This teaching is about the United States of America (USA).
This is not meant to be a history lesson. If you’re interested in some true and correct history (instead of false “revisionist history”) about our nation’s founding–and history since its founding, I recommend two books, both being some pretty good reading: A Patriot’s History of the United States, by Schweikart and Allen and America on Trial: A defense of the Founding, by Robert R Reilly. Both can be purchased new or used on amazon.com. Even if you never liked history in school, I think you’ll like these two books!
I am revising and updating this teaching in March2023. These are extremely troublesome times in the USA and around the world. Russian President Vladimir Putin is still waging cruel war against the sovereign nation of Ukraine, causing ripples around the world especially here in the USA. This is perhaps no more troublesome than in many past times, the major difference being that due to modern technology, the entire world now has almost instant exposure and awareness about what is occurring throughout the world. It has not been more than 150 years or so in the past that if a noteworthy event or tragedy occurred somewhere in the world, most people didn’t learn about such an event for days, weeks, or even months. Now almost everyone on the planet can know about events almost immediately.
For example, in the early 1800’s before the telegraph came into use, when the citizens of the USA elected their President, it might be weeks (sometimes months) before everyone knew who had been elected. Yes, modern technology now puts such events right in front of us within minutes. Events are not necessarily more troublesome or more prolific now—we just see them sooner while they’re happening!
At this time in our history, multitudes of people in the USA and around the world are greatly worried about the future of the United States of America. Should they be? Why are they worried? Do they feel the USA is in decline? Is the United States of America becoming a socialist nation? Are foreign powers slowly taking over the USA? Is the United States of America slowly losing its sovereignty as an independent Nation? Are internal conspiracists plotting to take over our government?
Do those people who worry about such a bleak future for the United States of America believe in the sovereignty of God? Is God really sovereign over ALL the nations of earth, including the USA? I hope I can answer some of those types of questions and others in this teaching.
Let’s begin at the beginning.
The Puritans were a group of people who left Europe for North America (the New World) in the early 1600’s. On a Sunday morning in 1630, one of their leaders, John Winthrop, delivered a sermon on board one of the ships, Arbella, while enroute to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The title of the sermon was “A Model of Christian Charity.” Winthrop preached that the eyes of the world would be upon that group of emigrants, who would be as a “city set upon a hill” for all to observe! In a very real sense, that sermon was the “seed” planted as the origin of the United States of America.
The concept of a “city set upon a hill” comes from the Bible. Jesus stated to his early followers in Matthew (the first book of the New Testament), chapter 5, verse 16: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Both those concepts: “the light of the world” and “a city that is set on a hill” came to be almost what we might today call “slogans” or credos for the founding of the United States of America. Many leaders in North America echoed Winthrop’s words time and time again through the ensuing years leading up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America in the late 1700’s.
It is clear to any honest student of American history that for many years leading up to and long after the founding of the United States of America, most informed people felt that the USA was, indeed, “a city on a hill” and “a light of the world.” They felt that the real “Founder” of the United States of America was God. They believed that God founded the USA to proclaim to the rest of the world God’s sovereignty over the nations of the world and to spread the light of the Good News (the Gospel) about Jesus worldwide.
NOTE: Late-breaking news. The concept of the USA being a light to illuminate the entire world has never disappeared from the consciousness of many citizens of the USA, even though it’s been almost 500 years since John Winthrop used the term in reference to the New World the Puritans were about to reach. As a late-breaking example, on January 20, 2021, the new President of the United States of America, Joseph Biden, in his inaugural address stated that the USA is still a beacon (light) to the rest of the world.
Speaking of the biblical basis of the founding of the USA, as a side note, the founding fathers believed that dividing our national government into three branches comes directly from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, chapter 33, verse 22 in which it states: “For the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, the LORD is our King” [President]. They felt that God had given them that insight about the three branches of our federal government: executive, legislative, judicial—with God Himself as the ultimate King over the three branches of government. Yes, this nation was clearly founded upon various general biblical principles.
Such principles were not necessarily strictly “Christian” principles, but, nevertheless, principles based solidly upon the Bible, God’s complete, final written revelation of Himself and his works and ways to all humanity. The founding of the United States of America was an experiment “under God” attempting to determine for the first time in all of human history if a nation could come into being—and persist—founded upon biblical principles.
As an aside, the past few years there has been a move afoot for historians and teachers of history to revise facts about our nation’s founding by stating that our nation was really founded on the basis of slavery, not upon biblical principles. That is categorically not true—and actual documents written by the founding fathers prove it’s not true. Such attempts to change history are called revisionist history; some revisions are true, some are not. The matter of this nation being founded upon slavery instead of upon biblical principles is decidedly not true!
In fact, it was felt by many that God had actually established a one-way, biblical-like covenant with the founding fathers of the United States of America. It is my firm belief that God has never abrogated that one-way covenant in spite of the USA’s lapses into sin and disobedience through the years since its founding.
