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. jfonty1

    I wish Jesus was coming back today. What an awesome day it would be to meet my Lord and Savior.

    July 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • TexinVA

      If you did meet him, it would be a halucination and you would need to be put in a nut house. Stop believing in invisible fairytale people and use some logic and reason.

      July 8, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  2. Luke

    Elin – Oh, I know what it says. I've actually studied the bible very closely. Like what Nicolò Machiavelli said; one has to know his enemies better than they know themselves in order to defeat them. I think I'll take a pass on pouring water on myself to escape his wrath, however. I'm rather content living my life to the fullest with those that love me knowing that when I die, that I have lived a fulfilled life. And when I die, it will be just like before I was born, the ultimate nothingness. Frankly, I’m content, thanks.

    June 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Frankly speaking, Luke, you will most likely get exactly what you say you want. You are free to use your will…as you will. But I am not willing to let you go without a prayer for your soul because there is always hope.

      July 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Luke, you cannot administer the Sacrament of Baptism to yourself.
      When Adam sinned by disobeying God, he called upon himself and all his descendants a spiritual and physical death. Now, when people are born, they are born in the image of Adam. The Sacrament of Baptism changes all that! It erases all traces of the original sin and personal sins that were committed by the person prior to receiving the Sacrament.
      “And he said to them, 'Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.'" [Mk. 16:15-5]

      July 10, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  3. Luke

    Will you please post the hundreds of passages that fail scientific examination, condone slavery, genocide, child labor, women beating, child selling and other attrocities too so we can take a gander at those? In addition, will you please post the claims of creation that fall to Darwin? Additionally, when posting creation's claims, will you please explain how Adam and Eve's children were able to populate the earth if they had two sons? Ewwww – incest.

    June 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      In the beginning, with Adam and Eve, everything was perfect…God did not have a law about incest because in perfection there are no genes that would cause defects. Once man sinned and lost perfection, genes started to cause defects. People lived for hundreds of years in perfection.

      July 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  4. CatholicMom

    Everyone who is trying to sell a new book would use the site for personal gain. i think they would allow you to make comments on issues stated in the book if it relates to another post and is not way off the subject matter and is not grossly rude. Try it.

    June 29, 2010 at 11:12 am |
    • Reality


      This is not a new book but a replacement for the old torah of the 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis. It is essential that you at least read the review. Again, Google, The New Torah for Modern Minds.

      June 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  5. CatholicMom

    Something for you Scientist to enjoy reading:The Bible Is a Scientific Wonder...

    Many principles of modern science were recorded in the Bible long before scientists discovered them. Some examples are...

    Gen 15:5, stars are innumerable.
    Gen 7:11,8:2, fountains and springs exist under the sea.
    Lev 15:13, a flow of water becomes cleansing. This was not found until the 19th century by Pasteur in his discovery of bacteria.
    Lev 17:11, the critical importance of blood in the life process. It was not found until the 1900s, by Joseph Lister (1827-1912), that the immune system is in the blood. Prior to this, doctors bled people to rid them of poisons.
    Job 26:7, the earth hung upon nothing, the gravitational field.

    Psa 8:9, water paths (ocean currents) exist in the sea.
    Psa 102:25-27, the law of increasing entropy, life and death cycle.
    Psa 104:6-8, under water mountains exist.
    Psa 104:25, the vastness of the ocean.
    Psa 104:25, creatures in the ocean are without number.

    Prov 6:6-8, the ant harvests its food. This was not discovered until 1871 by a British naturalist.
    Prov 17:22, a joyful mind makes age flourishing. It was not discovered until recently that happy people live longer.
    Eccl 1:6, the circulation of the atmosphere.
    Eccl 1:7, the hydrologic cycle.
    Isa 40:22, the earth is round and a globe. This was not 'proven' by man until more than 2000 years after Isaiah wrote it, by Christopher Columbus, as the most popular story goes. Eratosthenes with his famous 'well' experiment in the third century BC, did make a close calculation of the circumference of the earth, indicating that it was round. However, man for centuries afterward still believed it to be flat.

    Isa 42:5,45:12, the expanding universe, GOD stretched out the heavens.
    Isa 55:9, the infinite size of the universe.
    Jer 33:22, the infinite number of stars.
    Lk 17:30-34, night and day at the same time on the earth. People thought the earth to be flat then. It was either all day, or all night for all earthly dwellers.
    2Pet 3:7, the law of the conservation of mass and energy.
    1Tim 5:23, wine is good for what ails you. FLASH ! This is a scientific 'breakthrough' announced by our scientists in February 1998.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Reality


      All your passages are vitiated by the New Torah for Modern Minds. Google it since the moderators for some reason will not allow the webpage review to be referenced.

