Many Christians expect the return of Christ at any time today and his return has been Imminent ever since the pre-millennialism movements circa 1830. William Miller of the Millerite movement had Jesus returning and the end of the present age date set as 1844. Since that time many dates have been set but, alas, no return and no thousand-year reign on the earth has begun.
The New Testament writers are clear about the "soon" return of Christ over 1,900 years ago. Read what they have to say:
John the Baptist began to preach, he warned everybody to repent because
the kingdom of heaven was near (Matt. 3:2). When the people and their
leaders came out to see John, he emphatically told them that the Day of
Judgment was not far away (Matt. 3:7-12; Luke 3:7-9, 16-17).
John the Baptist had been imprisoned, Jesus continued to preach
repentance. The reason was the same -- the time had come and the kingdom
was near (Mark 1:14-15).
Jesus sent out the Twelve to the people of Israel, they were instructed
to preach that the kingdom was near. He warned them that they would be
persecuted because of Him. However, Jesus assured them that they would
not run out of cities to flee to before He returned (Matt. 10:5-7,
Jesus dined with the Pharisees, He told them that it would be their
generation that would be held accountable for all the righteous blood
that had been shed on the earth (Luke 11:37, 50-51).
the end of His ministry, Jesus told His disciples that if anyone from
their adulterous and sinful generation were to deny Him, upon His coming
in the Father's glory with the angels, He would reward each one of them
for what they had done by also denying them. Then, He flatly stated
that some of the disciples to whom He was speaking would not die before
they saw Him coming in His kingdom (Matt. 16:27-28; Mark. 8:38-9:1).
Jesus pronounced His seven woes upon the Pharisees and the teachers of
the Law, He again stated that their generation would be the one
responsible for all the righteous blood that had been shed on the earth
His Olivet Discourse, Jesus explained to His disciples that their
generation would not pass away before it had witnessed the Apostasy, the
preaching of the Gospel throughout the world, the end of the age, the
desolation of their temple, the overthrow of their nation, the coming of
the Son of Man, and the Day of Judgment. He told them that they needed
to watch and pray so that they could escape all the things that were
about to transpire (Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-36).
His trial, Jesus told the High Priest that he would see the day when
the Son of Man would be sitting at the right hand of the Father and
coming on the clouds of heaven (Matt. 26:64; Mark 14:62).
His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus spoke to the apostle Peter
about his own death. When Peter asked how the apostle John would die,
Jesus implied that John might not die until He returned. Afterward, John
wrote that some of the brothers believed Jesus had said that he would
never die, but John countered by indicating that Jesus had only said
that he might live until the Second Coming (John 21:18-23).
the day of Pentecost, Peter told the people that the fulfillment of the
prophet Joel's words had come. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was an
undeniable sign that they were in the last days and that the
manifestation of the Day of the Lord was not far away. Peter begged the
people to save themselves from their corrupt generation. Some understood
the urgency of Peter's words and in response were baptized (Acts 2:1,
later when he wrote to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul indicated
that some believers might still be alive to witness the Second Coming (1
told the Corinthians that there was not much time left and that the
world in its present form was currently passing away (1 Cor. 7:29, 31).
He informed them that the fulfillment of the ages had arrived (1 Cor.
10:11). Later, he said that not all of them would die before the
resurrection had occurred (1 Cor. 15:51ff).
Paul wrote to the Romans, he advised them that the hour had come for
them to realize that their salvation was much sooner than originally
expected (Rom. 13:11). Then, he told them that it would not be long
before God crushed Satan under their feet (Rom. 16:20).
instructed the people to be patient until the coming of the Lord. Next,
he stated that Jesus and the Judgment were coming soon (James 5:7-9).
Paul informed the Philippians that the Lord's coming was near (Php. 4:5).
author of Hebrews wrote that the Old Covenant was in the process of
passing away and that it would shortly be abolished (Heb. 8:13). The
regulations of the covenant were only to be applicable until the new
order had arrived (Heb. 9:10). The author further informed the Hebrews
that when Jesus entered into heaven it had occurred at the end of the
ages (Heb. 9:26). The Hebrews were encouraged to meet with each other
more often as they saw the Day of the Lord getting nearer. They were
then told that the time was very short and that the coming of the Lord
would occur without delay (Heb. 10:25, 37).
apostle Peter told the people that it was the last times and their
salvation was ready to be revealed (1 Pet. 1:5). He also informed them
that the Lord had been manifested in those same last times for their
sake (1 Pet. 1:20). In addition, he said that the Lord was ready to
judge the living and the dead and that the end of all things was near (1
Pet. 4:5, 7).
suggested that Timothy might still be alive at the Second Coming when
he charged him to remain faithful until that time came (1 Tim. 6:12-14).
warned the people that godless men had slipped in among them. Then, he
reminded them that they were in the last times and their situation was
just as the Apostles had foretold would happen (Jude 4, 18).
apostle John told the people that the darkness was passing and the true
light was already shinning (1 John 2:8). Afterward, he stated that the
world and its desires were currently passing away (1 John 2:17). He told
them that many antichrists had come. He then said that their presence
was a clear indication that it was the last hour (1 John 2:18).
the book of Revelation, the apostle John wrote that the events, which
were being disclosed, were going to happen soon. He then stated that
those who heard, read and took the prophecy to heart would be blessed
because the time was near (Rev. 1:1, 3).
Jesus addressed the church in Ephesus, He warned them that if they did
not repent He would come to them very soon and remove their church from
its place (Rev. 2:5). He told the church in Pergamum that they also
needed to repent. If they did not, He said that He would quickly come
back and bring judgment upon them (Rev. 2:16). To the church in
Thyatira, Jesus advised them to hold on to what they had until He
returned (Rev. 2:25). Jesus exhorted the church in Sardis to wake up or
He would come like a thief and they would not know when He was going to
come to them (Rev. 3:3). The church in Philadelphia was commended for
their endurance. As a consequence, Jesus told them that He would keep
them from the hour of trial that was about to occur. He then declared
that He was going to come back soon (Rev. 3:10-11). In his message to
the church in Laodicia, Jesus stated that He was about to judge them for
their lukewarmness and that they should be zealous and repent (Rev.
the end of the book, John was told that the things, which had just been
revealed, would soon take place (Rev. 22:6). Following that, Jesus
announced that He was coming soon and that those who kept the words of
the prophecy would be blessed (Rev. 22:7). Afterward, John was
instructed not to seal up the book because the time was near (Rev.
22:10). Jesus again proclaimed that He was coming soon. He then added
that His reward was with Him and He would give to everybody according to
what they had done (Rev. 22:12). Jesus closed by once more declaring
that He would come back soon (Rev. 22:20).
a doubt, the smell of imminence was in the air. These passages prove
it. Jesus said He was going to come back soon, before His contemporaries
had all died off. He did not say that He would return anytime over a
period of two thousand years or more. He said soon! All the authors of
the New Testament wrote and preached the same thing. Any eschatological
approach that claims otherwise, not only brings the consistency of the
New Testament into question, but also ultimately calls Jesus and the New
Testament writers liars. If they were merely mistaken then they spoke
presumptuously and should not be listened to or fear anything they have
said, according to the Law: “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the
LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which
the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it
presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:22).