Is It Too Late For America?

Bible Book: Luke  13 : 34-35
Subject: Independence Day; July 4th; America; Judgment, National; Procrastination

Is It Too Late For America

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, editor,

Luke 13:34-35

(Look also Luke 19:41-42)

The time came when it was too late for Israel - too late for Jerusalem. This is without a doubt one of the saddest passages in the entire Bible. Here we see Jesus weeping over the capitol of the nation of Israel and we hear Him pronounce a judgment against it as well. Recall that an Old Testament text prophesied saying, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and the nations which forget God."

Could it be that America, our beloved country, has come to the precipice of such a judgment? Could it be that we are staring over into the abyss of future destruction for our nation? The only way to answer these questions is to look at where Jerusalem was at the time Jesus pronounced the judgment recorded in our text and ask what conditions persisted that brought God's own people to a point of experiencing divine wrath. We must ask if there are some Biblical principles that dictate when God's judgment may be expected against a society. As we do this, we can determine more clearly whether America, our beloved land, has made the same mistakes that Israel made. Yes, I know that America is a republic and not a theocracy, but surely God still deals with nations according to the standards He used in bygone days. Looking at this will help us determine who we were, who we are now and where we may be headed soon! Such an investigation may be a little frightening for us, but it may also hold out some hope.

Today we ask the question, IS IT TOO LATE FOR AMERICA?


God made a covenant with the Hebrew people, a covenant through which He promised to bless them and to help them in every situation they faced. He promised His blessings upon their economy, national security and family life, but He did require that they listen to Him, obey Him and propagate His name throughout the earth as part of that covenant. It was a wonderful agreement containing God’s pledge to always prosper them and all they had to do was follow HIm and honor Him.

When we come to the words Jesus spoke in our text today, what was the condition of that covenant relationship between God and His people - Israel? It was in shambles. The people had departed from God in their hearts and in their ways for many years. To be sure, the nation was still largely religious and many people went through the motions of religious exercise, but they had turned their backs and their hearts away for the Lord their God.

Jesus told them of impending judgment due to the breaking of the divine covenant. Less than forty years after Jesus spoke these words that judgment arrived when Roman troops rolled into Jerusalem in great force. They killed the men, raped the women, enslaved the children, stole the goods and destroyed the property. Jerusalem was turned into a wasteland and the number of Jewish slaves was so great that the Egyptian slave market bottomed out financially. No wonder Jesus wept when he looked at the city - a city He knew was going to suffer horrible destruction in less than 40 years time. Jesus looked out into the future and saw the coming destruction and the awful future that awaited the people of the broken covenant.

The principle of the reversal of a divine covenant is seen in the way God dealt with His people throughout the Bible. He promised to bless them as long as they kept their end of the covenant. During the days of the United Kingdom in Israel the people had failed to keep up their end of a divine covenant with God and judgment came upon them. They failed in the same manner during the Divided Kingdom and both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms were overrun with enemies and many of the people were killed or taken into slavery. Again and again this principle is seen in the Bible record.

We must ask if it is possible that America is in danger of experiencing the reversal of a covenant with God. In order to ascertain this, we must go back to America's beginning and see what things were like. Then, we must come forward and see what things are like today.

If you listened to the modern interpretation of the faith of the founding fathers, you would think that all of the leaders were atheists or at best deists. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fifty-two of the fifty-five signers of the Declaration of Independence were evangelical Christians. Early leaders, like George Washington, were devoted Christians and expressed openly their dependence upon God for their lives and for their country.

For example, a Maryland textbook that was used for many years in the public schools told a story of George Washington during the American Revolution. There was a battle that took place on July 17, 1755. It was a dreadful battle for America. Seventy percent of all the American troops in that battle were killed. After the battle, the only officer still upon his horse was twenty-two year old George Washington. Following the battle, he wrote home to his family and that letter was included in the Maryland textbook. In it he stated that he left the battlefield and found that he had four bullet holes in his jacket but not a scratch on his body. He had bullet fragments in his hair but not a scratch on his head. He gave the credit for his escape from death to the hand of Almighty God, whom he believed had chosen for him to live and not die.

