How did America get here?

How did America get here?

How did America get here?

Though recent years have brought a growing acceptance of sin and intolerance toward believers, a Christian pastor says America's troubles started decades ago.

Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist-Dallas recently told American Family Radio that the country started going off the rails years ago.

"Beginning in the 1950s, people started saying, 'Maybe we can be good without God. Maybe we don't need to pray in schools. Maybe we can get away from reading the Bible,'" he noted. "Well, that experiment has failed miserably."

Now, doctors are mutilating healthy children in the name of transgender rights. Pro-abortion activists are getting more and more violent in their defense of killing the unborn. Crime is out of control in major cities, and half of the country seems to be at the throats of the other half.

Jeffress says America is reliving Israel's failure documented in the book of Judges.

"Once you reject the standard of God's Word as the standard for absolute truth, then everybody is free to … do what is right in his own eyes," he said, referencing Judges 17:6.

Jeffress, Rev. Robert (FBC Dallas) Jeffress

The increasingly authoritarian government that is hostile to Christianity, he continued, is another sign of the times. For example, the FBI appears to be targeting conservatives, and banks are discriminating against those with biblical beliefs.

Dr. Jeffress said one of his Pathways to Victory staff members recently found that out firsthand.

"A bank refused them because they were involved in Christian programming, and [the bank] objected to some of the programs that this person helped produce," the pastor relayed.

He says society is speeding from the book of Judges to Daniel and through the New Testament toward Revelation.

"All of the things that we're seeing, I believe, are certainly leading us toward that final seven years of earth's history called the Tribulation," Jeffress submitted.

Do Christians notice the birth pains?

Dr. Michael Youssef, echoing what he pointed out late last year, agrees that the last days are upon us. The end times and the rise of the Antichrist could be 100 years away, but by the looks of the world, he thinks it will be sooner than that.

He is not confident, however, that Christians will be aware enough of the prophesy to recognize it as it unfolds.

"He calls them the labor pains, as a baby about to be born," Dr. Youssef relays about what Jesus describes in Matthew 24 and 25. "We see all those six signs now increasing in intensity and in frequency."

Many, Jesus says, will come in His name, "and they will lead many astray." Nation will rise up against nation. There will be wars and rumors of wars, famines, and earthquakes.

Meanwhile, Dr. Youssef says churches are failing to equip Christians with biblical knowledge, which means many will be caught unaware when the Antichrist rises.

"There will be no discerning Christians" to decipher what is false and true and what is right and wrong, he says.

Youssef, Dr. Michael (LTW) Youssef

"Out of ignorance, if you don't know what the Bible said, [when the] Antichrist appears and says, 'I'm Christ,' as Jesus had warned us. He said they're gonna come, and they will do this, and then perform some miracles – people are gonna fall for it," the pastor and author warns.

He advises Christians to be reading the Bible daily so that in addition to being ready to meet Christ at the rapture and bring their friends and neighbors with them, they will also be prepared to endure persecution before that.

"We've seen 2,000 years of history, Christians suffering," Dr. Youssef accounts, noting that it is still happening "today, this very moment."

In fact, he believes how a Christian navigates those passages about promised suffering says a lot about his or her relationship with Christ.

"When a person says, 'I don't want to suffer for Christ,' that's an indication that person doesn't know Christ," he submits.

"How to Read the Bible (as If Your Life Depends on It)," Dr. Youssef's new book to help Christians understand the Bible as God's revelation to man, is set for release early this November.