For more than 2,000 years, Christians and non-Christians alike have been asking when the biblical prophecies of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be fulfilled.
The incredible answer to that perpetual question is explored at great length in a special report published by Newsmax magazine entitled The Jesus Question: Will He Ever Return.
Not surprisingly, it was one of the magazine’s most popular reports.
“Our in-depth analysis of the ‘End Times’ phenomenon probably has triggered more reaction than any story Newsmax magazine has ever done,” says senior editor David Patten, the author of the report. “No matter what your faith, background, or beliefs may be, this report is important to everyone.”
History shows there has always been great speculation on the End Times by philosophers, scientists, religious leaders, even poets.
“The poet Robert Frost wrote ‘some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice,’ while T.S. Eliot predicted the world would end ‘not with a bang but a whimper,’” Patten says.
Apocalypse Now — or Later?
In a sense, predicting the end of the world is nothing new. Christopher Columbus predicted the world would end in 1657. Physicist Isaac Newton thought Christ would return in 1715. And the French mystic Nostradamus, writing in 1555, thought the Tribulation would begin in 1999 — which is one reason people got nervous around the year 2000 (Y2K). More recently, there have been mystical predictions based on the Mayan calendar.
“Just because something hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it never will,” Patten says. “The New Testament says Christ will return ‘like a thief in the night’ — that is to say, unexpectedly. Still, that hasn’t kept generation after generation from speculating when the grand finale of the cosmos will finally dawn.”
And each generation of Christians believes that theirs will be the one to witness it.
Says Patten, “You don’t have to be a scholar to understand what we all sense intuitively: that nothing in this world lasts forever. The question, of course, is when.”
To answer that question, Newsmax conducted in-depth interviews with leading Christian thinkers like Tim LaHaye, the author of the “Left Behind” series; the late Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship International; minister and former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee; Baptist leader Richard Land, and others.
One of the most controversial trends in Christianity is the blending of the faith and a survivalist mentality. More and more believers are building shelters, storing canned goods, and preparing for end-of-the-world scenarios.
“As part of our work on the special report on the Second Coming, we interviewed several of these otherwise normal Christians who are taking elaborate precautions to prepare for the end of the world as we know it,” Patten says.
In The Jesus Question
, readers will discover that there is now a general sense of imminent potential catastrophe and social breakdown that has hovered over the culture like a cloud ever since 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. These post-apocalyptic themes are now prevalent in television and in cinema.
“What emerges is a unique tension that has driven the evolution of Christendom, and society, for over two millennia,” Patten concludes.
“The faithful are to work and live as if each day might be their last, while never knowing when the Tribulation prophecy, including the rise of the Antichrist, actually will be fulfilled.”