By Bob Allen
A Southern Baptist pastor who made news in the last presidential election for saying candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion is a cult claims in a new book coming out this month that President Obama’s re-election is paving the way for the Antichrist foretold in Scripture.
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas since 2007, says in Perfect Ending, due for release by Worthy Publishing Jan. 21, the Bible “is able to foretell with laser-like accuracy events that will occur hundreds and even thousands of years after it was written.”
That includes a coming Antichrist — a word that appears only in the Epistles of John but with parallels in other books like Daniel and Revelation — connected with the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world.
Jeffress says that while past attempts to predict the specific date for Christ’s return were misguided, Christians can recognize prophetic events that might be taking place in the world and America’s government today.
“For the first time in history a president of our country has openly proposed altering one of society’s (not to mention God’s) most fundamental laws: that marriage should be between a man and a woman,” Jeffress writes on Page 103.
“While I am not suggesting that President Obama is the Antichrist, the fact that he was able to propose such a sweeping change in God’s law and still win re-election by a comfortable margin illustrates how a future world leader will be able to oppose God’s laws without any repercussions.”
In the book, Jeffress sets out both to help Christians in their daily lives with the comfort of knowing how the story ends and to challenge them to speak out on changing the course of events in America while there is still time.
“It is significant that the Antichrist will be able to persecute God’s people, seek to change God’s laws, and usurp people’s freedom of worship and commerce without any recorded opposition,” he writes.
“How could that happen?” he asks. “The only explanation is that prior to the appearance of the Antichrist, people will have already become so numb to immorality, apathetic and even sympathetic to the persecution of religious ‘extremists’ (which will be the new term for committed Christians), and conditioned to the government’s usurpation of personal freedom, that the Antichrist’s rise to power will go unchallenged.”
Jeffress delivered a similar message in a sermon at First Baptist Church just prior to the November 2012 election.
“One reason I know he’s not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes,” Jeffress quipped in the Sunday night sermon based on a text in the Book of Daniel.
“President Obama is not the Antichrist, nor am I saying that President Obama is not a Christian,” Jeffress said. “I would never make that claim. I cannot look into his heart as he cannot look into my heart.
“Nor am I saying the President doesn’t have some good ideas, nor am I saying he doesn’t deserve our respect and our prayers. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”
“You see, when Antichrist comes, he is not going to be able to suddenly seize power and suddenly make these radical changes,” Jeffress said. “He’s not going to be able to suddenly restrict speech and religious worship and commerce. Why, to do that suddenly would cause a revolution that would topple his reign on the earth.
“Yet Revelation 6 says when Antichrist comes he will take over power automatically…. He’ll ride a horse that has a bow with no arrow on it. His overtaking the world will be effortlessly. It will be without any effort at all.”
“How does that happen?” he asked. “The only way that’s going to happen is if there is a gradual erosion of God’s laws and our personal freedoms over a long period of time. And it will be that gradual erosion of our sense of morality, our adherence to God’s laws, that gradual erosion of our personal freedoms that will make it relatively easy for Antichrist to take over without any opposition whatsoever.”
“That’s why, ladies and gentlemen, I believe it is time for Christians to stand up and to push back against this evil that is overtaking our nation,” Jeffress said. “To stand up and push back against these actions that are paving the way for the final world dictator.”
“The best way to push back against unrighteousness is at the ballot box,” he said. “This coming Tuesday we have a decision. The decision is not between Republicans and Democrats. The choice before us is the choice of righteousness or unrighteousness.”
Earlier in the election cycle Jeffress endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president, saying he did not believe fellow GOP candidate Mitt Romney is a Christian.
“That is a mainstream view, that Mormonism is a cult,” Jeffress told reporters at the Values Voter Summit in October 2011. “Every true, born again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian.”
After Romney won the Republican nomination, Jeffress cast the choice as a lesser of evils in an address to pastors in October 2012.
A Tampa Tribune report of the meeting described the scene: “Stay silent, he warned them, and you’re no different than German Lutheran pastors who didn’t speak out against Hitler’s growing influence in the late 1930s. That lack of action led to the Holocaust, he said.”