What lies just ahead for the once-prosperous Western nations that have dominated the world for the last five centuries? Why is the influence of the United States in the world declining? Why has once-powerful Britain needed to struggle to remain united? What has happened to the glory of France? Why has immigration changed the face of Canada? Why are the nations of Australia and New Zealand challenged by rising Asian powers? Why are Western nations that once served as models of freedom, prosperity and morality plagued by growing internal strife and falling prestige on the world stage? Few now realize that Western decline was predicted long ago in Bible prophecies that are coming alive today!
Most people today, including biblical and academic scholars, do not understand that the modern Western nations listed above are actually mentioned in Bible prophecies. As a result, few recognize why these nations are in trouble and what their future holds. The Scriptures record that God made a series of promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—that their descendants would multiply and spread around the world, becoming a blessing to other peoples.
Because of Abraham’s obedience, the descendants of Israel’s twelve tribes were promised to dwell in choice places of the earth and eventually gain possession of the gates of their enemies. The descendants of Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, were prophesied to ultimately become a great nation and a great company of nations, respectively. History records that specific nations of the Western world have actually fulfilled these ancient promises.
The Bible also reveals why God gave Abraham and his descendants these promises. When the Israelites fled Egypt, God entered into a covenant with them and gave them His laws so they could become a model nation and a light to the world (Deuteronomy 4). However, God warned them against disobedience: “But if you do not obey Me… and if you despise My statutes… I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:14–19). God foretold that disobedience would bring wasting diseases, drought, and invasion; “those who hate you shall reign over you” (v. 17).
Moses later warned the Israelites that if they turned away from God, they would wind up in debt to foreign nations, that aliens among them would rise to prominence and the Israelites would become “the tail” and eventually go into captivity (Deuteronomy 28:15–46). Looking into the distant future, Moses told the Israelites, “evil will befall you in the latter days” because “you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you” (Deuteronomy 31:29). Numerous prophecies warn that the demise of the Israelite nations will come “suddenly” (Deuteronomy 7:4; Isaiah 30:12–14).
Most Bible scholars recognize that many Old Testament prophecies are dual—with an initial fulfillment in the ancient world and the ultimate fulfillment toward the end of the age. History records that ancient Israel and Judah did turn away from God and were enslaved by Assyria and Babylon. Today, the modern descendants of the Israelites are also turning away from God and are heading for a similar fate!
History records that religious leaders from Britain and Holland and other northwestern European nations played major roles in spreading knowledge of the Bible to distant parts of the world. History also records that America was founded on biblical principles and Judeo-Christian beliefs and moral values.
However, in the last 50 years, these biblical values have come under persistent attack in our increasingly secular culture. Today, the theory of evolution (creation without a Creator) is taught as fact. Prayer, the Bible and the Ten Commandments have been expelled from schools, while secular teachers and liberal theologians promote the idea that sex outside of marriage is not a sin and that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are acceptable and normal. Secular historians also claim that “blessings” enjoyed by Israelite nations of the West did not come from God, but are just a matter of “luck”—being in the right place at the right time. For many people in modern Western societies, God is simply not in the picture and His laws are no longer relevant.
Today, few people are “connecting the dots” between turning away from God and the declining influence and growing troubles in our modern Western nations. However, some have been sounding warnings that echo ancient biblical prophecies! More than 25 years ago, prominent theologian Carl Henry saw the connection between the rejection of Judeo-Christian moral values and rising rates of divorce, teen pregnancies, cohabitation, use of drugs and suicide. He noted that “American society is being penetrated as never before by alien religious influences that the West unhesitatingly once called pagan”—propelling us toward a “cultural Armageddon” (Twilight of a Great Civilization, pp. 174–175). Today, these same trends are even more visible, not only in America, but throughout the Western, supposedly“Christian,” world.
Nearly a decade later, Judge Robert Bork documented the dangerous direction of these same social trends in his book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. Congress rejected Judge Bork’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court because the conservative values he espoused were out of step with the liberalizing, anti-Christian trend developing in America.
Similarly, researcher Jim Nelson Black noted in his book When Nations Die the parallel between trends in America and the visible symptoms of decline during the demise of Ancient Rome, Carthage and other historical empires: the rise of lawlessness, loss of economic discipline, weakening of cultural foundations, increasing materialism, decay of religious belief, rise of immorality and the devaluing of human life—all of which are happening today in the Western world.
About the same time, Harvard professor Samuel Huntington stated in his book The Clash of Civilizations that the age of Western dominance is “ending” and “the fading of the West” reflects “a civilization in decline” (pp. 81–91). More recently, author and presidential advisor Patrick Buchanan has noted: “The America we grew up in is gone. The unity and common purpose we had when we could together pledge allegiance to a flag that stood for ‘one nation, under God, indivisible’ is gone… America is disintegrating… What once united us is dissolving. And this is true of Western civilization” (Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, pp. 6–7).
Economic historian and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson warned in 2010 of the “sudden collapse” of America’s “empire” due to the country’s rising debt, and that this could happen “in the next five years” (AspenDailyNews.com, “Historian warns of sudden collapse of American ‘empire,’” 6 July 2010).
Bible prophecies have long-foretold the demise of the Israelite nations of the Western world at the end of the age because they would turn from God and forget the lessons of history. Those ancient prophecies are coming alive in the events we are witnessing today!