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The Return of Christ Parables

Jesus Christ frequently spoke of His second coming, even before the purpose of His first coming was fulfilled. References to His return are also found in some of His parables, particularly the ones that He delivered to those of His disciples who were chosen to be apostles (see Disciples and Apostles to understand the difference).

"So shall also the coming of the Son of man be"

Christ's "parable of the fig tree" was given at the end of the Olivet Prophecy (see also Mount Olivet In History and Prophecy). The events described in the previous verses of that chapter (Matthew 24:1-31) are what He was referring to when He said "when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near."

The reference to "ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" is actually dual in nature. It refers not just to that no one knows when Christ will return (we can only know when Christ's return will be 42 months away - see When The Final Countdown Will Begin), but also that we don't know the day of our death. When any of God's people die, that moment will seem like the time of Christ's return, even though it is yet future. The dead do not sense the passage of time (see What Happens When You Die?), so when a true Christian dies, the return of Christ will be, from their conscious perspective, that day (see the Fact Finder question below). That's why, no matter when any of God's people lived through time, Christ's return can seem to come "suddenly."

The Return Of Jesus Christ

"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left."

"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matthew 24:32-42 KJV)

The verses quoted above, "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left" are often used to "prove" the rapture fantasy (see The Raptures), but what it is actually describing is when true Christians who are alive that day will be instantly transformed to spirit at the same time that the first resurrection of the dead will occur (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). Everyone else alive that day will remain as they are, for the time being (again, see the Fact Finder question below).

The parable of the "faithful and wise servant" that followed the parable of the fig tree was also directly speaking of the return of the Christ. The warning to God's people to never let up their diligence as Christians because "for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" is, as explained above, referring to the end of one's life that can come unexpectedly.

"But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."

"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 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, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 24:43-51 KJV)

The parable of the journey to a "far country" was also a part of the Olivet prophecy. The journey and arrival to that distant place is described in other Scriptures (see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?).

"Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."

"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch."

"Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." (Mark 13:30-37 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who will be judged on the day of Christ's return?
See When Will You Be Judged?


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