Why I Am Not Waiting For Jesus To Return

Why I Am Not Waiting For Jesus To Return December 3, 2017
Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

Ever since I first became a Christian at the age of 9 and gave my heart to Jesus, I have been told over and over again that Jesus is coming back soon.

I watched those terrible films, you know the ones: “Thief in the Night”, “Left Behind”, and “The Late, Great Planet Earth”.

I read the books, including “88 Reasons Why Christ Will Return in 1988” and the sequel, “89 Reasons Why Christ Will Return in 1989”, which incidentally was exactly what it sounds like – the same book as the previous one but one one extra (wrong) reason.

I remember as a young boy waking up in the middle of the night, terrified that Jesus had returned and left me alone in my house. I would get up and sneak over to my parent’s room and place my ear on the door to see if I could hear them breathing and I could not return to bed again until I knew for certain that Jesus had not abandoned me.

I have also been involved in countless conversations around the dinner table with family and friends who would, after a long list of everything that is wrong in this world, wag their heads and say, “Jesus, come soon” or “Come take us home, Lord!”

Maybe you can relate? Maybe you have also heard the mantra yourself repeated ad naseum “Jesus Is Coming Back Soon!” or “It could be today!”

Well, I am sick of it.

As of now I am officially finished waiting for Jesus to come back.

Does that mean I don’t believe in the Second Coming of Christ? No, it doesn’t. But what it does mean is simply this: I am not waiting for Jesus to come back and fix things.

What I have to come realize is that Jesus doesn’t want us to wait for Him to return. He wants us to get busy being the light of the world and the salt of the earth. He wants us to be His ambassadors of His Kingdom in our community. He wants us to “be Christ” to people around us who have never seen Him, or heard His voice. He wants us to be His hands and His feet to show compassion to people who don’t deserve it, but so desperately need it anyway – just like us.

We need to stop looking up at the sky for a great rescue to take us out of this world. Instead, we need to bow our heads and pray that Jesus would come and live and breathe in us right now. We need to abide in Him – and Him in us – so that we can bear good fruit for His Kingdom.

And if Jesus does return tomorrow, may He find us doing exactly what He told us to do: Loving and serving others as He has loved us.

The Body of Christ needs to wake up, come to life, and shine the light of Christ to a dark and hurting world that is so desperate for hope and genuine love and compassion.

Christ is coming. Christ has come. He is alive in every one of us who have surrendered ourselves to Him.

If you keep sitting there waiting for Christ to return, you might get left behind.


Keith Giles is the author of several books including “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” and “The Power of Weakness”. He is also the co-founder of Pacifist Fight Club and co-host of the Heretic Happy Hour podcast. 

"The sixth of the Ten Commandments ("You shall not murder.") forbids the unjustified taking of ..."

Early Christians On Non-Violence
"John hopes they are rhetorical because he has no answers for them that doesn't make ..."

Yes, Interracial Marriage IS Un-Biblical [But ..."
"Well, it is a Commandment."

Early Christians On Non-Violence
"Interracial marriage is absolutely not unbiblical. In the Torah you are forbidden from marrying particular ..."

Yes, Interracial Marriage IS Un-Biblical [But ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • pamela chaddock

    AMEN, Keith! Well said. Yes, Christ is coming and Christ is here and the world is waiting for us to come forth, to “ARISE” and take up our bed …

  • ties

    I have a few idiot neighbors that keep saying that the world is going to be destroyed and they will go to paradise and they tell the date and then the date comes and goes and they act like nothing happened. I think Lenin was wright religion is opium for the masses

  • Paul Meier

    St. Paul said to the Corinthians: “Don’t you know that Christ is within you?” The clouds we see Christ coming through are the clouds of depression, despair, grief, loneliness, frustration that steal our peace and joy. When a friend or neighbor comes to your aid because they are sincerely concerned for your well-being, give thanks that Christ has come again.

  • Andy M

    What if Christ has already physically returned, and instead of a blaze of glory and fiery judgement he was concerned for all humanity and wished to guide us and inspire us to create a brilliant golden civilization? What if he spoke about modern day problems – social/economic injustice, protecting our precious planet, saving the millions of people needlessly starving to death in a world where wealthy countries waste 1/3 to 1/2 of its food?

    I genuinely agree with many of the author’s points here. I just wonder if Christians will be able to recognize the Son of Man….because he is in fact already among us and will very soon be speaking to large audiences about the need to see humanity as one family, creating peace through sharing and cooperation on a global scale. We have entered a new age, and the World Teacher is here to dispense the new waters of livingness.


  • Duane Locsin

    It’s simple.

