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My background is mostly in Evangelicalism and premillenialism. I am aware of other "Churches" (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, cults, etc.) and other eschatological frameworks (amillenial, postmillenial, etc.), but I don't know much about them.

Here I am just wondering if a second coming of Christ is one of the points that is agreed upon by all of the major Christian traditions, or if there are specific traditions which do not anticipate His return.

I am only looking for a "yes" or "no" with some evidence from the major relevant traditions.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

*Yes. Every significant Christian tradition affirms the return of Jesus. *

The Nicene Creed, adopted by the Universal manifestation of the assembled church in 325AD and accepted by just about every mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox church with which the average Westerner will most readily identify affirms:

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

This is about as direct a reference as one can get- and it is pretty explicit.

Of the non-Nicene denominations (Coptics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, Christadelphians, etc...) all of the major ones also see Jesus' return as a given. It is clear in Scripture, and thus the only denominations that are even on the fence about it are those which do not believe the Bible to be a relevant source of theology.

This would include Unitarians and that bugaboo of this site, Christian Atheists. (If you haven't heard of the latter, don't worry, Id never heard of them either)

In practice, some liberal theologians, like John Dominac Crossan and Bishop John Shelby Spong do not believe in a literal return of Christ (they are 100% amilennial), but then again, they don't believe in a literal resurrection either.

Finally, it should be noted that without an actual return of Jesus, salvation itself becomes a past tense thing- and could (should?) be viewed as reneging on a promise. When Jesus says he goes to prepare a place for us, then if he doesn't ever come back for us, it's a rather hollow promise.

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Awesome. Thanks. – Jas 3.1 Apr 11 '13 at 6:16
Wow, 3 minutes. I feel honored! – Affable Geek Apr 11 '13 at 6:17

On the whole, yes, virtually all traditions expect his return. The only exceptions I know of are theological liberals, who don't regard the Bible or its foretellings (even on the lips of Jesus) to be reliable, and some few preterists (viz., sometimes called full preterists or hyper-preterists, in distinction from partial preterists, who do expect a final return). Full preterists claim that even the resurrection of the dead (spiritualized) has already happened. This seems an odd view, but Paul met it and condemned it in his day too (2 Tim 2:16-18).

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