Fifteen years after this incident, Washington went with some of the survivors back to that old battlefield where so many had died. An Indian chief who had fought with the French against Washington heard about the visit and went to meet Washington. The chief told Washington that he had been in that battle and that he had seen Washington riding his horse and knew he was an officer. The word went down the line to kill that man on the horse. The chief said that he had taken 17 direct shots at Washington, and though he was a great shot, had failed to bring him down. Many others were shooting directly at George Washington. The chief said, "I came here today to meet the man God had saved from death - the man bullets could not kill."

That story was in the text book of the Maryland school system for many years. That story does not appear in the text books today, even though it has been verified as true. Why? Because it makes reference to God and God's involvement in the establishing of America as a nation.

What is the truth, was America really founded as a Christian nation? Patrick Henry said that America was founded by Christians on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The major textbook for all beginning students in America from 1690 till around 1900, which is more than 200 years, was the New England Primer. In this book, the alphabet was taught, along with basic math. The ABCs were taught by using a different letter of the alphabet to begin a sentence. So, a student learned a sentence that began with the letter "a", and then one which began with "b", and so on through the entire English alphabet. What is really interesting is that each sentence that was used to teach the alphabet began with a verse from the Bible. The letter "e" came from the words of Jesus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Imagine that, every letter used to quote a Bible verse! Students learned the Bible as they learned their ABCs. Included in the New England Primer were questions for students to answer. They were based on Bible knowledge. For example, one question was, "What is the fifth commandment?" Another question was, "What does the sixth commandment forbid?"

Was this kind of teaching just a fluke or did the founding fathers of the country intend to teach Christian principles to students? The facts speak for themselves. It was John Quincy Adams who said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution is this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." (Samuel Flagg Bemis, John Quincy Adams and the Union, Knopf, 1958) Well now, how about that statement? Adams declared that the principles of civil government and the principles of Christianity were formed in America in “one indissoluble bond”. He word “indissoluble” is not used much these days, so what does it mean? The word means everlasting or permanent! Adams believed clearly that and boldly stated that the new nation was founded with the idea that civil government and Christianity are linked forever. He might well could have added that if ever they are parted America will be dissolved.

In a video he made some years ago, David Barton shares numerous facts about the founding leaders of America. For example, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in America was John Jay and he said, "We should elect only Christians as our rulers in America." When George Washington delivered his farewell speech he said, "Never let a man be called a true American if he tries to remove religion from government." He also said, "No man can rule properly without God and the Bible."

He also noted that thirty-four percent of all the quotes by the signers of the Declaration of Independence came directly from the Bible, another sixty percent come indirectly from the Bible, and that means that ninety-four percent of all the quotes of the founding fathers of America came from the Word of God. Most children cannot read openly from a Bible in a public school in our country at this time. Do you think we may in danger of experiencing the reversal of a divine covenant in this country?

Some will ask if the founding fathers actually felt that our country had a covenant with God in the beginning days of America. First, note that the three branches of government came from the Bible (Isaiah 33:22). The tax-exempt status of the churches came from Ezra 7:24. The separation of powers came from Jeremiah 17. Early Americans were so committed to the idea of our responsibility to God for our country that one could be prosecuted for saying otherwise.

During the Constitutional Convention, when America's guiding principles were being formed, there were thirteen states. Eleven of these states had state constitutions. All of them had statements similar to the one in Delaware which stated that all elected and appointed officials of state government had to sign a statement which read, "I profess faith in God the Father, in Jesus Christ the Savior, and in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures." Can you imagine someone proposing such an idea today! During the Constitutional Convention it was decided that every person who served in government should believe in an eternal reward or punishment. Further, it was to be understood that nations were not judged in the next life but in this life. They said that one could see by the hand of providence on the nation when God was displeased. For this reason, everyone was to carefully carry out his or her duties so as to maintain the blessing of God upon the nation!

In 1795 a case came before the court called the Runkel vs. Winemiller case. The argument was that Christian principles should not be the norm in America. The court ruled that, "America is a Christian nation." Evidence was given to support that decision.

