Though some religious teachers believe global events in the Middle East could fulfill prophecies about the end of the world, pastors are three times more likely to believe evangelism efforts will quicken the return of Jesus Christ, a recent study has found.
A study of 1,000 Protestant pastors conducted between Aug. 20, 2019, and Sept. 24, 2019, by LifeWay Research found that church leaders believe Christians can speed up the return of Christ by sharing the Gospel rather than by backing certain geopolitical changes mentioned in biblical prophecy.
“While Scripture specifically says we cannot know the day or the hour of Jesus Christ’s return, we were interested in pastors’ views on whether Christians can play a role in bringing about that return any sooner,” LifeWay Research executive director Scott McConnell noted.
Just 1 in 8 Protestant pastors (12%) believe Christians can speed up the second coming of Jesus by supporting geopolitical changes mentioned in the Bible, with 5 percent strongly agreeing.
Eight in 10 pastors (80%) don’t believe their support will have an impact on the timing of Christ’s return, including 61% who strongly disagree.
Interestingly, in 2013, amid escalating conflicts with Syria, a larger percentage of Americans believed it was part of the Bible’s plan for the end times. One in four believed that a possible U.S. attack on Syria could lead to the Battle of Armageddon, and one in five believed the world would end in their lifetime.
At the time, the survey found that 32% of those polled agreed with the statement, “I believe the battles in Syria are all part of the prophecies of the book of Revelation.” Forty-nine percent disagreed.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett