Only 65% of Americans believe Heaven exists.
This IgniteAmerica Certified Statistic is based on the following research:
Percentage of Americans believe that Heaven exists:
74% American Trends Panel Poll, Pew Research Center, 2017
71% Gallup Poll, 2016
72% U. S. Religious Landscape, Pew Research Center, 2014
47% The State of Theology Survey, LifeWay Research, 2014
74% Religion & Public Life Survey, Pew Research Center, 2013
58% Portraits of American Life Study, 2012
62% Baylor Religion Surveys, 2011
This is A Game Changer
While failure to believe in the Devil is a delusion, failing to believe in Heaven is a game-changer. Think about it! Removing the incentive of Heaven in a person’s future removes the most basic incentive for well-doing. Taking this to its obvious conclusion, the default for human behavior becomes whatever is most self-gratifying for the individual . . . without thought of ultimate consequences.
The predatory actions of people in the news every day are more easily understood by knowing more than a third of us (more than 100 million Americans) believe that Heaven doesn’t exist. Granted, there are many other factors to be considered, but knowing this one statistic helps explain, in part, the minds of those willing to destroy another person, or a people, or country, for personal gain.
What’s the Problem?
They’re lost!!! How can they call on God when they don’t believe it? And how can they believe unless someone tells them? And how will someone tell them unless they are sent? (Romans 10:14-15 paraphrased). We’re the problem! The Church is the problem! How can it be that more than a third of all Americans don’t believe in Heaven? It’s because less than 1% of all Christians are telling them . . . sharing God’s love with them and His desire for them to spend Eternity with Him in Heaven.
What is Faith Sharing?
While 96% of the unchurched say it’s at least ‘somewhat likely’ they would attend church if invited, inviting people to church is not “sharing your faith.” It’s inviting people to hear your pastor share his faith. Your ministry is to let people see God through you and want what you have before you invite them to church (Matthew 5:16 paraphrased).
When people see God through you, they’ll want to go to church with you and receive what you have for themselves . . . because you moved them closer to Jesus with every encounter. The truth is, everything you do and say, 24 hours a day, moves everyone watching you closer or further away from God and Heaven. Regardless of how poorly delivered, your words change lives when your words match your life.
You Are Christ’s Ambassador
Regardless of where you are in this stage of your life, you’re in the full-time ministry of being Christ’s Ambassador, pointing everyone to Heaven. Everyone around you is your mission-field and your God-given ministry is to love every one of them into Heaven, even the unlovable . . . especially the unlovable!
Jesus commanded all of us to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and He explained, “They will know you’re my disciple by your love” (John 13:35). But sadly, Christians are largely seen today as being hypocritical and judgmental. It’s up to us, every one of us, to end this perception by personally loving our neighbors as ourselves . . . by prompting those who don’t believe there’s a Heaven to see Heaven through us. While it is our responsibility to hate every sin, it’s also our responsibility to love every sinner into Heaven.
All of Us Are Sent!
All of us are ‘sent,’ but most of us don’t feel sent because our pastors aren’t sending us! Scripture tells us, “The role of the Pastor is to equip the saints for ministry” (Ephesians 4:11). By edifying the faithful with the Word of God, pastors are preparing us for the task! But sending us into the harvest is what Christianity is all about!.
But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (local) in all Judea and Samaria (national) and to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). Christianity is God’s purpose working through us to seek and save the lost, that none should be lost from spending eternity in Heaven.
Rewards and Punishments
One of the most basic of all human instincts, placed in us by God, is the concept of rewards and punishments . . . in preparation for our ultimate life choice between Heaven and Hell. Unfortunately, political correctness and the fear of losing congregants and donors have all but eliminated the most basic theme of the Bible from our pulpits . . . contrasting the horrors of Hell with the ecstasy of Heaven! The surprise is that 65% of Americans still believe in Heaven.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Hell)
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Heaven)
For the wages of sin is death, but the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.
1 Peter 3:4
According to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
I Peter 3:13
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.