According to CBN News, 36 percent of pastors in the United States say the rapture is not literal.
Citing a new study by LifeWay research, out of the 1,000 senior Protestant pastors surveyed, only a third (36 percent) believed in a pre-tribulation rapture where Christians disappear at the start of the apocalypse and those left behind suffer tribulation, while almost 1 in 5 believe the rapture happens after the tribulation (18 percent).
“Most people want their pastor to preach about the Book of Revelation and the end of the world,” said Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research.
“But that’s a complicated task. Pastors and the scholars they cite often disagree about how the end times will unfold.”
The diversity among eschatological views includes varying opinions on the Anti-Christ and beliefs in a millennial kingdom.
About half of pastors (49 percent) see the Anti-Christ as a figure who will arise in the future, 14 percent believe he is the personification of evil, while 12 percent say he is not an actual person.
Close to half of the pastors surveyed believe in pre-millennialism (48 percent), which is the view that the thousand year reign of Christ happens in the future.
A third (31 percent) of leaders don’t believe in a thousand year reign but they do believe that Jesus already rules in the hearts and minds of Christians. Close to 1 in 10 (11 percent) believe in post-millennialism, the idea that the world will gradually become more Christian until Jesus returns.