2 in 5 Americans believe humanity is ‘living in the End Times’
Nearly two in five Americans, including half of self-identified Christians and a quarter of the religiously unaffiliated, agree “we are living in the End Times,” a new study has found.
That’s about 39% of Americans who believe we are living in the End Times, according to Pew Research, highlighted by Lifeway Research.
Those who believe so include those who believe Jesus will return to Earth someday and global events will worsen until then (14%), and the others who believe these are the End Times (25%), Lifeway explained.
There was also a split among Christians, between those who don’t believe this is the End Times (49%) and those who do (47%), including 20% who believe Jesus will return after global circumstances worsen.
Also, among Christians, black Protestants (76%) and Evangelicals (63%) are most likely to believe these are the End Times. And mainline Protestants (31%) and Catholics (27%) are less likely to believe these are the last days.
Further, Lifeway noted that while Americans of other religions and the religiously unaffiliated are less likely than Christians to hold End Times beliefs, more than one in five of each group agree. Three in 10 from other religions (29%) believe the end is near.
Last month, Pastor Daniel Lumpee of the Loft Church ministry at The Woodlands Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas, said when it comes to studying the End Times, many Christians fall into one of two camps: either they obsess over Revelation and try to predict when the rapture might happen or they avoid studying the topic altogether.
In his sermon, he said Christians shouldn't waste their time trying to figure out when the rapture will take place, because this can lead Christians to neglect the call to action that Jesus placed on their lives, like giving to the poor and helping those in need.
Lumpee referenced Matthew 24, which highlights how the day and the hour of the rapture have purposely been concealed.
In 2013, amid escalating conflicts with Syria, a Barna Group OmniPoll found that 41% of American adults believed the End Times had arrived.
The percentage was even higher among certain Christian groups. More than three-quarters of Evangelicals (77%) and more than half of Protestants (54%) agreed that "the world is currently living in the 'End Times' as described by prophecies in the Bible."
Another study of 1,000 Protestant pastors conducted between Aug. 20, 2019, and Sept. 24, 2019, by Lifeway Research, found that church leaders believed Christians could 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 at the time.
Just one in eight Protestant pastors (12%) believed Christians could speed up the second coming of Jesus by supporting geopolitical changes mentioned in the Bible, with 5% strongly agreeing. Eight in 10 pastors (80%) didn’t believe their support would have an impact on the timing of Christ’s return, including 61% who strongly disagreed.