The average age of the great world civilizations has been two hundred years. All great nations have passed through this sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith.
From spiritual faith to great courage.
From courage to liberty.
From liberty to prosperity and material abundance.
From prosperity to selfishness.
From selfishness to complacency.
From complacency to apathy.
From apathy to dependence.
From dependence back again to bondage.
Where does our civilization, these great United States of America, stand in this cycle? Our country is a few decades older than the average. Are we following the cycle? It is not inevitable. But it depends upon you and me and people like us, and our relationship to God. With God’s guidance and strength – not to mention His love and grace – we can change the world. Remember that the Christian’s hope does not rely upon statistics and formulas, but upon God and our faith in Him.
— Gerald Cowan