Summary: It is important to know what the Bible says and doesn't say about Jesus' return. There are those who say He has already returned, others say He will never return and still others have what they believe is an exact timeline. Let's check the Bible!
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV (Please look this up in your Bibles and follow along)
(While they look up the Scripture ...)
Is there anyone here who enjoys the Advent Season; when we anticipate the arrival of Jesus on earth? Well, if you do, you should be happy now because we have been in an advent season for almost 2,000 years!
And in those 2,000 years would it surprise you to find out that Christians have found much to disagree about regarding the return of Jesus?
(But first let’s read 1Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Preterism - this is the theology that all of the prophecies found in the book of The Revelation are actually historical events that took place in the year AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome. Even though Preterism also teaches that Jesus “returned” it teaches that He did not return physically but symbolically.
Some say that Jesus will return at the beginning of the seven years of the Great Tribulation, some say half way through the Great Tribulation and others say Jesus will return at the end of the Great Tribulation.
Others have made predictions as to the date of Jesus’ return:
A Roman priest living in the second century predicted Christ would return in 500 AD, based on the dimensions of Noah's ark.
Mary Bateman, who specialized in fortune telling, had a magic chicken that laid eggs with end-time messages on them. One message said that Christ was coming. The uproar she created ended when an unannounced visitor caught her forcing an egg into the hen's oviduct. Mary later was hanged for poisoning a wealthy client. History does not record whether the offended chicken attended the hanging.
The Jehovah's Witnesses made sure, in 1984, that no one else would be able to top their record of most wrong doomsday predictions. The Witnesses' record currently holds at nine. The years are: 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and 1984. Lately, the JWs are claiming they're out of the prediction business, but it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. They'll be back. (1994)
1998 = 666 x 3
The book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988, came out only a few months before the event was to take place. What little time the book had, it used effectively.
After the passing of the deadline in 88 Reasons, the author, Edgar Whisenant, came out with a new book called 89 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1989.
All of this was done in spite of the fact that Jesus said,
Matthew 24:36, 42 NIV
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father … Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
Acts 1:7 NIV
"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority."
“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”
The point is, when the Lord tells you that no one will know don’t waste your time trying to find out.