7000 Protestant youth from many denominations were asked whether they agreed with the following statements:
“The way to be accepted by God is to try sincerely to live a good life.” More than 60% agreed.
“God is satisfied if a person lives the best life he can.” Almost 70% agreed.
“The main emphasis of the gospel is on God’s rules for right living.” More than half agreed.
Despite the efforts of evangelists, parachurch ministries and local churches, the percentage of American adults who are born again Christians is no different now than in 1982, according to a study by the Barna Research Group.
The study found that 34% of all Americans can be identified as born again—that is, they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, and say they will go to heaven because they have confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their savior.
Among those surveyed, 62% said they had made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their lives today. However, among those who have made a commitment to Christ, only 55 percent believe they will go to heaven because of accepting Christ as their personal savior (the basic belief in the “born again” movement)...Most of those surveyed said they would go to heaven because of living a good life, or obeying the 10 commandments, or because all people will go to heaven. Others who said they had made a commitment to Christ said they were unsure about what will happen to them after they die.
Reported in Inland Northwest Christian News, March 1990, p. 3.