Have We Learned Anything from History? Part 1

Kerby Anderson, in a stirring essay on the rise and fall of empires, quotes Winston Churchill who famously said, “The one thing that we have learned from history is that we don’t learn from history.” For a number of years, prognosticators and pundits have predicted the imminent fall of our nation. And while much of their speculations have proven unfounded, there is evident truth to the fact that our nation like previous nation/empires will, in fact, fall unless there is some spiritual intervention, revival, or spiritual reform. As one writer put it, “the problem with the doomsayers is that while their prognosis is right, their diagnosis is wrong.” For many of them, the prognosis relates to the political, economic and sociological problems facing our nation.
by Ray Jones on March 03, 2019

Have We Learned Anything from History? Part 1

Kerby Anderson, in a stirring essay on the rise and fall of empires, quotes Winston Churchill who famously said, “The one thing that we have learned from history is that we don’t learn from history.” For a number of years, prognosticators and pundits have predicted the imminent fall of our nation. And while much of their speculations have proven unfounded, there is evident truth to the fact that our nation like previous nation/empires will, in fact, fall unless there is some spiritual intervention, revival, or spiritual reform. As one writer put it, “the problem with the doomsayers is that while their prognosis is right, their diagnosis is wrong.” For many of them, the prognosis relates to the political, economic and sociological problems facing our nation.

The truth, however, is that our nation, like all previous nations that declined and died, is far more due to its spiritual character than anything else. An often-common echo and belief is, “America is exceptional” and “It can’t happen here.” But every great civilization has believed the very same thing about themselves. The average age of the greatest empires in history is approximately two hundred years. Sure, there are exceptions, nations like Britain have defied the average, while others, including America, have just reached the average. Historians tell us that all the great past empires have cycled through a process of ascent and decline. That process is reflected in ten stages.

The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith. The second from spiritual faith to great courage. The third stage moves from great courage to liberty. The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance. The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness. The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency. The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy. The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay. The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence. And finally, the tenth stage moves from dependence back to bondage.

Did you notice that the first generation gets free of bondage only to have the latter generations return to bondage through spiritual apathy, ignorance of history and moral confusion? I recently began working back through the book of Judges. It is the continued narrative of Israel’s conquest of the promise land following Joshua’s death. It tragically tells the story of their national descent after God had graciously brought them, finally, to a land filled with “milk and honey.” And the last verse in the book sums up the reason for their decline. In 21:25 the scripture says… “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Throughout the book the above ten stages are clearly seen playing out in Israel’s national demise.

But this is the way of all nations historically and it will be the way of our nation as well, unless there is a return to spiritual sanity and moral integrity i.e., a revival! Already in our nation, we can identify with the last verse of Judges…that the prevailing philosophy of our age is, “Everyone does what is right in his own eyes.” Political correctness, sexual perversion, gender confusion and historical revisionism, just to name a few, paint a picture of a nation without a foundation. Houses without foundations crumble eventually and so do empires.

But it isn’t too late… there is no rule that says these ten stages cannot be altered or that a nation cannot awake and return to God and to spiritual fidelity…it’s rare, but it has happened. Nineveh turned, Europe turned in the protestant reformation and in the great awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries, America turned. Let’s pray for a turning and a revival of epic proportions. And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!

For God’s Glory Alone,

Bro. Ray

 

 

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