Read Matthew 24
The disciples asked Jesus a question that prompted an answer that takes up the rest of the chapter.
What will be the sign of your coming at the end of the age?
Realize that in this question is some degree of acceptance that Jesus would go away. The disciples had not yet wrapped their minds around this sacrificial death that was soon to come. They seemed surprised at the resurrection even though Jesus had told them that he would rise from the dead, but this simple question indicated some level of acceptance that Jesus would not be with them in this world all the time.
They do not yet understand the work of the Holy Spirit, but they have an inkling that Jesus will leave this world and come again. They have some understanding that there will be an end to this age and an age to come.
Jesus began his answer with warnings. Watch out! There will be many deceivers. You will hear rumors and your nature will be to believe that Jesus has come, but do not be alarmed and do not be deceived.
There will be wars and rumors of wars. Nations and even kingdoms will be pitted against each other. Famine and earthquakes will seem more and more common. This is just the beginning.
We as people seem to think that Jesus will come in our time. We think that the world could not get any worse. We could be right or we could be thinking the same thing that disciples did for 2000 years. Surely, it’s today or this year or this decade.
It’s good to know the signs of the times, but we are not to be alarmed. We are not to be deceived. I have witnessed many a credible person of God destroy his or her credibility by proclaiming to know what cannot be known—the day and the hour.
Jesus will not come in stealth mode. It will be the biggest event in the history of history. You will know it when he returns so if someone is walking this earth proclaiming to be the Christ, don’t be alarmed and don’t be deceived.