In 1853 the Congress received a request to remove Christian principles from government activity. The Congress studied the issue for one year. One year later, on March 27, 1854, the Congress reported the results of that study. In it they stated that without the Christian influence the American Revolution would have been strangled in the cradle. In other words, they said that the revolution would have failed except for the fact that it was based upon Christian principles and the belief that God was directing all that the people were doing.

In the early days of the nation, congressmen would come to the floor of the house and discuss something they found in the Bible. A congressman would introduce a bill based on a Bible text. The entire congress would study the Bible text and discuss it. If the majority agreed with the interpretation, the bill was passed and would become law.

Yes, we have a covenant with God. If it were not for the Christian faith of our founders and the help of God with them, there would be no America today. If we turn our back on the God would established this great nation, He will turn His back on us. When a nation reverses the covenant it has made with God, God takes away His part of the covenant. Benjamin Franklin said that we must have God for our defender or have Him as our adversary. Franklin went on to say that daily prayer ought to be a part of the activities of the Congress. During the Civil War a reporter asked Abraham Lincoln if he thought God was on the side of the north in the great conflict. Lincoln replied, "The question is not whether God is on our side, the question is whether we are on God's side."

I propose to you today that we have broken our covenant with God. We have forgotten Him! I believe that can be shown, and we shall see the reality of this in a moment. What is the result of a nation that turns its back on God? Look again at what Jesus said to Jerusalem and to Israel!


There is yet another principle that causes God to judge a nation. The people failed to repent of their sin! Remember, Jesus came preaching, "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." But the people did not repent.

We see this principle in other passages in the Bible. Looking at the days of Noah we see that sin increased and the people would not repent. Sin became so horrible that God brought judgment through the flood. Look at Nineveh and note that God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against it because the sin of the city had risen up before God. There was a residue of unconfessed sin. God said to tell them that they had only forty days remaining! Look at Sodom and Gomorrah where we read that only ten righteous people could have spared God’s judgment on the cities but they could not be found. The residue of unconfessed sin became a stench in the nostrils of God and He said, "Enough!"

Jesus said that this same kind of problem – the same accumulation of unconfessed sin – was happening in Jerusalem. He said this had happened to the land of Israel. Judgment was pronounced due to the residue of unconfessed sin. Now Jesus looked down on Jerusalem and wept because He saw the coming judgment for unconfessed sin.

What about America? Do we have a residue, an excessive amount, of unconfessed sin in our land? Look at what has happened in America in just the last fifty to sixty years.

In 1948 someone brought case to the American court asking that Christian principles be removed from our educational system. You must recall how things were then. Look at one example that was being repeated all over America. The Dallas City School system was using a textbook published in 1946 entitled, "Bible Studies for Students."( In this book, the students studied creation, salvation and Christian doctrine from an evangelical Christian position. This was not an elective. Every senior had to take this course before graduating from high school. In the 1948 case, the court ruled that Christian principles had always been a part of our American way of life and should remain.

Court cases continued to come up. They used the statement by Thomas Jefferson that suggested a wall of separation existed between the church and the state. That statement by Jefferson was not in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. In fact, that statement did not occur in any official document but was found in a letter that Jefferson penned. The letter was written to some Baptist people who were disturbed that a local government in their area was rumored to be establishing a denomination as the official religion. Jefferson wrote to say that the Baptists had nothing to fear because the government would never establish an official denomination. He was writing not to say that the government needed protection from the church, but was writing to assure the Baptist group that the church had nothing to fear from the state.

This one statement was taken out of context and has been used again and again in court cases. Each time the court ruled in favor of freedom of religion. In 1958 one of the Supreme Court justices said that the phrase "separation of church and state" should cease to be used, since it is not the official statement of any American document and would, if it continued to be used, cause people to falsely believe that this was American policy. He could not have been more right.

