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. Elin

    Faith is a very personal thing. And by 'faith' I really mean freedom of faith. Freedom to believe in God if you want to and freedom to not believe in God if you don't want to. Any religion (Christianity) that forces their own faith down other people's throats whether they like it or not becomes a target of ridicule (see Christian bashing above). That is my problem with your 'faith' – all this talk of 'believe what my book says or you will go to hell". What kind of childish scare tactic is that? It shows an inherent insecurity in this 'God' you so blindly follow.
    Faith is a personal choice and a very personal matter – let people be. Atheist/Agnostic/Muslim/Jew/Hindu/Buddhist – anyone could be right. Let them believe what they want to believe and do not attempt to answer questions about the universe with your Bible because you do NOT know that it is the ultimate truth. You only believe it to be so. Most people bashing your faith out here do not care what you choose to believe in your own home. It's when you come out brandishing your Bible and claim that you know better than anyone else that people start disliking your smugness. Please understand that

    June 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • Don

      Very well said ... it will fall on deaf ears, but it's still excellent

      June 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • illlisten

      the personal faith of Christians in Jesus demands that they share it. thanks for respecting that.

      June 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • Elin

      I respect your faith as long as it does not encroach on my personal space. My faith is my personal space so please respect me by staying out of it.

      June 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
    • illlisten

      i hope the Christians who you know personally do respect your personal space. i would if i knew you. but a blog like this means you're going public, and we all accept the risk to be challenged. peace to you.

      June 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
    • Elin

      Evangelists do not respect anyone's personal space. I have never met an evangelist who asked me what my personal faith was before thrusting their beliefs in my face.

      June 28, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
    • illlisten

      i really am sorry about that elin. i wish i could say they really cared about you, but i know plenty don't. they were wrong, misplaced values. i really do hope you meet some Christian people who aren't rude, and will listen.

      June 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  2. Reality

    It is time to give up childish notions. Jesus was a simple preacher man who either suffered from hallucinations or had biographers who suffered from hallucinations. There will be no second coming. There will be an end point for humanity however but that will be caused by nuclear warfare, a wayward asteroid or an expanding Sun.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • Guest

      Keep watching movies, this will answer all your questions.....I know you saw it on TV it must be true. good one.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • Reality

      Guest, Like the "good" Christian, Mel Gibson's, the Passion of Christ? Or the movie, The Bible? Or the Ten Commandments? Or that ever popular Ben Hur?

      June 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  3. Marius

    @Brian.. Israel didn't restore itself. It was restored by other Christian-based nations. It's not a long stretch to understand that Christians go to great lengths to make things appear as if prophecies are actually being fulfilled, when really they're not. It's like when you tell your little girl that the Tooth Fairy will leave $1 for her tooth under her pillow, but you know the Tooth Fairy isn't real and won't show up so you put the dollar under her pillow for her yourself because you don't want to destroy the illusion.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  4. Brian

    He is coming back because he always keeps His promises. See Deuteronomy 28. In that chapter, God promised that the Jews would be punished for rejecting God (and blessed if they followed him.) When they crucified their own Messiah, God drove them out of their land. But God also promised that he would bring them back to the land before his return. Isaiah 43:5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth....
    The Jews have been an identifiable people for the last 2,000 years. What if God had said that he would drive Americans from their land, preserve them as an identifiable people, and then bring them back in the midst of their enemies 2,000 years later. This is a miracle with no precedent in history. Only God tells us what will be before it happens. Isaiah 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Reject God's word at your eternal peril.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • GregB

      If your deity is the creator of heaven and earth and teaches peace and goodwill towards men but yet condemns someone for not following his word, even if they have lived a good life and helped others, than he is a malevolent dictator and no such deity that deserves worship. He is the cosmic equivalent to a child with a magnifying glass sitting over an ant hill.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • Elin

      Hey Brian – why don't you read and reply to my post above? Oh wait, I said "a Christian who is actually knowledgeable about other faiths".. and of course Christians never feel the need to learn about other faiths because they already have the ultimate truth in their ultimate book. What bigots

      June 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bubba

      Yeah? Did He say how to get good reception on the new iPhone?

