For a long while now, Christians have had to face an awkward problem with their religion: Jesus never came back.
In the gospels Jesus clearly promises that he would return before the current generation of people died off.
For example, see Luke 9:27, “I can guarantee this truth: Some people who are standing here will not die until they see the kingdom of God.”; Matthew 16:28, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”; or Matthew 24:34, “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”
But as it turned out, he never did. It certainly looks like the Bible was wrong yet again.
So to get around this and perpetually remain in their happy state of denial, Christians have concocted a simple excuse for these verses. They claim that the return Jesus spoke of was his resurrection, not the Day of Judgment. I will show how they are blatantly wrong.
So how do we know that Jesus was talking about Judgment Day? How do we know he did not mean his resurrection? The proof is inescapable.
1) The most obvious proof is that Jesus did not merely make reference to “the kingdom of God”. Christians must in fact also account for his explicit description of what will happen! See Matthew 24:29-34.
29 Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
None of these things happened upon his resurrection according to the gospels, and this clearly describes Jesus coming from the clouds, not going up into them and disappearing, as well as a cataclysmic series of events and gathering people up. This is his alleged second coming, not his low key resurrection from the dead.
2) In verses 37-41 of the same chapter, he compares the event to the Great Flood:
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”
He is comparing the prophesied event to Noah’s Flood, a great destruction where some people will be taken away or left behind. This does not describe his resurrection at all, wherein there was no destruction or judgment, but it precisely describes the Day of Judgment which is when “time is up” and people will be either saved or destroyed by God.
3) Then again in the same chapter, Matthew 24, in verses 45-51, just to make himself even more clear, Jesus compares the impending event to faithful or disloyal servants who will treated according to what they had done upon their master’s return – including the beloved theme of Abrahamic religions, a threat of brutal violence, which corresponds to sinners being judged and cast into the Lake of Fire – an event which has obviously not occurred.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
4) Jesus had actually been quite clear earlier in the gospel of Matthew as well. In Matthew 16:27-28 he identifies “coming in his kingdom” with coming in God’s glory with angels and give each person their due reward. This is judgment Day, not his resurrection:
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
5) And finally, when referring to the event in question in Matthew 24:36 he said: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Remember that this is the event which he said would occur before those he was speaking to would die.
Yet in Mark 10:33-34, Matthew 20:18-19, and Luke 18:31-33, when Jesus is speaking of his resurrection, he says that he will be executed then on “the third day he [referring to himself] shall rise again”.
So Jesus clearly knows exactly the day he will be resurrected and he let’s everyone else know as well. In other words, the “coming of the Son of Man” he promised that would come within the current generation could not refer to his resurrection because if it did, then Jesus would be directly contradicting his own words.
There we have it. Jesus said something would happen, something incredible, but it did not come about. He was wrong, and regardless of whether someone believes in a god, we must all accept that the Bible is a mythology whose parts should be appreciated or dismissed on their own merits – not on what wishful believers want it to be.