Do you subscribe to the idea of the Rapture, or the belief that Christians will be removed from Earth and raised to heaven during the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? If you said no to this question, you share the scepticism of most Protestant pastors.
According to a new study by LifeWay Research, most Protestant pastors do not subscribe to the idea of the Rapture even though they agree on the Second Coming of Christ.
Out of the 1,000 senior Protestant preachers who participated in the survey, only over a third or 36 percent believe that Christians will disappear at the start of the Apocalypse while those left behind will suffer from the Tribulation, the Christian doctrine on the period of time before the Second Coming when believers will experience worldwide persecution and be purified and strengthened by it.
The same percentage also interpreted the Rapture not literally. Almost one in every five of the respondents meanwhile believes that the Rapture will actually happen after the Tribulation.
According to the same study, 49 percent or about half of Protestant pastors they surveyed believe that an Antichrist will arise on Earth in the future. Fourteen percent said this figure will be the "personification of evil."
Twelve percent of all Protestant pastors surveyed meanwhile were of the belief that there is no individual Antichrist. Seven percent of the respondents for their part said the Antichrist will be an institution and not necessarily a single individual.
Six percent of Protestant pastors believe that the Antichrist is a figure "who already arose sometime in the past."
According to the study, Pentecostals (83 percent) are most inclined to believe in the existence of the Antichrist, followed by Baptists (75 percent).
Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterian pastors are more likely to view the Antichrist as someone who will be the personification of evil.
Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research, said it is evident that while pastors agree that Jesus Christ will come again into the world, they differ about the details of the Apocalypse.
"Most people want their pastor to preach about the Book of Revelation and the end of the world," McConnell told LifeSite News. "But that's a complicated task. Pastors and the scholars they cite often disagree about how the end times will unfold."