He’s probably not going to look like you think he will.
Of all the teachings of Jesus, no one thing has been so confused as his promise to come back in person to this world. It’s only natural to believe that Jesus would be interested in coming back, not once but many times, to the world whereon he lived such a unique and important life as one of us; as a human being.
While he was here, on numerous occasions and to many individuals he declared his intention of returning to this world. But as his followers awakened to the fact that he was not going to function as a temporal deliverer, and as they listened to his predictions of the overthrow of Jerusalem and the downfall of the Jewish nation, they most naturally began to associate his promised return with these catastrophic events.
But when the Roman armies leveled the walls of Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and dispersed the Jews, and still the Master did not reveal himself in power and glory, his followers began the formulation of a belief which eventually associated the second coming of Christ with the end of the age; even with the end of the world.
Jesus promised to do two things after he had ascended: He promised to send into the world, and in his stead, another teacher, the Spirit of Truth; and this he did on the day of Pentecost.
Second, he promised that he would sometime personally return to this world.
But he did not say how, where, or when he would revisit this planet of his bestowal experience in the flesh. (On one occasion he intimated that, whereas the eye of flesh had beheld him when he lived here in the flesh, on his return, or at least on one of his possible visits, he would be discerned only by the eye of spiritual faith.)
So those who most positively believe that he will again come in person, still have not the slightest idea as to when or in what manner he may choose to come. Will his second coming on earth be timed to occur in connection with the terminal judgment of this present age? Will he come in connection with the termination of some other subsequent age? Will he come unannounced and as an isolated event? No one knows.
One thing we can be certain of when he does return: all the world will likely know about it, for he must come as the supreme ruler of our universe and not as the obscure babe of Bethlehem.
And as believers, we can be sure of only one thing: He has promised to come back. We have no idea as to when he will fulfill this promise or in what connection. As far as we know, he may appear on earth any day, and he may not come until age after age has passed.
The second advent of Jesus/the Son of God on earth is an event of tremendous sentimental value to humans, but otherwise it is of no more practical importance to us than the common event of natural death, which so suddenly precipitates us into the immediate grasp of a succession of events which leads directly to the presence of this same Jesus.
The children of light are all destined to see him, and it is of no serious concern whether we go to him, or whether he should chance first to come to us. Therefore we should be ever ready to welcome him on earth, as he stands ready to welcome us in heaven. Still, we can confidently look for his glorious appearing, but we are wholly ignorant as to how, when, or in what connection he is destined to appear.
If you find any of this thought provoking, I strongly recommend reading at least Part Four of The Urantia Book, The Life and Teachings Of Jesus of Nazareth. And let us know what you think in the comments below.
All the best in your search for answers, and in your remaining time on this world.