Most pastors serving at evangelical and historically black churches see some current events lining up with what Jesus said would happen shortly before His second coming, according to a new poll on Christian eschatology from LifeWay Research. Over half believe Christ will return during their lifetimes.
On Tuesday, the Southern Baptist polling research firm released results from a phone survey, conducted between Jan. 24 and Feb. 11, of 1,000 senior pastors, ministers or priests who were randomly called from a list of evangelical and historically black churches in the United States.
“While Christians prepare to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, many pastors believe they see signs His return may be close,” LifeWay Executive Director Scott McConnell said in a statement. “These sentiments were expressed in January before the prospect of a global pandemic became known.”
According to LifeWay, nearly nine out of 10 pastors see at least some current events “matching those Jesus said would occur shortly before He returns to Earth.”
According to the data, 56 percent of pastors either strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “I expect Jesus to return in my lifetime.” Twenty-four percent said they were “not sure,” while 20 percent either strongly or somewhat disagreed.
In total, 97 percent of pastors said they believe Christ will return to Earth again.
The respondent pastors were asked to identify from a list whether they see certain “types of current events” as the “birth pains” that Jesus referred to when He was asked by His disciples when he would return.
As many conservative pastors have spoken out about society’s embrace of practices such as same-sex marriage and abortion, 79 percent of pastors surveyed agreed that one birth pain of Christ’s return is “traditional morals becoming less accepted.”
As the decline in church attendance across the U.S. in recent decades has coincided with the rise of the religious “nones,” 75 percent of pastors said that “the number of people abandoning their Christian faith” is a birth pain that Jesus said to expect. Also, 81 percent agreed that “the love of many believers growing cold” is also a birth pain of Christ’s return.
With much violence occurring throughout the world today due to wars in various countries, 78 percent of pastors said “wars and national conflicts” are also a birth pain of Christ’s return.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith