Robert Jeffress, pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, took advantage of a march for gun control to preach the gospel. One day after the “March for Our Lives,” where thousands of young people took to the streets protesting gun violence, Jeffress led the “March for Eternal Life” through Dallas.
“We’re here to proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ,” Jeffress declared on stage. “We believe that God loves us, He doesn’t hate us. He wants to offer us the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life — a relationship with God that can begin now and extend forever after death.”
Jeffress, notorious for his outspoken support for President Donald Trump (even going so far as saying God has given Trump authority to take out North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un), refrained from any political message at the march.
The event began with a large procession, with thousands of Christians walking down the streets of Dallas to the main stage area where Jeffress would later speak. The procession included a marching band. Church members carried a large illuminated cross, signed by church members, to symbolize their faith.
What an incredible #MarchforEternalLife this Palm Sunday evening with First Baptist Dallas as we carried the cross…
When the march reached a local park, Gospel singer Sandi Patty led the crowd in singing the hymn “How Great Thou Art,” and then Jeffress took the stage.
Jeffress preached about the story of the pharisee Nicodemus. Jesus told Nicodemus he must be born again, leading Nicodemus to ask questions about what Jesus meant. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him,” Jesus told Nicodemus (John 3:14-15).
Then the Dallas pastor quoted perhaps the best-known verses in the Bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16-17).
Jeffress emphasized that faith in Jesus is not the same thing as trusting in religion or good works. “What are you trusting in to get you into heaven?” he asked. “If you’re trusting in religion, or you’re trusting in good works, or you’re trusting in baptism or anything else, you’re going to be disappointed.”
“There’s only one way to heaven — to eternal life, and that’s trusting in Jesus,” he concluded. “He died for your sins and my sins.”
The pastor led the crowd in a prayer to accept God’s free gift of eternal life given through Jesus Christ. Then he announced the topic of his sermon for Easter next Sunday: “The resurrection: Is it foolish, is it fake news, or is it fact?” Spoiler alert: He thinks it’s fact.
Jeffress added, “We’re going to talk about the evidence outside of the Bible that Jesus really did rise again and that eternal life is a reality.”
The “March for Eternal Life” may have been meant to echo the “March for Our Lives” and contrast with that gun control protest. After all, Jeffress is a figure on the Religious Right, and he opposes gun control.
Even so, the Dallas pastor avoided politics in his sermon, and the march did seem focused on preaching the good news of Jesus Christ, more than contrasting any political message. Jeffress deserves praise for using a national event to draw attention to the gospel, especially on the outset of Holy Week (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter).
Watch the “March for Eternal Life” below.
We are live for the #MarchforEternalLife this Palm Sunday evening as we carry the cross through downtown Dallas to Klyde Warren Park!
Posted by First Baptist Dallas iCampus on Sunday, March 25, 2018