Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy? I am often asked this question. If you are a patriotic American like me, then it is only natural to speculate about the future of our nation. I grew up in a country where we stood up each morning in school and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. At little league ballgames, we proudly rose with reverence during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Before I could shave, I enlisted in the United States Army where I served for over twenty-eight years. During my time in the military, I deployed to combat on multiple occasions. I often held the hand of an American soldier as he took his last breath. As an Army chaplain, I officiated over four hundred military funerals. Over four hundred times in my life, I stood before a flag-draped coffin and offered words of comfort to a hurting, grieving family. If the Lord tarries, when I die, my casket will also be covered with an American flag. I love the United States.
However, the America that I grew up in is no more. We live in a time of decline in our culture. The problem is not simply that individual people are godless. It goes much deeper than that. Our leaders themselves are committed to godless policies and Christless activities. Murder, rape, pillage, and various other forms of utter dishonesty are practiced in the name of government today.
As the United States declines, I cannot help but remember the great nations that once were, and now amount to very little. There was the nation of Babylon, of which the prophet Daniel spoke to Nebuchadnezzar, and said, “Thou art this head of gold.” (Dan. 2:38). Where is Babylon today? Buried beneath the sands of Iraq. There was the Media-Persian empire, which conquered Babylon. Where is it now? Gone. There was the Grecian-Macedonian empire, which grew under Alexander the Great. What happened to Alexander’s empire? Very quickly, it dissipated and came apart. What about the Romans? Rome ran the world, once upon a time. Nevertheless, all historians who write about ancient Rome talk about how decadence and gross immorality entered at the highest levels. Raving homosexuals ran the country until Rome was nibbled to death and finally conquered by the barbarians who surrounded it.
The Holy Roman Empire is gone. The Turks once ran the entire Middle East. What happened to France since Napoleon? And what about Spain? Spain was once a most significant nation. Now it is nearly irrelevant. Britain, that empire which used to go around the world, is virtually gone. Even the United States of America should be looked upon with great concern by decent, culturally-oriented people. We are in a state of decline.
Many brilliant theologians believe the United States (and specifically New York City) is Babylon the Great as referred to in Revelation 17–18. Considering the wickedness described in those chapters and the current state of wickedness in our nation, I can see why scholars see a parallel between Babylon and America. However, there is much debate as to whether this Babylon is New York City, Rome, or a literal rebuilt Babylon. For what it’s worth, I think that the Babylon of Revelation 17–18 refers to the demonic religious system of the False Prophet and the economic system of the Antichrist because her octopus-like arms reach far beyond any single city. Certainly, the United States would be included as part of the Antichrist’s one-world “Babylonian” system. Nonetheless, I believe that Revelation 17–18 refer to a literal, rebuilt city of Babylon in modern-day Iraq. Six times in Revelation the Antichrist’s last-days capitol is called Babylon (Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21). While it is possible that Babylon is a code name for New York City, nothing in the text indicates that it is to be taken symbolically. So, it is best to take it as a reference to literal Babylon.
There are people who believe the future method of escape for the Jewish remnant in Israel as described in Revelation 12 is a reference to the United States. The Bible says that the Jews will fly into their wilderness hiding place on the “wings of a great eagle.” Since the symbol of the United States is the eagle, some see this verse as referring to America. However, the Bible is its own best interpreter. The phrase “wings of an eagle” describes how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt (see Exod. 19:4; Deut. 32:11). God is the eagle, not the United States.
Another passage of Scripture that is often said to be a reference to the United States is Isaiah 18. This chapter describes a powerful nation whose land is divided by a great river. Since the United States is divided from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico by the Mississippi River, some believe the nation in Isaiah 18 must be the United States. However, Isaiah 18 fits into a longer section, chapters 18 through 20, that is one connected prophecy dealing with the ancient nations of Cush and Egypt. The river referred to is undoubtedly the Nile.
So, where is the United States in Bible prophecy? The answer is the Bible contains no specific prophetic mentions of America. Still, we are covered by general prophecies that relate to all nations, but beyond that, our end-time destiny is a matter of speculation. General prophecies that apply to the United States include those that predict all nations will be blessed through Israel (Gen. 18:18; 22:18), all nations will come against Israel over control of Jerusalem (Zech. 12:3), all nations will be judged (Isa. 34:2–3), and all nations will cease to exist except for Israel (Jer. 30:11; 46:28).
I believe that the United States is not mentioned in Bible prophecy for two reasons. First, America is no longer a superpower at the end of this age because of our moral and spiritual deterioration. Second, I believe the United States will be powerless after the Rapture. If the Rapture happened today, America would be devastated because, despite all our moral failings, the United States still has more Christians than any other nation in the world. When the Lord removes all believers in the Rapture, chaos will ensue in this country. America will be left too weak to be a player in the international end-time scene.
Nevertheless, I still believe there is hope for the United States in these last days. The Bible says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). There is not a one of us who has not sung at some time or other, “God bless America, land that I love.” Yet, we have come to a place where America is at a crossroads; the choices that we make today will have so much to do with the days to come.
The decline of the United States will not be solved by some politician. The answer is not in the White House or the State House. The answer is in the church house and in your house. There must be a new heart, a new spiritual content, a new sense of purpose built into the life of our nation. We must have spiritual revival. If America is going to be great again, it will be because of a final revival before the Rapture. The only hope for a culture which finds itself in the midst of circumstances such as these is Jesus Christ.
Recently, Billy Crone spoke about revival. He said, “It starts with us. If you want the darkness to go away, shine the light. You go into a dark room, you want to get rid of it, how do you dispel the darkness? You go over to the wall and you what? Flip on the light. And it is time for the Christians to stop condoning the darkness. It’s time for us to get back to God’s truth, shine the light of His truth so that the darkness can be dispelled so revival can take place.”
Wouldn’t it be awesome if God gives us one final revival before the end of this age? God placed you and I here at this pivotal time in history for a purpose. National revival begins with personal revival when we look in the mirror, repent, and turn toward God. Then we need to push back against the evil that is in this country, get busy sharing the gospel, live a godly life, and look for the blessed hope and appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
Who knows? Maybe God will bless America again. Perhaps the United States’ last days can be our best days.