“Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time. “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near. “Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world – from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. – Matthew 24:23-25 (NLT)
Jesus states plainly in these verses that he will come again (his second coming). And his appearance will be as bold as lightning, which is impossible to hide. It will be a visible event that the world will see. In Acts 1, angels visit the disciples as the 11 disciples watch Jesus ascend into heaven. The angels say that Jesus will come back the same way he left. Jesus solidifies it here with the concept of riding on the clouds of heaven. My son likes to think of it like the glass elevator on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. These words should give all believers in Jesus hope. Jesus says all followers of his will be gathered together at that moment. We will see him and experience him like never before. Our God triumphant over every adversary. Our eternity starting.
Write down or discuss with another what you think it will be like to see Jesus face to face. How should Jesus’ words here affect what you do every day? How can you make them more impactful and life changing for you? Ask God to help as you process through what Jesus’ return means for your everyday life.