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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. Jessica

    So let me understand how this all works. Everyone is a sinner, will be all their lives. However, those who accept Jesus Christ as their saviour, and believe in god – regardless of the sins they have committed – will be rewarded with heaven. Everyone else who does not believe in Jesus or God will be damned to hell. Currently, for those who have died – the believers get sent to the waiting room known as "paradise" and the non-believers get sent to hades. When Jesus comes back, he'll send everyone – dead or alive – who doesnt believe in him into the "lake of fire". All of his believers, will be resurrected – and will live for eternity here on earth (which will become known as HEAVEN). Im guessing once God turns Earth into Heaven, he'll stop all the crazy weather stuff that harms so many people...and life on planet "heaven" will be fantastic. Yeah, sounds plausible...im on board, JESUS I BELIEVE! Now, where are some kids I can molest!

    June 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • ETM

      Yup, that's the magical mystery road of evangelical belief in this country. Problem is, if Heaven really were full of fundamentalists, it would be Hell!

      June 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • Jordan

      I love you for posting that 🙂

      June 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  2. Craig Duckett

    It's funny how the date for Jesus' so-called "return" keeps getting extended. I remember reading THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH back in the '70s and how Jesus was supposed to be 'coming back' around 1988 (40 years after the foundation of modern Israel in 1948). Well, when that didn't happen, suddenly the year 2000 was the new 'magic' number, and when that didn't happen it became 2001. When 2001 came and went there was a lot of scrambling and, ah, 'creative eschatology' going on that attempted to posit Jesus' return according to the year he was born, or else the year he was baptized, or else the year he was resurrected, or else, or else, or else, as if any of these so-called religious 'thinkers' proclaimed anything based on reality. When 2050 comes and goes with still no sign of the amazing incredible god-man, there will be new dates pushed out ad nauseam. One of these years / centuries / millennia people will start acting their age and quit kowtowing to Iron Age/Bronze Age politico-theologico-ideological mumbo-jumbo.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • ETM

      Anything is possible in the magical mystery world of most serious believers.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Dan

      To cover all bases just say he will return in the year 9000 lol

      June 28, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • CT Thinker

      Dan, we can only hope that it doesn't take another 7,000 years for Christianity to die off. Technological advancements over the next several hundred years should ensure that...but you never know...

      June 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  3. Rock'in Roller Coaster

    So I guess GregB and ETM everything is all random occurrence. Everything to chance, no rules just social upheaval. You know what they say if you don't like the bed you lay on get the fu&k up and move to a new one. Better to believe in something and find out there is nothing, than believe in nothing and find out there is something...

    June 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • ETM

      There is a difference in believing in the possibility of "something" without embracing an obvious fairy tale and allowing one's life to revolve around it. It is impossible to prove the existence or nonexistence of God but simply being in touch with reality should disabuse us of any of our silly notions about Jesus, Muhammad, the sky god of the Old Testament, etc.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • Debbie Downer Combat Team....

      Everything tends revolves around something, some tend to think the world revolves around them, the Earth and all planets around the sun, other around religion, you revolve around none. That sounds not very fantastic.... Your right it is OUR notions but I do not find them silly.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  4. monkey martin

    "Hey guys! How's it going? Just forgot my keys. We'll have to do that nailing me up thing again real soon. See you!" Then out the door. That's what it'll be like if Jesus ever comes back.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  5. phnxrth

    Whether or not Jesus comes back has nothing to do with whether people should work on their problems in his absence. Would he ever want anyone to do otherwise? How many people believe they're helpless to do other than spend thier lives waiting, "just in case" Jesus returns? How about questioning that belief?

    June 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  6. Eric G

    @illlisten: Sorry, I think I found your question....."now- explain to me how it's more likely that unliving eternal (or not eternal) matter and energy developed what we know today than a very strong (in relation to us) and smart eternal personal being did."
    Are you talking about abiogenesis theory or the big bang?

    June 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • illlisten

      i mean what caused the big bang? what was the unmoved mover?

