There are many ways that God enters into judgment with both individuals and entire nations. There is only one reason why he enters into judgment and that is rampant immorality and sin. The nations have followed the same path as ancient Israel. Like Israel they sought God for a time, but when they were secure and full they started backsliding into every imaginable sin. God then sent prophets, preachers and messengers of every kind and description. If their warnings went unheeded, which they did in most cases the judgments given by the messengers came against them.
When the people were tired of the lack of goods or the captivity or the warfare they began to seek the prophets and messengers again, but this time for the means to get right with God again. A microcosmic example of this in our recent past would be what happened right after the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York on nine eleven. People started going back to church in droves and church attendance reached record levels. But already we are showing signs of slipping again. The call to defeat terrorism by just returning to what we were doing before was taken more seriously than the call to return to God.
When a people, Jew or Gentile begin seeking God again their lot usually improves depending on how serious they are. This same vicious cycle is repeated over and over throughout history by almost every nation or people on the earth. Judgments come when people pass over the mark God has set for them. God is patient and slow to anger and it is amazing that he lets them go as far as he does in some cases. The longer a nation or people persist in their collective backsliding the more it strengthens them to continue in that pathway. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is firmly set in them to do evil. Ecclesiastes 8: 11
The second coming will surprise more people than it will please. The promise of his second coming seems a long way behind us, and some would like to believe that it will not take place for several more millennia. What seems like a very long delay is one of the chief reasons they will he caught off guard and it is one of the world’s major excuses for unbelief. The apostle Peter covers this in 2Peter 3:3-4… Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming! For since the fathers fallen asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
How God judges sinful nations is the greater variable than why. He will use anything at his disposal in nature such as floods, drought, wild animals, plagues and general pestilence. He also uses internal collapses in the infrastructure and the financial well being of a nation. One of the more common ways he enters into judgment, is to bring another nation against the violators in all out warfare. He uses one nation’s fury in all out war or surprise attack to chasten the offender or to send a wake up call. What is most amazing of all is that the nation that is doing the judging may not even be as righteous or Godly as the nation being judged. The ancient Babylonians were not lovers of the God of Israel at all, but God used them to judge Israel. Not only did they come under chastisement from this pagan nation but the fact that they were so idolatrous was particularly offensive to the self righteous Jews of that time. Babylon’s godlessness was part of the humiliation attached to the judgment and they knew it.
A major difference at the end times is that no nation is in a position to judge any other nation. They have all gone into perdition. They all have decided to become part of the new world order and follow the antichrist. Since there are no nations able to enter into judgment for God, He has to do it himself. In other words at that time the whole world has passed the mark God has set, and only God can enter the judgment. It is the worldwide fall of nations that is the primary factor or what actually precipitates the second coming of Christ.