How should Christians respond to the inevitability of America's moral collapse?
(Editor's Note: This essay is an edited version of the sermon delivered by Robert Jeffress at the Lamb & Lion annual Bible conference which was held in June of this year. Jeffress is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas. The sermon is based on his book, Twilight's Last Gleaming, published in 2011 and available on Amazon.com. The sermon is available in full in our DVD album, Living on Borrowed Time.)
The Christian Response
Now the question is, "How are we as Christians to respond to all this?" I want to suggest to you that we turn to the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who told us exactly how we are to respond to a decaying culture. In Matthew 5:13 Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."
Jesus said our first responsibility as believers is to act as salt. Do you know that in Jesus' day salt was a preservative? In the day before refrigerators, salt was the way to delay the decay of the meat. What salt did was simply give the meat a little longer shelf life. Eventually the meat would rot and would have to be discarded. The salt delayed that process. And what Jesus was saying is this, "You're not going to prevent the ultimate destruction of this culture." You know what, ladies and gentlemen? America is going to end because this world is going to end. That is why we know America's days are numbered because this world's days are numbered.
My own reading of the book of Revelation is that America is going to end at least seven years before the rest of the world ends. Because when I look at that final form of government in the world during the last seven years, it is a dictatorship under the Antichrist, in which there is no freedom of commerce, no freedom of speech, no freedom of religion. That means when the Antichrist takes power there will be no U.S. Constitution at that time. Our Constitution will have been done away with by that point. And once the Constitution ceases to exist, America ceases to exist. The fact is America's days are numbered. We are not going to prevent that, but we can delay it.
The Sovereignty of God
You say, "Wait a minute, Robert, don't you believe in the sovereignty of God? Don't you believe God has fixed on His calendar the date of America's destruction and there is not one thing you can do to change that? Don't you believe that?" I believed it until I read my Bible, specifically the book of Jonah. God said to Jonah, "I'm going to destroy the wicked city of Nineveh." But then Jonah 3:10 says God changed His mind. God relented of His decision. Now look, I don't understand that. It's above my pay grade. It is one of my long list of questions to ask God about when I get up there. But here is what I know when I read the book of Jonah. Because of the righteous preaching of Jonah, God delayed His destruction of Nineveh. Now God ultimately did destroy Nineveh, we know that historically. But He delayed the destruction, giving more people time to repent because of the preaching of Jonah and the people's positive response to it.
And what I believe Jesus is saying to us is, "We're not going to prevent the destruction of America, but we can delay it so we have more opportunity to share the Gospel." I therefore believe God has called us as Christians to stand up and push back against the tide of evil and immorality that is sweeping our country.
A Call for Christian Courage
I tell you, I am sick and tired of these wimpy Christians who mask their timidity and lack of courage with some sort of pseudo-spirituality that says, "Well, you know, we're just not citizens of this world; we are citizens of Heaven. And you know, we just need to let the world takes it course." Look, God never encouraged us to engage in silo-spirituality — to separate our faith from the rest of what's happening in this world. The fact is there are a lot of people in your church right now, perhaps even your pastor, who think for a Christian to use his faith to try to influence other people or unbelievers, or the course of this nation, well that's un-American, un-Christian and it may be illegal.
Listen, Jesus Christ is not just Lord of the Church, He is Lord over all creation. Jesus isn't just interested in religious people and religious institutions, Jesus is interested in every institution, and He's interested in government as well. Whenever you say that God doesn't want us to influence our culture, just start looking at the Bible itself. Look at men of God like Jonah and David, and Jeremiah, and Isaiah, and in the New Testament, men like John the Baptist.
When you look at the ministries of those men, you will see that they didn't just preach to themselves. Nor did they just preach to God's own people. These men of God were willing to stand up in an ungodly culture and confront ungodly leaders and say without stuttering or stammering, "Thus saith the Lord." We need men of God like that today to do the same. We need men of God who will stand up and say compassionately yet courageously, "Abortion is murder." "Homosexuality is a perversion of God's plan for human sexuality." And "God will reject any nation that rejects Him."
When you say that Christians shouldn't try to influence society, you are completely negating Jesus' words when He said, "You are the salt of the earth." How do we influence the world? How do we push back against immorality? It is by engaging in that dirty, filthy word called politics. Now you know I hear this all the time, "Christians shouldn't get involved in politics." Do you know what the word politics means? The word means "to influence, to control." When you say Christians shouldn't get involved in politics what you are saying is that Christians shouldn't try to influence the society in which they live. Can anybody say that with a straight face and believe it?
In the fifth and final segment of Dr. Jefferess' sermon on the implosion of America, he'll give the reasons why Christians should be involved in politics.