One thing that our supporters always hear me say is that “man cannot rule man.” I say this because man was never designed to rule himself. Instead, he was designed to be led by our Heavenly Father.
As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, it is my earnest belief that hope is never completely lost, because God’s sovereign plan of the ages will forever prevail — no matter how desperate things may appear on the surface. But if my brief time on this earth, and my understanding of history, have taught me anything, it is that only a fool would place his wholehearted hope and trust in man’s ability to rule himself. In fact, if history is a guide to anything, it is a guide to the consistent knucklehead acts of mankind throughout the ages.
Our deceptive generation has convinced us that man can rule himself. Sadly, millions of Christians today blindly believe this lie. But the Bible makes it abundantly clear that mankind was created and designed to be led by God Himself. Man was created to be a follower of God, not a leader of man. However, in response to man’s fall in the Garden of Eden, man opted for self-rule. This act of defiance has led to nearly 6,000 years of failed human government, beginning with the Tower of Babel. Since then, mankind’s attempts at self-rule have only intensified. And the consequences have been tragic.
I believe that mankind’s current predicament stems from the fact that man was not designed, nor was he ever meant, to rule himself.
According to an orthodox view of the Christian faith, human suffering is rooted in man’s rejection of the omnipotent rule of his Creator. When given a choice, man opted for self-rule. This ancient act of rebellion, in the Garden of Eden, explains humanity’s pain and suffering over the last 6,000 years. And if we choose to believe the Bible when it explains that mankind’s rebellion will become worse with time, it would also explain why the 20th century has been noted as the “bloodiest century” on record. 2 (Ironically, the 20th century has also been labeled the “American Century.”)
Today, we live in the chaotic and confusing environment of man’s rule gone bad. Politicians promise peace and deliver war; they promise certainty but deliver chaos. And yet what is so amazing is that Christians today still believe the lie that men are quite capable of ruling themselves. It should come as no surprise that God disagrees with this line of reasoning because at His return He will come and smite the nations with His wrath. Then He will set up His own Kingdom on the earth in which He will reign for 1,000 years.
I often wonder when the Body of Christ will awaken to the fact that this world and this life offer no real lasting hope. As Christians, our only hope is found in Christ and in His soon coming Kingdom. Like the patriarch Abraham, we too are looking and longing for that city “whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10). This world is not our home and could never even come close. In fact, in the Book of 2 Peter, the Bible tells us that Christ’s final act of judgment upon this failed world system will be full annihilation. It says that “the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10).
With this in mind, ask yourself this question: According to the Bible, which one of this world’s governments will be shielded from the wrath of God’s anger on that great “Day of the Lord”?
The answer is none.
This world is doomed because people have dared to defy the supreme rulership of the living God of heaven. Man’s failed quest for self-rule will end in absolute annihilation. That is why the man-made earthly hopes and values promoted by this world are vain and empty.
The world’s political systems, its bureaucracies, organizations, religions, pleasures, and philosophies are all going to be destroyed at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ!
The Apostle Peter continues by asking: “Since all these things [earth and all of its works] will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Pet. 3:11).
I believe that this question is highly relevant to our current generation. Peter’s question is one that every church in America should be asking from its pulpits. Sadly, many churches in America encourage friendship with the world. But the Bible says that those who are friends of this world are the enemies of God.
In many ways, America represents the culmination of all that man has ever aspired to: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And yet despite the amazing personal freedoms, rights, and liberties that the “American experiment” graced upon the Western hemisphere, man’s inability to lead himself has continually bubbled to the surface. Unable to personally rid himself of his true sin nature, man has attempted in vain to cloak his inherent deficiencies at self-rule. As a result, America is following the same path as every economic empire before it. And lest we confuse — or even deceive — ourselves, American Christians must quickly grasp this point: America is not the light of the world. The sun shone before America was here, and it will continue to shine long after our nation’s self-inflicted demise. So let us not proceed in shock or surprise at the complex political and economic webs that have been woven in America. Despite what the Western-centric thinker may suggest, the ancient writings of the Bible are clear. They confirm that the biblical prophecies concerning the “last days” are Israel-centric and Middle Eastern-centric. They are anything but America-centric. In other words, I believe that the Bible clearly suggests that the global political and economic spotlight will be firmly transferred to this volatile region in the coming years.
Put simply, America’s fall is historically identifiable, though unfortunate. And it is all but certain.
So how should we, as the friends and followers of Christ, respond?
Our response should be twofold: (1) awareness and (2) conformity. The first step in any direction begins with awareness. Becoming and remaining aware of man’s need for God’s leadership will help you properly evaluate man’s aspirations and hopes of self-rule. If anyone in this world should know that man cannot rule himself, it should be the followers of Christ. The Bible is so clear on this point. The only way that we can lose awareness on this issue is to ignore the Bible’s clear teachings.
The second step is to seek to be conformed to the likeness of Christ (see Rom. 12:1–2). There is great reward found in immersing yourself in the Father’s business. As Christians, we are to be in this world, but not of it (see John 17:14–15). This means that we must operate here but simply as pilgrims and sojourners.
Those who are deceived by man’s great swelling words and false promises of utopia should know better by now. We know that his end is destruction without Christ. We know that Christ’s kingdom will be far better than anything here. So why settle for a poor substitute? Why not live in great expectation of Christ’s kingdom?
By admitting that man is incapable of truly ruling himself, your eyes will be opened to the deceptive nature of our day. You will no longer be shocked at man’s failures at self-government. Instead, you will expect them and make preparations for them. In these wicked times, deception permeates our world so greatly that it is impossible to quantify. Obviously, these days call for great discernment. Without discernment, you will be susceptible to this world’s deception, and you too will follow the world’s herd mentality. And without discernment, your judgment on economic and political topics will be impaired, thus placing your future financial health in danger.