June 26th, 2010
11:09 AM ET

Survey: 4 in 10 say Jesus is coming back by 2050

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released a new survey this week that looks at the year 2050. Of note to followers of the Belief Blog is 41% of people surveyed believe Jesus is coming back by the year 2050.

"...the public is divided over whether Jesus Christ will return to earth by 2050. About four-in-ten (41%) expect Jesus Christ to return while slightly more (46%) say this will definitely or probably not happen. Opinions about the return of Jesus Christ are little changed from 1999 when 44% said it would definitely or probably happen."

You can see the results of the entire survey here and here's how the Pew conducted this survey.

Editors Note: This photo is from CNN's Patrick Oppmann: A statue of Jesus keeps watch over Point Aux Chenes, a small mainly Native American community in the Louisiana bayou.  You can find more of our oil spill coverage here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus

Next entry »
soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. Rich man

    I just can't believe the nonsense i'm hearing the these so-called religious people and how ignorant the really are. Why don't you all really do some invetigation outside of the box so to speak and you'd find out the bible, which you base everything on was written hundreds of years after all these supposed things took place. By men with there own agendas (to advance there own belief system) thats why theres only four orginal books from the bible as there were many books initially but man just chose these four which become problamatic. Also was written and interprited in many languages by men who had there own prejudices and there own agendas. (no book of women in there and there was the book of Mary's as an example. Besides talk to religious scholars and even they will telll you that the bible was never meant to be taken literally. Yet these idiots believe word for word. Rediculous! Can't you people think for yourselves?

    June 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      No, we do not believe the Bible literallly every word. We believe EVERY Word of the Bible though. You cannot take verses out of context; read the whole Bible with all the verses in unison.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  2. BUTCH123

    it is biologically and, for that matter, logically impossible for ANYONE to come back to life after being dead for one thousand nine hundred and seventy-six years.-that's really all there is to say.

    June 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Miracles happen all the time. Every breath you take was given to you by your Creator.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  3. LRoy

    I wish he would come TOMORROW, that's right...Lord Jesus comes on June 29, 2010. Since (I don't think) that's going to happen...probably not. But whether it's 2050 or 4575, it'll happen no doubt about that.

    Just be prepared for whenever and that's all. I think we should be more worried about 2012, at least in the short term.

    True followers from ALL religions (Catholics, Protestants, and Jews alike) should have no fear as we profess every week at mass.

    June 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      LRoy, just professing is not what saves you. Even satan believes! No; once we believe we must do the Father's will; work out your salvation with fear and trembling and persevere to the end.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • RAWoD

      Why not just cut in line? What folly.
      I think there has been too much killing in the name of a purely fictional character.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  4. randoguy

    @ reality,
    Your comments are appreciated. I will have to look up Crossan; sounds like I'de find the matter interesting.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  5. Rick Barszcz

    Folks, Just read the book of Matthew. I believe it's around chapter 10 when one of Jesus followers asked Jesus when will the end come and you will return? Jesus states (paraphrase) Not I or any of the angles know when my father will return and makes things right with the world and the wicked will be punished. I will tell you that there will be many signs such as country against country, less people believing in my father and me. Unending wars, world leaves puffed up with pride and not paying any attention to their subjects. Food shortages, the physical earth turned into runions. These are just the start of the pangs that will be seen before my father (Jehovah) will return and wipe away all the tears from the humans and punish the wicked.

    I don't know if this helps anyone or not. But as far as an actual date goes. No one but the father knows.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Bubba

      Yes, one day angles will turn the physical earth into runions, and we'll all be sorry. Whatever.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  6. JL

    "To those who do not believe no explanation is sufficient, to those who do believe no explanation is necessary." This is the essence of faith. Science and logic teach us the how not the why.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Dustin

      To ask why something exists requires a mind present to ask the question, because purpose is user defined. For example: why do the planets exist? Ultimately, they simply do, but to assign a purpose to them, some people would say for life to evolve on, others would explain to serve as future homes for humanity, or for their resources. Purpose and meaning differ from person to person, but it doesn't explain why people should choose faith over fact.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • RAWoD

      Are you seriously suggesting that religion tells us why? How delusional.
      It is well time for all of us to stop killing in the name of purely fictional characters.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  7. randoguy

    I've occasionally heard from people that there is no historical proof that Jesus ever lived. Not to completely disagree with that, but you might be interested to know that Tacitus, a first century roman historian, mentions christians as a huge annoyance. And Jesus' existance would have been a recent memory during the time he was writting. So I find it odd that during the rather intense Roman criticism of Christians, they never accuse Christians of making up Jesus.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:35 am |
    • Reality

      Randoguy, More support for your comments:

      From Professor JD Crossan, a former priest and one of the best contemporary historic Jesus exegetes:

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus

      June 28, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  8. SunnyGuy53

    1) Jesus foretold the future coming of the Son of Man; Whom He also called the Spirit of Truth, and the Comforter.
    2) The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins indicates that it will not be made so easy for human beings this time.
    3) Just as the religious leaders of THAT time were opposed to the Divine Messenger (Jesus), so will they be to THIS Messenger - including most so-called Christian leaders.

