Question:

Hello,

I just had an interesting thought that I'm confused about. This is in no way a lack of faith on my part but something I do not understand. Why in the Bible, specifically in the New Testament, the apostles write about Jesus' return being soon. I can find over 20 places that says Jesus will return soon and a lot of these places are describing His return as if it will happen in their life time. This is somewhat confusing to me because 2000 years isn't soon. I suppose it could be argued that one day is like a thousand for God, so time is relative, but I think this would not be a correct explanation.

Hope to hear back from you. Thank you.


Answer:

I'm wondering about your list of verses. What I've noticed is that most people don't pay attention to the context and attribute things like Jesus coming in judgment against Jerusalem (Matthew 24; Luke 17 and 21) or Rome (Revelation) and attribute the statements to Jesus' second coming. Not that you are the first. The Thessalonians obviously misunderstood Paul's statements that they should be ready for Jesus' return at any moment and concluded that they should just stop working and wait for Jesus' coming. Coming abruptly and without forewarning is not the same as coming soon.

Rather, there are several passages that indicate that it would be a long time before Jesus' return:

  • "But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time'" (Matthew 24:48; also Luke 12:45).
  • "Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them" (Matthew 25:19).
  • "And He began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time"" (Luke 20:9).