western Empire adopted Western Christianity which is better. Which is why they collapsed sooner. That’s because they were Catholic, which is also the wrong kind of Christianity. They fell to Odoacer, who was Arian and so barely, maybe not even, a Christian….

    Jesus Christ, what the hell is their point again?

  30. lpetrich says

    Abdul Alhazred, there are some sects of Anglo-Israelites or British Israelites. They believe that the Anglo-Saxon people are the lost ten tribes of Israel.

    Saxons = Isaac’s sons

    Get it?

  31. exdrone says

    America’s end-times status is being withheld while heaven debates a salvation reform bill. Jesus is pushing for a pathway to eternal life for Americans who cross over, but god is insisting that the pearly gates be fortified and fully manned first. He is upset that too many christians keep trying to sneak in without following the proper process of actually living a moral life.

  32. drizzt says

    @17 Who Cares : Your comparison is wrong about the Roman Empire. They conquered, annexed etc territory, while the US isn’t conquering or annexing. If the US had made Afghanistan the 51st state and Iraq the 52nd, next war 53rd state etc… then yeah, the comparison would stand. But not in this case.
    If on the other hand you want to talk about Napoleon, with all the protectorates and allies(Confederation of the Rhine, Republic of Rome, Duchy of Warsaw, etc), then yes, we might have a comparison with the US and its «subordinate» states.

  33. drizzt says

    Discard the «Republic of Rome» part… I got to refresh my knowledge on French history… I was thinking about Napoleon’s son who became, for a while, successor and King of Rome, hence my comment.

  34. dingojack says

    Julius Ceasar conquered Gaul on behalf of the Roman Empire? Would have been news to him.
    Of course the Roman Republic was ravenously conquering places, like Archaea for example – oh no wait.
    @@
    Dingo

  35. Who Cares says

    @Drizzt(#34): Actually the taking over of all that land by Julius was for him and him only, he did it to gain power. That it expanded the amount of land controlled by the Romans was incidental to him. Further my comment was a reply about the Roman Empire so I took the point where the people in power there made the same mistake as the USA is doing now, that is military overstretch (and later the same problem with the budget due to the massive army).

  36. dingojack says

    When the Rapture of the church takes place, don’t you think there would be an impact on the United States if 78 million people disappeared?

    I mean who’d flip the burgers, clean your laundry, clean the streets, sort the garbage and etc.?

    ;) Dingo
    ———-
    In fact about 78.8% of Americans call themselves ‘christian’, out of a population of 316,668,567, that’s 249,534,830.796. But including only those that they would consider to be ‘christian (that is protestants) that would be down to 162,450,974.871 (51.3%), but only those they really, really think are ‘christian’ probably down to around 11,083,399.845 (3.5% pentecostals) of those about 42.5% attend church weekly (down to 4,710,444.934125). Hmmm…. looks like the impact wouldn’t be nearly as much as even he thinks.

    Oh and BTW Greg could it be that the US isn’t mentioned in scripture because – well – god just isn’t that into you?

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