    Sunny Guy

    June 28, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  9. verify

    Question for Christians (and other religionists):

    How do you regard Scientologists? Do you think they are:

    - Insane (to believe that humans are a product of space aliens)
    - Misguided (to believe in what is in a book, written by a man)
    - Hallucinating (on the Tones and Triangles)
    - Evil
    - Weird
    - Wrong

    That is *exactly* how atheists/agnostics regard your beliefs. (Guess what, Scientologists think they have the 'Truth' too).

    June 28, 2010 at 11:22 am |
    • illlisten

      i dont know anything about scientologists except they got rickrolled at one of their rallies once and it was hilarious. and that i forgive tom cruise for his recent oddities, because a few good men was awesome. but, as far as space aliens creating humans, i don't believe that (so i guess i disagree with scientologists) but richard dawkins (one of the more vocal leaders of new atheism) does theorize that aliens could have created us. and as far as believing things written in a book... you'd need to make that more specific... because books happen to be very useful in learning.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:35 am |
    • verify

      Sorry, I should not have been so presumptuous to speak for all atheists/agnostics - perhaps I should have just said, "exactly how I regard your beliefs".

      And I should have specified, "a book, written by a man, with no proof."

      June 28, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • illlisten

      i totally understand reluctance to believe in the Bible, Luke, the writer of the 3rd gospel of the New Testament wasn't quick to believe without proof either. but i'm not sure what kind of proof you would be expecting for something that happened 2,000 years ago. and what form of transmission of the events over time would have been more reliable? book or word of mouth?

      June 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • verify

      This "God", if it exists, and is omniscient, knows *precisely* what it takes to convince me. It can't? It won't? Pfffft.

      Instead, I am presented with a diabolical cat-and-mouse game, and an imaginary trail of breadcrumbs to follow back into history.... Pfffft.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • illlisten

      i respect your reservation to believe things without thinking through them thoroughly. seriously. i don't like being lied to either- and i promise you, The Bible is incredibly clear that religious charlatans are everywhere- they were the reason Jesus was killed.
      i've had to keep a critical mind while being a Christian. so, with a critical mind, responding to your question about God being unwilling or unable to convince you. Scripture says that He's able to do more than we can imagine. so it's a willingness issue on His part. and the miracle (impossibility, as far as i can grasp it) of existence i think that's been amazing enough to the majority of humans that a deity does exist. secondly, His revelation of Himself, to the Biblical writers, is another attempt by the unmoved mover to show humanity His existence. there is room for doubt, i agree, but it's not like He's been totally missing.

      now why wouldn't He come to convince me personally or you personally? it's understandable that The King of the Universe wouldn't answer "how high" when dust particles tell HIm to "jump!"

      but He has promised to reveal Himself to people when they seek Him with all of their heart.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  10. The Awakening

    Joel3.....so the only way to salvation is thru Christ huh? see the biggest problem with christians is the christians. The spirit of God is within us all.....everybody has it regardless of what they believe or dont.

    In the end we go back to God.......No trial, no satan, no hell......and if this offends you...than you need to check yourself because not only are you judgemental its almost as if you hope thier is a hell so that people who dont believe the way you do will suffer....

    some call that nazism.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  11. Seriously?

    "the word God for me is nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish." Albert Einstein

    June 28, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Genius in one aspect does not equal genius in all aspects.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • illlisten

      "before God we are equally wise and equally foolish."- albert einstein

      June 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  12. loveandconscience

    As a minor in History and a major in Anthropology, I can tell you that there are no primary source documents or artifacts that prove Jesus existed. Primary source documents are things such as birth records, death records, etc. In the time that Jesus supposedly lived, Rome was fastidious in their record keeping and (at the very least) if Jesus had been born, his name would have been in the birth records – period. This is not the only example of where the bible does not hold up to research, but it is the easiest and least complicated to type about. There are some questionable secondary source documentation, but again – nothing that holds water when put to the scientific method.

    Love and conscience are very interesting topics. Love is a part of being human. Humans everywhere have the capability to love, whether or not they behave like it and whether or not they believe in any deity. Those two are not mutually exclusive or mutually inclusive. I personally have been married for over 10 years and have a wonderful marriage with a very strong connection – emotionally, intellectually, physically – all without the involvement of a supernatural entity. Conscience is formed by a person's culture, but more specifically by being taught right from wrong by their parents, teaches, authority figures, etc. That foundation of conscience is then developed and marked by brain development and the capacity of the brain to cognitively function as people mature. Children do not have the same concept of a conscience that adults do.

    As several others have pointed out, being a non-believer does not immediately mean you are amoral or unethical – indeed, I have a better moral and ethical foundation than do a lot of my believer counterparts. It does not mean you hate or are incapable of love. If that was the case, you would be able to pinpoint an atheist just by the way he/she acts. As a matter of a fact, in my experience, there are very few believers that you can pinpoint just by the way they act.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:13 am |
    • CatholicMom

      If love is a part of being human, how come so many people claim they don't know Love? Life sounds so joyless without Love.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  13. The Awakening

    The illusion of hell is by far the chuches biggest stronghold on the public. Without hell, the chuch would lose all power and nobody would have a reason to subscribe to a religious denomination. Im not an Athiest and I do believe in God. And its arrogant and distrubing when people who claim to be men of God can tell us what to do or judge us in his name. They dont even know..thier only defense is a book. I respect the bible as a teaching tool on how to live a just and righteous life. And thats all it is to me. Infact every religion in the world has some good points....yes even satanism does. I think I just heard a christians mind explode.