      June 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  5. Eric G

    My favorite slogan of the day....... "If Jesus is inside me, I hope he likes fajitas ’cause that’s what he’s getting!"

    June 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  6. Marius

    @Elin, The Bible says that anyone (including those you mentioned) will burn in Hell and suffer eternal damnation unless they accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. Oh, and you gotta pour some water over your head.. apparently there's a problem with lice or something in Heaven.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  7. nicegirl

    Catholic Mom, you seem to believe that those who do not believe in the Christian God are incapable of appreciating the world you believe He created. Or that those who feel love (or sand, as in an earlier thread) owe gratitude to the Christian God.

    I respect your belief that the Christian God consciously created the world. Let me give you a slightly different perspective held by some of us who think differently. It isn't that God either exists or doesn't exist, either created the world or didn't create the world...

    All things that exists- planets, molecules, creatures, forests, black holes- are aspects, expressions of one entity. Personally, I am as comfortable calling that entity God as I am calling it the World, the Universe, Chaos or Existence. This may sound almost like nihilism to you. It is almost like nihilism, but it isn't.

    Everything is possible and so everything is happening, in ways we can see and it ways we never can. Existence is terribly and incomprehensibly beautiful. You feel that- I'm sure you do- and you believe God decided to invent it. I feel that and I say it simply IS God, and no decision to invent ever entered the equation.

    I'm writing this because there are non-Christians on this board with an axe to grind. We aren't all like that. You and I are both little grains of sand on the same beach and we really have no reason to be angry with each other.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  8. no POPE lover

    f f no how can a mythical figure come back if it was never here except in the minds of brain washed catholics by money hungry pedophile child molesting popes and priests

    June 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  9. Elin

    I apologize for CNN's inane rules about posting on these forums. My first line read "believed in a faith other than Christianity"

    June 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  10. Elin

    CatholicMom/Joel3/any other devout Christian – Please enlighten me on what will happen to followers of other religions who have led good lives, never harmed anyone on purpose and believed in with all their heart and soul? Where will they go when they die?
    I see most of these forums fighting it out between Christians and atheists/agnostics. What about all the other religions that DO believe in God and in a lot of cases, have much better/older descriptions of life after death than the Bible does? Is there any Christian on this forum who is actually knowledgeable about other religions and would like to talk? I have nothing against atheists or agnostics – they believe what they think is best based on the evidence they can see. They do not force their beliefs on other people. I am completely fine with that. It's the fanatic Christian religion that annoys me with their talk about all other faiths (or lack thereof) going to hell. It's just mind boggling how a particular set of people can be so incredibly smug about their faith. I bet most of them actually secretly wish there was such a thing as hell just so they could say "I told you so". It absolutely boggles my mind. Like someone else posted above – If heaven will be full of these fundamentalists and their megalomaniacal bully of a God, I'd be better off in hell

    June 28, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • illlisten

      you're very correct, from what i've seen, about your description of Christians. my recommendation is to read through the words of Jesus, in the four gospels, so you can see what Christians are supposed to believe.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • Elin

      illisten – And what would that be? Correct me if I'm wrong – but Christians are supposed to believe that if they do not accept Jesus Christ (not 'God' but 'Biblical God') as their savior, they will go to hell. And they are supposed to spread the 'word of God' to other people (thereby displaying their contempt for the other person's faith)?

      June 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • illlisten

      elin, what i'm saying is that you seem to be interested in this, as a sociological issue if nothing else, you seem to be a free thinker, and you wouldn't be as independent of a thinker if you didn't read the four gospels in their entirety by yourself. and yes, even the boring geneaologies.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • Elin

      illisten – You got that right. I am a free thinker. If you can give me sufficient reason to be curious, I WILL read the gospel. Tell me with a straight face that what I posted above is NOT the basic tenet of Christianity and I will read your gospel. But if it is the essence of your faith, then I will not waste my time. A faith that outright rejects every other faith as 'lies' is not worth my time.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • Elin

      So people here will either claim 'God is in the Bible' or reject God outright. There are millions and millions of intelligent, educated, rational folks OUTSIDE America that believe in other religions. Oh wait – you guys didn't know there is a world outside North America, did you?