      June 29, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • RonnieC

      Actually, I'd have to say that the bible is pretty much limited to what the common man knew about the world back when it was written. You cherry-pick your facts to make it look better than it really is.

      June 29, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • verify

      Stories from the bible are rich in fantasy and science fiction. Science fiction and fantasy authors have many times had ideas which eventually came to fruition: H.G. Wells wrote about automatic sliding doors in "When the Sleeper Wakes in 1899"; Jules Verne predicted video chatting in his novel, "The Year 2889", which was published in 1889, and Verne is also credited with a number of other predictions, including trips by balloon, helicopters, tanks, and electrical engines.

      Ancient people had a lot of time to ponder the natural world and try to figure it out - to create possible scenarios and hypotheses. Sure, some of them panned out. How about a list of the ones that haven't?

      June 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Howie

      Half of this is factually incorrect (all the bits about innumerable and infinite – not true, there is a finite number of creatures in the sea, stars in the heavens, etc.), and the rest is simple common sense. Don't really see why you would hold up this tripe as proof of the advanced science on display 2000 years ago. The Greeks and Egyptians figured out all the correct parts about 3000 years before your book was written. There is simply nothing that has ever been put forward by a religionist that could convince a rational 3rd grader, let alone an intelligent adult that any of this crap is true.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  6. Elin

    illstein – And for the record I am not criticizing your gospel. I am asking you what it says about a good man's fate after death. When you actually have an answer to that question, please post your reply. I am not interested in your inane attempts to turn the conversation around by challenging me to read your gospel

    June 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
    • illlisten

      if i tell you, you will not be an independent thinker elin- do you agree?

      June 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • elin

      Illisten – Agreed. Let's say I'm a delusional soul asking you to tell me what your gospel says about my faith

      June 29, 2010 at 11:33 am |
    • salmo8318

      May I offer a Biblical reply to "what it says about a good man's fate after death"? ECL 9:5,10 "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten." and "All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in She´ol [the common grave of mankind, hell in most Bibles], the place to which you are going. " So, if "the dead are conscious of nothing" and they don't have any mental processes going on, how can they possibly be suffering? This is true regardless of whether you are a good person or not. Dust we are to dust we return so says the Word of God. It is interesting that most people are unaware of the fact that the "Old Testament" says very little about people going to heaven... as a matter of fact many faithful people of old (Noah, Moses, David, etc.) never heard of such a thing. Going to heaven was a new arrangement with a very special and relatively few people; and those going there will have a certain work to do (corulers with Jesus in his heavenly Kingdom). (Wont get into this since its outside of the scope of your question).

      The supposed teaching of a soul that goes to hell [Hades in the "New Testament", and Sheol (as seen above) in the "Old Testament"] as a place of eternal torment is not a Christian teaching (albeit many supposed Christians teach it) and inconsistent with a loving God. This false teaching alone, with origins outside of Biblical Christianity, has caused many honest-hearted people to not want to have anything to do with God. Jehovah's outstanding qualities of love, justice, wisdom, and power cannot be reconciled with eternally punishing a human (regardless of how "bad" they may have been) in a place of torment forever. What the Bible does make clear is that faithful servants of God who truly make an earnest search for him and become obedient to his rulership have the prospect of eternal life (even those that have died will return in a resurection of the dead). However, its likely that certain humans will remain dead forever (as in they will not have a resurrection). For example, the people who lived during Noah's day and those who were in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and who were executed by the Creator himself are not likely to be resurrected.

      Now, as far as how God sees the death of those who strive to be "good": "Precious in the eyes of Jehovah is the death of his loyal ones" PSALM 116:15. A loving God has given us a guarantee that those who die faithful to him have the prospect of everlasting life on a paradise earth, and that guarantee is via his son Jesus Christ. "“Through one act of justification the result to men of all sorts is a declaring of them righteous for life.”—Romans 5:18 And even if you die, God can raise you from the dead. (John 5:28, 29). Now the question for you is: Do you believe that?

      June 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • elin

      What the Bible does make clear is that faithful servants of God who truly make an earnest search for him and become obedient to his rulership have the prospect of eternal life

      By 'God' do you mean the Biblical God/Jehovah (whatever you wish to call him)? Convince me that seeking God in Allah or Krishna is not the right thing to do. And please do not quote the Bible on this one.

      June 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • jfonty1

      salmo8318 Well this is false. If it was true and all I had to do was "make an earnest search for him and become obedient to his rulership", Then there was no reason
      for Jesus to die. Jesus is the ONLY reason we have the prospect of eternal life.

      July 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  7. HeIsGod

    @ kohelet – The only qualifications that we need to be saved is Jesus Christ, that's all.

    June 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  8. kohelet

    A person who meet God qualification will be save, whichever religion he is....Man who say that Jesus will come before 2050 is like saying that the thief will come before midnight....how bad is the security system that his house have.....

