There seems to be an inordinate interest in the prospect of a return of Christ to the earth. I have recently read several articles in prominent national magazines on the subject of the prophesied return of Christ, and how different religious groups are preparing for that imminent event. In some cases people are forsaking their day to day lives in favor of fulltime watchfulness. The nation of
Whenever I hear that Jesus must return in response to an unfulfilled prophesy, I have to ask the question ”What did Jesus leave incomplete after his initial visit to this earth?” What was his mission 2000 years ago? What did he accomplish then, and what did he leave to complete supposedly in our day? Some might say that Jesus was never completely successful in his original earthly ministry because he encountered opposition that led him to postpone some of his redemptive work. Still others perhaps believe that Jesus brought about salvation in some sense but never got around to conquering death and granting eternal life. These last two attributes of salvation are seen as requiring God’s further intervention and possibly a separation of mankind from this physical creation.
From the time that God promised to Abraham that through him all the world would be blessed, until the coming of Christ was a period of 1500 years. The Bible tells us the purpose of this period in Galatians- it was to prepare the Jewish nation in particular and mankind in general for the Messiah. When Jesus came, he announced the purpose of his earthly mission in Luke 4 and elsewhere. That purpose included the establishment of the kingdom and the advent of freedom and peace. In John 11 he explained that he would make eternal life possible. This is reiterated in Hebrews Chapter 2 where it states that through his death Jesus destroyed the one who held the power of death. If Jesus’ initial purpose was to establish the kingdom and to grant eternal life, which is the same thing as overcoming death, then what is left to accomplish in our future? Did he really fall short of his purpose, leaving something undone for nearly 2000 years now? I don’t think God sent Jesus to inaugurate some kind of halfway salvation which would require far distant judgment and destruction before a few could reap the full benefits of redemption meant to bless all.