Only 2% of Millennials Have a Biblical Worldview

How the Parable of the Ten Virgins predicts our post-Christian society

In the parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus prophesied about the falling away of half the Church. He told this parable while teaching about the end times:

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”—Matthew 25:1-13

In this parable, there are ten virgins and one bridegroom. The bridegroom represents Jesus, and the virgins are symbolic of the Church of the world. Jesus is saying, “When I appear, only half of the Church will be prepared for My return.”

This situation is happening right now, before our eyes. The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University recently released a study that discovered troubling statistics about American millennials (the generation of adults born between 1981 and 1996).

While 61 percent of millennials consider themselves to be “Christian,” only two percent of them were found to hold a biblical worldview. This youngest generation of adults was the least likely among all adults to hold a biblical worldview.

What is a biblical worldview?

For the purposes of the survey, here’s how the researchers defined a biblical worldview:

…a biblical worldview was defined as believing that absolute moral truths exist; that such truth is defined by the Bible; and firm belief in six specific religious views.

Here are those six specific religious viewpoints:

  1. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life.

  2. God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today.

  3. Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.

  4. Satan is real.

  5. A Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people.

  6. The Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.

The researchers found that people’s behavior was distinctly impacted by having a biblical worldview. Adults without a biblical worldview were more likely to accept cohabitation, condone homosexuality, use profanity and find exposure to pornography morally acceptable.

Those without a biblical worldview are less likely to believe in the existence of absolute moral truth. They are less likely to believe that God is involved in our lives. They are even less likely to believe that human beings were created by God, in His image.

And if that two percent makes you worried about the Millennial generation, consider the stats of older generations. Only nine percent of adults in the Boomer generation have a biblical worldview. And only five percent of Gen-Xers have a biblical worldview.

Christians in name only

What does this mean? It doesn’t just mean that the number of Bible-believing Christians is declining in our culture. It means that many of those who think they are Christians aren’t really Christians at all.

The ancient Greeks used the word nomizo to refer to beliefs people held out of custom—for example, faith inherited from family members. I suspect that many in our society call themselves Christians because their parents were Christians, or because they attended a Christian church as a child.

But they don’t actually hold Christian beliefs.

When 61 percent of millennials say they are Christian but only two percent have a Christian worldview, then their faith may be a nomizo kind of faith and not a genuine one. They are Christians in name only.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said the “gate” into His Kingdom was a narrow one, but “broad is the way that leads to destruction.” That broad path will be filled with atheists and agnostics, to be sure, and people who follow false religions. But it will also be filled with nominal Christians.

Which leads me back to the parable of the Ten Virgins. At the end, when He comes in glory, Jesus says that only half of those who identify as Believers will be prepared for His return. Many of those who attend our churches may not actually know Jesus. Many of them may be left behind in the Rapture. Many of them will think they are followers of Christ but will actually be lost.

A post-Christian society

I wrote earlier about the worldwide increase in atheism and agnosticism, and that it represented the “falling away” that Paul warned would happen before Jesus returned.

Another aspect of the “falling away” are those who consider themselves Christians but don’t really know Jesus—and don’t live according to His teachings. That number of Christians is on the rise, especially in younger generations. We are quickly headed toward becoming a post-Christian society.

Yes, there is a righteous remnant of those living for God and living in obedience to His Word, but that number may be fewer than we think. Many of those around us may be in for a surprise. When Jesus returns, He may say, “I don’t know you.”

What about you? What about your family?

I write about the end times because I want us all to be ready. Don’t wait to prepare your heart to meet Him—and don’t neglect to make sure those you love are prepared. The time is now!