- Jim Fletcher
When Will Jesus Return?
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. Matthew 24:50
One of the most-asked questions about Bible prophecy—both from Christians and even non-Christians—centers on this: “When will Jesus return to Earth?” This refers to various verses in the Bible, such as Matthew 24; Luke 21:5–26; Revelation 22:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–10.
For decades, Bible prophecy teachers and students have interpreted what is happening in the world at a given moment as having relevance for this question. This would include increases in earthquakes, increased wars, famines, etc.
One (me!) could even argue that this is referred to in what Christians call the Old Testament (another name is Hebrew Scriptures). This occurs in Zechariah 12:10, in which God is saying that “they” will look on Him. “Him” in the Christian tradition being Jesus, who will have returned to the same place he ascended 2,000 years ago: the Mount of Olives.
In any case, this is a question on many minds.
I am not a person that gets hung up on timelines, trying to determine with total accuracy what event follows another. For example, many prophecy students spend a lot of time trying to determine if the Gog-Magog event of Ezekiel 38-39 is before or after the Rapture (or some other end-times event).
I don’t ask questions like that. For one thing, I think the Bible is not clear on purpose. In other words, there are things God has determined we don’t need to know yet. Since I believe He is sovereign, He makes the rules, I don’t need to concern myself with things God doesn’t definitely answer for us.
What He has told us is that Jesus is coming back.
Notice how specific Matthew 24:50 is. We are told very clearly that Jesus will return to Earth when no one is looking for Him!
When might that time be? I have no idea. In fact, it seems almost impossible. You would think that someone, somewhere in the world, would be thinking about it at any given time! But if we boil this down, Jesus will return at precisely the moment no one is looking for him. We don’t know exactly how this could be, but Scripture is our guide. Nothing else.
If we look at it that way, we are then not bogged-down in various theories or arguments.
If you are worried about life, worried about what might or might not happen after this life, consider believing (as a child would, with simplicity) that Jesus will return and make everything right, one day.
That is what He’s promised us.