Why Jesus Can’t Come Back in 2015 (or even this decade?)
An end of the year Ipsos poll found that 46% of evangelical Christians believed it was at least "somewhat likely" that "Jesus Christ will return to Earth" in the coming year. That was in 2006, and now eight expectant years later, Jesus still has not come back. Want to know why not and why he still won’t come in 2015? The reason has to do with several overlooked prerequisites to the rapture, until which the “end is not yet” according to Jesus himself. When you know what these events are, your grasp of prophecy will improve dramatically.By Tim McHyde
NOTE: google suggestions on 2015 prophecies to include: mayan, rapture, election jewish year conference bible
What's Coming in 2015?
It happens every January; a spike in visitors to my website. The new year makes people forward-looking and many of them "go to and fro" (= searching) on the internet (Dan 12:4) for new year's predictions. That includes Christians looking to know what's in store prophetically.
What is the biggest prophecy on the Christian mind? The second coming of Christ, of course (with the rapture no doubt being a close second). A large segment of Christians every year believe that "this could be the year Christ returns..."
That's not just my opinion after running a prophecy website since 1999. An Ipsos poll asking people how likely certain events were to happen in the coming year confirmed this.
Here's what percentage of different subgroups of Christians thought it was at least "somewhat likely that Jesus Christ would return to earth in the next year."
- 46% of white evangelical Christians
- 34% of Protestants
- 17% of Catholics
- 10% of the non-religious
(Note: The phrase "return to earth" used by the pollsters is an unfortunately vague term. It best fits the second coming, yet to those surveyed it could have been understood as the rapture. However, it matters not which one is referred to as the article will show below.)
What Surprised Me About the Poll
When I heard the results of that poll in December, 2006, my initial reaction was disbelief. I was not expecting so many Christians to think it was still possible for Jesus to come in the next twelve months given two things:
First, there have been so many years of failed predictions. Pretty much every year since Christ left, people have been hoping or predicting he would return. I wondered how people still maintain belief every year that "this is the year we will see Jesus..."?
Second, back then I assumed more Christians were aware of some basics of prophecy. For example, Paul taught that Jesus cannot "return to earth" until the "man of sin" (Antichrist) takes over first (2Th 2:2-4). Certainly, I thought, most Christians know that this "Great Tribulation" of the Antichrist they heard of must arrive before the Second Coming?
Apparently not, judging from the poll.
As I thought about it, I realized my decades of study of prophecy was keeping me from understanding the perspective of the average Christian. While I eventually hear of every year's prophecy predictions from visitors to my website, most Christians hear nothing of them. Maybe when Harold Camping put up billboards across America predicting the rapture in 2011, they caught that in the news. But that was rare.
How I Made People Made With My Response
So what did I do in response to what I learned from the poll?
I wrote an article, the first version of this article, called "Why Jesus Can't Come Back in 2007." I figured a title like that ought to get people to stop and pay attention.
In it, I explained why it was impossible for Jesus to come back in 2007 based on what Bible prophecy literally says. I covered the many missing prophetic events that have to come before not just the Second Coming, but also the rapture.
Most readers thanked me for shedding needed light on this confusing subject but some were angry. "How dare you claim to know such a thing, as if you're God?" or "Aren't you claiming to know the day or hour that Jesus said we can't?" or "You're a terrible person for saying this and dashing people's hopes."
I learned from this, too. Not everyone wants the truth. Some want to be left in their comfortable belief. If you burst their bubble, they may become very "unchristianlike" on you, just as Jesus warned about truth telling.
If that's does not describe you and you want to know what most Christians are misunderstanding about end time prophecy, then read on...
My 8-Year Track Record...Stating the Not-So-Obvious
Naturally, nothing happened in 2007 as I stated. Not that it was a big risk for me to say that Jesus would not come to earth that year. It was a very safe bet, like say, stating the moon will not descend to earth, either. The requirements for both events are simply not present.
As history shows, the truly risky proposition is always picking the year for Jesus to come back (something Jesus did say no man knows) or the fulfillment of any other Biblical prophecy, for that matter.
So after that year passed, I updated this article and went on record again for the next year, 2008, because Christians again expected or predicted the Second Coming that year. But just as with 2007, the requirements were not present and it did not happen.
And so every year since then, I have updated this article to let people know that the requirements for Jesus to come back that year are simply not present:
2007... 2008... 2009... 2010... 2011... 2012... 2013... 2014...
That's eight years so far of going out on record that Jesus will not come back the next year.
