When will Jesus return?
Dr. Jim Denison
Martin Luther thought the Pope was the Antichrist, and expected Jesus’ return during his lifetime. Christopher Columbus thought the world would end in 1656, and that his explorations would lead a Christian army in the final crusade to convert the world. Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, predicted the rapture in 1910 and the end of the world in 1914.
Closer to home, Harold Camping wrote the bestseller 1994? in which he predicted the end would come on September 6, 1994. Edgar Whisenant published Eighty-eight Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988, and sold thousands of copies. Trinity Broadcasting Network president Paul Crouch predicted an apocalyptic event for June 9, 1994.
We have multiple end-times theories being taught and believed today. Preterists think the book of Revelation has mostly been fulfilled already; the Continuous-Historical school thinks different verses have been fulfilled at different times in church history; the Symbolic school sees the book as entirely symbolic, with no reference to literal history; the Postmillennialists say the church will bring in the millennium, then Jesus will return; the Amillennialists expect neither a literal tribulation nor millennium; the Historic Premillennialists expect Jesus’ second coming and then the millennium; the Dispensationalists expect a rapture, seven-year tribulation, then Jesus’ coming and the millennium. Each position is held by conservative, Bible-believing scholars.