Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
According to its summer 2013 OmniPoll survery, the Barna Group, a well-respected faith and culture research company in Ventura, Calif., found that 41 percent of U.S. adults, 54 percent of Protestants and 77 percent of evangelicals believe the world is now living in the biblical end times.
When asked, “Do you, personally, believe that the world is currently living in the ‘end times’ as described by prophecies in the Bible, or not?” a startling 41 percent of all participants said yes.
The number was even higher for Protestants, with a figure representing just over 1 in 2 Protestant adults. The highest number registered was by evangelicals, with 3 out of 4 evangelical Christians in America believing the world is living in the end times.
Catholics were at the other end of the spectrum, however, with 73 percent saying no, though practicing Catholics registered quite a bit higher at nearly 45 percent saying yes to now living in the end times.
To reach their surprising findings, the Barna Group conducted 1,000 online surveys among a representative sample of adults ages 18 and older in the United States from July 29, 2013, through August 1, 2013. The margin of error was +/-3.2 percentage points, at the 95 percent confidence level.
The unusual OmniPoll question was commissioned by James F. Fitzgerald, producer of The WatchWORD Bible New Testament, in concert with the release of his new book, The 9/11 Prophecy—Startling Evidence the Endtimes Have Begun (WND Books), for the 12th anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Fitzgerald says that to his knowledge there had not been a poll like it before on the question of the end times.
“Even I was surprised by the findings," he says. "I thought the numbers could possibly be as low as 10 percent for the overall population and maybe 30 percent for Christians in general, or less. I had no way to know before the survey. But the response of the overall population was higher than what I expected from Christians, and the evangelicals’ response was nearly twice what I thought.
“As it was, I almost decided not to follow through with the research. I wasn’t sure the findings would prove helpful or newsworthy. But this response is totally newsworthy, and I also know there may be more openness to my book’s message than I imagined. It took seven years to write, and I’m not sure that same openness would have been there when I started.”
The OmniPoll even found an interesting racial gap regarding belief that we are living in the end times. Fully 54 percent of blacks said yes, and so did 48 percent of Hispanics, about 1 out of 2 in both cases. Whites were at 39 percent, slightly below the national average as a whole but still significant.
The survey also revealed that married adults are more likely to believe we are living in the end times (46 percent), compared to the national average. The same is true with families that have children living at home—47 percent, representing nearly 1 out of 2 parents with children.
“When I tell people about my book or have talked with those who have read it, one of the first things they invariably express is how concerned they are for their children in light of where we are in the world today," Fitzgerald says. "I would also think this might cause them to bury their head in the sand, but seeing the numbers tells me they’re not.”
In commissioning the OmniPoll question, Fitzgerald made sure it stated, “the ‘end times’ as described by prophecies in the Bible.” He didn’t want any confusion about the term.
“The Barna poll shows how many Americans and Christians believe the world is living in the end times," he says. "My book will give them lots of evidence to back up what they are already thinking and sensing intuitively. I demonstrate that the biblical end times began on 9/11 at a particular point in history. As I explain, Jesus himself taught we would recognize this time from its beginning, which is what I believe is happening now.”
James F. Fitzgerald founded WatchWORD Productions in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1993 to produce the WatchWORD Bible. The project took more than a decade to complete from its inception and is the only complete professional production of the New Testament ever made (watchwordbible.com).
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!
The Charisma Podcast Network is now live. Subscribe now for free!