While it's no big thing of itself, when you consider what gets attention in the prophecy field, it is unique. You see, what makes news when it comes to prophecy is not someone like me telling people nothing is going to happen yet (and why). It is always the sensational predictions of something happening in some timeframe based on some verse.
Prophecy researcher cannot resist the temptation to think they might have found something in the Bible revealing when prophecy is going to happen. Whether it be a rare sign in the sky (Mark Biltz, 4 blood moons) or an obscure numerical calculation pointing to a date (Harold Camping, "May 11, 2011 rapture"), it never ends.
In contrast to that, I'm the guy who points out why things won't happen as they state. I point out the not-sos-obvious problems with all these theories, rather than adding to them with date-setting theories of my own.
How My Success Can Help You
What's the secret to my successful track record and how can that help you avoid being confused by the false predictions made every year about the Second Coming and other prophecies?
My secret is understanding there are many terrible events listed in prophecy that must come before even the Great Tribulation. If you recognize these events in your own Bible, too, you'll be far ahead of the prophecy teachers creating false theories. More importantly, you won't fall for their predictions anymore.
In their defense, it's easy to miss these prerequisite events, especially if they believe in the doctrine of "imminency." This imminency teaching states that the rapture can come at any moment without any prequisite event.
Note that this theory predominates not because it is plain and obviously found in the Bible. Admittedly some verses in the NT do show that first century writers hoped Jesus would come back in their lifetime. However, that does not mean they thought it could come imminently without any further event. On the contrary, they do not teach that and Jesus' own words say the opposite as we'll see.
Instead, the popularity of imminency owes more to how it is telling Christians exactly what they would want to hear. As alluded to earlier, Christians naturally hope that Jesus will come back soon for many reasons. At the very least they are fed up with this evil world and look forward to him cleaning it up. A teaching that he can come at any moment or any year sounds wonderful to them.
Yet here we are in 2015 without Jesus. Isn't it time to question and throw out the failed doctrine of imminency? If Jesus' coming was really "imminent" for every single one of the nearly 1,985 years since he left in 30 AD, why has he not showed up?
The Bible Reveals a Full Roadmap of Future Events
The answer is not at all commonly understood.
Simply put, contrary to what most Christians believe and are taught, Jesus said that there are are indeed prerequisites to his return and the start of his reign in the Millennium. Until these required events happen, he said that the "end is not yet/by and by" (Mt 24:6; Lk 21:9) and he will not be be appearing anytime soon yet. He cannot come until the end does and the end is not here yet.
Where do I get all this? Straight from the Bibleóbut only when read plainly and literally (John 10:35), and after putting any preconceptions (and emotionally-charged hopes) aside. This approach unlocks a whole series of future events described in the main prophecies of Revelation, Jesus (Matthew 24) and Daniel. When put together properly these prophecies draw a roadmap revealing what we are to expect to happen as God's servants (Rev 1:1).
Unfortunately, it is not easy to put the roadmap together properly. Many Bible prophecies are labeled difficult "mysteries" (Rev 10:7; 17:5, 7) or call for "understanding" and "wisdom" (Dan 12:10; Mt 24:15; Rev 13:18). As such, it is like putting together a large jigsaw puzzle —a puzzle where you have to scavenge for and identify the pieces first, if you will. The pieces to this puzzle are not all conveniently in one place and in order, but are scattered throughout several books of both the Old and New Testament somewhat haphazardly.
Similar to working with a real jigsaw puzzle, if you have one piece out of place, it can stop you from completing the puzzle and seeing the picture that it was intended to reveal. The more sure you are about that out-of-place piece being correctly placed, the more blocked you will be (think: rapture in the pretrib position).
If you do the work and succeed in assembling it properly, the picture emerges that there is much more on it than just the Great Tribulation, Rapture and Second Coming ahead that makes up the eschatology of most Christians. There are more events ahead than Christians have imagined. Importantly, most of these unknown prophetic events precede the Second Coming.
In other words, if Jesus' return to earth is "Event C," then it cannot come until "Event B" has already happened. Likewise, "Event B" will not be seen unless "Event A" has already been fulfilled. It's really that simple.
