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What does the Bible say about the future?
What if Jesus returned in 50 years' time?

A focus on an imminent return has led many to sell everything to travel to a certain mountain where Jesus will return to collect his Church.  Even under balanced teaching, many have so extremely embraced an imminent return that they have given up hope for the future and failed to prepare for a lifetime serving God.

Matthew 24:26 So if they tell you, “Look!  He’s in the desert” don’t go there.  Or “Look!  He’s in this secret place” don’t believe it.  27Because the coming of the Son of Man will be like lightning coming out of the east and shining right over to the west. 

It’s really important to purify ourselves and dedicate ourselves to God so that we’re found worthy whenever he returns to take us to him.

It’s likewise really important that we’re fulfilling God’s commission to reach the whole world with the gospel and make disciples.  God may be calling you to study for many years – to become a teacher, a pastor, or a missionary, or to nurture godly descendants who will fulfil such roles.

Others suggest that this may be yet centuries away.  While I struggle to foresee this, the suggestion is quite valid.  We should consider Christ’s return being so far away, that we should live as if it is beyond the foreseeable future; but long for and expect to be delighted at his surprising return.

Arguments for Jesus’ return in 50 years’ time

  • Sir Isaac Newton said: The time times & half time do not end before 2060. .... It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner…
  • Early Church fathers such as Irenaeus taught that Jesus would return around 6000 years after creation, which I believe to be around 2070 – with Jerusalem being destroyed by the Romans around 4000 years after creation in 70AD.
  • This forms a pattern that the creation week prophesies 7,000 years with Christ ruling the sabbath millennia of rest.

Arguments against

  • This would exceed the generation read into the budding of the fig tree - or maybe we're reading too much into this?
  • Could the world bear the extent of evil possible?
  • It feels like creation and humanity are falling apart far quicker than this.

What could this look like?

  • A deal could be brokered allowing a Palestinian state, living in peace with Israel.
  • Ezekiel 38’s battle of Gog of Magog could happen now or in 40 years.
    God allowed the Jews around 40 years after Jesus’ ministry before he destroyed Jerusalem.  Could it be that God will use this catastrophic battle to warn the world of the Tribulation for 40 years?
  • The Rapture could happen any time, ending the Church age and returning God's focus to Israel who will recognize this miraculous sign and turn back to God.  Non-Jews would still come to know God during this time as in the times of the Old Testament.
  • Genetic engineering could lead to hybridization including the reproduction of [Greek] mythology in the quest for super-soldiers and extrapolation of the present trans-whatever trend.  The genetic integrity of humanity could approach extinction.
  • Nanotechnologies would promise life enhancing implants and microscopic body repair.
  • Increased prevalence of drugs, artificial realities and witchcraft will totally warp people's realities.
  • Fake news videos will be generated by computers, completely obscuring any truth.
  • Our search for oneness with nature will lead us to submit to its chaos, rather than manage it.
  • Translation technologies will undo the curse of Babel, allowing all peoples to work together to attempt to destroy God.
  • Men being gang-raped, and slavery will become commonplace as will indiscriminate organ harvesting.  Want a sex change? - just get a body transplant - for the right price, just pick a passing stranger.  Or maybe one prefers the more ethical, but slower genetic remodeling.
  • This would be a world that is like that of Noah or Lot.

It won’t be all bad - the Church would grow rampantly under such persecution as people fall off the fence to one side or the other.  I believe that God is restoring supernatural power to the Church as in the days of Acts.  Amid all this chaos, Jesus’ bride will shine.