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

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soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. Marius

    I'd like to address this comment made by another poster: "...if your a theist and your wrong, then who cares, whereas if your an atheist and your wrong, then your in a bit of trouble." (quote: Pascal)

    First, I care. I care that if there is no God I will have spent a lifetime of worshiping nobody; a lifetime of singing "Kumbaya" and "Maranatha" with a bunch of smiling idiots, all the while hating these moronic songs; I would have spent a lifetime of church attendance every Sunday (and sometimes on Friday) for nothing; I would have prayed my whole life to nobody; I will have condemned everyone else around me who didn't believe, and would have called all other religions false in my foolish pride; and in the end I will have lived a whole life full of religious restrictions for nothing.

    As for the Atheist portion of Pascal's comment, if it turns out there is a God after all, well, Satan rebelled against him for some reason, so it means that heaven might not be as great as you would think. Why would Satan have given all that up? And if he rebelled against God, doesn't that mean that Satan actually thought he had a chance of winning? Doesn't that also suggest that God may not be as bulletproof as you think?

    June 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  2. Rich man

    Eric, I would quess to say it was probably B. And Catholic mom I meant the people whom they talk about in the world of politics as the religiouos right, you know like Sarah Palin and Co.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Nuno

    The real question is, who impregnated his mother? God, Joseph or Holy Spirit?

    June 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Eric G

      Sounds like a Jerry Springer episode. Really now, just speaking on the sheer probability factor, which is more likely? A. All the laws of biology and physics were suspended (only once)...... or........B. A jewish woman told a lie about who she slept with?

      June 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • CT Thinker

      Eric, I agree with most of your posts, and this one is a good point, but I don't believe that Mary ever claimed that she was a virgin. The texts from the Israelite prophets needed to be fulfilled, so when the first approved version of Jesus' life was circulated (precursor to Mark and the other synoptic gospels) it had to be tailored to fit as many prophecies as possible, hence the whole story of Jesus' virgin birth in Bethlehem etc. Why do we know so much about Jesus' birth, and yet absolutely nothing about the next 30 years of his life, save one incident as a 12 yo? Sounds like somebody made it up....

      June 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • Reality

      Nuno, Joseph is reported to be the father of Jesus in the following NT passages, John 6:42, John 7:40-44, John 8:39-41 and Luke 2:27,33,41,48

      "In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Bruce Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamze-someone whose irregular birth circumstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural paternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-identity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

      John P,Meier [Marginal Jew I,220-22] discusses the virginal conception as part of his larger chapter on Jesus' origins. He earlier notes that both infancy narratives "seem to be largely the product of Christian reflection on the salvific meaning of Jesus Christ in the light of OT prophecies (p. 213). At the end of his examination, Meier concludes:

      The ends result of this survey must remain meager and disappointing to both defenders and opponents of the doctrine of the virginal conception. Taken by itself, historical-critical research simply does not have the sources and tools available to reach a final decision on the historicity of the virginal conception as narrated by Matthew and Luke. One's acceptance or rejection of the doctrine will be largely influenced by one's own philosophical and theological presuppositions, as well as the weight one gives to Church teaching."

      June 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Nuno, Joseph is reported to be the father of Jesus in the following NT passages, John 6:42, John 7:40-44, John 8:39-41 and Luke 2:27,33,41,48. Professor Bruce Chilton concluded that Jesus was a mamzer and Professor Meier of Notre Dame has concluded that the scriptural evidence is lacking as to who Jesus father really was.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  4. Rich man

    You might me right Catholic mom, about "him" not caring about the color of his skin but I would bet that if god was say black, all you religious people , especially from the so called religious right would care about it. Bunch of hypocrites!

    June 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Be more specific–what do you mean–so called religious right....

      June 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Eric G

      Come on rich man. That's a little uncalled for. Please do not judge the religious right based on the color of their necks.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  5. a Steve

    It's like what John Stewart said: Every Easter we all run around hiding eggs everywhere, so Jesus obviously really doesn't want to see any eggs around when he returns. So keep that in mind if word breaks he's in the neighborhood....

    June 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  6. Rich man

    Ok people I'm still waiting. A little insight; I remember when I was young I was the one always asking hard questions that no one in church including the minister could answer like why was I the lucky one to be in the right religion while everyone else in the world, the Jews, the Buddhist, Mormans, etc were all wrong. It just didn't make much sense to me. I'm too much of a realist to just believe this crap even when I was young and know my brother and other poeple who have seen the light so to speak (excuse the pun) are always telling me how come I didn't ask those kinds of questions back then?

