One of the things I find most perplexing is that although it has been a little over two thousand years, the church continues to wait for the physical return of Jesus Christ! A literal reading of some of the so called sayings attributed to Christ should be sufficient enough to dispel this myth, but history has shown that it is not enough. There are several reasons that I think are directly responsible for the longevity of Christianity as a religion, and don't worry none of them are supernatural.
The main reason I think it has lasted this long is because of its acceptance by the roman emperor Constantine in the year 312 during the battle of Milvian bridge where he claimed to have had a supernatural vision upon looking up to the sky before the battle. He claims to have seen the symbol of the cross and ordered his troops to adorn their shields with the symbol, his subsequent victory he later attributed to the Christian deity. The following year he announced the edict of Milan which basically allowed for religious tolerance of all faiths. It wasn't till February 12 in the year 380 AD that the edict of Thessalonica was announced by Gratian Theodosious 1 and Valentinian 2 that Christianity became the official religion of the state of Rome.
This in my opinion is what gave Christianity it's impetus to move forward as a major religion with the power and force of the state of Rome behind it. By the merging of church and state Rome quickly became a theocracy with the church pulling the strings and the state serving as its enforcers. Through this union the church was able to crush all competing religions and establish itself as the one and only true religion and its deity as the one and only true God.
It is shocking to me even to this day that after all these years you still have Christian sects coming out of the woodwork all claiming to be a return to the original teachings of the early church! Even more shocking is that many of them have been so bold to even predict the date upon which Jesus would return! Even though this in and of itself is contrary to the scriptures which they all profess to read and believe in. Let us take a look at what the scriptures have to say about the return of Christ. As usual I will be quoting from the KJV although many say it is not the most accurate translation out there when it comes to this issue they all pretty much say the same thing.
According to Mark 13:32 it states 32.'But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.' This very same sentiment is expressed in the N.T. in several other places but here is where the story goes awry, this is where Jesus puts his big foot in his mouth after giving a laundry list of signs of his return. The last of those things on the list are found in Mark 13:26,27 26'.And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.27.And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.'
Finally the good lord Christ shoves his foot even further in his mouth by announcing also in Mark 13:30 30.'Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.' And just to make sure that they knew he was talking about them in that generation he gave them this reassurance: Matthew 16:28 28.'Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.'
According to the scriptures Jesus said that no man knows the hour of his return, he clearly stated on more than one occasion that it would happen during the generation in which he lived and died. Yet two thousand plus years later you still have people trying to predict the date of his return and still eagerly awaiting for his return. I think that the bible speaks for itself in the above cited quote and others, and has proven that those prophecies have been shown to be utter failures. If Jesus existed (I personally don't think he did) then he was not the son of God and unfortunately for you Christians that await his return he is not coming back. The early chuch preached the coming of the Lord and they all lived and died and he never returned as will all future generations that await his return. I hate to be the bearer of bad new but Jesus is not coming soon!!