(Photo: First Baptist)
The Sunday after the election, Pastor Robert Jeffress told thousands of churchgoers that regardless of the outcome, God is sovereign over all, Christians still have a responsibility to spread the Gospel, and America's end is certain.
A week after preaching that the course President Barack Obama – who was re-elected – is choosing to lead the United States is "paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist," Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas said the last seven years of government will be a dictatorship under the Antichrist.
"It means during the last seven years, there will be no freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of commerce. America as we know it will be gone by the last seven years of the great Tribulation. America is going to end, the Bible says, because this world is going to end," he said during Sunday morning worship in a message titled "Hope...and No Change."
The pastor said he doesn't know whether that will be five, 50 or 500 years from now.
"America's end is coming, so do we just sit around and wait for that to happen? No," he told the church.
What Christians must do is delay the end of America – though they can't prevent its end – by standing up for righteousness and sharing the Gospel.
"God has still called on us to stand up and to push back against the evil that is happening in this country," he said.
He gave two analogies to better explain what he means by delaying America's end. Humans all know they will die one day but they still exercise and visit the doctor to push off their date of death as much as possible. Salt is also used to preserve meat and while it won't prevent it from rotting eventually it will delay its decay.
In the same way, Christians must be the salt of the earth, he said.
"Yes, America is eventually going to collapse but we're trying to delay the decay of America by standing up for righteousness so that we as Christians can have a little bit longer to perform our real task of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible. That's our job."
Jeffress said he has received criticism from other churches for speaking out on issues such as abortion and the election from the pulpit. But Christians need to be an influence in this culture, he stated, and that includes speaking out.
"You know, there are too many evangelical churches in this country and in this city that really don't believe that's part of their task. In fact, they chastise churches like ours for taking a stand for truth. They'll say 'you have no business trying to impose your Christian values on a secular nation," he explained.
But in his response to such criticisms, Jeffress points to biblical figures such as Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and John the Baptist.
"These men didn't just speak to God's own people. Those men were willing to stand up and confront an ungodly culture and ungodly leaders and say without stuttering or stammering 'thus saith the Lord,'" he said to applause from the congregation.
Jeffress also preached that God planned the outcome of Tuesday's election and noted that God is in control, just as He was when King Nebuchadnezzar and Roman emperor Nero – known for his persecution of Christians – ruled.
"Everything that happens to us although it may not be for our immediate good, it is for our ultimate good and for God's ultimate glory. God's sovereignty has not changed," he said.
Jeffress had a warning for people who were self-focused, providing a glimpse into what he believes the immediate future looks like.
"If the purpose of your life is that of so many Christians – peace, prosperity, pleasure, the avoidance of pain – then you have every reason to be depressed because the truth is your taxes are probably going to go up which means you're going to have less money; it means health care may become more inconvenient for you to obtain; it means that you and I may start suffering real rather than imaginary persecution for our faith.
"If your life is self-focused, there's a lot to be disturbed about."
But for those whose focus in life is the kingdom of God, he said there is no better time than now to share the Gospel.
"This world's becoming more and more dark. That only gives the light of the Gospel the chance to shine more brightly," he stated. "We ought to be excited. Never has there been a better opportunity for us to fulfill our real purpose."