A Pew report shows that 27% think Jesus will definitely return within forty years, while 20% think he probably will. Hardly better is the 28% who say this probably won’t happen.
But how do they know this? What is their basis for thinking it? Christians have been thinking that Jesus is coming soon for centuries. Prediction after prediction has been shown to be false by the passage of time.
Nonetheless, we don’t mend our ways. We just keep right on making predictions.
Bible scholar and theologian Edward W. H. Vick addresses this problem in his book The Adventist’s Dilemma, distributed by Energion Publications via this EnerPower Press web site. You’ll see the various ways we try to get around the “not knowing the day and hour” statement made by Jesus.
This is a serious and lengthy discussion of the issue, but considering the extent to which people try to know what they cannot know.
If you are a church pastor, give strong consideration to holding a study on this topic. In addition to the book cited above, Dr. Vick has written Eschatology: A Participatory Study Guide, published by Energion Publications. It’s designed for a serious study group to get a grasp of the theory behind the study of eschatology.