    Jesus is dead and he ain’t coming back.

    I am little more generous when it comes to Christianity’s central figure and accept the notion there was a religious man named Jesus, but for many the Bible Jesus with all the miracles, slew dragons and rose from the dead is not real.

  • rtgmath

    Bravo. Nicely done. A wise counselor over 35 years ago gave me this advice, and it has kept me from a world of grief.

    To those who still wish to push their eschatological scatitudes, I note that every prediction of the Second Coming has been wrong. Every book about the immanence of the Second Coming has been wrong. How often must they be demonstrably wrong before the false doctrine is thrown out? How often do you wish to keep revising the false doctrine hoping some minor adjustment will make it true? Truth doesn’t work that way.

    So leave behind the theological turditudes and start living as Christians in the here and now. Christ Jesus is the Savior of the World, but He will do it through us.

  • Thanks for the comment. I do agree, we need to abandon this “rescue me” attitude and get busy doing what Jesus called us to: Loving others as He loved us.

  • Bruce Robertson

    Sorry to hear of the torment you experienced during your indoctrination period, but nice to see you are making a recovery. Keep going and one day you may see that all of our many gods are made up, including your one based around the Jesus story. Once you get there you can live your life based on truth rather than a man made fantasy. It’s a worthwhile thing to achieve! Best of luck.

  • Steven Waling

    Theological turditudes – there’s an awful lot if that nonsense in evangelical “theology.”

  • delidave

    This is a point to which I agree, the scriptures are indeed full of wisdom as well as legend, thank you for this point of clarification.

  • Titus 2:11-14
    11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of [c]our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

    Luke 21:25-27
    “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.

    Acts 1:9-11
    And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
    But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
    For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

    1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
    Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.

    Hebrews 9:28
    so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

    Revelation 1:7
    BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

    Revelation 16:15

    (“Behold, I am coming like a thief Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”)

  • Obscurely

    Respectfully, you might need a bigger data set than “a few idiot neighbors” before dismissing all religions as “opiates for the masses”? 🙂

  • Brad Kunkel

    Been there done that with those discussions. My take is that Paul in 1 Cor. describes a very different scenario:

    “20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

    To me this describes things getting better because we’re doing our job until, absent death, the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God are indistinguishable and Jesus can just “hand it off.” as a seamless transition. Hence Paul’s final instruction in this passage:

    58Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

    Just waiting for it all to burn and escape the rubble is literally the opposite of our job. To the degree Christians do that they just put off the so called “blessed day” that they’re waiting for. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Ruaidhrí Ó Domhnaill

    No, “the world” has given up on you ever doing anything but petty bickering and judging others as less holy than you. “The world” has lost interest and is pursuing other activities. We look at you and laugh at your ridiculousness as you boycott over a coffee-cup while 3.1 million children die of undernutririon every year. We see right through your candy-coated leaders and take notice of the mansions they live in while over half a million Americans sleep in doorways and park benches.
    We look at you and we pity you, for you think you have it all, but you lack even the common sense to question the lies coming from your pulpits.
    You are pathetic, and we’re fed up with you telling us how great you are.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    If Jesus’s coming back doesn’t affect what happens to us, why bother?
    Religion sometimes so OBVIOUSLY silly….

  • paulvalery

    I’d thank my friend or neighbor. Or they might not come again.

  • DuckyShades

    Believing Jesus is coming soon, which every generation believes theirs is the one, (I don’t believe any is the one fwiw), has big time implications on living and loving. For one, you can’t help but inject your voice into the eschatological buffet. All you can eat. And two, living in the present moment (that scary Eastern stuff) is awash. That old “too heavenly minded to be any Earthly good” is actually pretty accurate. Especially when coupled with the time spent introspecting why God isn’t listening to you or answering your prayers or helping you be less anxious. I’m about to rabbit trail for sure, but when you have a God domesticated into a person you live your life expecting that God to interact with you like a person. And you spend your life saddened by his seeming absense and indifference towards your life, hop-hop-hopping from one conference to the next chasing that proverbial mountaintop. Helloooooo evangelicalism.

  • Nimblewill

    I’ve always thought that waiting for Jesus to come fix things was being guilty of the same thing the Jews expected of a Messiah. They got Him wrong. Christ “in me” is the hope of Glory! Glory being how God chooses to manifest Himself.

  • Nimblewill

    Obviously you don’t know Him. If you did you’d know He’s here already.

  • Chari McCauley

    You should remember that Jesus spent a LOT of time saying exactly that to the same people in His day.

  • Chari McCauley

    And, woe to those that celebrate the destruction of their brothers and sisters. Obadiah 1:12, Proverbs 17:5.