TOPEKA, KS—Descending from on high to gather valuable data on His followers’ preferences, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, was said to be conducting a soft return this week in hopes of gauging interest in His Second Coming.
Christ reportedly rolled out a test version of His return in select cities—including Topeka, KS, Fort Wayne, IN, and a handful of other locations throughout Christendom—as part of a controlled study to determine who among His flock might look favorably upon a miraculous reappearance and thousand-year reign of their Lord and Savior.
“These cities offer good cross-sections of the faithful, so we’ll be able to closely evaluate the reaction among the various demographics we’re trying to appeal to,” said Christ, explaining that representative populations of believers were chosen to partake in the soft return in order to more accurately predict how the various planned elements of the Last Judgment would be received in a real-world setting. “We’ve already seen some interesting results that will help us to fine-tune this thing before we go wide with it.”
He added, “For example, the 18-to-34-year-old population in Topeka didn’t respond well to the booming voice of an archangel and the Trumpet of God announcing my return, so that’s definitely something we’ll want to tweak.”
According to sources, focus groups of local Christians have been assembled in the designated cities and asked to rate as positive, negative, or neutral their response to certain details of the Second Coming, such as an ominous darkening of the horizon, flashing white-hot streaks of lightning filling the sky, and a great chasm opening in the heavens as the blindingly bright figure of Christ descends to earth.
The Only Begotten Son of God admitted to reporters that most of those who witnessed the soft return didn’t like the “dark, scary stuff” much at all and that He would have to see what could be done to “lighten things up here and there.” However, Christ said, most people responded positively to the moment when Satan, Prince of Darkness, was bound in chains and thrown into a bottomless pit, and the subset of believers who were raptured seemed very pleased with the experience.
Reports confirmed that all of the study’s participants had ascended into heaven and been given seats at the right hand of the Father in exchange for their time, energy, and helpful suggestions.
“At this stage, we’re just trying to get as much feedback as possible so we can work out all the kinks before I actually come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,” said Christ, adding that while He thought His followers would be excited to see their deceased loved ones again, many were in fact completely terrified when He raised the dead from their graves. “We definitely need to work on the optics of our presentation. People were losing interest after the first two or three of the seven seals were opened, and that’s a problem.”
Christ indicated He would have to consult further with His team before deciding if the time was right to roll out His return on a global scale.
“We only have one chance to pull this off, so we need to nail down every detail,” He said. “Some of this stuff was planned 2,000 years ago, and I’m just not sure it’s going to work in the present day and age. The whole part about the Antichrist forging a seven-year covenant with Israel, for example, really seems a bit outdated and might have to be scrapped altogether.”
“And if interest in me banishing all evil from the face of the earth just isn’t high enough right now, we should go back to the drawing board and maybe do some more trial runs in another millennium or so,” Christ added.