"The one who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! " It's been 2000 years since He said that.
ESV - 20 He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
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The apostle Peter gives us an answer to this statement of Jesus in his second letter (2 Peter 3:3-18). "Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." As Christians, we speed Jesus' coming by our holy and godly lives.
Although this verse is commonly interpreted with an intended meaning of Jesus coming "soon", I believe that the Greek word used (anglicized as "tachys") can also validly be understood (as noted in the question) as "quickly" -- not in the sense of time of occurrence (that is, "in the proximate future"), but in the sense of its nature (that is, "suddenly" or "unexpectedly", as Jesus Himself characterized his future return in verses such as Matthew 24:27 and Matthew 24:44). To me, this more clearly conveys the sense of Christians of any era (even two thousand years later) always needing to be ready or prepared for His return (whenever it will occur) due to its swift and unanticipated nature, rather than having them focus on when that return will be (of which Jesus explicitly said in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows the day or the hour).
What Jesus actually said is, "... I come quickly...." He said it in Revelation 2:5, Revelation 2:16, Revelation 3:11, Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12, and Revevaltion 22:20. The proper translation is "quickly" not "soon." And, in speaking to us as individuals, Jesus says "Repent" (turn away from evil works) each time, or He will come quickly and without any other warning than this. He actually warns in the parable of the virgins that He may be a while in coming for the resurrection of the saints and the marriage supper so don't run out of oil. Which essentially suggests we want to turn from evil and do good works and not quit or give up as long as we live, or til He returns.
We often confuse the timing of the event - the when - rather than the "suddenness" of the event. "But that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only" (Matt. 24:36). Jesus wants us to view all of our actions in the present as if at any moment the final judgment will happen. Matt. 25:31-46 is an excellent example of this. Jesus wants us to live with an awareness of the final judgment. Life is precarious. When the final judgment comes it will seem "quick" to everyone. Prepare yourself today.
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