Distinguishing the Positive and Negative Timing of Jesus' Return
Now, if Event A has not happened, then this means the end has not even begun. In that case, the exact timing of when Jesus is coming is still unknowable just as Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 that no man knows the day or hour (read: exact time). Further, you can be sure that the end is "not yet" (Mt 24:6; Mk 13:7) even if you don't know when it positively will be. Anyone who says they know this "positive" timing is mistaken and should not be believed. Nevertheless, there are periods when Jesus cannot come which are indeed knowable. These, if you will, I would call the negative timings of his return. As long as the end times and Revelation roadmap have not begun, it continually rules out the next several years for Jesus to appear. This is because the missing prerequisite events take substantial time to play out; several years. This describes exactly the situation we have been in ever since the New Testament was written, in a holding pattern waiting for the first end time event. Unmistakeably, the end is "not yet."
If the body of Christ had understood Jesus' words on the circumstances of his coming, they would not be pronouncing or expecting the rapture or imminent return of Jesus every year. Because few believers have understood these overlooked prerequisites, each generation has naturally maintained hope that perhaps they were already in the end times and that Jesus could come back at anytime soon.
Then what typically happens is that we justify this belief through other misread prophecies. For example, some might see a world figure who seems to fit the Antichrist (like Emperor Nero) or a technological development that seems to fulfill the mark of the beast (like bar codes or biochips) and conclude that it is a sign that the time must be near or in their lifetime. That kind of reasoning has been used innumerable times and ways but always resulted in an "epic fail."
It is important to put aside these pseudo-signs and look only to the real milestones listed in the Bible if you want to correctly know when there really is something prophetic coming to worry about. Given the fact that none of the prerequisite end time events have transpired, it is safe to say that it is impossible for Jesus to come in 2015—or even the rest of this decade!
List of Prerequisites to Jesus' Return
So, what are these prerequisites events? Here are many examples (listed in reverse chronological order):
- Great Tribulation — According to Daniel 9:27 = Matthew 24:21, Jesus must return after a period of Great Tribulation. During this Great Tribulation the Antichrist will rule over the world for 42 months (Rev 13). He will force all the unsaved (Rev 13:8) to take a mark in their right hand or forehead during that time. Plainly, we are not in the Great Tribulation and no mark of the beast has been issued yet.
- Abomination of Desolation — The Great Tribulation starts 30 days (the 1290 - the 1260 days) after the Abomination of Desolation is stood up on the Temple Mount (Mk 13:14). The abomination refers to the Image of the Beast statue being erected for worship (Rev 13:14). Another unfulfilled prophecy, despite what many think the abomination is.
- Temple Mount Sacrifices — Similarly, on the day of the Abomination, daily oblation morning and evening animal sacrifices are to be stopped on the Temple Mount (Dan 12:11). These sacrifices have not even started yet, so obviously that's a major problem for Jesus to come back soon.
- Third Temple — Several passages describe a Third Temple on the Temple Mount during the Great Tribulation (Rev 11:1-2; Mt 24:15; 2The 2:3-4). The Antichrist is even described as sitting in this end time temple as part of his declaration of himself as God (2Th 2:4). Obviously, there is as yet still no temple or even a construction project under way for one.
Speaking of the construction, some say that everything is already being prepared for this temple and it can go up fast, in less than a year. Even if that's true, under current political situation they still could not break ground on the Temple Mount without the Arabs approval or a strong belligerent response of opposition. The Arab control and power needs to be broken first, and that is not going to happen without a war (probably the future Psalm 83 war; see below).
- The Sixth Seal — If you read Revelation 6:12-17 carefully you will see that it depicts the entire population panicking and running for cover in response to signs in the heavens and a tremendous global earthquake on earth moving every mountain and island out of place. It is obvious that nothing like this has happened since the First Century when it was written and when knowledge of the Lamb of God (named by those panicking: Rev 6:16) has arrived.
- Psalm 83/Isaiah 17 War - Damascus Destroyed — Before all the above events, a swift war is predicted in the Middle East between Israel and many of her neighbors. You do not need a Bible to tell you this as many secular sources expect one, due to the tensions between Israel and her Arab (and Persian) neighbors. The concern over Iran's nuclear program has only added to this. The outcome of this war will be the destruction of Damascus and several other major Arab cities and regions, along with much devastation in Israel. Obviously, the attack has still not happened because Damascus remains a city to this day.
Although this is not the full roadmap (as contained in my book), it does include the "Event A" from my earlier explanation: the Psalm 83 War. Until we see that event, the end time roadmap has not begun. This means we could still have years or even a decade (or two?) before the end times events start and finish with Jesus' return. For sure, as long as it is unfulfilled, we have a good minimum of seven years before Jesus can come back, which is the length of the 70th Week of Daniel time frame in which all but one of the events above must take place.
