(I’m asking this mostly tongue-in-cheek as a non-believer, but I do sincerely wonder what well-reasoned speculation there is)
When is the Second Coming of Christ? Okay, so maybe we “know not the day nor the hour” in which Christ will return, but can we figure out the month or the year? Do I have a few years to go before I have to repent, or should I head to church sooner than later?
There was a return of Christ in judgement upon Jerusalem & the Priestly establishment in 70 AD, which may have fulfilled the “this generation” prophecies. However, there seems to be an ultimate visible return to raise the dead, judge all humanity & manifest God’s Kingdom in Creation (either with a
1000 Earthly Reign & then the Eternal New Creation, or directly into the New Creation). When that will be is anyone’s guess, but if an AntiChristian World Dictator arises & defiles a rebuilt Jerusalem Temple, I’d be getting very prepared to meet JC.
Of course, I’m already getting prepared because even if JC doesn’t come here today, millions of people go to face Him daily.
Friar Ted’s interpretation of the “this generation” prophecy ("Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things [i.e., the Second Coming] be fulfilled.’’ (Matt. 24:34)) is a very dissatisfying one. In fact, I think it’s fair to say, from a lay perspective, that the prophecy is flat-out wrong, and vitiates the whole idea of a Second Coming. But hey, at least you haven’t missed it.
Semi-seriously, have there been any reasoned predictions? I’ve heard one that went something along the lines of: The fig tree represents the nation of Israel, Christ said such and so about a fig tree which means the generation that sees the formation of the nation of Israel will see the 2nd Coming. Israel formed as a nation in 1947, a generation is 40-80 years, therefore some time between 1987-2007 it’s show time.
Another I’ve heard is: Isaiah says to God a thousand years is as a day and a day is as a thousand years. Soooo… Christ is going to reign on earth for 1000 years (one day). God rested on the 7th day, the 7th millenium’s gotta be something special. If Christ is going to reign on the earth, he’s gotta, you know, come back. That means it’s almost any day now because the earth was created 6000 years ago, which means we’re about to start the 7th millenium - or the 7th “day” to God’s thousand-year/day confusion.
No one knows the month or year either (though a lot of folks have predicted it using various hairbrained formula). I believe there are supposed to be certain signs, though I believe that they weren’t meant to be taken literally. Its been a LONG ass time since I went to church though and decades since I was a practicing catholic so…
It’s particularly appropriate to be asking this now, during the first week of Advent when Chistians traditionally meditate on Christ’s expected second coming (later in Advent we turn our attention to Christ’s first coming, i.e. the Nativity).
There have been plenty of people coming up with formulas an prophecies to predict the time, date or general period of the second coming since the beginnings of the faith. But Jesus said several times in different ways that there is no way to know. Even he himself did not know the time of his return; only the Father in Heaven knew.*
So my answers to the OP is: I don’t know; so it’s better to be ready.