(Bob Smietana) Most Protestant pastors believe Jesus will return in the future. But few agree about the details of the apocalypse. A third of America’s Protestant pastors expect Christians to be raptured—or taken up in the sky to meet Jesus—as the end times begin. About half think a false messiah known as the Antichrist will appear sometime in the future. A surprising number think the Antichrist has already been here or isn’t on his way at all.
Those are among the findings of a new telephone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors and their views on end-time theology from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, sponsored by Charisma House Book Group. End-time theology remains popular with churchgoers, says Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research. But it’s not an easy topic to preach about. “Most people want their pastor to preach about the book of Revelation and the end of the world,” he says. “But that’s a complicated task. Pastors and the scholars they cite often disagree about how the end times will unfold.” READ MORE