      June 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Eric G

      Big gang theory is published. I can provide refrences if you need them. The second part of the question has me confused. "what was the unmoved mover?" First you will need to provide evidence that there was an unmoved mover before it can be explained. You are making an argument from assumption. Are you making the "How does something come from nothing?" debate?

      June 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • illlisten

      sorry about the assumption. what i'm asking you, is your understanding of what caused the big bang.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Eric G

      I really don't know. Lots of interesting research being done in quantum physics and "zero point energy" theory looks interesting. My best answer is science is still working on it. When we have enough evidence and repeatable test results an accurate theory will be developed. Here is the difference between science and religion as it relates to creation/big bang....... Science doesn't claim to have all the answers because there is not enough evidence to prove it. Religion goes to the edge of scientific understanding and then creates it's own "next step" with no evidence to support the idea.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • illlisten

      then we both admit that we don't know, and that's a unifying agreement for this conversation. that's good. i believe that SomeOne who was alive caused the big bang. it seems to me that you very much do not believe so. can you tell me why not?

      June 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Eric G

      Because there is no evidence to support that theory.

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

      well i guess evidence is in the eye of the beholder, and the confirmation bias has some legitimacy for both of us. i'm going from the standpoint of what's more unbelievable to me.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  7. mrfruits

    He just went out for some smokes. He should be back any time now.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • randoguy

      Haha, what kind of cigarettes would he smoke?

      June 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  8. GregB

    Great. 40% of our population believes in fairy tales.
    II think we have a lot more to worry about than the return of your deity...

    June 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • Guest

      We think there about 15% of the population that worship themselves. Same amount that kill their babies by abortion.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  9. MrDLoomis

    Jesus isn't "coming back". There is little, if any, hard evidence to prove that he was ever even here! The amazing thing about all religions is that you have a book that says that it contains the "truth" and also says, "if in doubt, read the book".

    I am frequently astonished by the number of well educated, intelligent people who swallow the fairy tale of religious dogma hook, line, and sinker.

    The strange thing is that the same people who are devout to thier particular religions are athiests when it comes to all the other religions in the world. And, each one carries the same banner: Follow me, I'm the one true religion.

    Jesus may have lived, but the son of god? The savior of the world? I hardly think so. More than likely he was just another man, who, seeing an opportunity to spread his personal beliefs, did so. Right place at the right time, and a bunh of people believed what he said. The speaking in parable and all the double-talk in the bible further reinforces the possibility that he may actually have had a screw loose and the ignorant people of the age though that he must be telling the truth because of the way he talked. Or, he may have just been a scammer who seized an opportunity to gain some power over his "followers" and got found out, and was put to death for it. Nobody is that sure of the real history of that age. (And, please don't start quoting scripture to me!" – there is no proof that anything in the bible is true or false.)

    In any case, if there were a truly loving god watching over this speck of a planet we live on, he (or she, or it) wouldn't allow all the suffering that goes on.

    If people would live their lives to the fullest with the thought that this is probably all we get, they just might treat each other a bit better.

    The insanity of some sort of life after death is just that...crazy. When I hear someone say that a person "passed on" instead of that they died, or the really crazy notion that "he is in a better place now" I shudder. When they say that someone is in a better place, I simply ask them, "If that is true, then why aren't people lining up to be executed, or jumping off cliffs like lemmings to get to this better place?"

    If you have a choice to live in a nice, warm, comfortable house, or outside on a slab of concrete, (for the same price) just ablout anyone would take the house over the concrete because it is a "better place". So, why woulnd't you do the same with "heaven"?

    Religions are the worse thing ever foisted upon mankind...selective brainwashing, prostrating ones-self in the name of some bizarre "god". It's just astonishing.

    God is not great...religion spoils everything.

