Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Return of Christ

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has some fascinating data on Christian views regarding the return of Christ.

For many Christians, Easter is the most important religious holiday of the year — a time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and look forward to the Second Coming. According to a 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, fully 79% of Christians in the U.S. say they believe that Christ will return to Earth someday. There is less agreement among Christians, however, over the timing and circumstances of his return.

Second coming graphic
Data from a survey by the Pew Forum and the Pew Research Center, conducted July 6-19, 2006, among 2,003 American adults. Graphic based on 1,670 respondents who identify as Christian. For complete question wording, see the full report (PDF).

Regarding this issue, I think Baha'u'llah said it best:

"The river Jordan is joined to the Most Great Ocean, and the Son, in the holy vale, crieth out: 'Here am I, here am I O Lord, my God!', whilst Sinai circleth round the House, and the Burning Bush calleth aloud: 'He Who is the Desired One is come in His transcendent majesty.' Say, Lo! The Father is come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled! This is the Word which the Son concealed, when to those around Him He said: 'Ye cannot bear it now.' And when the appointed time was fulfilled and the Hour had struck, the Word shone forth above the horizon of the Will of God...The Hour which We had concealed from the knowledge of the peoples of the earth and of the favoured angels hath come to pass. Say, verily, He hath testified of Me, and I do testify of Him. Indeed, He hath purposed no one other than Me. Unto this beareth witness every fair-minded and understanding soul."
(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 10)