    June 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  9. stevie68a

    That silly statue that got destroyed by lightning proves that there is no "jesus". But even proof won't sway the BE LIE vers.
    Anything that disproves religion is ignored.
    The old testament starts with a talking snake, then a talking bush, why not a talking cat ? (Crazy Cat!).
    We are in a new age.....These BI Bull stories are hilarious! I go with the "Bi" but not with the "Bull".

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

      lol- i'm ashamed of plenty of the things Christians say, but i'm sure there are a few agnostics out there that are embarrassed by the claim that the destruction of the statue was proof of anything

      June 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
    • kohelet

      Go with your way ....but know, God will judged you also someday.......

      June 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  10. Moderate unbeliever

    So, when Jesus was asked how we should pray, when he stated the Lord's Prayer it was just a suggestion? And, you feel okay about praying and worshipping someone other than God? If you don't think you are worshipping the saints in your prayers, please read the common prayers to the saints and investigate for yourself...

    Do your own thinking for a change...it's why "God" gave you a brain...use it! The fact the the Church expects you to only believe their interpretations is a method of mind control...for the same reason that the Bible was only in Latin for a very long time, to limit the reading by the "common folk" and to limit the questioning.

    The term "sheep" is entirely appropriate when it comes to Christianity, even moreso in Catholicism.

    June 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Just because saints are very special in the Catholic Church does not mean that they are worshiped. Catholics do not worship saints. A saint is someone who has lived their life so perfectly in the service of God that they changed others around them while they were alive on earth. Their example was exemplary. If their life was so exemplary on earth, they can only be perfected to the utmost in heaven. Catholics do ask saints for intercessory prayers. For example, if your dad is dying, you may ask members of your church to pray for him. Why is this accepted? Why can we ask others to pray for us on earth, but cannot ask those who are far more perfect than us mortals, to pray for us in heaven? We believe in the Communion of Saints because we are family—members of the Body of Christ.
      Lk 9:29-30 – Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus: And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias. Is it wrong to emulate Jesus?

      The word ‘pray’ has two meanings. 1. To utter or address a prayer or prayers to God... 2. To make a fervent request or an entreaty… When Catholics pray to the Saints, it is the second meaning.
      We are citizens with the Saints and members of God’s household:

      "Therefore, you are now no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are citizens with the
      Saints and members of GOD's household: you are built upon the foundation of the Apostles
      and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief corner stone. In Him the whole structure
      is closely fitted together and grows into a temple holy in the Lord; in Him you too are being
      built together into a dwelling place for GOD in the Spirit."
      Eph 2:19-22

      Let there be no disunion and members are to care for one another.
      "That there may be no disunion in the body, but that the members may have care for one another. And if one member suffers anything, all members suffer with it, or of one member glories, all the members rejoice with it."
      1Cor 12:25-26.
      Here is a prayer that is common among Catholics. It is to our Lady of Lourdes...
      You are the hope of sinners and the comforter of lthe afflicted. Through your intercession I ask for health and strength of body. Bless me with peace of mind so that I can grow in wisdom and remain open to God's will. Grant your motherly intercession to all who are sick in body, mind or spirit. Amen

      June 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God.
      Jesus asked Peter to feed his sheep several times.
      I guess you don’t want what Jesus wants for us. Well, that is your free will.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  11. Moderate unbeliever

    Oh, and another thing:

    "we must look to the Church for the proper interpretation of the Bible" So if the Pope does the thinking, the thinking has already been done? How about doing some study on your own? You will be surprised at what you learn...

    June 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      So if the Catholic Church is the one who put the Books of the Bible together, deciding which were inspired by God and leaving out the ones that were not inspired, why is it that people think they know better what the verses mean than the Catholic Church? Jesus Christ prayed that we would one flock, not scattered into thousands and thousands of disagreeing denominations, all claiming to have the Truth. The Holy Spirit is not to blame for this mess…man is to blame…each wants to be his own Pope; so they take the Bible and do with it as they wish……

      July 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
  12. Moderate unbeliever

    Just one example:

    Please tell me, CatholicMom: In what scripture does it describe the veneration of the saints, and that we should pray to anyone other than God, including Jesus?

    June 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Not all Truth is in Scripture. For over 300 years we didn’t even have the Bible. With the reformation, came various heresies, and so there were break-offs, break-aways, etc. however Catholics did not disregard their faith of Old. From the beginning, the Holy Spirit through the Church has been our teacher and still is today. The Pope is our leader who speaks faith and morals to us infallibly. This does not mean that he is impeccable in his humanness. However, Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit will remain with His Church and bring Her into all Truth and that evil will not prevail against Her.