In 1962 a court case was brought entitled, "Engel vs. Vitale." It was a case involving a twenty-two word prayer. The prayer did not mention Jesus Christ. It went something like this. "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon you and ask your blessings upon our teachers, parents, families and ourselves this day, Amen." The court ruled that the prayer was unconstitutional based on the separation of church and state. For the first time since the establishment of this great country, a child could not bow his or her head and pray in a public school. How ridiculous this was. God was only mentioned in this pray one time. God is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence four times! In 1963, the Bible was removed from the public school. In each court case, the court writes the reasons for its decision. Why did the court rule that the Bible was unconstitutional? Because the Bible would psychologically damage students! This meant the Ten Commandments could not be posted in a school. In a Kentucky case, the court ruled that the Ten Commandments could not be placed in the school for a student would surely read them. If he read them, he might believe them. If he believed them, he could be psychologically damaged by them. What? Damaged by learning that he is not to steal, to kill and to commit adultery? Such a ruling goes directly against what James Madison said. He said that the Ten Commandments stabilize the whole government as we govern ourselves based upon them.

In 1965 the court ruled that a child could pray over his meal at school but only if his lips did not move and words could not be heard coming from his mouth. In 1967 they ruled that a kindergarten nursery rhyme could not be used, not because it mentioned God but because someone might think that it was speaking of God, so it was ruled to be unconstitutional! God was not mentioned in the nursery rhyme at all! Yes, we have violated our covenant with God. It makes me wonder if Jesus is looking down on America, as He did over Jerusalem, and is weeping at our foolishness and coming judgment.

What has been the results of casting God out of government and schools done to us? Teenage pregnancy is up 553% since 1963. Sexually Transmitted Disease was up over 200% between 1965 and 1985, and it is far worse now. Single parent families up 140% in just 25 years. Unmarried couples living together is up 353% in that time. I don’t have the current statistics, but you can be sure they every one of them has increased rapidly. We are now being told that thousands of our graduates from American high schools cannot even read all the words on their diplomas. We are in trouble. We have taken prayer out of our schools and brought in drug sniffing dogs. We have outlawed the Bible in our schools but we are giving away condoms. We've asked God to leave our schools but now we have to use metal detectors to keep guns and knives from being used against teachers, administrators and fellow students. Do you think we are at a point in history, as a nation, that we are facing a coming judgment?

America used to be first in morality, production of goods, and national economy, healthcare and education. Now we are rapidly moving toward becoming first in crime, first in the world in teen pregnancies, first in abortions, first in the world in illegal drug use, and first in the world in illiteracy! You cannot turn your back on God and be successful. "To whom much is given, much is required." God has given much to America - what are we giving Him in return?

We are in trouble. Is it too late for America! Note with me the last thing that brings judgment on a nation!


Jesus told the city of Jerusalem that judgment had come because they did not recognize the time of their visitation. They failed to respond to the loving call of God for repentance. They rejected the overtures of the loving Savior. Many will say today that America is still the most moral and biblical nation on earth. Israel was also the only nation that held tightly to the Bible (Old Testament was all that was available then) and they were very, very religious! Still, they were judged. Remember, judgment starts at the house of God. To whom much is given much is required. God doesn't judge based on comparisons - He judges based on covenant and commitment to it!

I believe God is calling America to Himself. He is opening His arms to us, perhaps for the last time. God will still bless America, if America is willing to bless God! Would you be one of those who would intercede for America? Would you first confess your own sins and then plead for God's grace to be upon the land?

And, please, don’t just look at the things I’ve shared today and then think how terrible everyone is – everyone but you! We must do what Isaiah did – he confessed his own sins as well as those of his nation. We must do what Nehemiah did – he confessed his own rebellion as well as the rebellion of his fellow citizens. If you come to bow before God today, first come to repent of your own sins, you own indifference, and only then can you pray for others!


Is it too late for America? It is too late, only if we fail to respond to God’s call – we must not miss His loving overture and His time of visitation with us. Come now! The Lord is waiting and watching.

Most importantly, is it too late for you to come to Christ as your Savior? No, because you are here and that means you have the opportunity this very day to turn from your sin and trust Him as your Savior. Let no one leave here today and one day exclaim in regret: "It is too late for me!"