Almost everyone, by now, has heard that “Jesus is coming back,” “in 2000 years…” they have said. That we will “see Him in the clouds” and be made completely aware of the awaited visitor. It’s in the Bible. Luke 21 puts it this way:
“There will be signs (attesting miracles) in the sun and moon and stars; and on the earth [there will be] distress and anguish among nations, in perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea and the waves, people fainting from fear and expectation of the [dreadful] things coming on the world; for the[very] powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with [transcendent, overwhelming] power [subduing the nations] and with great glory. Now when these things begin to occur, stand tall and lift up your heads [in joy], because [suffering ends as] your redemption is drawing near.” (Verses 25-28, Amplified version)
Some people tend to believe it, and others don’t. And some, who have calculated the mark of the Lord’s return as “2000 years” from the day recorded as a prophesy, have been led to wonder if it’ll ever occur at all, because more than 2000 years have passed and the Lord still hasn’t returned in the clouds!
At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. (Mark 13:26)
I was one of them; particularly as the Year 2000 was approaching. I had noticed, beyond that year, that more than 2000 years had already gone by, and the awaited visit hadn’t come to pass! In fact, here we are now, 15 years into the new millennium ; with some of us still looking up at the sky, curious about this warning; and the unusual event hasn’t unfolded! Why hasn’t it happened, or is it ever really going to transpire?
I once had this same discussion with my son’s father; may he rest in peace. (He passed away on September 26, 2015, after a violent assault had been perpetrated upon him, for his money! Art had brought up the subject regarding the Apocalypse, back in 2006. At the time, he thought me a “Bible-thumping” scholar because he noticed that I was still studying the Bible, and figured to ask or test me, perhaps to see if I had learned something about this topic. I noticed though that his inquiry had come from a place of genuine interest and that this had led him to wonder what gives. In response to his question, I posed this answer to him:
But, how do we know that the Apocalypse hasn’t been happening, as we speak! Think about it, Art, when someone is dying, and are at the tip of his or her death, none of us know what they see. Only they know and see what’s occurring and unfolding before them.
Who’s to say that Jesus, the awaited visitor, or the apocalypse isn’t ensuing right at that very moment? In some way, their death to them is the “end of the world” to this end. Art then had said, I never thought of it that way; it makes sense!
I went on to say, This isn’t to say that an all-out Apocalypse won’t be occurring at some point in time though, with Jesus permeating the clouds and showing up in the sky, the way that the book of Revelation describes it shall happen. I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to believe that this is nonsense or incapable of occurring. For, with God, no thing is impossible, and, up to now, His word hasn’t returned to Him void!
But, until that great phenomenon occurs, we, who are still living, have no idea [or are personally experiencing] what the dying ones see while experiencing their moment of death. We aren’t them; it isn’t happening to us just yet. We plainly don’t know, unless the dying person is describing it to you, or to me, or to whomever is in their company.
You know very well that the day when the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief who comes at night. (1 Thessalonians 5:2)
We all know, very well, that “death” sometimes shows up like a thief who comes in the night, unexpectedly and suddenly! It just may be that, at that specific moment, the persons dying perceive with the eyes, discern visually “The Lord’s Return,” in all of its Power and Glory, with angels, trumpets, and all of the ascribed dressings, before the individuals’ spirit go “taken” up into that realm, as their lifeless body now stays here for us to return it to the dust.
I recall the evening of August 3, 1986, that my mother was on her deathbed in the hospital, and how, as those terminal moments drew near, I had suddenly sensed that we weren’t alone! The room had filled up, to the left hand side of me, with what felt to me were unseen Visitors, in great numbers. That occurrence unfolded in such a way that I, sitting in a chair at the foot of my mom’s bed, was compelled to “move my legs out of the way” as those visitors passed by in front of me and went to the other side of her bed. Sensing the accompaniment now, on both sides of Mom’s bed, the “sensation” grew so intense, it forced me to up from the chair and hurry out the room! I stood outside the doorway for a few minutes, catching my breath and hoping that my heart stops pounding so fearfully in my chest! I again, then took a peak inside the room, seeing no one, but my mom, in there, I braced myself and went back inside the room! At that point, I wanted to learn about all of this; I wanted to be daring enough to sit through it and see what happens.
I watched as my mother was “resisting” and “putting up a fight!” She was on the bed, on her back, but holding onto the side bars of the bed with all her might. It felt to me as if whomever was there with us, they were requesting that she release those bars and go with them! It was as if they were pulling on her, wrestling with her to quit resisting, and she wasn’t cooperating. Her “suffering” to me didn’t appear to be of the physically painful kind, but more so an agony of the “eternal” and “combative” type. She was profoundly terrified at that time, either, terrified of whom were working to take her from here, or plainly deeply afraid of leaving the earth and entering the unknown! Not able to continue witnessing this event and sensing that my mom and I were-not alone in the room, I excused myself and left.
That same night, my mom passed away. Upon getting the call from the Nurse to return to the hospital, for my mother “has taken a turn for the worst,” I returned there, at once! My brother was there when I arrived, and tearfully reported that when he got there he “had to forcibly peel mom’s hands off the bars on both sides of the bed,” because he had “found her, holding on to them, stiffly!” My mother’s veins, at the side of her neck, were still protruded and her corpse still felt warm; she had died only moments before my brother walked into the room. This experience taught me never to doubt anything to do with God and the awaited visitor!