Christians all believe that Jesus Christ will return to this world to rule and set all things right as what the Bible says. There is no debate about that.
But the question that has befuddled many Christians is the time of the Second Coming of Christ.
To an average Christian reader, biblical passages related to this can be difficult to understand and interpret. One such believer asked renowned theologian and Evangelical pastor John Piper, the founder of the Desiring God ministry, about his view on this matter.
In his Feb. 22 podcast, Piper said the answer to this question is found in Revelation 20:1–6, which explicitly speaks of the 1,000 years in relation to the second coming of Christ.
"Now, the question that divides Bible-believing Christians is how this one thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth followed by a complete revolution of things in the new heavens and the new earth, how that relates to the second coming of Christ," Piper said.
Specifically, the question boils down to this: Will the 1,000 years come before or after Jesus comes again?
Piper said there are three views on this matter. The first is that the "one thousand years, the millennium, is a reference to the period of time where we are right now as Christ reigns in heaven today till he puts all of his enemies under his feet."
The second is that the "one thousand years is a real period of lengthy glory in this age. We are not in it yet. It will come just before Christ comes so that the gospel triumphs in the world: the world is Christianized, by and large, peace and righteousness hold sway in the world, and then, after that, post that, Christ returns — this is Postmillennial."
The third view is that "the one thousand years happens after Christ comes again, or he comes pre, before the millennium — and that is why it is called Premillennialism. Then, after Christ comes to a very rebellious earth and establishes his reign, there is a long, long period of glorious rule of Christ on the earth."
Piper said he believes in the third view, even though he has "really good friends who hold all three of these positions."
"Christ could come very, very quickly. I pray he does," he said.
"It could happen very, very soon. He (Jesus) doesn't have to wait one thousand years," he added.
The same question was asked world renowned evangelist Billy Graham much earlier.
Unlike Piper, Graham declined to go into specifics, saying Christians should avoid trying to predict an exact date for the return of Jesus.
Instead, Graham suggested that Christians should make sure they are prepared for His return.
"Jesus warned us against making precise predictions about His return; only God knows exactly when Christ will come again to bring an end to the present world system. Jesus did, however, say that the world would grow increasingly confused and dangerous before He returns," he said.