The Bible says: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17). That part about nations which forget God concerns me, and it should concern you too.
LIVING IN A SECULAR SOCIETY
One of the most perplexing problems facing Bible believing Christians today is the dilemma of trying to live for the Lord in the midst of a pagan, secular, anti-Christian society. How do you survive in a nation that has "forgotten God"? Well, many have successfully done so in the past, to their credit. Moses in Egypt, Joseph in Egypt, Abraham in Canaan, Job in Uz, Daniel in Babylon, Esther in Persia, Jesus in Roman occupied Palestine, and Paul in a pagan Greek world. It can be done. It must be done. Nothing stands out like a committed Christian in an ungodly culture. Psalm 9:17 is a warning to "wicked" nations, and we would do well to learn the lesson of this text because it is so relevant to Christians living in America today.
THE 3 STEPS OF NATIONAL DECLINE
There are three steps that lead to the decline, demise, and destruction of any nation. The first step is the one mentioned in our verse: "forgetting God". Whenever any nation forgets its godly heritage, and starts removing God from its institutions, it takes the first sad step towards its downfall. Forgetting God is not some innocent lapse of memory, it is a deliberate decision that has drastic consequences.
THINKING YOU ARE INVINCIBLE
The second step toward destruction is pride--thinking you are invincible. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Prov. 16:18). Listen to this alarming verse: "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God; God is not in all his thoughts" (Psalm 10:4). It is dangerous whenever a nation begins to think it is invincible. Nebuchadnezzar thought this about his "great Babylon" (see Dan. 4:30). Those who lived in the ancient city of Nineveh believed their walled city was impenetrable (see Nahum 1:12). Ungodly civilizations which trusted in their own military might, rather than in the Lord, now lay on the ash heap of history.
DIGGING YOUR OWN PIT
Third, nations on the decline tend to sink into a pit of their own making. When anti-Christian laws are passed, and policies pursued which go contrary to the Word of God, nations dig their own grave. "The heathen (nations) are sunk down into a pit which they have made; in the net which they hid, their own foot is caught" (Psalm 9:15). When a culture becomes so corrupt that it begins to despise all things Christian, the only recourse God has is swift judgment. Ask those who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. Oh, wait a minute--you can't because they were destroyed by God. It is a scary thing to realize that the un-biblical policies which secular nations enact become the impetus of their own demise. How sober this warning is to America!
THERE IS STILL HOPE
If God looks down from heaven and sees enough godly Christians in the land, He will spare His judgment on us (see Genesis 18 where Abraham pleads for God's mercy on Sodom). The best thing we can do, as Christians, is to pray for our country (II Chron. 7:14). And the most patriotic thing we can do is to live godly lives, because we are the only thing standing between God's judgment and our nation in moral decline.