Read: Luke 21:20-36
Don't let that day catch you unaware. . . . For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. - Luke 21:34-36
Audio: Luke 21
Bible in One Year: Isaiah 56-58; 2 Thessalonians 2
A doomsday prophet predicted that Jesus would return on September 6, 1994, then May 21, 2011, and then finally on October 21, 2011. He even said that God had stopped saving people after May 21. When the final doomsday prediction did not happen, the man had to finally apologize for his false teachings. For centuries, the Jews were expecting the Messiah to come to be their King. They wondered if Jesus, a small-town rabbi, was the One (Luke 7:19). But the Pharisees challenged Him - saying in essence: If You are the Messiah, when will You set up Your kingdom? (Luke 17:20).
Jesus said that many will speculate about His coming, saying, "'Look, there is the Son of Man,' or 'Here He is,' but don't go out and follow them" (Luke 17:23). It's also futile to predict the date of His return. "It will be 'business as usual' right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed" (Luke 17:30). But Jesus will return at a time when people least expect Him (Luke 17:26-29, 34-35), as quickly and suddenly as lightning (Luke 17:24).
When Jesus returns, the world will be as it was in the days of Noah (Luke 17:6-27) and Lot (Luke 17:28-30) - consistently and totally evil (Genesis 6:5; 2 Peter 2:7-8), characterized by unprecedented violence (Genesis 6:11) and unnatural relationships (Genesis 19:5). Yes, Jesus will punish a corrupt and wicked world when He returns (Luke 17:26-20). But, no, God has not stopped saving people. For God "does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent" (2 Peter 3:9). "He wants everyone to be saved" (1 Timothy 2:4). There is still time to believe in Jesus. "Indeed, the 'right time' is now. Today is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).