The Return of Christ
Did Jesus Imply Its Immediacy?
No, He Did Not!
To professionally translate this document into any major language Click Here
The primary purpose of this brief document is to demonstrate that Jesus did not imply at any time that His return was imminent (even though some of the versions of some of the Epistles of the New Testament appear to have prophesied His immediate return).
This seemingly technical point is important, because Roman Catholic Church authorities and other "known faces" are attempting to defuse any urgency in the preparation for the End of These Times. They say that the imminent return of Christ was expected in Paul's day, and it did not happen then or at any time in the last 2,000 years - so that any expectation today of an imminent return of Christ is likewise erroneous.
The only way to resolve this - once and for all - is to carefully review all four Gospels and scrutinize every statement made by Jesus that could be construed as implying His immediate return. This is to be done keeping in mind the appropriate manner in which Biblical Texts must be approached.
Remember - an improper approach of the Biblical
Texts only leads to more confusion. As another example of this, beyond those already used in our
two documents addressing Biblical Literalism,
(1) let us take Peter's speech after
.... Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be
this known to you, and with your ears receive my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose,
seeing it is but the third hour of the day: [Acts 2: 14-14]
Considering the importance wine has had in the New Testament (remember the wedding feast at
Cana?), from this statement, enemies of the
Bible could claim that the Apostles must have been known for frequently getting drunk - but not so
early in the morning.
We will now reproduce the selected quotes and address each one - one at a time.
From the Gospel According to Matthew
The wheat and chaff separation and the unquenchable fire are associated with the Final Judgment and the End of Time, and not the Second Coming at the End of These Times.
He is addressing the twelve apostles as individuals and as heads of the waves of Evangelizers to fan across the world. Obviously all the cities of Israel are not Evangelized/converted yet, thus the Evangelizers will not finish before His Second Coming.
In other words - The Evangelization of the unconverted Jews will still be in progress at the time of the return of Jesus. Let us not forget that the State of Israel came into being in 1948.
Jesus is referring to the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. "This generation" means the people that He was addressing at the time, which probably spanned two generations - 50 years.
From the Gospel According to Mark
These two verses refer to the End of These Times, the second part of the prophecy (see above explanation about Mark 13: 13-14). The confirmation is found in the preceding verses, Mark 13:19-23:
 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; lo, he is here: do not believe.  For there will rise up false Christs and false prophets, and they shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce (if it were possible) even the elect.  Take you heed therefore; behold I have foretold you all things.
It is crystal clear that He is speaking now about the End of These Times.
Once again let us see what precedes these two verses.
Notice that He has moved on to the fig tree parable which illustrates the recognition of what is to come by what one may see at the moment in question. The problem word in verse 30 is "all" since if the verse read instead: Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, until these things be done then the "this generation" would have applied to the first part of the prophecy - the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. (See Matthew 23: 36-39 above.)
Considering what His words have gone through (1) for nearly 2,000 years, we would not let the qualifier "all" be only the proof that Jesus was speaking of His imminent return.
Remember - Jesus knew that the Temple and Jerusalem would be destroyed in the time of "this generation" and, by default it can be understood that He had not returned yet. Therefore we must assume that Jesus meant that the High Priest would see Him at a time when the High Priest had already left his human body and not before.
From the Gospel According to Luke
Again, "this generation" is the one which will witness the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
Here and the associated verses Jesus is making it clear that it is a very long process and the Kingdom of God - as they visualized it - would come only after His return.
Again, He is referring to the Roman assault on Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple on 70 AD. See Matthew 23: 36-39 above.
From the Gospel According to John
He is speaking of an undefined future time "for the hour cometh" which, before His Redemptive action, was "not coming yet". This future time is split in two events: His Second Coming with the First Resurrection [Rev. 20:5] and the Final Judgment as illustrated in Revelations 20: 6-15 (the resurrection of judgment).
Undoubtedly we may have overlooked a verse or two since, even within the same language, different versions sometimes appear differently as we have explained in our documents about Biblical Literalism. (1) However, we feel that we have covered the key verses that could lend themselves to misinterpretation.
As it should be readily obvious, nowhere did Jesus say that His Second Coming was imminent.
However, now, it is imminent.
(1) Biblical Literalism Part I and Part II
(2) Quotes from Matthew
(3) Quotes from Mark
(4) Quotes from Luke
(5) Quotes from John
Copyright 2010 - 2019 by The M+G+R Foundation. All rights reserved. However, you may freely reproduce and distribute this document as long as: (1) Appropriate credit is given as to its source; (2) No changes are made in the text without prior written consent; and (3) No charge is made for it.
The M+G+R Foundation About Us and Frequently Asked Questions
PAGE of INTRODUCTION to DOMAIN
HOME PAGE - Español
HOME PAGE - Portugues
Back Up HOME PAGE
Index of Documents Sorted by File Name
Please Note: If the above dated image does not appear on this document, it means that you are not viewing the original document from our servers. Should you have reason to doubt the authenticity of the document, we recommend that you access our server again and click on the "Refresh" or "Reload" button of your Browser to view the original document.
If you wish to contact The M+G+R Foundation, please access our Contact Page and follow the instructions.