      June 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • illlisten

      the reason you should be curious about the text you talk about is because you are not an independent thinker if you are relying on someone else's conclusions about the text. that would go for any text on any subject.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  11. Debbie59

    God/Jesus/Buddah/Allah/Whatever – Religion is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated against humankind. Used as a means to establish order in ancient times, and keep the wealth and power for a select few, it is now one of the greateast sources of evil (religious ideaology as a reason for war/terrorism, pedophile priests, monetary scandels, etc. – do I really need to go on). Face it people, when you die, that's it, no heaven or hell, it's just over. Live your life now – nothing to come in "the next one".

    June 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  12. Carl

    I always enjoy good mythology. I doubt we'll see much of anything in 2050 beyond typical human behavior. Beyond the rantings of John and the second-hand quotes from another Jewish prophet written down long after his departure, what should we expect? Mankind seems to have a need for a purpose in life, and that's OK, but when that need generates something AFTER life, we overextend ourselves.

    My objection to this body and soul concept is that it implies separable parts of human nature. I'm convinced that the "soul" is nothing more than the integrated ability of the body to function. When disease, accident or force renders that collective capability ineffective, we are gone. Period. End of story, end of life. That's the process, whether it was Jesus or Ghandi, Ghengis Khan, or some unknown on the streets of India. The only thing that survives is the memory of you in someone else's brain.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • Eric G

      Well said Carl.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  13. randoguy

    Just so i got this straight. you are using a story, that you do not believe in to prove that you do not believe it....And did you have a question or am I just supposed to applaud you for pointing out that the bible isnt meant to be read litterally. if thats all, I agree.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • Eric G

      I would have more respect for the believers if they would just admit that, while they have read the bible, they read it like a menu at a restaurant. You know....."I'll start with a genesis (hold the talking snake), and for my main course, bring me a resurection. Oh, and can you bring me the first 3 commandments? I don't really want all 10."

      June 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  14. "Keep roll'in, roll'in, roll'in"

    I'll bet you 5 dollars there is more than meets the eye.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • Dan


      June 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  15. Marius

    @Randoguy... I wanted to also address the Satan issue. I don't know why or where you got confused in that one. It's pretty straight-forward. In mythology, Satan rebelled against God, hence the reason he was cast out of Heaven. Maybe we're not reading the same Bible, but in the Bible I read that was written. I didn't get that from Milton.

    So, let's assume this actually happened. Ask yourself why Satan would have done that. Why would Satan have rebelled against God if God and the Angels are all perfect as the Bible states. How is rebellion even possible in this perfection? Also, what events could have caused Satan to rebel?

    Then there's the question of Satan's "insane" attempt at wresting control from God. Satan was an Angel, and as such he would have known whether or not God was invincible or not. Unless there's office politics in Heaven as well, that is. So, if Satan knew God was invincible, what would have possibly caused Satan to ignore the outcome and try attacking God anyway? Do you see where I'm going with this? If you know something's impossible you don't attempt it anyway, because there's no purpose in it. As a "perfect" Angel, Satan would have known this.

    But I'll tell you why Satan tried it anyway. Because neither he nor God were perfect. Because Satan knew that God isn't invincible. Yes, Satan lost, but he was in Heaven after all, and God was surrounded by all his other Archangels who protected him against Satan. Assuming the mythology is actually real, that is, and of course if this is real there's no reason to not believe Zeus and Hera and Athena and all of them aren't real too.

