As Jesus continued teaching His disciples in answer to their questions about the end of the world, He warned them of false prophets. “They will rise up and perform such great signs and wonders,” He said, “that, if it were possible, they would deceive even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.”
“If they tell you ‘Messiah is in the desert’, do not go looking for him. Or if you hear ‘He is hiding in a secret room’, do not 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.”
The return of Jesus is one of the great pillars of doctrine in the New Testament, and the great hope of Jesus’ followers.
When He appeared on earth the first time, only a few realized that He had even come. Even these only knew Him by revelation from God through angelic proclamation, heavenly visions, and a great star in the heavens. He spent His thirty three years in this world ministering to others, laying down His life. He was hated and feared by the religious leaders of the day; what popularity He did have came from the lower classes, the people whom He ministered to, and even the crowds turned against Him at the end.
Beyond the little province of Palestine in the great empire of Rome, the Son of God coming and going went almost completely unnoticed. I have heard that the only official record of Jesus was a mention of His crucifixion in Pilate’s official report to Caesar.
But He will return one day, in spectacular glory, shining like lightning from one end of the heavens to the other. What joy that will be for those who are ready, for those who look for Him, for those who are like Him and will see Him as He is! And what terror it will be for all those who have refused Him, the Light of the World, because they loved the darkness and their evil deeds.