Jesus then explained a few things about his return to the earth (177).
“When I do return to this earth, everyone will know it, just as everyone sees lightning flashing across the sky & lighting it up from one side to the other. As sure as vultures gather over every dead body, everyone will know it when I return.
“In the midst of those times of great trouble, the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, the stars will fall from heaven, and all the vast forces of the universe will tremble.
“But then I will appear in the sky. Unlike you, the people of the world will be very afraid, when they see me coming on the clouds of heaven with power & great glory. But when you see this, you’ll know that your salvation is near.
“A great trumpet will sound, and I will send out my angels to the four corners of the earth; they will gather my chosen people from one end of the world to the other.
“Let the fig tree teach you a lesson. When its branches start turning green & it starts putting out leaves, then you know that summer is near.
“In the same way, when you see all these things I’ve just told you, you will know that the time of my return has finally come.
“Remember that all these troubles will happen while some people are still living on the earth. But even though heaven & earth will eventually pass away, my words will never pass away.
“None of you can know exactly when the time of my return will be. The angels in heaven don’t know it; even I don’t know it. Only God knows the exact time.
“So it will come unexpectedly, as the flood came in the time of Noah. Everybody kept on eating & drinking, and men & women married, right up to the very day when Noah & his family went into the ark. Then the flood came & killed everyone else on the earth!
“That’s how sudden it will be when I return. At that time, two men may be working in the field; only one will be taken away, the other will be left behind. Two women may be grinding meal together; only one will be taken away, the other will be left behind.
“So you have to stay alert, stay focused on God, because you cannot know exactly when I will come back.”
(177) Matthew 24:27-44, Mark 13:24-33, Luke 21:25-36