Why Jesus Isn't Coming Again
by Mike McClellan
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ spoke to His
disciples 2000 years ago, telling them that he would return,
that he was
"coming again". His promise remains one of the most central themes
in the myriad of Christian belief systems. Except for a very small
minority, Christians still believe he is coming again,
the Parousia, the rapture. Is His
promise still valid? Has He yet to return? Or did He make the
promise only to break it in the lifetime of those to whom He spoke?
The following is taken from the Bible. All verses are from the King
James version unless otherwise noted. The Bible references are
hyperlinks and will take the reader to the New International Version
quotation if so desired.
For the Son of man shall come in the
glory of his Fatherwith his angels; and then he shall reward every
man according to his works.
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall
not taste of death*, till they see the Son of man coming in his
The language is clear. Jesus told his disciples that some of them
would not taste of death - would not die - before he returned,
until he came into his kingdom.
If you've been mistakenly taught that the verses above refer to
Christ's Transfiguration, read Revelation 20:12 which coincides
with Matthew 16:27 in describing a Judgment Day scenario:
And I saw the dead, small
and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:and another
book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged
outof those things which were written in the books, according to
Christ was, again, clearly referring to his second coming before that
present generation passed.
Again, Jesus tells his disciples:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and
then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see
the Son of man coming in the cloudsof heaven with power and great
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and
they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from
one end of heaven to the other.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet
tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it
is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass*, till all
these things be fulfilled.
Again, Christ describes certain events and warns those who are
listening to him that
"This generation shall not pass*, till all these things be fulfilled".
He is speaking about their present
Although the above scriptures clearly convey that Christ was
talking about his present generation, there are many other references
in the New Testament indicating that the writers of the Gospels and
Epistles as well as the followers of Christ firmly believed that
Jesus was speaking of their present generation and not some future
time hundreds or thousands of years down the road.
Jesus spoke to his followers again about his coming according to
the book of Matthew:
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the
end shall be saved.
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another:
for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities
of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
The cities of Israel were not so numerous that it would have taken a
fleeing man 2000 years to go over or through them. No man could live
that long. Christ said before a fleeing man could
go through all the cities, he would come. Again, Christ was speaking
of his return in that generation. He left no doubt as
to his meaning in this passage.
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short*. From now on those
who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn,
as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not;
those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep;
those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them.
For this world in its present form is passing away.
(1 Corinthians 7:29-31 - NIV)
Paul tells the Corinthians that time is short and that the
world in its present form is passing away. His words have a
strong sense of urgency, rather than being a mere suggestion. Paul
believes the world is presently passing away. He is not speaking of
some event which could take place 2000 years in the future.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep*, but we shall
all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must
put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on
1 Corinthians 15:50-53
In this passage, Paul tells the Corinthians We shall not all
sleep. Again, Paul is convinced and is convincing the
Corinthians that the second coming of Christ is imminent in that
generation and not all who hear his words will "sleep" or die
prior to Christ's coming.
We Which Are Alive And Shall Remain
In the following portion of the letter which Paul writes to the
Thessalonians he discusses those who remain alive in the present
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which
are alive and remain* unto the coming of the Lord shall not
prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and
remain* shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to
meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
More Scripture Indicating Immediate
The New Testament is abundantly filled with references to the
immediacy of Christ's return.
But the end of all things is at hand:* be ye therefore
sober, and watch unto prayer.
1 Peter 4:7
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past
unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days*
unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things...
In 1 John, the false prophets foretold by Jesus who existed in that
time period to give notice of the end times are discussed.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether
they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into
the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that
confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh is not of God...
1 John 4:1-3
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ said he would return in the
generation in which he lived. He said the sign of the Son of Man
would appear in heaven. He said all the tribes of Israel would
mourn. He said the tribes would see the Son of Man coming in the
clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He said he would send
his angels with a great sound of a trumpet. The angels were to
gather the "elect" from the four winds, from one end of heaven to
the other. All of these things were to have happened in his
generation. They didn't happen.
Jesus did not return as he said he would. He did not return as his
disciples believed and preached that he would. Jesus didn't come
in the disciples generation. He didn't come in any generation.
The disciples all died. Jesus' promise was broken. The disciples
believed and lived a false hope.
Jesus didn't come then and he isn't coming in the future. Those who
cling to the broken promise and false hope of his return will be
just as disappointed as the disciples who died looking in vain for
the second coming of their Christ.
He isn't coming again.
February 28, 1999