      June 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  13. CatholicMom

    Elin you wanted to hear from me. Nicegirl–you are nice!
    I hope this helps all of you understand that Catholic is Christian but in order to not be part of the 'mix' where some Christians believe 'this' and some believe 'that' which is confusing to many people who are not Christian, I want you to know that the Holy Spirit did not make this confusion–man did. Each wanting to interprete the Bible in his own way when the Bible clearly speaks to this confusion and says that we are to all be as ONE. There are now probably well over 40,000 sects that call themselves Christians. One look at all of us going off in every direction- who would know where to begin to learn the Truth? As a people of God we have failed the world terribly.

    And so this is why I call myself CatholicMom:

    It is not our place to judge where anyone's soul is going-heaven or hell, not even our own soul. That is for God to judge alone.

    Someone suggested that Catholics only have a Book of Scriptures for our faith in God. No, that is not true.
    The Church was established by Jesus when He stated the following in Mt. 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    The New Testament was put under one cover in 397 A.D.; this was decided at the Council of Carthage. Prior to this date the different books of the Bible were not under one cover, but they were scattered in different places. So this means, that for over three hundred years the members of the early Church were taught by means of tradition because the Bible as we know it did not exist. I think the Church had had 5-6 Popes by this time. The way the Church recognized the inspired Books from all the rest—She recognized Herself in them guided by the Holy Spirit!

    The Catholic Church thoroughly examined all the books that were in question to be used in the New Testament and it was the Catholic Church that decided what books were inspired and which were not. Catholic monks spent their lives copying scripture over and over again until printing was developed in 1440 AD. So this means that for over 1,400 years the Church taught the members by tradition. Even after the invention of printing, it was far too expensive for every member of a household to own a Bible. John Gutenberg printed the first edition of the Catholic Bible. It wasn't until 1534, that Luther's translation of the Bible appeared.

    Nowhere in the Bible does the Bible say that it is the only source of information available to a Catholic. As a matter of fact, the Bible states that we must look to the Church for the proper interpretation of the Bible. After all, the Bible cannot interpret itself, now can it?

    The Holy Spirit, acting through the Catholic Church, is our teacher. The reason why there are so many non-Catholic ecclesial communities is because there are so many different interpretations of the Bible. The Holy Spirit cannot be responsible for such mass confusion. There is not a "universal" Protestant Church. Some Protestants believe in infant baptism while others do not. The Catholic Church, however is universal, we have one belief system, and one leader to guide us.

    So, you see, we have the Church, the Pope, and the Bible. It is like a 3-legged stool—take away one leg and you are in trouble if you wish to follow Jesus Christ to the fullest.

    June 28, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • Elin

      CatholicMom – You did not answer my question. Where would a good human being who tried to lead a good life, never hurt anyone on purpose and did his best to help those less fortunate than himself go after death? Oh yeah – my friend is a Buddhist

      June 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
    • illlisten

      elin, you are apparently under the impression that what you value in people is the criteria for heaven (living a good life and not hurting anyone.) that is what's happening. you might call Christians arrogant- but you're just replacing their criteria for yours. this is at least equally arrogant.

      June 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • Elin

      illisten – I never said my friend will go to 'Heaven' and someone else will not yada yada.. I am saying I do not know what happens after death. I am not defining criteria for going to 'heaven'. I am merely asking what your faith says about this situation.

      June 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
    • illlisten

      ok. and i'm asking you why you would refuse to research on your own, the gospels entirely by yourself, as you criticize them. how can you expect to provide an intellectually honest judgement without reading them yourself?

      June 28, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • Elin

      illisten – What 'intellectually honest judgment' are we talking about here? The one that allows you to claim that the followers of every other faith are going to hell? Tell me this – have you read the Gita? How do you know what's in it and that it is not the 'absolute truth' then? How much research have YOU done on other religions? What gives YOU the right to tell anyone they will go to hell if they don't believe in your Bible?

      June 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
    • Elin

      Oh and still waiting for the answer to my question – What will happen to my good Buddhist friend after death? I might not have read the gospel but you have right? Enlighten me. Like I said before – if your answer (or that of any other Christian I have ever met) sparks my curiosity I definitely will read the gospel. I will not however read it just because you claim it is the 'truth'

      June 28, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
    • illlisten

      im not asking you to read it because i believe its the truth, im asking you to read it because you are criticizing it without reading it. as of now, you claim to be an independent thinker, but are not independent as far as your conclusions on The Bible go. in that way you are being ENTIRELY dependent on other people's interpretation.

