Matthew 24:26-30

Mat 24:26 (KJB)
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

If there is one thing in this verse which sticks out it is “diversion.” False Christs and prophets will be of the earth and they will find places to set up their camps. Then once they are entrenched, they will send forth their followers to tell others that the Christ is now here and follow them into a desert place or some secret hiding place. If Satan can get the Christians to start following men, then he will be successful in pulling them out of doing their part of the Great Commission. In 2011, a man named Harold Camping convinced hundreds of his followers that the Lord was going to return May 21, 2011 and as a result, these people followed Camping and were diverted from the Great Commission for over 10 years. Quite a number are still obsessed with date setting and are coming up with 2015, 2017, etc. When the Lord returns, it will take place on the last day and every eye will see Him. There will be no secret place on earth Christ will visit. (Rev 1:7 KJV) Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Mat 24:27 (KJB)
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

So many people think the Lord is going to return in the eastern sky because of the illustration that He gives. The reality is that this verse is not teaching a specific direction but is teaching suddenness in His return. Lightning moves very rapidly whether one is watching cloud to ground, or cloud to cloud. The essence of the Lord’s return is going to be very swift. (1 Cor 15:52 KJV) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. The twinkling of an eye is 11/100 of a second which is pretty fast. For the Christian, one moment you could be standing there doing your laundry and the next second, you are in glory with the Lord. The speed of lightning has been observed as anywhere between 112,000 miles per hour (180,242 kilometers per hour) to 1.5 million miles per hour (2,413,950 kilometers per hour), which is much slower than the speed of light but still very fast.

Mat 24:28 (KJB)
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Carcase - Dead body
Eagles - Eagle or vulture

Some have interpreted this to mean that it is the eagle of the Roman legions which destroyed Jerusalem, however, that cannot be since the Lord has already answered the question concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and is now answering the question concerning His return. Luke 17:34-37 gives us insight to what is in view.

(Luke 17:34-37 KJV) I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. {35} Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. {36} Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. {37} And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

When the Lord Jesus Christ returns, He will be returning on the last day. That day will be the crowning day for the true believers and it will be Judgment day for the unbelievers. (John 5:28-29 KJV) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, {29} And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. There is no seven year time period between them. The Lord has in view that when He returns, He will take the believers with Him and the unbelievers will go to judgment. (Mat 25:31-32 KJV) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: {32} And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: So those who are taken, are the ones who are taken to judgment which is the Great White Throne Judgment where the final separation of the believers from the unbelievers will happen. This is why the Lord uses the term of “eagles and dead bodies” because they both denote death and the vultures eating the bodies denote the fact that hell will be their final destination. (Mark 9:44 KJV) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Just as a vulture picks at his prey, in hell there will be something that will gnaw the unbelievers which is described as a worm. Jesus associated this with Gehenna or hell.

Mat 24:29 (KJB)
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

As much as theologians have tried to make this tribulation some type of seven year tribulation, it is pure speculation and cannot be confirmed by Scripture. (Rev 11:2 KJV) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. The forty and two months here are representative of the entire New Testament period. (Luke 21:24 KJV) And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. When Jesus was speaking about the destruction of Jerusalem, He stated that it would be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. The Gospel is still going forth all over this world and non-Jews are being saved and until the last one is saved, the times of the Gentiles will not be fulfilled. If one studies the history of Jerusalem, one will find that it has been destroyed several times and invaded such as the Crusades. Even today in 2013, Jerusalem is still being trodden down of the Gentiles because many of the Jews in Israel are not real descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are Ashkenazi and Sephardic which are Gentile in root.

“The tribulation of those days” is referring to the whole New Testament period. Once the last Gentile is saved somewhere in the world, then the time of tribulation will be over for the believer. This world is the only tribulation a true believer will ever know. It is interesting to note here that it says “immediately after” which means no more time. Yet, theologians try to jam a thousand year millennium into that time frame when the Scripture states “immediately after.”

Then we see the direct signs in the heavens signaling the soon return of Jesus. First the sun will be darkened just as it was when the Lord was being crucified. Then because the sun will be darkened, the moon will not be able to reflect any light because there won’t be any. The third major sign is that the stars will fall from Heaven. Many of them will be meteorites and isn’t it interesting that we see an increase in meteorites falling and asteroids coming close to earth. Then the powers of Heaven will be shaken. Not only will the physical universe be collapsing but also the kingdom of Satan will be collapsing too. He right now is in the heavens and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will spell the end of his kingdom and he will be shaken as he is sent to eternal damnation. (Heb 12:26 KJV) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. The word “heavens” is plural meaning that all the heavens as we know of shall be shaken. The first which surrounds earth, the second which is the universe, and the third which is the abode of God because the judgment against sin will be that mighty.

(Luke 21:25 KJV) And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;  Then Luke gives us a little more insight into those days. Not only will the universe be shaken but the nations will be in perplexity, that means they see no way out of their dilemma and the sea and the waves roaring. Interesting that “sea” is mentions as singular because it is not speaking of a singular sea but is speaking about the people of the world. Every person except the believer will be wondering what is happening. (Isa 17:12-13 KJV) Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! {13} The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

(Luke 21:28 KJV) And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. When you see these things begin then look up for it is close.

Mat 24:30 (KJB)
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Once the signs in the Heaven start happening, then we are to look up because the sign of the son of man will appear in Heaven which means that Jesus is returning and now the world is seeing it and as a result, when they recognize Jesus as the one they have rejected and persecuted along with His children, they will mourn because they know their impending doom is at hand. The return of Christ is not going to be some secret rapture of the church but is going to be a mighty event for the whole world to see, including the unbelievers who are about to be taken to judgment. His power will split the heavens in two and then He will return in great glory with myriads of angels and the glories of Heaven will be poured out for all to see. In fact the second coming of Christ is going to be so awesome that the unbelieving world will want to hide from it. (Rev 6:15-17 KJV) And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; {16} And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: {17} For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?