JERUSALEM—The introduction of the novel coronavirus into the world in December 2019, and its lightning fast spread around the planet, has rattled people in every country, including Americans.
COVID has taken the lives of more than six million people worldwide.
It has changed the way we travel, the way we do business, the way we run schools and affected so many other areas of life.
Now, a new survey indicates that Americans think something far more significant is in motion than simply a nasty disease.
Fully four-in-ten Americans believe that the COVID pandemic is a sign that biblical prophecy is coming to pass and that we are living in the “last days” before the return of Christ.
Two-out-of-three Evangelical Christians believe this.
But so do one-in-four American Jews.
And almost one-in-three self-identified “secular” Americans.
PANDEMICS IN PROPHECY?
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ gave a list of signs that would precede His Second Coming.
In addition to horrific wars, Jesus prophesied that terrible “plagues” would spread across the earth.
“As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you….You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom….all these are merely the beginning of the birth pangs.’” (Matthew 24:3-8)
“Then He continued by saying to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven….But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’” (Luke 21:10-11, 28)
Many in the secular media sneer at any suggestion that such game-changing current events might have a connection to biblical prophecy, especially End Times prophecies.
However, it turns out a large number of Americans believe there is a connection.
My colleague, Dr. Carl Moeller – executive director of The Joshua Fund – and I decided to commission a national poll to better understand the views of all Americans, including Evangelical Christians, on such matters.
The poll was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates. This nationally known and widely respected polling firm has performed scientific opinion surveys over the years for corporations, non-profit organizations, members of Congress, U.S. presidents and foreign leaders, including in the State of Israel. Taken between March 17 and 22, 2022, the poll asked questions of 1,000 Americans ages 18 and over. It has a 3.1% margin of error, plus or minus, at a 95% confidence interval.
On Wednesday, ALL ISRAEL NEWS published the first in a series of articles about the survey – EXCLUSIVE: New poll finds 68% of Americans believe Iran plotting ‘Second Holocaust’ against Israel if Tehran gets nuclear weapons – 77% of American Evangelicals agree | All Israel News.
Yesterday, ALL ISRAEL NEWS published the second in our series – EXCLUSIVE: New poll finds stunning 40% of all Americans believe Russian invasion of Ukraine is a biblical sign of the 'last days' - that's more than 100 million Americans | All Israel News
Today, let’s look at how Americans see the significance of the COVID pandemic.
IS THE COVID PANDEMIC A BIBLICAL SIGN OF THE “LAST DAYS”?
In our survey, we asked Americans ages 18 and older:
“Do you agree or disagree that the COVID pandemic that has caused more than six million deaths worldwide is one of the signs that Jesus spoke of in the Bible when He warned that there would be severe ‘plagues’ in the ‘last days’ before His return?”
Once again, we were surprised by the large number of Americans who said they agreed.
Fully 4-in-10 Americans (40.1%) said they agree that the COVID pandemic is a sign of Biblical prophecy coming to pass and of the “last days.”
Almost an equal number – 41.1% – said they disagree.
And 18.7% said they don’t know.
According to the U.S. Census, in 2020, there were 258.3 million Americans age 18 or over.
Forty percent of that number is 103.32 million people.
That’s an enormous number – some 103 million Americans believe COVID is a sign of the last days.
SIGNIFICANT INCREASE FROM TWO YEARS AGO
What really struck Carl and me was that the 40.1% figure is a marked increase from our last Joshua Fund poll.
Two years ago, in March 2020, we commissioned a national survey through McLaughlin & Associates for The Joshua Fund, just as the COVID pandemic was beginning to sweep the nation and the world.
We specifically asked if Americans believed that the coronavirus – and the resulting economic meltdown – were “signs that we are living in what the Bible calls the ‘last days.’”
At that time, we found that 29.4% said they agreed.
Thus, in two years we have seen a nearly 11-point increase over the last Joshua Fund poll results.
You can read more results from our March 2020 survey by clicking here.
[NOTE: Also, in March 2020, as part of The Joshua Fund’s educational mission, we released a 12-page fact sheet titled, “What Does The Bible Teach About Pestilence, Plagues, and Global Pandemics?” commend both the survey and the fact sheet to your attention.]
DIGGING DEEPER INTO THE DATA
Now, let’s dig deeper into the data of the new survey.
As with the Russia question, we find that it’s not just Evangelical Christians who believe the COVID pandemic is biblically prophetic.
5.1% of atheists agree the COVID pandemic is a biblical sign of the “last days”
9.7% of agnostics agree
28.3% of self-identified “secular” Americans agree
24.8% of Jews say they agree
40.4% of Catholics say they agree
52.7% of all Protestants agree
65.6% of Evangelical born-again Christians agree
34.0% of Hispanic Americans agree
61.0% of African Americans agree
36.9% of Whites agree
57.2% of Asian Americans agree
35.7% of Americans who live in the East agree
40.4% of Americans who live in the Midwest agree
45.9% of Americans who live in the South agree
33.0% of Americans who live in the West agree
37.1% of young people, ages 18 to 29 agree
51.0% of people ages 30 to 40 agree
41.3% of people ages 41 to 55 agree
37.6% of people ages 56 to 65 agree
35.3% of people over 65 agree
35.1% of men agree
44.8% of women agree
BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION
47.1% of Republicans agree
38.3% of Democrats agree
33.4% of Independents agree
41.6% of Americans who voted for Trump in 2020 agree
39.1% of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020 agree
In the coming days, ALL ISRAEL NEWS will continue to publish stories about the poll results, and analyze what the results mean.
Dr. Carl Moeller and I will also discuss all this more on our podcast, “Inside The Epicenter,” which I hope you will subscribe and listen to.
For now, I ask Christians to pray.
Please pray that the Lord would bring the COVID pandemic to an end.
Please also pray for the Lord to comfort all those who have lost family and friends to this dreaded disease.
Please pray for those who currently have COVID to fully recover and regain their health and strength.
Please pray, too, that people’s fears over COVID – and growing realization about the fragility of life – would cause them to begin a spiritual search to know God personally, that many more people would read the Bible, both Old Testament and New, would attend a theologically-solid Bible-believing church congregation, and seek out books, TV and radio programs, podcasts and other sources of Biblical answers to the questions and concerns they have.
Let this difficult season not just represent a speed bump in our brief lives, but a major course correction that will lead to a Great Awakening and spiritual revival in the lives of every family and every nation on earth.
Both The Joshua Fund and ALL ISRAEL NEWS are non-profit, and thus non-partisan organizations. The poll was not taken to lobby leaders in any country on political or public policy matters, but to better understand the views of the American people on matters of Bible prophecy and current events, and to mobilize Christians to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.