      June 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Elin

      My question illstein. And again – I'll read your gospel when you do your research on other religions. If you don't want to – that's fine. But do not presume your Bible to be the 'truth' in that case
      Answer my question please

      June 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • illlisten

      elin, i already do research other religions, so that i can actually understand what they say. the best work i've seen so far is "God is not one" where the author, a boston university professor, with no affiliation, explores each, and comes to a conclusion, which has been made by many who read their own books: all religions are not the same, they make different claims, and attempt to solve different problems. i don't care if you read the gospels or not- but you're a straight up poser if you call yourself a free thinker and don't read them yourself. but that's cool if you want to take a hip title without earning it.

      as for your bhudist friend, and my protestant friends, and catholic friends and atheist friends, and my uncle who is at this point atheist- and ME, if i trust in something other than Christ. The Bible teaches (since you don't mind being dependent on my interpretation) that we are born sinners. we're helpless- we have zero bargaining chips with God because we dont have anything that He doesnt already own. He can't ignore sin, or He'd betray HIs entirely Holy Character, but He is love, and pities us. yes, pities us. i know that's not cool in America because we're so comfortable, but His relationship to us is pity. everything about us deserves eternal separation, but because He does love us- you, me, your bhudist friend, my mom and dad- He sacrificed HIs Son to take all the punishment for our sins.

      and if we trust in Jesus as our covering, we are rescued from eternal separation from God. Bhudism doesn't understand Christ as the only invaluable sacrifice for sin, and so it doesn't solve the problem, and therefore, because your friend, and my uncle aren't trusting in the only option for redemption and rescue, because they trust in their own way, instead of God's, The Bible teaches that they can do it their way and have their results, which will be without God. and this is appropriate because God created us, and we dont get to come to HIm on our terms. you will find Christian people who don't believe in Hell (separation from God) but that's because they are ignoring parts of the BIble. i dont blame them for dreading the concept, because it is terrible. but you wanted to know, so that's how i understand it from what i have read.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • illlisten

      i do research other religions elin. i posted a long answer but it didnt appear. long story short, the reason i am reluctant to tell you that, in isolation, out of context, without you reading the gospels, is because it's a terrible answer that sounds contemptuous when you don't understand where it's coming from. indifference is the opposite of love, so it's hard for me to flippantly type the gravest of teachings in Scripture, as far as humanity is concerned. if we don't meet God on His terms, we don't have a relationship with Him. the reason "being a good person" or faithfully living another teaching or theology doesnt have anything to do with escaping separation from God is because that's not what He requires. it's pride to say, i'll relate to you God, the way i want to. you don't get an appointment with the president and say, yeah, see if you can swing by my place around 7, you meet him on his terms, and it can certainly be said of the Eternal King that you relate to Him the way He has chosen. especially, when the terms He has set, is through faith in His Son, Who was entirely sinless, but took all the punishment of all sins. He's gone much more than meeting us half-way. to show contempt for this, would be ultimately prideful, as far as we believe. when soldiers die in battle, we mourn their death, thank them heartily. the kind of disgrace the miltary funeral protesters show from that church in kansas, can demonstrate the kind of contempt people who ignore the death of God's only Son.
      now, if this is all a hoax, the apostle Paul, a writer of most of the New Testament says that we are to be pitied more than anyone else in the world. so i understand that my only option is belief. while i believe this is true, i totally agree that as a human, knowledge isn't as simple as most people think. but that's a crude explanation on the isolated teaching you asked about.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
    • elin

      illistein: Appreciate the response. I wanted to get you to speak about that 'terrible truth' and it took some arm twisting, but glad you came out with it. Now here's my response: I too have done my research on other religions. I have read the Bible (both OT and NT) cover to cover. I have also read the Gita (which I assume you do not know about judging from your complete omission of any reference to it – is the Hindu religious text). I have been in several religious discussion groups and have read several other critiques of major world religions. Once again – I am a free thinker and do not subscribe to any religious faith per se. However I do like to discuss faith and it's implications in our lives. As for your comment about suffering being a difficult concept to accept because of the comfortable lives we have led in America – I was not born in America. I have spent a major part of my life outside America and I think it is fair to say that I know what it is like to not have material comforts.
      That being said, let's get to the point

      elin, i already do research other religions, so that i can actually understand what they say.

      What do you understand about Hinduism and Buddhism Illstein? Just trying to get a feel of how you arrived at your conclusions – blind faith or logical conclusion

      The Bible teaches (since you don't mind being dependent on my interpretation) that we are born sinners

      What made you arrive at this conclusion? Without using circular arguments such as "The Bible said it so it is true".. what in the gospel you urge me to read convinced you that this is the case? If I said that the soul is caught up in a karmic cycle and must be reborn on earth repeatedly until it is able to attain the absolute level of consciousness that unites it with the supreme being – how would you convince me that I am not right? In your extensive research on other religions, did you happen to come across the Vedas? Like I said before – I am open to your interpretation so feel free to tell me what exactly is there in the gospel that made you discard this view and believe that the soul is born a sinner – the Original Sin that Adam and Eve committed?

      and if we trust in Jesus as our covering, we are rescued from eternal separation from God

      What is there in the gospel that made you so sure that accepting Christ as your savior will save you from eternal separation? What convinced you that a faithful follower of Allah or Krishna or Buddha will not find their peace after death?
      You may say "The Bible teaches that they can do it their way and have their results, which will be without God." – but like I said before – this is a circular argument. You are using the Bible to prove that the Bible is right. The argument itself is so flawed that it does not merit discussion.

