Already no stranger to controversy, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Dallas megachurch pastor, is coming out with a book that claims President Barack Obama is clearing the way for the Antichrist.
Jeffress, head of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, writes in his book “Perfect Ending” that he does not believe Obama is the Antichrist, yet he links Obama’s support of gay marriage to the coming of the Antichrist. Many Christians believe Jesus’ Second Coming will feature a confrontation with an enemy called the Antichrist, based on interpretation of passages 1 John and 2 John.
“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, according to an advance copy provided to RNS.
“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 reelection by a comfortable margin illustrates how a future world leader will be able to oppose God’s laws without any repercussions.”
Pat Robertson has said on the Christian Broadcasting Network that Islam is the Antichrist and has linked security cameras to the end times and “the mark of the beast.” Christians have interpreted Revelation 13:16-18 to mean that there will be a marking of humans, or a “mark of the beast.”
Pointing to the idea of the Antichrist has not been uncommon for dispensationalists, who understand God to work in a series of “dispensations,” or periods in history. In the 1960s and 1970s, dispensationalists “had a field day identifying who was the Antichrist,” said Scot McKnight, a New Testament scholar at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Ill.
“Mercy, when I was in college, the dispensationalists were doing this all the time: Henry Kissinger, etc., were all identified as the Antichrist. Gorbachev was one, especially with that funny birthmark (of the supposed beast) on his head,” McKnight said. “People today have stopped identifying the beast and the Antichrist because the former generation was completely wrong, obviously.”
In his book, Jeffress makes his case that Christians should study prophecy more closely. “Evangelist Billy Graham once observed that ‘the most neglected teaching in the church today is the second coming of Jesus Christ,’” he said.
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SOURCE: Religion News Service
Sarah Pulliam Bailey