That brings us to the present-day when many people around the world feel the USA has sunk so deeply into sin and disobedience that God has finally turned his back on the United States of America and has now left its citizens to suffer the consequences of their sin and rebellion. Not so! Unfortunately, many American citizens are sunk in deep despair over the fate of our nation and believe that the “end-times” are upon us, the “antichrist” will soon take over the world, things are getting darker and darker, they need to stockpile food, procure weapons and much ammunition, and simply wait for the internal terrorists to take over our “fallen” nation because the end of the USA is very near.
Here’s the definition of the word “sovereign”: “Above or superior to all others; supreme in power, rank, or authority.” I ask: “Have you forgotten that God is sovereign over ALL his creation, over ALL the earth, over ALL nations of earth—including the United States of America?”
Let us now look at just a few references in the Bible about God’s absolute sovereignty over all the nations of the earth—including the United States of America. When I use the phrase “God is sovereign,” I mean He is in absolute control of all that exists and all that happens, simply by virtue of the fact that He is Creator of all. If He’s not, then He’s really not God! But…if God really is God, then He possesses all the attributes most people generally think about when they think about God: He possesses all power over everything He created. He knows everything that can be known. He exists everywhere and everywhen simultaneously. He loves his entire creation infinitely. ad infinitum–
There are numerous references in the Bible to God being sovereign over his entire creation—including the earth and all that exists on the earth. I’m going to list and comment on just a few of those numerous references; I have not selected isolated “proof texts,” but simply references that are most representative of all the biblical references. I urge you to check me out and look up and study these references for yourself in your own Bible, whatever version or translation you happen to use.
First, Psalm 2 is widely known to be about God and his sovereign power over all the nations of the earth. It is about how God the Father has given God the Son, Jesus, all the nations of the earth as Jesus’ legacy, and his domain covers all the nations of earth. Jesus will ultimately rule over all nations with unlimited authority. Are these just “pious platitudes” or does Jesus, in fact, rule over the United States of America as being one of the nations of earth? You decide what you believe! My own belief is that the President, the Congress, and the judicial branch of our government do not rule over the USA; God the Son, Jesus, does…
Psalm 24: 1 and 2 makes the bold claim that the world is God’s. Everything and everyone belongs to Him. Does that or does that not include God’s “ownership” over the United States of America? You decide! Look at Psalm 47: 2: “The LORD God most High is astonishing, awesome beyond words! He’s the formidable and powerful King over all the earth.” Do you really believe that statement about God’s sovereignty…or not? You decide!
Ponder Jeremiah 10: 6 and 7: “There is nothing that can come close to comparing to you, God. There is nothing in your entire creation like You. You are great, and your Name is great and mighty. What honest person would not stand in awe of You, king of all the nations? It’s your right as Creator of all. Among all the wise people of all the nations, there is none like You.”
Almost the entire fourth chapter of the Book of Daniel is about Jesus’ Kingdom on earth—an everlasting Kingdom in which his dominion is from generation to generation. The chapter goes on to claim that God rules within the kingdoms [nations] of humans, and gives rulership of those nations to whomever He wills. The king of the nation in which Daniel then lived exclaimed toward the end of chapter 4 that “God’s rule lasts and lasts forever, his Kingdom never declines and falls. He does according to his will in heaven and among all the inhabitants of earth. No human can restrain God’s hand [from accomplishing his purposes among humans]…”
Does God exercise rulership to the United States of America? Is He always working behind the scenes in American life to exercise his will in the USA? Does God rule over our elections and other activities in the United States of America—always working out all things according to his ultimate will, even though we may not know at the time what his purposes are? Is God sovereign…or is He not? You must answer such questions for yourself in terms of your own relationship with God and what you understand of his Person, character, and nature.
In the New Testament, Timothy, one of Jesus’ early followers, exclaimed: “…My praises rise to the King of all the universe [including earth, of course] who is indestructible, invisible, and full of glory, the only God who is worthy of the highest honors throughout all time and eternity.” Toward the end of his book, Timothy exclaims: “Yes, God will make his appearing in his own timing, for He is the exalted God, the only powerful One, the King over every king [ruler, president, dictator, prime minister], and the Lord of all power.”
Millions of people have prayed (using the so-called Lord’s Prayer) for centuries asking Jesus to return and establish his Kingdom on earth: “…thy Kingdom come…” In the Book of Revelation the last book of the Bible, the writer gives his readers a word picture of “The New Jerusalem” Jesus will establish on the renewed and freshly restored earth: “the city has no need for the sun or moon to shine for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb [Jesus]. People will walk by its light and the kings of the nations of earth will bring their wealth into it.” Yes, that will happen in the future, but based on other references we have given you, that scenario will simply be an extension of God’s present sovereignty over the earth—including the United States of America.
I have listed only a tiny smattering out of many biblical references about God’s sovereignty over all creation, including earth and all its governments and peoples. They give ample indication that God truly is sovereign over all the nations of the earth both NOW and in time to come. Of course, if you don’t believe the Bible’s authority, authenticity and veracity, then such references are nonsense to you. However, if you do believe them—and you are still worrying and fretting about the fate of the USA—then you must make some changes in your beliefs, feelings, attitudes, and worldview about current events occurring in the world NOW!
