The Bills Are Now Due
By Jim Josephsen

Only 22 days into 2008, and economic turmoil is evident worldwide. At home, America’s financial prowess is in peril, at risk of recession. Prominent institutions like Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Ford Motor Corp, GM, Home Depot, many of the future 500 companies, the Mom and Pop businesses of the Midwest, even the colossal United States government, are revealing a fiscal reality which is in grave, serious trouble. 
 
On the 21st day of January Britain's benchmark FTSE-100 slumped 5.5 percent; France's CAC-40 Index tumbled 6.8 percent and Germany's blue-chip DAX 30 plunged 7.2 percent. India's benchmark stock index tumbled 7.4 percent, while Hong Kong's blue-chip Hang Seng index plummeted 5.5 percent. Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange closed down 4 percent and Brazil’s stocks plunged 6.9 percent.
 
There is no debate; the current U.S. economic downturn is already adversely affecting the economies of the world. As required, market and fiscal corrections will be made, some naturally, some by force of governments, both at home and worldwide, with results, some favorable, others distressing.
 
In America, plausible market investments, portfolios owned by hard working, middle-class, patriotic Americans, baby boomers, hoping to see the joys of retirement, have dropped more than the gains that were realized in all of 2007; many profits have been eradicated. Brokers and Market Funds Managers scratch their heads; uncertain what to do.
 
Talk-show economists, intent on promoting their insipid books, express no great long term concern with the economic times we now face; reassuring their listeners now is the time to buy, now is the time to reinvest; now is the time to take advantage of others misfortunes; postulating now is the opportunity to prepare for the next boom.
 
Perhaps a look into the Word of God will provide logical insight as to the realities we now face. The economy is now answering to years of patterned fiscal behavior, most of it poor, irresponsible, avarice in nature, characterized as unrighteousness. “To every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him” (Ecclesiastes 8:6).
 
As of now, God does not have to intervene in man’s behavior to bring judgment upon his chosen ways. God simply allows the natural consequences of man’s chosen behavior to develop to their logical ends, of their own accord. Yet God has given fair warning regarding attitudes and behavior when it comes to individual fiscal practices and national fiscal policies. If God’s laws, His commands are broken, the natural results will be tragic for man and for a nation.
 
If a nation claims to be God’s people, claims to follow His Son, as this “Christian” nation claims, then they had better obey His words, His commands. If not, disaster and punishment will follow.
 
America’s collective sins, its collective disobedience toward God automatically results in lives filled with misery, emptiness, ruin and despair. Likewise, America’s collective breaking of God’s laws regarding sound fiscal policy is now producing these same tragic results. America’s economic behavior is unacceptable to God Almighty and His Word reveals where we have gone wrong.
 
“As the partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid, so is he who makes a fortune, but unjustly; in the midst of his days it will forsake him and in the end he will be a fool” (Jeremiah 17:11).
 
Consider Proverbs 13:11; “Wealth obtained by vanity [by chasing after wind (short term gains] and not by diligent, knowledgeable and persistent hard work) shall diminish: but he that gathers by labor shall increase.”  Could there be any greater winds, vacillating, than those that are blowing throughout all the various markets today?

Consider the vanities; the business practices which these nation-wide predatory sub-prime lenders have chased over the past five years; the results now clearly seen in the collapsing housing and mortgage industries. The practice of providing loans to those who are unqualified, those who are at great risk to default has repercussions the costs of which are incalculable.

In addition, a law of God is being broken – “you shall not oppress the poor.” Notice what the Word of God has to say: “He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want … Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them” (Proverbs 22:16, 22-23).

Notice: “The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully” (Ezekiel 22:29).  God will execute judgment against any person or business that practices, or nation that allows these unethical and sinful fiscal practices.

Talk to average Americans and their voices are loud and clear, “I can’t handle it anymore.” Millions are crying to their elected officials; “get me out of this economic mess.” 
 
And the government to the rescue. “If Congress passes an economic stimulus package, the country will be just fine,” were the words of President Bush as he called for $150 billion in tax relief for consumers and businesses, adding, “There’s no time to waste.”  Considering a one time tax rebate as part of the package the President says Congress must legislate quickly.
 
Will governmental intervention; will federal funds rate adjustments correct the woes besetting the American economy? 
 
The debt Americans have amassed is radically disturbing. The US government is running a budget deficit of over $1.8 billion per day. The U.S. national debt is over $9 trillion dollars. At the personal level the average American taxpayer carries a debt load of $48,000 in credit card, and mortgage debts. You do the math. The numbers are staggering. The economic woes we now face are the result of the life styles and the fiscal practices which are unacceptable to God.
 
