By Scott Webster
What a loaded question – especially in light of where the nation is presently. As a prophetic voice in the nation I am often asked that question, and it’s on the mind of everyone who lives here because the problems are on every front.
Some things are very obvious, like the rush towards redefining marriage, or the ineptness of the U.S. Congress to pass legislation. But other things are also in disrepair, one of them being the current state of disrepair of the physical infrastructure of the nation – see the sidebar.~~~~~~~sidebar~~~~~~~~~~~
STATE OF THE UNION:
LOCKS ON RIVERS: Although they exist outside the sight of most of us, there is an extensive system of 192 locks on 12,000 miles of river across the country – most of it in need of extensive repair. The locks allow barges to transport goods, but they were built in the 1930s and are often broken, causing barges to have to wait all day to pass through. The Corp of Engineers estimate it will cost $13 billion to fix the decay in existing locks, but that money isn’t available. With current budget limitations it will take until 2099 to complete repairs. Delayed delivery of goods means sluggish industry and higher prices, especially in the agricultural and concrete industry which depend heavily on barge transport.
INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS: The Eisenhower Interstate system was built in the 1950s and much of it is “functionally obsolete”, including 10% of all bridges. The I-35 bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi river during rush hour in 2007, killing 13 and injuring 145. The roads are too small for the number of Americans using it – 42% of interstate highways are categorized as “congested”. One engineer said, “We’ve used every Band-aid, every piece of duct tape, every wad of chewing gum we can to patch our way through.”
The physical infrastructure of America needs a massive overhaul, but the cost for that is estimated at $3.6 trillion, only a fraction of which is budgeted. The nation finds itself in a Catch 22; it doesn’t have the money to spend to improve the system due to a moribund economy and limited budgets, but if it doesn’t spend the money it risks squandering the lead it has enjoyed in the global economy over the last 50+ years. This reality is evidence that the American empire is declining relative to the rest of the world, as one analyst said of the transportation system, “What has been [the US’s] competitive advantage in infrastructure is at risk of being lost because it hasn’t kept infrastructure up to date.”
But the question of America’s restoration cannot be limited to rebuilding the physical infrastructure. There is decline in other areas also, including the economy, political polarization producing gridlock, and a level of spiritual and moral decline that is patently obvious. The question is a viable one – will the nation be restored to a place of strength, or will it continue to decline?
What Does the Lord Say?
What does the Lord say about the restoration of the nation? That is the key question, and if you have read The Arc of Empires you understand that we declare prophetically that there is clear Divine purpose in the nations decline, and the deterioration will continue as God deals with the earth through a series of crises. Not all agree; some claim other prophetic insights which contradict what we have put forth while others say that if we pray God could change His mind, as happened to Nineveh when impending judgment pronounced by Jonah was delayed for many years through the people’s repentance.
That leaves us with “competing” or contradictory prophetic views. I am not interested in mounting a defense to try and prove my view right, nor do I have any desire to be adversarial or to attack other views. But I’m very interested in helping people understand what God is speaking. Jeremiah’s key prophetic utterance was that Judah would be invaded by Babylon and broken by God, a word he declared in the first chapter of his book. The next 51 chapters describe the drama that ensues after a true word from God is released, including:
* Jeremiah’s consistent efforts to get people to understand what the Lord was saying, and his ongoing hopes that they would respond properly.
* Working through the nation’s blindness which was rooted in a sense of entitlement and exceptionalism based in their religious history.
* The narrative describes how the nation responded to the word of the Lord – kings were deposed, foreign armies mobilized and dispatched, harvests withered / economic collapse, false prophets were confronted in the temple and some died – all as a result of God talking.
Beyond releasing a true word from the Lord, the real task lies in helping the people of God to understand and respond correctly. Those that God wants to receive the word have to be led to a place of discernment so they know what is of the Lord and what is not, and there are clear Biblical instructions to do just that.
(Read More – http://scottwebsterministries.org/article/will-america-be-restored-1 )
WILL AMERICA BE RESTORED? – PART 2
By Scott Webster
May 11, 2015
The Word Must be Redemptive
How can a word that America is in decline and will not be restored be “good”? Because the nation has been utilized by God to impact the earth on so many levels, it is difficult to understand for many believers, who believe that God desires to restore the nation. That is how they pray and what they work towards. This system of belief cannot fathom what redemptive purpose God could have in breaking the economic, political and social structures of the nation – but that is exactly the view that we are putting forth.
STATE OF THE UNION:
Polarization & Political Gridlock
Polarization is in the U.S. Congress is at an all time high, and it derives from both sincere ideological differences as well as deliberate exploiting of those differences in order to win elections. Healthy debate, building coalitions and bi-partisan lawmaking is essential to the function of a democracy. During the 20th century – as American Empire was expansive and robust – the Congress was a highly functional body as measured by bills proposed and passed into law. But the last few years it has dramatically worsened. The level of gridlock is now higher than its previous apex 150 years ago, in the immediate post Civil War era, when deep divisions polarized the nation.
Polarization reduces the capacity of Congress to govern, causing Standard and Poor’s to downgrade America’s credit rating in 2011 for the first time in history, noting that:”American governance and policy making become less stable, less effective and less predictable than what we previous believed.”
Prophetic Perspective – where is this going? Gridlock and ideological extremism will lead to:
* Extremely adversarial election process which will further deepen the rifts in 2016
* Continued downward spiral in the economy over the long term
* Inability to create a cohesive foreign policy in America’s relations with the rest of the world
* The splintering of the federal system and the very probable secession of states
This series of articles is to provide you with the tools to assess this prophetic perspective which is the basis for our book The Arc of Empires, written to equip people to partner with God and stand strong in the midst of the crisis. Every word from God must be ultimately redemptive because that reflects the nature of God Himself. There are two key aspects of redemptive purpose that underlie the decline of America:
1. The crisis in the earth is a sign of the presence of God and His readiness to bring deliverance.
2. The crisis is a call to His people to engage in reformation and transformation.
1. The Crisis is a sign in the earth of the presence of God and His readiness to bring deliverance. A generally accepted view among believers is that God is absent from the affairs of the nation, which has led to its devolving right before our eyes. But the example of our brothers in Ancient Egypt shows us that God is walking in the earth, breaking the nations in order to deliver His people. People wonder “where is God?” We proclaim: He is here! The plagues of Egypt weren’t just natural disasters or random events; they were a strategic assault by God against the darkness which held God’s people captive.
We know it was true in Ancient Egypt because the Scriptures strip away the facade and reveal the inner workings of God’s purpose that were behind the plagues. But the people living then didn’t have the Scriptures – they had to know by faith and by prophetic decree that God was in the crisis and it was redemptive, even while it was destabilizing everything around them. They had to look beyond Pharaoh and perceive the will of God, just as we must look beyond Obama (and whoever will win in 2016) and recognize there is purpose in the decline of the nation.
He is breaking the nations in order to deliver His people
Crisis is the environment of the End Time Church, a truth which is repeated over and over in Scripture. Jesus said crisis would be a sign of the end of the age: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Mt 24:7-8). International upheaval, instability in the nations and multiplied natural disasters are the things that mark the end of the age, and they are called “the beginning of birth pains”. That means that like birth pains they will increase both in frequency and in intensity until God’s purposes are fulfilled.