When we read Paul’s letters we get the idea that Jesus is going to return pretty quickly. What’s up with that? Jesus said he was going to return, but why does Paul think it will be so soon?
We, like Paul, believe that Jesus could return before I even finish this sentence. Jesus could come at any moment. Jesus says that no one knows the day or the hour. In Matthew 24-25 we hear a ton of information about when the world will end at Christ’s return. Paul makes that emphasis in some of his letters to the Christians in Thessalonica and Corinth. Here’s a huge list of the references to Christ’s return.
There is a sense of immediacy when we talk about Christ’s return. We don’t know the day it will happen, but we have to be ready at any moment (that hasn’t stopped people from trying to answer the answerable question). There were people who took that too far though. Paul addresses that issue with the Christians in Thessalonica. They decided to stop doing anything because Jesus would be back soon. Paul tells them that Jesus is returning, but we continue to live life until that happens.
Here are some great podcasts on the topic of Jesus’ return as a whole to help shape what it is we’re looking forward to. What will happen when Jesus returns? Will there be “stages” of his return or will he simply return in glory to judge the living and the dead? These and other questions are answered very helpfully in these podcasts.
- Issues Etc – Responding to Evangelical Prooftexts – The Thousand Year Reign of Christ
- RevFisk Raw – Just two questions
- Issues Etc – Responding to Evangelical Prooftexts: The Secret Rapture in Matthew 24:36-42
I hope some of this helps answer the question in a general way.
If you want to dig deeper or you have more questions, please just let me know.
Blessings on your day!