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

      The idea of Satan and an eternal place of torment really makes no sense since it would mean that God does not fully prevail in the end. If Satan and Hell will always be around, then Satan will always have territorial rights over God. Perhaps this is why Muslims believe that Hell is not forever.
      Of course, all of this is just derivative of older mythologies about the "underworld" and reflects an attempt by many Christians to scare impressionable minds into compliance with given dogma.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • salmo8318

      Yes, the Bible at REV 7:9 identifies Satan as "the original serpent... the one who is misleading the entire inhabited earth". He's the one who lied to Eve (the meaning of Devil is slanderer) causing her to sin and likewise Adam. Prior to this they were both perfect human beings meaning they had the prospect of living forever in a paradise earth since they would not have grown old nor gotten sick nor died. Being perfect however doesn't mean that they were created as robots. The Creator in all His wisdom created them as free moral agents, i.e. to have free will or the autonomy to decide what right and what was wrong. That is true of the angels as well... they have the free will to chose to follow God or not. Had they listened to Jehovah God they would have proven the perfect angel that was slandering God (he was effectively saying God was lying to them and that they would become like God... as in they would be able to determine for themselves what was right and what was wrong) to be a liar. Note that the Bible speaks of myriads and myriads of angels... so imagine all these spirit creatures watching intently all of this unfold. The Almighty could have easily destroyed Satan; however, this wasn't a challenge to his Almightiness. Instead what Satan was challenging was God's right to rule as Sovereign.

      The perfect angel that became Satan (slanderer) was enticed by his own egotistical desires. What he wanted – to be worshipped (as can be seen from his attempt to get Jesus to do an act of worship to him MATH 4:8-10) was something that didn't belong to him... only to God. Also, the book of Job lends great insight into what Satan is claiming... that people serve God because of what God gives them (ie, not out of love). Just as Job kept his integrity so today many are learning what God requires of them and making changes in their lives out of love for God proving Satan to be a liar... providing God with an answer to his taunts: "Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me." PROV 27:11

      June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  16. randoguy

    Hey Fitz,
    Just a quick question bout Joey Smith. Did he really pull the golden tablets out of his hat while he was alone in the forrest? and whats up with the special clothes?

    June 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  17. ken

    Does any of this matter. Listen, If you believe then good for you, if you don't then that's fine. Both sides have the right to believe in anything they want, there is no point in berating that. It will go no where and thats where the fanatics come in

    June 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • ETM

      It matters to this extent: too many believers around the world are trying to impose their religious doctrines on others. Even in the US, with our short history of separation of Church and State, there are many people who try to force all of us to conform to their theological values on many contentious matters.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • ken

      Yea and that is the real issue. I have no problem with Christians or Atheists as long as they are respectful to each side. It doesn't mean either sidehas to consider the beliefs of the others' but they should at least respect the right to choose a belief.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Don

      Exactly! The problem is that christians can't keep to themselves. Everyone who disagrees with them is in some way evil and must be destroyed. Cursades/Inquisition/Witch Trials anyone? The only difference is they have more hoops to jump through now.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  18. Jordan

    it frustrates me to the point of tears that people think he is coming back, let alone that he ever rose from the dead in the first place. I hold faith that the generations of the future will antiquate this awful, backwards and contradictory joke that we call religion

    June 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • ETM

      Bravo. Reason, coupled with the Golden Rule of empathy and compassion, will take humanity in a much better direction than any organized religion. And perhaps with our minds open, we will really begin to learn more of the mysteries of reality.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  19. Rich man

    Your right on ETM and Mr DLoomis If I hadn't read your comment I would have thought it was me writing. This is from another believer who came to his senses as I grew up and did my own independant study of the subject.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  20. Bill Fitzgerald

    The second coming is underway, God the Father and his Son visited Joseph Smith in 1820 and set up his,(Jesus), church once again, never to fall into apostasy again. Hundreds of thousands listen and join every year. Find someone who is LDS and listen, pray, and get your own answer to the most important message on the earth today. The heavens are open, truth is ont earth once more.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • GregB

      I wholeheartedly suggest professional/medical help. I'm not even joking here.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:07 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.