    -A former believer who came to his senses.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • ETM

      Excellent points about the logical absurdity of most religion and particularly Christian dogma as practiced by most people. For example, if we baptize a baby and free its soul of the taint of original sin, shouldn't we just kill the baby then and let it go to heaven rather than let the child grow up, sin and maybe go to hell for all eternity.
      Religion is absurd and all too often destructive. One need only look at the hostile fundamentalists in this country to see how religious doctrine impedes genuine moral, ethical and social development.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • randoguy

      is it possible to concieve of a separation between Faith and Religion? Is Faith responsible for all of the crazies that kill on behalf of their agenda? This seems like a very desmissive way of looking at a huge metaphysical question.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Eric G

      @randoguy: I think you can separate faith and religion. I think our problem is how people define "faith". They hear the word and associate it to a (for lack of a better name) "higher power". An example would be as follows........... How can I prove that my children love me? They can tell me they love me, and their actions could be consistent with actions to represent love. But, ultimately I just have to trust that they do love me. I think that would be believing something on faith that does not require religion.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Guest

      @MrLoomis–you're right about one thing....Atheism is a religion. Too bad about to hear about the brainwashing you went through. Atheists are sooooo prideful, why would anyone want to be around that.....

      June 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  10. heavy-hander

    It is clear as it can be in many (but not all) religions that we should NOT yearn for the day of the lord. For it is clear that day there will be turmoil, death, and tough tough times for the whole world including all of us. The pills won't help you then and neither will your iphone. In others words be really careful what you wish for....

    June 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • Eric G

      I only wish for cotton candy. Blue cotton candy. Becuse it's yummy.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  11. ETM

    No, Jesus is not coming back since the whole story of his resurrection is mythology, albeit a very conforming one that ensnares otherwise intelligent people into believing a fairy tale and thinking more about heaven than about taking the steps to make this a better world by 2050.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  12. Marius

    @URNUTS... You do have a basic understanding of Biology, right? You do realize that your body isn't going anywhere but 6 feet under and will turn to dust, right? You do understand that the reason you felt heat in Miami last week is because you took your body and the nerves in it with you to Miami, right? I hate to tell you this, but your soul (if it even exists) doesn't have nerves, not can it feel any physical pain. You should probably understand that the Hell referred to in the Bible is a metaphor and isn't a real place....

    June 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • The Middle Child

      Marius,
      You are not going to get through to anyone by treating them like they are 5 unless they are 5. Maybe you could have said this without the sarcastic tone?
      I just don't know why we are all trying to prove eachother wrong instead just listening to eachother.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • D.Pak Chaudra

      She blinded you with Science!

      June 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • illlisten

      the listening idea is good

      June 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  13. randoguy

    @ Marius,
    I think i see what your talking about. you don't want to waste your time, and I think that's fair. But let me break this down into even simpler tearms: The central piece of Pascal's wager is a cost benefir analysis. the potentail cost of wasting your time singing kumbaya is, according to Louis Pascal, outweiged by the potentail cost of an eternity in hell (assuming that were not talking about some little nicky playground). I still maintain that this is a bit of a silly way to decide to belief in God, but it's a non-scriptural argument, which was why I brought it up in the first place.
    On a separate note, despite what I've seen from some comments on this blog, faith does not neccessarily condemn people with contradicting beliefs; inter-religious dialogue has a few supporters here and there. And as far as your Satan comments go, you lost me a bit. Yes, according to Tradition and John Milton's Paradise Lost (What I would call Fan fiction) Satan revolted against God out of jeleousy, Lost and was banished to some firey lake. But he still lost, and never really had a chance of winning. Plus, short of the occult there aren't a ton of groups that are uber pumped about chilling with the big 666.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • Eric G

      So god creates humans and loves all of them. God gets challenged by satan. God beats satan, but rather than eliminating him from existince, he allows satan to torment the humans that he loves so much? So.......... God is not a very good executive manager?

      June 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • randoguy

      @Eric G,
      Well I think we run into a really upsurd potential which is thinking of a halloween costume version of satan, I'm not so sure that Satan exists in that form. And frankly i don't think that this whole firey lake thing is really whats going on. That whole free-will thing means that God permits man to make choices about how they live their lives, and that man can chose to turn away from God. The more understandable version of hell is nothingness. You spend eternity alone. Evil in't a possitive thing its a lack of good where it should be, so hell–a very evil place one would imagine–is simply a lack of good or existance.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Marius

