Pastor Robert Jeffress identifies misconceptions about End Times, next event on biblical prophetic timeline (part 1)

Pastor Robert Jeffress behind the pulpit at First Baptist Dallas, Texas.
Pastor Robert Jeffress behind the pulpit at First Baptist Dallas, Texas. | Courtesy of First Baptist Dallas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Amid worldwide tumult, Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, weighed in on how Christians should prepare for the End Times, common misconceptions about the event and what he believes is coming next on the biblical prophetic timeline.

In a sit-down interview with The Christian Post, Jeffress, whose latest book is titled Are We Living in the End Times?: Biblical Answers to 7 Questions about the Future, said that though “we are not technically living in the End Times, according to the Bible, we are in what the Bible calls the last days.”

“We've been in the last days for 2,000 years, and I think you can make a case that we're in the last days of the last days before the rapture of the Church,” he said. “The most important thing is not trying to guess when Jesus is coming back again, but realize He is coming back again, and it makes sure we're prepared.”

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

Emphasizing preparation over prediction, Jeffress offered several suggestions. First, he encouraged believers to don the "right spiritual clothes," a metaphor for embracing the righteousness of Christ over one's own. 

“There are two different garments we can choose to put on to meet the Lord,” he said. “We can use the garment of our own righteousness, our own good works, and the Bible says that's nothing but a filthy rag in God's sight, or we can choose to be dressed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And that's what becoming a Christian is.”

The bestselling author cited 2 Corinthians 5 to underline his point: "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." This transformation, he contended, is the essence of Christian faith, where believers are seen as faultless before God, not through their own deeds but through the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ.

“That’s the first thing we do to make sure that we're Christians that were saved, that we'll be welcomed into God's presence,” he said.

Second, Jeffress urged Christians to work tirelessly to further the Gospel, adding: “We need to do the work while it’s still day, because the time is coming. The night is coming when no man can work. The fact that Christ is coming back ought to motivate every Christian, every Church to share the Gospel with as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

According to Jeffress, misconceptions surrounding the End Times are prevalent across Christian denominations and perspectives on the matter. He identified three prevalent attitudes: fanaticism, fatalism and cynicism, each posing a unique danger to the Christian understanding of the event. 

“Fanaticism is trying to set the date for the rapture or for the Second Coming of Christ, trying to read a prophetic significance into every headline in the paper,” he said. “Jesus was very clear in Matthew 24 and 25. Nobody knows the hour, the day, of the Lord's return, which is why we need to be ready at all times.”

Fatalism, the “most dangerous place” for Christians to land, Jeffress said, is the belief that “Jesus is coming back whenever He's going to come back, and I don't need to do anything different in my life.”

“As much as the Bible talks about prophecy, the Bible never separates biblical prophecy from everyday life,” he explained. “In 2 Peter 3, the apostle said, ‘Since all these things are to be burned up in this way since the world is going to end, what sort of people are we to be? In holy conduct and godliness.’”

Cynicism, Jeffress said, is the belief that “People have been saying for thousands of years, ‘Jesus is coming back and He hasn't come back yet.”

“Peter said scoffers will come with that message, and 2 Peter 3 says, ‘They will come saying, where's the promise of this coming?’ We need to realize the theme of Scripture is consistent: Jesus is coming back again, and we need to be ready," he said. 

Jeffress, who has dedicated much of his scholarly and pastoral career to the study of eschatology — the part of theology concerned with death, judgment and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind — said the next prophetic event on the timeline is the rapture of the Church. 

He pointed to 1 Thessalonians 4 as evidence for this belief, a passage describing a future moment when Christians "shall be caught up together ... to meet the Lord in the air." 

This event, he said, is distinct from, yet precursory to, the Second Coming of Christ, which he said will occur seven years later, marking the return of believers with Christ to Earth, specifically to the Mount of Olives as detailed in Revelation 19.

“The interesting thing about the Rapture is there are no prophecies that have to be fulfilled for the rapture to occur. It could happen before we finish this interview, which is, again, why we need to be ready,” he said. 

According to a 2022 study from Pew Research, nearly two in five Americans, including half of self-identified Christians and a quarter of the religiously unaffiliated, agree “we are living in the End Times.”

Another study of 1,000 Protestant pastors conducted between Aug. 20, 2019, and Sept. 24, 2019, by Lifeway Research, found that church leaders believed Christians could speed up the return of Christ by sharing the Gospel rather than by backing certain geopolitical changes mentioned in biblical prophecy.

Jeffress’ radio program, Pathway to Victory, is heard on more than 1,000 stations nationwide, and his weekly television program is seen in 195 countries around the world. He said that since discussing his views on the End Times, countless listeners have shared how they’ve been “encouraged” by his insights. 

“If you think about it, the coming of Christ is good news for the righteous; it’s terrible news for the unrighteous, but it is good news, it’s what the Bible calls the ‘blessed hope,’” he said. “Yet, so many Christians are silent about the Second Coming, so many churches are silent.”

The pastor recounted a story from his book about a conversation between John F. Kennedy and evangelist Billy Graham, which he said underscored the danger of this silence.

"President-elect Kennedy pulled the car off to the side, stopped the engine, looked Billy Graham in the face and said, 'Billy, do you believe Jesus is coming back to Earth one day?' And Billy Graham said, 'Yes sir. I certainly do.' And then President Kennedy said, 'Well, why do I hear so little about it?'" he said. 

“Too many churches are keeping this a secret, that yet the consistent message of the Bible is, ‘Jesus is coming back again,’” Jeffress said. 

Are We Living in the End Times?: Biblical Answers to 7 Questions about the Futureis now available. 

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles