Recently I read through the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. The two prophets had very similar messages for Judah, but being over a hundred years apart their messages took on a different spin.
Isaiah prophesied during the time when the northern kingdom of Israel was judged by God, conquered by Assyria, carried into exile, and re-settled with the half-breed Samaritans. He begged and pleaded with the southern kingdom of Judah to repent and be faithful, lest God judge them as well. The response was at least good enough (particularly when Hezekiah was king) that God postponed the judgment for a century or so.
Which is where Jeremiah came in. He preached a message essentially the same as Isaiah's - Repent! Believe! Worship God alone! - but his message was thoroughly rejected by almost everyone. His book actually records more respect for the prophet coming from foreigners (such as the conquering Babylonian pagans) than from any Jew except Baruch (and maybe Gedaliah). As the rejection mounts, the message shifts focus from an Isaiah-like "Repent or God will judge us", to something more like "It's too late to repent - judgment is coming!". During the last few years before judgment finally came in the form of the Babylonian army and a 70-year exile, Jeremiah's message was focused on how best to survive and endure the impending judgment, and no hope of avoiding it remained. They had reached a point where it was simply too late to repent.
There's no doubt that America as a nation has some major sins on our record. We are fully deserving of God's judgment (some would say we're already experiencing some of it), and there are calls for repentance that we seriously need to heed. The godlessness of our nation requires a response no less than Assyria in Jonah's day. And yet, even as the calls for repentance go out, it's becoming easier to suspect that we're more in the Jeremiah stage, where we're so far gone and so hardened that we simply will not repent, that it's too late.
For instance, when you see something truly ghastly like this. Lord, have mercy.
4 hours ago