I think what bothers me the most—personally—is that so many of God’s followers live in fear and despair about what’s happening in the USA and around the world: believing in conspiracies, spreading rumors and gossip about what’s happening here and there, believing false prophets and “doomsday deceivers,” teaching falsely about the so-called “end-times,” expecting “bad” things to happen—instead of good things from God who is altogether good, and the like. Instead of being witnesses about Jesus’ victorious rulership over his creation and his coming Kingdom.
Now I simply want to share with you some logical and reasonable thoughts about what is currently happening in the United States of America and around the world—based on the belief that God is, indeed, sovereign over all the nations of earth including the USA.
The United States of America, however long it lasts as an intact nation, is only a tiny historical blip in the vast, rolling tides of time and eternity. The USA has been an amazing experiment in human self-government under God based on some of the Bible’s teachings, but it’s doubtful it will last “forever” because at some point in future time Jesus will return to establish his theocratic Kingdom over all the earth; the United States of America will be incorporated into his Kingdom along with all the others nations then existing on earth.
Nations (including the USA) rise and fall according to God’s sovereign will over the affairs of all nations. There is nothing in the Bible and elsewhere that indicates the United States of America will never fall. The republican, democratic form of government established in this nation is one of the best forms of government ever devised, but because the USA is governed and led by sinful humans—no matter how well-intended they might be—there just isn’t any guarantee that America could never fall—just as other “kingdoms” have fallen in the past.
God’s will always trumps humanity’s will, whether they be kings, presidents, prime ministers, totalitarian dictators, legislative bodies, or judicial bodies. God’s will shall stand eternally. Human will shall not. Each human must bow their will to God’s will that is motivated by his eternal, unconditional love for all the nations of earth and for each individual human ever born.
In the long scope of history, the government and citizens of the USA are no better or worse than others throughout human history: all are tainted by sinful self-will and resistance to God’s leadership.
If the USA stands the vagaries and testings of time, she stands. If she falls, she falls. God’s will be done! Should God sovereignly choose that the USA shall remain “the city set on a hill” and the “light to the nations,” it shall remain as such. Should He not choose that course for the USA, it will not remain as such. God’s will be done. My own belief is that the USA is a special nation God established as the pre-cursor nation to usher in the return of Jesus to establish his everlasting Kingdom on earth. I believe that the United States of America will last as a sovereign nation “under God” until Jesus returns to earth to establish his Kingdom on earth.
When all is said and done—when all the wheels of mortal life shall at last stand still—what will have mattered most is not the nations of earth but the individual people of earth’s teeming masses of humanity. Nations are simply frail human attempts to make some order out of what might otherwise become anarchy and unbridled chaos. God’s primary interests on planet earth are individual humans having a loving, personal relationship with Him. All nation and their governments—including the USA—are secondary.
The only difference in all the past and present nations of the world is that the USA was deliberately founded to be governed by biblical principles: the only nation in history to have been founded with such deliberation, the reasons for such founding clearly stated in its founding documents, all of which are readily available on the internet and in various museums for people to read and study. I carry with me at all times for handy reference a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. I daresay that most adult Americans have never even glanced at a copy of either document since their school days!
Upon Jesus’ personal return to earth, there shall be established the coming Kingdom of God that shall be wholly theocratic, ruled directly by God’s authority over each person. He will be a loving, grace-filled, truly benevolent King directly in charge of all redeemed, restored, and reconciled humanity.
Those followers of Jesus in the USA who are weeping and wailing, moaning and fearful about what might happen to their beloved nation have obviously forgotten what their Bible teaches: Jesus is LORD of lords and King of kings who rules over the nations of earth…including their beloved USA!
I wrote the following Manifesto on July 4, 2020. I believe it with all my heart…based upon the overall teachings of the Bible about God’s sovereignty over ALL the nations of the earth.
“I solemnly proclaim and declare to all who have ears to hear, eyes to see, and understanding to comprehend that the United States of America is unique among all nations throughout human history—created, borne, and sustained by Almighty God through its allotted years. This nation is not in decline. On the contrary, it is yet young “In the crimson light of a rising sun fresh from the burning, creative hand of God.” *
At its beginning, God ratified an unbreakable one-way covenant with the founders of this nation that it would be a “city set upon on a hill” (Matthew 5: 14) and a “light to the world” (Luke 2: 30 – 32)—a covenant God has not abrogated because of America’s sins.
The United States of America is God’s unique, precursor nation to proclaim to the world God’s ultimate redemption, restoration, and reconciliation of all humanity to Himself and to usher in the coming, bright Kingdom of God. This nation shall continue to stand tall on earth—led, guarded, sustained, and protected by vigilant, Almighty God until Jesus returns.
May God continue to greatly bless the United States of America. Firm may she continue to stand, though by internal and external foes of God and truth surrounded!”
*Words in quotation marks in the first paragraph are by poet, Carl Sandburg, winner of 3 Pulitzer prizes.
Revised and Updated March 2023