Dear Wake Up Family:
Throughout history, Satan has led individuals and nations to reject God’s plan for them. The Old Testament provides numerous examples of Israel’s rejection of God and the consequences they faced due to their idolatry. Just one generation after Joshua’s death, “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.” (Judges 2:11) As a result, God allowed other nations to plunder and defeat them. To save them from their enemies, God sent Judges, who protected them as long as they were alive. However, when the Judges died, the Israelites “Returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.” (Judges 2:19)
During the 350 years of the Judges, Israel went through cycles of apostasy, subjection to other nations, and restoration seven times. The final verse in the book of Judges summarizes the actions that led to Israel’s downfall: “Everyone did as they saw fit.” (Judges 21:25) This pattern of apostasy, punishment, and restoration continued throughout Israel’s history. Later, Israel insisted on having a human king (1 Samuel 8:5–6) who rejected the Lord. (1 Samuel 15:11) The cycle persisted during the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah, through their captivity in Babylon and restoration of Jerusalem, until the Jews’ final rejection of Jesus at the cross and the subsequent fall of Jerusalem.
Larry referred to God’s patience and subsequent actions toward a wicked nation as the full cup principle. When a nation became so evil that it could never repent or reform, God would wipe out that generation and provide a fresh start for a new generation. (Nehemiah 9:16–33; 1 Thessalonians 2:16) In AD 70, God demonstrated that His patience with the Jews had ended due to their apostasy when Jerusalem fell to Titus and the Roman armies. Despite exhibiting patience with His chosen people for over 1,400 years, their final rejection of Jesus resulted in complete subjection. However, in His mercy, God restored the children of Israel by grafting the olive shoot of the Gentiles into the root of Israel, allowing reborn Israel (Gentiles) to continue the Lord’s work. (Romans 11:15–20)
God has remained unchanged from Old Testament times, and our carnal nature continues to drive people and nations toward rebellion against Him today. We are currently approaching the level of apostasy that Israel exhibited before crucifying Christ. Interest in spiritual matters is declining while wickedness grows exponentially. We are on the verge of witnessing God’s response to the wickedness of our times.
- According to a Gallup poll in 2021, the number of Americans with church membership dropped below 50% for the first time in eight decades.
- A recent survey of 15,278 congregations found a decline in attendance of 7% between 2015 and 2020, with an average attendance of 65 or fewer people, a decrease from 137 people in 2000.
- In 2019, Pew Research found that 65% of American adults described themselves as Christian, a drop of 12% in a decade.
- Interestingly, 39% of US adults believe that we are living in the end times, 72% anticipate a world energy crisis, and 58% believe there will be a third world war.
The world is currently facing a moral crisis that mirrors the decay and decadence of nations that God destroyed in Bible times. “Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV) Sodom and Gomorrah were cesspools of wickedness and evil. The story of Lot and his angel visitors highlights the depravity of those cities. “Before they [the angels and Lot] had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” (Genesis 19:4–5)
The angels told Lot, “We are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” (Genesis 19:13)
The world today is following a similar path to depravity. Over ten years ago, Ruth Graham said, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” Three years later, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was permissible in all 50 states. At that time, it seemed impossible for society’s moral breakdown to worsen, but Satan has generated even more evil worldwide.
Consider these examples:
- Certain groups accuse Christians opposed to homosexuality, gay marriage, and transgender identities of hate crimes.
- Six states require K-12 instructional materials to include transgender and gay ideologies.
Over 3.2 million students attend schools with rules preventing faculty from informing parents about gender identities.
- Over 40 million people, more than three times the total number between the 15th and 19th centuries, live in some form of slavery. That is one in every 200 people worldwide.
There are about 27.6 million victims of sex trafficking on any given day, with an industry value of $99 billion. Unfortunately, a family member or friend is often the one who exploits many of the victims.
The world’s cup of iniquity is nearly full, and God’s patience with the world’s depravities is about to end. God will use the full cup principle globally just two more times. First, He will precipitate the trumpet judgments of the Great Tribulation to destroy the world. During the fifth trumpet, God will permit the Devil to subject the world until the seventh trumpet sounds. Second, Satan has had nearly 6,000 years to fill his cup of iniquity. When his cup is finally full, God will tear down Satan’s kingdom during the seven bowls. I eagerly await the promised day of restoration in the final cycle of the full cup principle. God has promised to restore His kingdom to its original state—no sin, death, sadness, or fear, just the eternal joy that only He can provide.
May the Lord be with you,