Is the “City on a Hill” Nearing Its End?
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” -Matthew 5:14
God’s providence which mightily blessed the American Republic will not be forgotten when the history of mankind is revealed at the final Judgment. Those marks have been etched in the fabric of the hearts of believers around the world over its two-and-a-half-century existence.
This history will be seen from the perspective of the Man of Truth. After all, He raised America up and blessed her as both a gospel light and an encourager to the nations of the world. Though sorely oppressed by many wars, in her fallen state she still provided a place of safety for the church’s missionary enterprise to reach into all the world, into places of danger and martyrdom.
On Saturday, we celebrate the 244th birthday of a country, which is not that old compared to say China’s 3,000-year history. Yet the United States has the longest time period of any country under a single governing authority: the U.S. Constitution. This Constitution protected the free exercise of religion when so much of the world was persecuted by religious oppression and tyranny.
America, while enjoying the blessings of freedom for nearly two-and-a-half centuries, is today fraying at the edges. Her heart is being infected with the vestiges of encroaching bondage. Freedom is no longer a blessing in the hearts of those clamoring for socialism to replace democracy or the principles of Marxism and Sharia to be substituted for the Bill of Rights.
Modern “education” has led many to supplant the love of costly freedom for the yearning of “free stuff” offered under the mesmerizing propaganda of deceptive socialism. The history of socialism is utterly ignored in its consistent production of tyranny, economic failure, and especially the fierce constraint of the gospel of the followers of Jesus Christ.
How much longer will we celebrate the independence of our country from the bondage of tyranny? Flying on a crystal-clear night from St. Louis to Colorado on a July 4th years ago, I observed one firework display after another across the plains in many cities and towns, expressing this joy for independence by her citizens. It was a thrilling sight. There are now numerous voices which trumpet an end to such freedom in their call for humanism and socialism, which includes the stifling of God’s Word.
The “City on a Hill” is now being kicked to the curb. The exceptionalism of costly sacrifice to relieve world oppression and spread the gospel to far horizons is belittled by many scorners and skeptics. Is God ready to set her aside as an instrument in the world of His mercy and grace? Short of a great revival through the renewed triumph of the gospel, America is perhaps nearing the end of her usefulness as a providential tool of the Master.
There are still a remnant of those who treasure freedom, bought and sustained at terrific cost, who will remember what God wrought in her on her birthday this Saturday. They will be thankful to God that He blessed her for a time as a “city on a hill,” despite the machinations of the Man of Sin, the prince of the power of the air. However, permanent victory over him was secured by the Savior at the cross 2,000 years ago, and though America will inevitably fail, we members of His body will reign with Him as citizens of heaven.
“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free; let us all be grateful for a land so fair, as we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America, land that I love, stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above. From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.”
(Song by Irving Berlin, 1918 and 1938)
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