      And now for the best part:
      He can't ignore sin, or He'd betray HIs entirely Holy Character, but He is love, and pities us. yes, pities us

      So let me get this straight – God in his infinite love and mercy will condemn a soul to hell for the Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve. He will judge a person on their faith and not their deeds. He will send my Buddhist/atheist friend to Hell even though he led a righteous life. He would rather judge someone on a hypothetical concept of 'sin' and not on their strength of character or their moral uprightness? That is neither 'merciful' nor 'loving'. God, by your definition, is not merciful and loving to his children. He is merciful and loving to his worshippers. Here on earth we have a word for that type of behavior – tyranny. Much as you claim otherwise – you do not 'love' God because you cannot bear the thought of being separated from him in an afterlife. You 'love' him because you believe you will go to Heaven in doing so.
      If God is indeed what your Bible and gospel describes him to be – I (and millions of others like me) – think that spending eternity in his company would be Hell.

      If you have, as you claim, done your research on other religions (and reading an impartial view of world religions is not 'research'), then tell me why you chose to believe the Christian belief in Heaven and Hell over an atheist view of a mortal human existence or a Hindu view of an immortal karmic cycle

      June 29, 2010 at 11:24 am |
    • illlisten

      one of the things i understand about hinduism and the bhudism that followed, is the concept of kharmic existence. and the reason i don't believe in it is that, you're going to love this, The Bible teaches the opposite: one life, to be absent with the body is to be present with the Lord. before you accuse me of circular reason, calm your sarcastic self down and hear me say that im not using the Bible to prove that the Bible is true, i'm just saying that hinduism, bhudism and The Bible are in conflict, they can't both be correct if they say opposing things.

      the problem you have with God separating people who don't know Him is because you say that certain people live righteously. and before you freak out, im just telling you what the Bible teaches (not that it's right or wrong, but that this is what you will read) about that: no one is righteous, not one. if you don't believe that, than of course you can dismiss Hell and all the things you loathe about The Bible saying.

      as far as your idea that i love Him so that i can go to heaven- you're right on. that's exactly why i love Him, and try more and more to every day. martin luther said that he would rather go to Hell with God than Heaven without Him. heaven is where God is, and the absence of His presence would be despair, according to Scripture, and therefore no peace of any kind. heaven isn't a place for people who want to avoid hell, but a place for people who love God. so in a way, your idea about Him being tyranical isn't too off, except that He's the only being in the universe who could legitimately be a tyrant. when king george and kim jong ill are tyrants, it's wrong because their made of the same stuff as everybody else, and they aren't any better than us. God is infinitely stronger, more righteous, more loving, than even the best human examples of these characteristics. the reason it's a good thing in Christian thought that God is a good tyrant, is because He happens to be the only reason we were created in the first place, and therefore the only peace for His creation.

      June 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • elin

      'm just saying that hinduism, bhudism and The Bible are in conflict, they can't both be correct if they say opposing things.

      Agreed. Now what makes you so convinced that the Bible is correct and Hinduism/Buddhism with their theory of 'kharmic' (forgive me I had to) existence are not? Uh oh – my sarcastic self is going to love this – is it because the Bible said so?

      June 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • illlisten

      the big reason i believe in the Bible and not the hindu scriptures is because, from what i've learned, most hindus don't believe in a God. if i didn't believe in God already, i wouldnt believe in the Bible or hindu scriptures or any other religious book.

      June 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • elin

      And with that post illisten – you proved that you have never heard of anything outside your little Christian world. It is easy to make stuff up about 'research' on other religions hiding behind your keyboard. I knew when you mentioned 'kharmic cycle' the extent of your knowledge on other faiths. You would at least have known how to spell the darn word.
      Hindus DO believe in God. He just isn't a bearded old man sitting in Heaven – waiting for Judgment Day. Their concept of God is slightly different though that might be too much for your limited intellectual capacity to grasp. They believe in a supreme being they call "Brahman". He is the one we seek to unite with during our lifetime. The soul seeks to grow in consciousness until it can find Brahman. If it does not succeed, it comes back in a karmic cycle to spend another lifetime in this mortal world.
      All souls are equal in Hinduism. A Christian may attain 'moksha' or liberation from the karmic cycle by faithfully following Jesus Christ. A Muslim may do the same by being believing in Allah. All souls are equal because they all originated from the same supreme being.