Common Objections To Saying The End Is Not Nigh
To suggest that Jesus is not coming for sure this year let alone the rest of the decade may sound crazy to many. Often they would point to the multiplying and worsening problems in the world as evidence that "the end is nigh"...(for sure this time!). However, social or economic problems are not one of the events on the end time roadmap. At best they are just reasonable-sounding speculations.
What about the verses implying Jesus will come suddenly and unexpectedly like a "thief in the night" (1Th 5:2; 2Pe 3:10)? If you check out the passages in context you will find that this thief-like surprise is only applicable to the world and not to the "sons of light and sons of the day" (1Th 5:4). God's children have revelation about the circumstances of the coming of Jesus just as this article has covered. If they keep them in mind, they will not find Jesus' coming surprises them like the world (1Th 5:4).
Some might argue that Jesus cannot come back over the next few years as contradicting "no man knows the day or the hour" (Mt 24:36). This seems valid at first until you think it through. You see, a prohibition on knowing when something will happen does not mean you cannot know many other points in time when it cannot possibly happen.
For example, if a friend tells you he will drop by on one of his days off but he does not tell you which one, you don't know the "day or hour" (which means "time.") Yet his day off is Saturday. So would you sit there on Sunday or Monday hoping or believing he might just come "today" or would you know he can't be coming "today?" It is the same with Jesus' coming. We do not know the absolute or positive timing of his coming, only a few times when he cannot come according to his own words. Jesus' coming has conditions and circumstances to it that mean he cannot come just any time even if we don't know the one and only time.
Another common objection is that it's wrong to tell people that Jesus is not coming in 2015 as it's tantamount to telling them they don't have to be alert, pray and stay close to God (Lk 21:36). However, this does not change anything about needing to always be ready and not slide into sin. The reason is that we all are mortal and can lose our life tomorrow through "time and chance" that the Bible says happens to us all (Ecc 9:11-12). Because we can "meet our maker" at any moment we always need to be ready as Jesus taught (Mt 24:44; Lk 12:40). Finally, Jesus himself is the origin of this message that "the end is not yet" or "the end is not by and by" (Mk 13:7; Lk 21:9) until you see certain milestone events. He did not teach "imminency" or to expect his coming every day. He taught instead constant vigilance to not allow yourself to backslide (Lk 12:45).
Rather than a disadvantage like that, there is a clear advantage to this thinking compared to the popular "the end is nigh" thinking that has people focused on something that is not going to happen. Some people are fearful because of the constant predictions about the end coming around every corner, every year. That anxiety can lead people to live under costly short-term thinking and make very poor decisions for themselves and their family. I've seen too many sad cases of this to count (including my own experience for a time when I still had not discovered what this article shared). It truly is better to know the truth and act off of that—prayerfully and righteously—rather than a misunderstanding that opens you up to constant false alarms or paranoia or influences you to make bad choices or live in dread.
The hope and expectation that Jesus is coming in the next year is understandably popular and persistent among Christians despite a "no show" every time so far. Unfortunately, this belief is based more on fantasy than fact. The doctrine that the pretrib rapture is the next event in prophecy is mainly to blame for sustaining this fantasy and obscuring the facts. That the Second Coming can happen imminently or without warning breaks Scripture (John 10:35) and should be rejected.
Scripture teaches that there are prerequisites or events that must come first. If we are going to put aside speculation and consult the Bible's prophetic roadmap, we can find assurance that Jesus won't be returning in
2013 2014 2015 or several years after that for sure...nor can the dreadful Great Tribulation come that soon either. There is simply not enough time in a year for all the events to happen.
It certainly is disappointing news that Jesus is not coming in 2015 or anytime soon after. The good part of this is that by the same principle, many bad things like Wormwood and the Great Tribulation are also certain to not come next year either! It means you can stop worrying about the end coming suddenly and unexpectedly as long as the situation of the past 2000 years of no prerequisite events continues. (If you are interested in learning all the things you do not have to worry about in 2015 without it taking years of personal study, check out the book Know the Future offered on this site.)
If you liked this article, you will LOVE my book, Know the Future, a comprehensive, literal explanation of end time prophecy read by over 21,000 people since 2005.
It explains more on prophecy than all this site's articles combined and is up-to-date in its 8th edition, in both softcover and ebook. Note: By buying my book you not only bless us both (yourself with understanding and me with support), but you also bless others with the new articles you enable me to write.
Tim McHyde is the founder of EscapeAllTheseThings .com and a blogger on Bible prophecy since 1999. To read more from Tim and not miss a single new article, please sign up for his free newsletter below.
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