Concluding that Jesus already returned in AD70 (or any other time) because of Jesus1,4,12 and/or other New Testament writers’ statements3,5,7 would be misguided for several reasons:
- None of the New Testament writers knew when Jesus was returning2. If no one knew the timing of “that day”, then these writers weren’t only being deceitful by offering something of which they knew nothing, but they were testing God!
- Every single time we see expressions of Jesus’ “imminent return”1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, it is coupled with or in the context of admonitions to remain strong or patient11. In other words, the writer is not trying to proclaim the literal timing of Jesus’ return (again, something they knew nothing abouta). Rather, they want to convey urgency to the Christian living in ‘man’s time’ to not become complacent in their faith. As far as they or their listeners were concerned, Jesus could return at any time so they needed to be ready!
- Isolating these as literal, definitive, ‘man’s time’ declarations are not consistent with the rest of Scripture. In light of the Bible pattern regarding God’s time in relation to man’s time, we must conclude that these are not literal, “man-time” statements.
- If Jesus already returned, then what does the Christian do with Jesus’ admonition2 and all the other inspired writers’ points to remain strong? Do we just disregard, and thus disregard the need to remain patient and vigilant in our faithb? NO, because Jesus is “coming soon”1!
No, Jesus has not already returned. Rather, it is His second coming8, not the third, that happens next and it will be obvious to all11. We only need to worry about following Him10 and remaining strong and ready3,5,7,9,13. Will you be ready?