How would the church know Jesus returned?

So seeing the South Park Mormon episode got me thinking. If my understanding of Catholic beliefs is correct eventually Jesus will come again. I’m just wondering is there any way described? Like will he be born as a child again, in which case would anyone believe that boy? Thousands have claimed to be Christ, they have just been mentally challenged. If not being born as a person again do they believe he will come down from heaven?

On a sidenote, I was raised Catholic until about high school but as soon as I was allowed to stop any participation in the church, I did.


I was always taught that Jesus came as a baby the first time around, but for his second coming he would descend from heaven as a glorious adult to smite the wicked, etc.

… uh, so regarding the question of how Jesus would be recognized, it was supposed to be pretty obvious, because he’d be returning in full splendor, coming out of the sky glowing like the sun and unmistakably identifiable as the Son of God.

That’s what I was taught in Mormon sunday school, at least.

Everyone will know when Jesus returns. “And every eye shall see him.”

I’m not sure where that quote is from, but out of context I could infer that it just means he’ll be in view, not that we’ll recognize him. Like, that guy out walking in the snowstorm outside my window right now could be him, and how would I know?

Oooh! Good question!

I don’t know whether I believe in a Second Coming or not. But if Jesus did return as the Messiah, there are so many possibilities of what might happen that it makes my head spin. Imagine the reaction from various corners if the Christ returned as:

  1. an Islamic woman
  2. a Chinese Communist
  3. a right-wing Conservative American
  4. a Defense Dept. hawk
  5. the first Secretary of the Dept. of Peace
  6. an under-educated mother of three living in a trailer park
  7. the homosexual CEO of a major movie production company
  8. a prison inmate dying of aids
  9. a learning-disabled child
  10. a member of the so-called offenderati
  11. a “traitorous peacenik”

This person would not have to be aware of the reincarnation from birth. Maybe she or he would have a wilderness experience and go from there.

I’m just reasking the questions of the OP. How would anyone know? How would the church recognize the Messiah? Some never would. It’s happened before.

About the only hope would be to make it a point to recognize that part of everyone which is sacred.

There’d just be another split. The reason Christianity exists in the first place is that some Jews believed that the promised Messiah had finally come to them, and some didn’t. Christianity started as a radical offshoot of Judaism. Any time someone claims to be Christ returned, a few people follow him and it becomes a cult; the rest just keep on going as Christians who don’t believe the new guy is Christ.

Dostoevksy pondered this problem in The Brothers Karamazov. The answer he came up with was “The Grand Inquisitor”. Christ reappears in 16th-century Seville, during the Counter-Reformation. The head of the Spanish Inquisition recognises him as the Second Coming of Christ. And decides that for the good of the Church, Christ will have to be burned at the stake.

Here is the quote:

This is better suited for Great Debates. I’ll move it for you.

Off to Great Debates.

DrMatrix - GQ Moderator

One of these, constructed with cross-shaped gold foil, and charged up with prayer for Jesus’ return, might repond visibly to the second coming. :wink:

Wouldn’t this have described him pretty well the first time around? :slight_smile:

*The phone rings on the pope’s desk. He picks it up and a voice announces, “I am Jesus. I have good news and bad news.”

The pope asks, “Well, what is the good news?”

Jesus replies, “I have returned to Earth; my Second Coming is at hand.”

The pope exclaims, “That is wonderful news! What bad news could you possibly have?”

“I’m calling from Salt Lake City.”*

Good one tomndebb!

It reminded me of another:

*The cardinal of the holy see runs into the office of the Pope:

Cardinal: HE is here!!!

Pope: Who?

Cardinal: Jesus!! He is coming down in all his glory! What shall we do?

Pope: Look busy!!!*

You wanna make blatantly racist and Anti-L.D.S. slams, why not have the spine to take your agenda into the B.B.Q. Pit, where such remarks belong? This is Great Debates, and disgusting hateful comments like yours really add nothing to the debate at hand.

I for one am awaiting an apology to the Doper community for what you said. It was beyond inappropriate.


I am not tomndebb, but where in heavens was that racist???

You may have a point on that joke being anti-LDS, but it looked to me more like a slam to the Catholic Church. Or to all churches in general, because that joke also points at something serious: supposing that Jesus will come, there could be only two options: churches were not important to get the message, or one church will we revealed as the one and true one.

You either deal with that, or joke about it.

Sorry, your point escapes me completely, toonie.

Jesus means it’s bad news for the Pope.

Tomndebb, we Mormons tell the same joke, except of course he’s at the Vatican. :slight_smile:

And I’m confused about Cartooniverse’s comments, too.

IMHO when graves start opening up and people in their life-like form come pouring out, flying into the heavens; that will be a fairly good sign.