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There are many passages in the New Testament seeming to state the second coming of Christ would occur soon. Preterists make much of these passages in developing their view. In addition, many of the writers of the very early church seemed also to believe that it would occur soon (Didache and Clement's letter to the Corinthians). What are we to think of all this?

In my view, Christ's second coming has always been imminent and will always be imminent so it was not incorrect for the early church to believe this. The error is in believing this will occur within X number of years (but even modern Christians often believe this).

Update September 8, 2013: There is another option I had not considered when I first wrote this article: that Jesus does indeed come soon for each person at their death.

There is a difference between hoping Christ will come soon (because we desire the experience of the glory of the Lord) and declaring he will come soon (within X number of years).

There is a passage some interpret as teaching imminency . . .

I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. (1 Corinthians 7:26)

...but it is just as likely Paul has in mind the difficulties resulting from the persecution which had been occurring and was about to begin in earnest.

There is one passage that clearly refutes the idea the second coming of Christ would occur soon . . .

We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. That day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3)

They were troubled because they thought this day was at hand. Paul comforts them by telling them it was not at hand, that many things had to occur first.