The writers of the first three (Synoptic) gospels made it perfectly clear – Yeshua/Jesus’ mission was to proclaim the imminent coming of the Kingdom of G_d.
Many Christians have never read the gospels in detail. I have, and one fact jumps out at you from almost every page. Once its significance understood, it casts a long shadow over the whole of the New Testament. It was the subject of most of Yeshua’s parables and sayings and is acknowledged by most Bible scholars.
It is this: Yeshua taught that the Kingdom of G_d was on its way. The world in its present form was about to be transformed. G_d would take direct charge and people must learn to live right because judgement would immediately follow. Only those who had changed their ways (repented) and met the required standards would survive.
This was not some far-distant event; it would happen within a generation.
‘Truly I tell you,’ he says in the First Gospel, ‘there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the Kingdom of G_d has come with power.’
‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of G_d has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
He reaffirmed it in his Last Supper speech. ‘I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you in my Father’s kingdom.’ He didn’t mean a kingdom somewhere else, but right here on Earth.
Now, nearly two thousand years later, it is clear that Yeshua was wrong and the Synoptic Gospel writers were mistaken to believe him. It was already clear that by the end of the 1st Century that the Kingdom was not coming soon, which is why this claim is almost entirely missing from the Fourth Gospel (‘John’). By then, Yeshua’s prediction had been superseded by events.
Christians realised this, and they knew it made them look ridiculous. The author of the Second Letter attributed to (but not written by) Peter felt the need to make excuses for the kingdom’s non-appearance. ‘Do not ignore this one fact, beloved,’ he wrote, ‘that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.’
This is still what Christians believe today. They still believe the Kingdom is coming because Yeshua said so. It’s just that he got the timing wrong!
 Mark 9:1
 Mark 1:15
 Matthew 26:29
 2 Peter 3:8
©David Lawrence Preston, 25.8.2016
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @David_L_Preston
Balboa Press, 2015