      @Randoguy... With regard to the cost vs. benefit argument, you're right in a way, but not necessarily for the right reasons. There isn't enough benefit in the end because the end result is only based on what man invented, not anything actually proven. There's no evidence of Hell or even Heaven. A white light at the end of a tunnel doesn't equate Heaven, or Hell. So, would I choose to spend my life doing all the things I spoke about "just in case"? Absolutely not. I don't even believe that if I did, God wouldn't see through my "based on fear faith". Do you really think God would want to surround himself with people who spent their lives basing their faith on the "what if"? God would cast you down to suntan along with me in Hell if that's how you lived. But don't worry, I'll bring along SPF-5000 sunblock.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Eric G

      Hang on............Gotta get my water wings on for water that deep. Sorry, I don't buy any of it. But, if it works for you that's great. As long as it is benign belief.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  14. The Middle Child

    If you are believing in something just because you think you should, then are you really believing in it or are you just doing what you have been told to do?

    June 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  15. The Middle Child

    AND who said Jesus had to be white or any race at all. Who said he had to be male? If you think about those who had the most power around the time the bible was written were they not wealthy, white, men?

    June 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Eric G

      Wow. No, they were not white men. White men were pagans and barbarians back then. I suggest you do some actual research rather than just "think about it".

      June 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • illlisten

      eric, i asked a question above you haven't responded to

      June 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Eric G

      Please re-post your question.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • illlisten

      it's kinda long, it's up above originally posted to theawakening

      June 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  16. ManicZorbian

    Yeah, and 4 out of 5 dentists recommend chewing Trident gum. So what? Does it matter unless or until it happens? And the question is, which (version of) Jesus is supposed to return? Ask this question and you'll get so many different answers you'll just end up more confused than before you asked. A perceived "Truth" probably isn't the real "TRVTH". Why even worry about nonsense like this?

    June 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  17. URNUTS

    @ Maruis...I would so rather live my whole life singing songs and praising God and thanking Jesus then to be wrong and burn in hell. If I am wrong I do not burn in hell and if I am right I do not burn in hell. But if those unbelievers are right they are good to go, but if those unbelievers are wrong.............ouch! Sounds waaay to risky to me, I was in Miami last week and it was as hot as I could stand it, I can not do hell if I can not manage to do Miami so I am personally chosing to take my chances and believe in God. Opinion only! B sure to pack your A/C unit.....

    June 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • illlisten

      sorry man, but being that contemptuous about Hell really implies you don't believe it's real.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • ManicZorbian

      So the only reason you serve God is because you are terrified of him? What happened to "God is Love"? Your comment makes no sense.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • illlisten

      lol maniac, i think what you mean is "i don't understand what you mean" rather than "your comment makes no sense" what i was saying to this apparent believer is that if Hell is real- he shouldnt be so silly about it.

      and, no the reason i worship God is because i'm incredibly thankful for being alive.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  18. The Middle Child

    Just because we don't all share the same opinions doesn't mean one of is right and the other is wrong. Of course we won't share the same ideas we all grew up differently. We had different experiences, different cultures and families. I don't think name calling is going to get this blog anywhere. You CAN say what you want to say without bashing on others. We don't all have to agree. Just like we don't all have to agree on one religion. I don't believe there is a "higher spirit" I think for some people they need to believe in someone like that, and that is ok. Like "Richman" said, why does there have to be a right and wrong religion? What makes one religion better than the other? the number of followers? how long it has been around? I highly doubt anyone can answer this question. And if we can't answer this than we have no reason to bash other religions because they should be all equal.

    As far as

    June 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • illlisten

      if one says God exists, and another says God does not exist, one is right and one is wrong. but i totally agree we need to get along.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  19. URNUTS

    Jesus will deffinitely be returning first in clouds for the rapture, then later for the devil with hooks no less. But we all do need to be prepared and not wait until it is too late. For if we believe Jesus' finished perfect work at the cross in Calvary and we repent for our sins then when God looks at us he only sees Jesus who he is always well pleased with. Glory be to God for giving all of us sinners a way to reconcile our imperfect selves back into his kingdom, Amen! As not a one of us is without sin, not a one!

    June 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  20. Marius

    It was the Butler, in the Manger with the candlestick.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • ManicZorbian

      LMAO!!!!

      June 28, 2010 at 2:59 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.