Analyzing consumerism and consumer practices in light of the word of God reveals just exactly why our economy will fail. Without guidance from God and obedience to God Almighty and without deciding to change one’s behavior, the elements of human greed and ignorance will do us in. Indeed it is time to pay the bills and fiscal reckoning is now upon this nation.
 
Consider the inherent greed factor built into American’s spending habits. Consider marketing techniques; consider advertising. Consider the obscene costs of entertainment and personal pleasure pursuits to which Americans grovel to in their lust to consume, to pursue; to have. And how do the vast majority of Americans acquire their desires? Credit; borrowing against their future; taking equity out of their homes.
 
Our economic reality reveals America is buried in debt. Americans have spent beyond their means and we as a nation are over our heads in debt and the bills are now due. As a result, the markets have reacted and other nations have withdrawn from cooperating with the U.S. economy.
 
 When people purchase beyond their means, a logical principle, a law of God is breached; thou shalt not covet. What does covetousness have to do with the economic malaise we are now in? To a great degree this nation is driven by greed, by lust and covetousness. One’s abuse of credit cards, overextending one’s ability to pay in the pursuit of instant satisfaction, in the acquiring of things, has caught up to America and the bills now need to be paid. But Americans can’t pay them; it is clearly evident. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, delinquencies are putting an untold drag on the economy. The results of these realities are decreased tax revenue, decreased profits and job loss; the markets have reacted to the facts.
 
Covetousness, the desire for that which is not lawfully one’s own, the desire for that which one can’t afford or be responsible for, is equated with idolatry (Colossians 3:5). Not only will one’s lust for possessions, for material fulfillment, for self-gratification result in sin which could very well keep a person out of the Kingdom of God (Ephesians 5:5), but it will destroy lives and ultimately, if practiced by an entire nation will result in economic ruin. When spending exceeds income, the result will be ruinous.
 
The Bible clearly defines the characteristics of people who will be alive in the time of the end, just before the return of Jesus Christ. How similar those characteristics are to what is prevalent today. People shall love themselves, filled with ego, self-importance; lovers of money, covetous, without self-control, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
 
The pursuit of pleasures can lead to painful results, and is not conducive to prosperity. Notice the example, the results of a nation whose citizens pursue their own pleasures and material comforts. “Consider your ways. You have planted much but you have harvested little. You eat but you never have enough. You drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it” (Haggai 1:5-6).
 
Jesus Christ warns not only those who follow Him, but every human being, to “beware of covetousness” (Luke 12:15). He stated a man’s life consisted not in the abundance of things he possesses. One has to be careful not to build up treasures on earth while neglecting to be rich toward God. The first way to build wealth toward God is to obey Him and keep His commandments. When one is first rich toward God, success, prosperity, and peace of mind will follow. We see misery in our land, the result of disobedience toward God.
 
If the national behavior and characteristic of this country were geared around pleasing and obeying God first, economic collapse would not occur.
 
The Bible is filled with admonitions, laws and practical guidance, all of which when followed produces good living, successful lives, happy homes, prosperity and freedom from anxiety when hard times occur. When God’s laws are broken, the result is suffering, distress, turmoil, misery and death. When God’s laws of proper fiscal behavior are broken, the result for the individual or for a nation will always and only be economic turmoil, distress and ruin, such as we in the United States of America and the world are only now beginning to see.

Breaking News Stories
Go here for the latest news stories on this subject. –news stories added 26 January 2008
 
Further reading:
Books
What's The Matter With The US Economy? by Peter Gutmann
 
Booklets
Long-Term Economic, Political, And Religious Impact Of War With Iraq
Greatest Time Of World Trouble In History!
 
Our Commentary
Iranian Oil Exchange…Declaration of War?  
The Euro...the New World Currency? 
Globalism And The New Babylon 
Will OPEC Bankrupt The US?
Is A GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN UNDERWAY? 
Global Financial Meltdown...Now Near? 
 
21st Century Watch
Is a Global Crash Just Ahead?    Vol 1, Number 7
Will the Dollar Be Replaced as the World Currency?     Vol 2, Number 1
America, the Superpower That is Weaker than We Think    Vol 2, Number 4
Globalism And The New Babylon     Vol 6, Number 2
Iranian Oil Exchange...Declaration of War?    Vol 9, Number 1
 
Resources
US National Debt Clock
United States Public Debt
The Total Debt of the US [all sectors]
Rank Order of Countries Debt
An Outline of the US Economy [govt']
 

Photos:
Left: Past Due Bill
Center:  Stock Exchange
Right: Store Going Out of Business