      So there illisten – You believe in the Bible because it is the only thing you have ever known. I personally have no problem with that. But do not presume to 'save' followers of other faiths or non believers who have done enough research to believe what they do. Respect that.

      I am done arguing with your ill informed self. It was a lost cause from the beginning but at least I made you display your ignorance on a public forum.

      Peace out

      June 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • illlisten

      you've had your mind made up since the beginning about my motives and beliefs, and understandings – and since you have had your mind made up the whole time, it allows you to claim proof when there's no proof at all. that's lazy thinking and i appreciate that you have demonstrated it- since you proved that not only Christian people prematurely jump to conclusions. i do pity you though, and it has nothing to do with faith. you seem very frustrated, and very insulting- and that is certainly easy to do while hiding behind a keyboard. i won't fake benevolence and wish you peace. but i can promise you this, because it's bigger than personality conflicts and tempers on a public forum. i honestly do hope The Truth finds you- and more of me.

      June 29, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • elin

      Actually I'm still hopeful that some day I will meet the intelligent Christian who will not sidestep pertinent questions. Once again – believe what you will but do not attempt to questions other people's beliefs with your limited knowledge. You are attacking belief systems you know nothing about (amply demonstrated above)

      I had a bias yes. But I gave you a fair chance to tell me what you knew. When that turned out to be incorrect, I took the liberty to correct you. Had your conversation started in a non argumentative tone, my correction would not have been condescending. Sadly, that was not the case

      June 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  14. AEddy

    I doubt it was true 2000 years ago and i doubt it's true now. If Jesus is coming back why would he come back in your lifetime? Why is your religion the only correct one? Man it sucks to worship the Quran (which has more followers than the Catholic faith) who should tell all those people that they're going to hell? I wonder if they know.. I'm not going to, they'll probably behead me. And I hope we're all still praying for the Vikings and people that worshiped the Olympians.. It only took us a 1000 years to figure out Apollo didn't carry the sun across the sky every day. When do you think we'll figure out that some dude in the year 27ad didn't walk on water. Look i'm not trying to rain on your parade.. And in this world some people are meant to be leaders (those that wrote the bible, and subsequently lead millions of people to die because of it over 2000 or so years), and some just blindly follow the leaders. Just think.. those of you that blindly follow the bible are the same type of people that would of escorted those nice jews around the year 1942.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  15. Mohammad

    The most interesting point to note is that how many Christian knows that Muslims and Christian are the only religion who believes that Jesus(In Islam his name is called Issa Peace Be Upon Him) will come back.

    We Muslims believe that Jesus is the only person who will be able to defeat Anti Christ. For both the religion he is the Messiah for the world but in different prospects. We both will join forces against the Anti Christ army under one banner.

    In Islam Jesus peace be upon him will back because he did not die on the cross that day. God took him and he is been living in heaven until the right time.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  16. Diane

    I do believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. In times of joy and in times of pain my faith in Jesus, the son of God who came to earth to give us the greatest example of love, has sustained me. I hope and pray that if anyone reading this is searching for something special, searching a love that is unconditional, I encourage you to give Jesus a try. Call on him, ask Him to show himself to your heart and He will.

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

      Hey Diane- Did you by any chance give Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism 'a try'? No? I didn't think so.Then take your hocus pocus and put it back where it belongs – in your own home

      June 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • randoguy

      easy Elin,
      If someone finds peace in something that you don't that doesnt give you the right to harass them. Your hostility is not needed.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • Elin

      Randoguy – My only problem is with people attempting to force me to 'find peace'. What if I already have found peace on something you know nothing about? That's right – you DO NOT know best so don't ruffle my feathers and I won't ruffle yours. It's that simple. Believe what you will in your home but don't 'encourage me to give it a try' unless you yourself have given everything else a 'try' and decided that Christianity worked better than anything else

      June 28, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • randoguy

      Your right to say that everyone ought to have a freedom of faith–be free to chose what they will–and I certainly hope what you do find peace. And no one should tell you how to do that, but jumping on someone for making a suggestion is a bit harsh. You might be well served to go back and read the post you got so offended by and ask yourself if it was a hand swatting away your idea or an olive branch.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • Elin

      Randoguy – It was not a hand swatting away my idea. If it was, I would at least have something to debate on. It was a hand that knows absolutely nothing about 'my idea' and yet decided to come to me with an 'olive branch'. That kind of ignorance deserves hostility.

