What can we know about our Lord’s return from Matthew 24? Most assuredly, we know the fact of His return: “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be” (v. 27). Jesus predicted many things: wars, famines, earthquakes, false prophets, lawlessness, and then said: “That is not yet the end … all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (vv. 6-8). We see things in our day that confirm the reality of His return, but not the time. We must continue to be faithful witnesses, because “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (v. 14).
There is much debate about the tribulation, and the rapture. What is the exact sequence of events? Who will go through the tribulation? Jesus made a statement at the end of His ministry on the earth that should encourage us, no matter what we believe. “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33).
We do know that His return will be visible: “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (v. 30). And it will be a time of great victory and rejoicing: “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (v. 31). Jesus confirmed the reality of His return and said: “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” (v. 44). Are you ready?!
– Al Gary