Prominent evangelist, the Rev. Franklin Graham has warned that if the United States does not return to God, it soon may face its demise - just the Babylonian empire did nearly 2,500 years ago.
The 64-year-old son of Billy Graham shared his thoughts in a recent Facebook post: "What's the writing on the wall for America? As a nation we are found lacking because of sin and disobedience to God's Holy Word. We have not honored Him. If we don't turn back to God, I fear that our end will be near," he wrote.
Graham drew comparisons to present day Iraq, which 2,500 years ago, was known as the Babylonian empire and boasted one of the most powerful armies in the world.
"Its king, Belshazzar, was having a big party drinking and boasting with his wives, his mistresses, and his nobles," Graham recalled.
He added,"While they were partying, the hand of God appeared and wrote a message on the wall, terrifying everyone including King Belshazzar. His face grew pale and his knees went weak. Daniel is called in to interpret the handwriting which says three things: 'Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.'"
According to the account found in the Old Testament book of Daniel, after the prophet warns Belshazzar that he is guilty of worshiping false gods, the king is killed, and his kingdom falls to ruins.
This is not the first time Graham has suggested that we may be living in the end times. Back in February, he said that we are currently experiencing a "global epidemic of political and economic instability" which could signal the return of Christ.
"While the United States is focused on its own politics, the world is unraveling," he cautioned. "The danger signals are everywhere."
Graham pointed to examples from around the world to demonstrate this point: "Beheadings, rapes, murders, bombings are taking place every day across North Africa through the Middle East, all the way to the borders of India," he wrote. "The U.S. military is deploying fighter aircraft to Finland to counter Russia's moves in that region; China is deploying missiles on an artificial island they have built in the South China Sea over the objections of the international community; and North Korea has successfully test-fired a long-range missile that has the potential of eventually reaching America with a nuclear bomb."
As the world is wallowing in "political and economic instability," it's not hard to realize that hope can only be found in Almighty God, Graham contended.
"It is imperative that we remember to pray for all 'those in authority' as God has commanded in His Word (1 Timothy 2:1-3)," he wrote. "One day He is going to wipe the slate clean and 'create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind' (Isaiah 65:17)."
However, Graham ended with a note of encouragement for those who have placed their faith in God: "There is an eternal future with Him to look forward to," he wrote. "Jesus left us words of reassurance and hope, 'Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me...I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also' (John 14:1-3)."
In October, the evangelist said that in light of the increasing number of natural disasters and global tragedies currently affecting our world, the second coming of Jesus Christ is definitely close at hand.
"We know from God's Word that earthquakes, famines, and wars will increase as the day of the Lord's return draws nearer," he wrote.
He argued that the numerous world conflicts people are witnessing today reflect passages in the Bible that talk about the end times and the "distress of nations: "The Bible tells us that in the end times there will be 'distress of nations with perplexity,'" Graham said, referring to Luke 21:25.
The passage reads: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring."
Graham concluded: "This is certainly the case today."