    June 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      You, your brother and some other people may have seen the Light-too bad you preferred the darkness.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • Dustin

      Interesting how you equate Rich Man's questioning of his previous religion with "choosing the darkness." Exactly what is it about non-Christians that you view as being wrong? And why is he wrong because he arrived at the conclusion that he did with regards to religion? Did ever consider that you could be wrong? If the Nordic faith system is correct, maybe you should grab a helmet and a broadsword and prepare yourself for Valhalla. Or what Hinduism? Reincarnation into something else would probably concern you, especially if it requires significant positive deeds in life to move up. Or what about the Atheistic/Agnostic position? What if you're simply wrong and this life is the only one you have? Wouldn't you want to spend as much time as you could with your loved ones and enjoying your life instead of fretting over the return of a messiah whom generations upon generations have waited for... and hasn't revealed himself? Your path, regardless of how narrow you think it is, is not the only one.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  7. randoguy

    @ the awakening,
    I'm not really sure that its fair to say that the christian's only defense is scripture. I would take a look at a couple different "defenses". Pascal's wager is a non-scriptural argument for some form of theism, albeit kind of a cop out. It argues that if your a theist and your wrong, then who cares, whereas if your an atheist and your wrong, then your in a bit of trouble–I'm pretty sure that this was the plot line for a south park episode I saw once. One could also point to some supernatural experience, which obviously opens you up to a whole seperate box of criticisms. But I think from a purely philisophical perspective the division between theism and athesim boils down to a choice. There is no scientific proof for or against the existance of a first cause or some transcendence, but then again these things are ascientific. In that they are not fully accessable by experience and therefor experimentation. God, love and all the ilk are, in my opinion, either projected notions from the mind to make us feel better, or our minds evolved (with some teliological purpose) to be guided to truth. As it stands I think its slightly more reasonable to think that what we experience, or believe we experience to be transcendent actually exists.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  8. JL

    For those who do not believe no explanation is sufficient. For those who do believe not explanation is necessary. This is the essence of faith. Science explains the how not the why. BTW way the difference between Christ and "ancient pagan gods" is His cross and He has never been more relevant than in the 21st century.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Eric G

      You are almost correct. There are differences between jesus and pagan gods. Unfortunately, the difference is a not the cross, it's the spelling.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  9. LRoy

    No one today knows what color skin Jesus had. We had that question in RCIA. I'm figuring olive skin tone (I like to think of it as a "permanent tan), much like what other persons have in that part of the world. But that's just my own personal opinion. Probably has some sort of accent too. Anyway, when we die, we'll know for sure, won't we? Can't wait...

    Jesus is 100% God-100% human. Doesn't matter if he's three shades of blue, God is God.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      You are exactly right, LRoy! He doesn't care about color of skin and we should emulate Him in every way.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • Reality

      LRoy and CatholicMom,

      You are avoiding reality when you discuss the color of Jesus' skin. Once again think hard about the following historic, physical and theological flaws in the RCC:

      The Catholic Eucharist et al is not about truth but about the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born, and Brainwashed in orthodox mumbo jumbo i.e bloody wine, hairy bread, "pretty/ugly wingie, talking/singing, flying, fictional thingies, limbo, ascensions, assumptions, immaculate conceptions, virgin impregnations by theoretical ghostly gods, guilt trips of atonement/mythical sinning-original parents, food/wine replicators, raising bodies only to die again, imminent second comings that never come, imaginary wise men, slaughtering innocent children and filicide.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • NewWicca

      You only believe he had olive skin because you're narrow mind can't let you believe that he wasn't a caucasian on a 'permanent vacation' in the Middle-East.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  10. salmo8318

    “What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” (Matthew 24:3) Jesus followers were keenly interested back then and so are his followers today. However, note that the Biblical doctrine of the ransom sacrifice in which Jesus delivers or saves humankind from sin and death (condemned to death because of being offspring of Adam ROM 5:12) makes it impossible for Jesus Christ to return in the flesh as that would make his sacrifice a mockery. So in what way was Jesus "presence" to be expected? It would have to be figuratively. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus rejoined his father as a spirit creature in heaven and awaited for Jehovah to appoint him King. His first action as reigning king was to remove Satan and his demons from heaven. What did casting Satan and his demons to the earth mean for humankind? “Woe for the earth . . . because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—REV 12:7, 9, 12. Therefore, Jesus' "presence" would be obvious to those atentive to a composite sign... things that would occur on a massive worldwide scale such as wars, food shortages, pestilence, great earthquakes, increasing lawlessness, loss of love, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, etc.

    Indeed, Jesus has been present for some time and his true followers are busily involved in the work that he commissioned them to do: "And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth and then the end will come" (MATH 24;14). God's kingdom or government is what Jesus taught us to pray for and the means via which Jehovah will sanctify his holy name. Consider the prophecy found at Daniel 2:44. There we read: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”

    June 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  11. Rich man

    I see no one has challenged me, I wonder why? People people think don't just recited the bible, David. You sound so rediculous. You don't even know how those guotes you recited were actually said! Thats why you take quotes from here and some from there, you can make any argument for anything doing that, thats how ministers work it. When you study a subject you have to look at the archeology, the language, the culture,and all aspects which is what true religious scholars do. You don't take everything for face value just because you were raised and internalized to think that way, thats callled brain washing which is what religion does. And by the way how come if your god is so powerful he always is asking for money at church, just asking!

    June 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • Eric G

      I am not a believer. But, I would like to respond to your query with a very well structured response that I read earlier in this blog. I would like to give credit where credit is due because this is the most rational, logical response posted by a believer that I have found. It goes like this "I'M RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG! SO NANNY NANNY BOO BOO".

