(OPINION) CBN – US Protestant pastors are closely monitoring the recent events in the Middle East, but many don’t believe it will influence the return of Christ. A new study from Lifeway Research reveals that most pastors believe the return of Christ will come about by Christians spreading their faith rather than because of certain geopolitical changes.

Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research said, “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.”

The study shows that one in 8 Protestant pastors agree that Christians can speed up the second coming of Christ by supporting geopolitical changes mentioned in the Bible.  Also, eight in 10 pastors do not believe that their support will alter the timeline of Christ’s return.

When conflicts escalated with Syria, a 2013 LifeWay Research study found many Americans were likely to link global warfare with the end of time. Nearly one in three saw the conflict as part of the Bible’s blueprint for the end of time. “A large majority of pastors do not see biblical prophecies about future changes among nations as a roadmap for advocating specific international engagement,” McConnell said. FULL REPORT

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