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

      haha, ok.
      Agreed to disagree. I'm out.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
    • Diane

      @Elin it seems you have taken great offense at something that was not intended. I will not take offense that you assumed that I have not been introduced or tried other religions. Someone personal experience is not a debate. I would not assume anything about you, nor was my comment directed at you personally. I gather from your comments that what I stated would not apply to you. It seems you are content where you are and that is great. I am not understanding wear I would deserve "hostility". It is unfortunate that you felt my comment was in some way of forcing my opinion or idea on someone. It was simply a comment of how I felt and wanted share just as others where sharing. If someone from another religion did the same I would respect their personal feeling of wanting others to feel the peace they feel. However, you have a right to state your opinion as well. I respect that fully. I just wanted to clarify that it was not a comment to condemn but a comment to invite. There is enough hostility around, II can respectfully agree to disagree as Randoguy stated, I hope you feel the same.

      June 30, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  17. Maggie

    When Will
    God’s Kingdom Come?
    “LORD, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” (Acts 1:6) The apostles were eager to know when Jesus would establish his Kingdom. Today, some 2,000 years later, people are still eager to know: When will God’s Kingdom come?

    Since Jesus made the Kingdom the theme of his preaching, you might expect that he discussed this question. And indeed he did! He spoke extensively about a marked period of time that he called his “presence.” (Matthew 24:37) That presence is closely tied to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. What is this presence? Let us consider four truths the Bible reveals about the presence of Christ.

    1. Christ’s presence would begin a long time after his death. Jesus gave an illustration in which he likened himself to a man who “traveled to a distant land to secure kingly power,” or to “secure a kingdom.” (Luke 19:12; footnote) How was that prophetic illustration fulfilled? Well, Jesus died and was resurrected; then he traveled to the “distant land,” that is, heaven. As Jesus foretold in a similar illustration, his return in kingly power would come only “after a long time.”—Matthew 25:19.

    Some years after Jesus ascended to heaven, the apostle Paul wrote: “This man [Jesus] offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet.” (Hebrews 10:12, 13) So a lengthy period of waiting followed Jesus’ arrival in heaven. The wait finally ended when Jehovah God made his Son the King of the long-promised Messianic Kingdom. That was when Christ’s presence began. Would humans on earth see this momentous event?

    2. The presence is invisible to human eyes. Remember, Jesus discussed the sign of his presence. (Matthew 24:3) If his presence were visible to human eyes, would a sign be needed? To illustrate: Imagine that you are traveling to see the ocean. You may see road signs directing you along the way, but once you are at the shore, standing at the water’s edge with the vast expanse of water stretching out to the horizon, would you expect to see a sign with a big arrow pointing ahead, emblazoned with the word “Ocean”? Of course not! Why have a sign to point out what you can easily identify with your eyes?

    Jesus described the sign of his presence, not to point out something that humans could see with their eyes, but to help them discern something that would occur in heaven. Thus, Jesus said: “The kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness.” (Luke 17:20) How, then, would the sign show those on earth that Christ’s presence had begun?

    3. Jesus’ presence would be marked by a time of profound troubles here on earth. Jesus said that his presence as King in heaven would be marked on earth by wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences, and lawlessness. (Matthew 24:7-12; Luke 21:10, 11) What would cause all this misery? The Bible explains that Satan, “the ruler of this world,” is full of rage because he knows that his time is very short now that Christ’s presence as King has begun. (John 12:31; Revelation 12:9, 12) Such visible evidence of Satan’s rage and of Christ’s presence has been abundant in our time. Especially since 1914, a year that historians acknowledge was a turning point, has this evidence appeared on an unprecedented and global scale.

    All of that may sound like bad news, but it is not. It means that the Messianic Kingdom is ruling now in heaven. Very soon, that government will exercise its rule right here over all the earth. How, though, would people know about that Kingdom in order to accept its rule and become its subjects?

    You people need to understand your bible stop saying nonsense. Read your bible and ask for holy spirit to understand. The time left has been reduce. do not worry God will not be late.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  18. Bubba

    Google "Millerites" if you've never heard of them. They KNEW He was coming back.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  19. CM

    This just in, 4 in 10 people are delusional and hysterical.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  20. Saganhill

    He is DEAD! He will never return. Unless you actually beleive in that religious dogma about a grey haired old man who lives in the sky. I even question Jesus's existance. There is no mention of him in any secular writtings.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bubba

      Sure there is. Tacitus mentioned him. Said he was dead.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • randoguy

      I said something to this affect earlier, but Its pretty probable, god or not, that a guy named yeshewa was walkin around about 2,000 years ago. Early Roman historians, like Tacitus, talk about the early Christian movement and how annoying it was. They, more than anyone else, would have said anything to discredit Christianity, and yet they never accused Christians of making up their teacher. That debate is a much more modern criticism of chritianity, and is more than likely unfounded.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:58 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.