    God is not what these gradiose books say he or she is.....if he/she was....so many of us would be a pillar of salt right now!! LOL!! I know the bible like the back of my hand, I have been indoctranated into the christian lifestyle since practically birth and yet I am not christian. I do know this...God definately loves us.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  14. Joel3

    Dustin – We have much more than His Word in the book. The Spirit within us is absolute and undeniable. Something offered to any and everyone who seeks God. Sorry, but God can not be summed up using your petty "logic" which has no place in the spiritual realm. It's almost like some of you think like a computer because if you can't "google" the answer there is no way it could possibly be true, right? lol what ashame.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:05 am |
    • Dan

      So just because you say "the spirit is within us is absolute and undeniable" it makes it real? lmao what a shame.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Simply said and so Truthful! No one need stay in the dark unless that is what they prefer. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • Eric G

      Congrats Joel3!!! First, you lie about something that you cannot prove to be "absolute and undeniable". Second, you try to insult someones preception of reality as "petty". And third, you wrap the whole thing up with a condecending and arrogant dismissal. You have acheived the "Holy Trinity" of appologetics. Now, the educated adults can ignore your posts as the rantings of a person unable to have an intelligent conversation. Great work!!

      June 28, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • Dan

      Joel3- Do you believe in a fary tale?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • Joel3

      Eric G – Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but let's have the debate without any feminine tendencies, ok? I'm just keeping it real with you, your "proof" will not be found in any book Eric, it is only found within you once you get past your ego and start to make a serious effort to find the answer we are all looking for.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:21 am |
    • Eric G

      Proof not found in any book? Does that include the bible? Oh, and more insults in your last comments. If you are really looking for answers, you should probably not just make them up yourself. I would think you would want evidence. Perhaps someone of limited intellect has a lower standard for their preception of the world. Have you been delusional your whole life or was it taught to you?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • Reality

      Once again, some basics for Joel3:

      Also think about the logic (or lack thereof).
      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would your
      anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book
      or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:
      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatolloah Sistani
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran”
      x = Joel3

      more “logic”?
      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      June 28, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  15. Eric G

    To Catholicmom: You are right, you don't have to prove anything to me. I think our differences are caused by your definition of the word "truth". I prefer my "truths" to be proved through evidence, testing and verification with repeatable results. You have stated that your "thruths" are based in your belief. Science has not proven everything, and it does not claim to. What science has proven, they consider truths. Where our scientific understanding ends, you choose to use faith to explain the questions that remain. Science is using this method to discover more about the natural world everyday. Religion uses faith and dogma to claim that they already have all the answers. Science makes no such claim. I guess the best way to describe it is religion is writing the discovery process in reverse. They claim to have explainations for everything and then re-write their beliefs as science discovers the real explaination. So, when you reference something as a "truth", I expect you to be able to prove your truth because to use faith to explain a truth is, at best wishful thinking, and at worst, a malicious attempt to mislead others. It is not your faith that I have a problem with, it is your definition of truth.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Joel3

      Eric G – What difference does it make "how" God makes it work?? It "works" doesn't it? Ok, so please move on and start concentrating on your faith and building a relationship with Him instead of focusing on ways to somehow prove He doesn't exist, which you can not prove anyway and will ultimately make a fool out of yourself. Yea, I know it sounds a bit harsh, but some of you need to STOP TALKING AND START SEEKING GOD. Get it??

      June 28, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  16. Vijay Bhatt

    Reincarnation is certain hence based on the theory of karma one has to take rebirth to extinguish all their karmas to merge with the absolute reality. Almost everyone comes back in one form or another but only a very few escape the clutches of karma. So based on this theory it is not us who decide if one comes back or not but the individual’s nature decides that and than again HE can be born in a different religion too.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • Bubba

      It's all true! A couple of reincarnations ago I was Nero burning down Rome. Next I was President Taft, making my bathtub overflow. Come on people, get with it; if you could prove it it wouldn't be called a Faith.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • Todd

      You've got to love all the christians bringing up scripture to make their case for god. That's like me proving the existence of Harry Potter by quoting Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Afraid it doesn't work that way.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  17. Atomicbuddha

    What makes you think Jesus ever existed?

    June 28, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • Bubba

      The Romans mentioned his cult and his death in a history book. Nothing there about him rising from the dead, but they took credit for killing him.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  18. Jamie

    Jesus was a jewish man that died. dead people dont come back to life. if you think he is coming back i have a bridge to sell you.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:49 am |
    • Dan

      I got some land on the moon with YOUR name on it! woooooo

      June 28, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  19. Dan

    You idiots just keep on waiting lol.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  20. Ituri

    Thats a LOT of idiots out there... so much work to do.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:43 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Next entry »
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.