      June 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Julius

      LOL Eric

      June 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  12. Marius

    I can't believe that in the 21st Century so many of you still believe in the same gods that prehistoric man believed in when he thought that lightning and thunder was god's voice and punishment incarnated. What a bunch of fools.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  13. LRoy

    I love you Catholic Mom! You tell them, sister. (Thanks for the prayers, I need all I can get). Wish I actually knew you now...well someday, somewhere we'll "chill out" together fem-to-fem.

    And yes, I'm an adult, will be 48 in August (Leo).

    Catholic (from Episcopalian) for five years and counting!

    June 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      God Bless You! Isn't the narrow path beautiful?!

      June 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • Reality

      LRoy and CatholicMom,

      How do you find anything beautiful in the following?:

      Why the RCC is failing:

      The Catholic Eucharist et al is not about truth but about the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born, and Brainwashed in orthodox mumbo jumbo i.e bloody wine, hairy bread, "pretty/ugly wingie, talking/singing, flying, fictional thingies, limbo, ascensions, assumptions, immaculate conceptions, virgin impregnations by theoretical ghostly gods, guilt trips of atonement/mythical sinning-original parents, food/wine replicators, raising bodies only to die again, imminent second comings that never come, imaginary wise men, slaughtering innocent children and filicide.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • NewWicca

      A narrow path is easier to follow...less opportunity for your 'followers' to stray...that's the main tenant of religion. Don't let people THINK! They won't believe you...One thing sadder than a narrow path is a narrow mind...

      June 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  14. the awakening

    Self-existed??? Um....okey. You just dont want to go down that slippery slope to actually think on it.

    No wonder in the bible God calls you his sheep and annoits himself your shephard.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Eric G

      Lol..... I tried to follow this one and realized that I don't have enough bread crumbs to get home.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • illlisten

      did you all mean to post in reply to my response above?

      June 28, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  15. the awakening

    Reality- You lost all credibility when you mentioned Wikipedia that and quoting the bible. Once again the christians only defense. Never mind that it was edited, deleted and re-arranged by men for thier own approval.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Reality

      The awakening, The Wikipedia review was only one of many. With respect to Wikipedia, the reviews actually appear to very well researched and written. Check the references given in each article to verify the veracity of the information.

      Added checking can be done by reviewing the same topic posted on on-line encyclopedias, with many of these being free to all those with library cards. Go to your local library's website and look for reference sites like the Power Library.
      And there is always Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines to get up to date information on current events which are also reviewed in many Wikipedia articles.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  16. GI JOHN

    @ 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).

    Guess what? Just by saying what you just said you believe you have the truth too! You put your faith in your own feelings and the theory of a bunch of empty headed white coats who milk all you goats who follow them. A true follower of Christ is not following blindly. They have experienced a supernatural act promised by Christ 2000 years ago. You can laugh, persecute, joke, and poke fun at it all you want. But those who have actually experienced Christ know their faith is not based on just the Word of God or as you say "A book written by men". It is based on an actual supernatural change made to that person. All these all people who claim to have the truth too....their claims fall short upon further scrutiny. Satan is the master of deception. His tactics are very simple though. Put as many false religions out there as possible (including evolution)
    so no one will know what to believe and therefore distract people away from seeking or knowing the truth. However, God promised if you seek Him you will find Him. It is yourself who keeps you from finding the truth. You are your own enemy. God does not need you or anyone else who demands proof first. Seek Him first with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, (which is what the creator of the universe deserves), and you too will experience "The Promise" God gives to His children. Or you can just go on being comforted by your own wisdom and find out you were wrong when you breathe your last breath. Sort of like all the people who made fun of Noah's claims while he was building the ark. Jesus is coming back and has given people plenty of time to Repent. Light came into this world but people loved darkness more than the Light.
    Okay....ready go!!! Tear my post to pieces with your worldly wisdom!!! Who will be the first fool to make a foolish comment?

    June 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Eric G

      Do you think your god wants you to insult and berate people? Does he want you to be rude? You seem really upset.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  17. world cup jesus

    Yes, he will be back and I bet he is gonna be PO'd that the US got bumped from the world cup!

    June 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  18. Julius

    He isn't coming back. He told me he doesn't want to pay the check-in bag fees at the airport.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • Eric G

      He would get stopped by homeland security because of the color of his skin. Because, if he did exist, he was a person of color.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  19. Keef

    Sorry all..we humans come equipped with what is called a "God complex" this is the need to be saved from some higher form.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/ read the site..if you still believe in Jesus and all that..then you must either be stupid or ignorant..probably both..wake up people..nobody is gonna save you..your own govt. is killing you with food and drugs...look in the sky there spraying you with chemicals daily...wake up sheeple..so we can all evolve to a religion free world with no boundaries...

    June 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • verify

      Good site, Keef. I fear that many will perhaps visit it, read half a page, and stomp off. They do not want to know facts.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  20. PaulJoseph

    What poeple fail to understand is the fact that all history books have been modified and God with Jesus and the Universe are in evolution and there is no script to follow.Jesus has been killed over and over and will always be here on this earthplane until corruption is resolved.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Eric G

      Well, you are right about one thing. We fail to understand......... your post.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
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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.