Summary: A description of society during the Tribulation.
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
And He said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.” And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
Jesus Christ is coming again. When He ascended into the heavens on a cloud, angels appeared to the disciples with this message, “Why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven” [ACTS 1:11]. This promise is but an iteration of the promise of the Lord recorded in JOHN 14:3. “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
The divine promise has comforted believers throughout the millennia. However, the anticipation of His return seems to grow less vibrant, less important as we move forward in this Dispensation of Grace. Perhaps that is the reason the Master mused, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth” [LUKE 18:8]. Christians are commanded to live in anticipation of the Lord’s return. Throughout the Gospels, we are told that He is coming again to receive us to Himself. Even in the act of observing the Lord’s Table, Jesus Himself taught us who are the professed people to live in anticipation of His return to receive us to Himself. Until He returns, He commands us to be busy at the task of winning the lost to faith and building one another in this most holy Faith.
I cannot say with absolute certainty that we are in the Laodicean period of the Church Age, but professing Christians appear cavalier about obeying Christ’s command to evangelise. Personal comfort is of far greater importance to Christians than is Christ’s glory. Christendom has generally grown complacent about obedience to the Master; Christians are generally nonchalant concerning the command to win the lost. When it requires more than 32 church members to bring one person to faith, we are in trouble. In fact, the figure is likely far worse than what is reported since it does not take into account the biological growth of churches as they baptise children of their own members. Tragically, the situation is possibly worse for most other denominations.
The Bible teaches that the next great event on God’s divine timetable is the removal of His people from the earth in order to set the stage for judgement of the earth. This event, known as the Rapture, will occur suddenly, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” [1 CORINTHIANS 15:52]. Those left on the earth will enter into a period identified as the Great Tribulation, as God pours out awesome judgements on the earth. At the conclusion of seven years of judgement, Christ Himself will return to the earth to judge those surviving those awful days and to usher in His Millennial reign.