Read Mark 13:1-37
The three synoptic gospels . . . Matthew, Mark, and Luke . . . each carry an account of this important discussion between Jesus and His disciples. Often referred to as the “Olivet Discourse,” Jesus is focused on answering the question of signs and the timing of His return – specifically His return to the earth at the time when He will establish His kingdom (also referred to as the “Second Coming” or “Revelation of Jesus,” not to be confused with the Rapture).
But Jesus communicates something here that countless people would have done well to heed. It is something that is actually true of both the Rapture and the Revelation. We cannot and will not be able to know the timing. If you were to threaten an angel or even Jesus Himself at gunpoint, demanding more precise information about His return, they would not be able to give it to you. The truth is, only the Father is aware of the timing. One day, He will give the signal and His Son will come.
As we anticipate His return, we are to be like the watchful doorkeeper who keeps awake, not knowing when his master will return. As Jesus has pointed out now numerous times in other parables, we are to live faithfully and expectantly. Don’t make the same mistake made by others in the first century.
- Some misunderstood Christ’s return thinking that only those living at the time of the Rapture would be part of God’s forever plan. Not true! At the point of death, our eternal spirit separates from our temporal body and it is immediately united with Christ. Even our temporal bodies will one day experience resurrection (2 Cor. 5; 1 Thess. 4).
- Some understood the imminence of Christ’s return (it could happen today), and they quit work (2 Thess. 3). They stopped being fruitful and productive in these hours and days leading up to the coming of Jesus. We are to be waiting and serving until He comes.
- Some just wrote off the feasibility of Christ’s return. Because so much time had passed without His coming, they were tempted to conclude that it would not happen at all (2 Peter 3). But even though much time has passed, He will be faithful to His promise. Will you be faithful in waiting and serving?