Are there unbelievers in the church?

Welcome back to my blog. Thank you for taking time to read it.

We have started a series on discovering exciting research findings from Teleios! A list of potential benefits in the Bible as shown by Teleios research is found on our home page of our website (www.teleiosresearch.com).

Today let’s look at the compelling findings of a recent survey Teleios performed that explored the incidence of tares in the church.  A tare is a plant that resembles wheat but cannot be correctly identified until harvest; so, Jesus’ term means those who appear as a Christian, but really are not true believers. Please read last week’s blog which discussed this fascinating topic.

To investigate the incidence of tares in the church, we performed a survey of users of the Instagram account, Instapray, often visited by young adult Christians. In total, 1526 individuals participated and 73% described themselves as evangelicals. Just over half had at least some college education and the average age was 23.

The key finding in the survey was that while 94% of participants, when prompted by the correct answer, indicated they were saved by grace, while only 16% (78% difference) had the confidence in the knowledge of their salvation to provide a correct answer without a written prompt. Was there a difference in the personal characteristics of the confident group of individuals who indicated without prompting they are saved by grace?

Participants who most confidently identified themselves as saved by grace:

  • Adhered more closely to the practice of their faith (prayer, praise, fellowship, outreach, Bible study, sharing the Gospel)
  • Had greater confidence in the security of their salvation
  • Indicated better personal general wellbeing but also specific measures of wellbeing such as: contentment, peace, joy and purpose
  • Enjoyed reduced guilt levels

The Teleios survey reflects wonderfully how knowing and believing God’s word can impact a person’s wellbeing. Scripture indicates that our great salvation is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) and those who understand this well enough to confess it without prompting, as well was believing that it cannot be lost, on average enjoy better wellbeing.

Participants who most confidently identified themselves as saved by grace also indicated they had less feelings of guilt. The reduced guilt levels might have resulted by this group’s better understanding of the complete sufficiency of Christ’s forgiveness and that there is no sin so horrendous for which Christ’s precious sacrifice did not atone. Indeed, what a great Savior we have who provides for us every benefit not only to salvation but also a mentally healthy life!

Summary: This Teleios survey suggests that if a young adult who identifies themselves as evangelical can express confidently that they are saved by grace, and actively practice their faith, they may possess higher levels of wellbeing than those who do not. More results are on the Teleios website at: http://stage.teleiosresearch.com/index.php/gospel-survey/.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I’ll look for you again next week.

WC Stewart


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