When will Jesus return?

As we enter 1998, I can't help but think about how close we must be to the Second Coming, when the Lord will return for His church and personally rule over the Earth for 1,000 years.

Oh, I know,some of you don't believe in such things.You think it's a bunch of silly superstition.You prefer I stick to writing about news events of the phisical world rather than arcane spiritual matters.

But, as a journalist,I can't ignore hard evidence, no matter where it may lead me. And the more I study the prophetic scriptures of the Holy Bible and look at the condition of our world today, the more convinced I become that we are coming close to that time. In fact, I think we are very close. For just as Jesus's virgin birth in Bethlehem was foretold by the Hebrew prophets hundreds of years earlier, so was his return to Earth predicted too.The only question is when.The most dramatic evidence for his imminent return our genera- tion has witnessed was the rebirth of the nation of Israel 50 years ago.

The Jews were,as prophesied,scattered over the whole earth for nearly two millennia, beginning shortly after Jesus's death on de cross. Yet, the scriptures leave no doubt that the Jewish state would exist once again before he returned. Interestingly, Orthodox Jews have long taught that the world would last for 6,000 years before the Messiah would come and usher in a 1,000-years period of restful human history. Since God created the world in six days, according to Genesis 1:31, and rested on the seventh day, according to Genesis 2:2, they reasoned the world's history would climax the same way. They cite Psalm 90:4, which says:''for a thousand years in thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by.''

Likewise, Chistians have looked to II Peter 3:8:'' But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years,and a thousand years as one day.''

The early church understood this "six-day theory" of world history.It was a widely accepted teaching for the first three centuries of the church. From the time of Adam, we've got genealogical records to show that 4,000 years passed until the time of Christ. From Jesus' time until the present age represents another 2,000 Years, for a total of 6,000 years or six days.

There's also a three-day theory: Jesus rose on the third day. Would the beginnnen of de third millenium --or thousand-year period-- not be a likely time for his return to earth?

In 1776, Edward Giddon pulblished "The Decline and fall of de Roman Empire," in which he cites early documents suggesting the Christian diciples of the first century were thaught that Jesus would return after 2000 years.We'll soon find out if they were right.

For many reasons, I believe Jesus is returning soon,if not in the year 2000, certainly thereabouts. But I'm especially drawn to II Timothy 3:1-5, which describes the state of the world in the "last days".Tell me if this doesn't sound like our world: "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers,disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness,altough they have denied its power; avoid such men as these."

Jesus came 2,000 years ago and died for our sins, Now we schould be hopeful and expectant of his imminent return.

Western Journalism Center
By Joseph Farah