The Timing of Jesus' Return

What does Scripture tell us about the timing of Jesus' return?

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People are often asking themselves about the question of the timing of Jesus' return, when will it be? Of course over the centuries lots of people have tried to calculate and, not surprisingly, they have always been wrong. In a sense, the answer to that question about the timing of Jesus' return is a very simple and short one. The answer is, you will not know the day or the hour. His return will be sudden, therefore watch. In Matthew 24 and 25 there are actually two parables that are back-to-back I think that make this point. Just a few verses after Christ himself has said in Matthew 24 verse 36: "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." He tells the parable of the faithful servant who takes care of his master, but then there's the unfaithful of his fellow servants. But then there's the unfaithful servant whose master comes back before he thought he would. Right? You remember the story? The very next parable is the parable of the ten virgins. In that parable the master comes back later than they thought he would. The first unit he comes back sooner than they think, the next parable he comes back later than they thing. The moral of the story: You will not know the time, therefore watch and be ready.

Answer by Dr. Jeffrey A. Gibbs

Dr. Jeffrey A. Gibbs is Professor Emeritus at Concordia Seminary.