As the situation in Syria continues to dominate headlines (for now, it seems a deal has been brokered that will stave off U.S. military action), chatter about the crisis’ potential relationship to Armageddon and End Times theology abounds.
TheBlaze, among other outlets, have repeatedly covered these themes in recent weeks — but media outlets aren’t the only ones examining biblical prophecy at the moment.
Polling firms, too, have commissioned studies to explore public perception on Syria and End Times — and they’re coming to some stunning finds.
We already told you that the Barna Group, an organization that measures issues related to faith and religion, found that four in 10 Americans believe we’re living in the End Times, as prophesied in the Bible. But a new study from LifeWay Research gets even more specific.
The result? Nearly one-in-three (32 percent) Americans believes the Syrian crisis is part of the biblical text about what’s to come at the end of the world.
Additionally, one-in-four (26 percent) believes a U.S. military strike could mean that Armageddon won’t be too far behind (one-in-five — 18 percent — believes the world will come to an end during his or her lifetime).
LifeWay explains why many Christians in particular may see End Times as impending and provides some quick background on some of the key issues associated with the theology:
Most premillennial dispensationalists believe Christians will instantly disappear from the earth during an event called the rapture, followed by seven years of war and catastrophe. After the battle of Armageddon, Jesus will return and set up his kingdom on earth.
[Lifeway President Ed] Stetzer said he could see why linking Bible prophecy to Syria is appealing to many Christians.
It’s not that Christians want the world to end or want to see airstrikes, which will lead to suffering, Stetzer said. But they do want Jesus to return to set things right.
Interestingly, women were more likely than men to see a connection between biblical prophecy and what’s going on in Syria. While 36 percent of females saw a connection, only 28 percent of males viewed the issue through the same lens.
The survey questions were asked via telephone from Sept. 6-10 to a pool of 1,001 Americans. You can read the results here.