The Return

Watch therefore, for you know not the hour when your Lord will come.

Beware that no man deceive you; for in the end times, many will come using my name, saying, "I am Christ," and will deceive many. False prophets will arise; and they too will lead many into believing their lies.

Do not believe those who tell you: "I have found one like Christ." There will arise many deceitful imitators and false prophets exhibiting “signs” and “wonders,” so that even the elect will be deceived.

Some among you will say, "Behold, one like Christ is in the desert.” Do not hurry out looking for me. Or if they say, "Christ has come, and is in a secret location that I alone know of," do not believe it. For even as the lightning flashes across the sky, illuminating the heavens from the east to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

At the end of time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, causing the nations of the earth to tremble. All will see the Messiah, the Son of Man, appearing with power and great glory; and they will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the living God, returning on the clouds of heaven. And he will send his angels with the great sound of a trumpet , and they will gather together his chosen ones as from the four winds, from the farthest ends of the heavens and earth, and reward everyone according to his works.

As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the time of the coming of the Son of Man. In the days that preceded the great flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and carelessly celebrating, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.

It was the same in the days of Lot . Men and women ate and drank, bought and sold, planted and built. But on the day that Lot departed from Sodom , it rained fire and molten sulfur from heaven, and destroyed them all. So will it be on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.

Do not let your heart be overwhelmed by the pursuit of earthly pleasure or the anxieties of life. Let not my returning find you unprepared; for like the springing of a trap will it suddenly come upon the earth.

Two will be working in a field. One will be taken and the other left behind. Two women will be grinding at a mill. One will be taken, and the other left behind. Watch therefore , for you know not in which hour your Lord will return. But do know this: that if those in the house had known the hour of the thief's coming, they would have remained watchful, and would not have let their stores be plundered.

Of this I assure you, prophets and kings have desired to see the things that you now see, and did not, or to hear the things you now hear, and did not have the opportunity to hear them. You, instead, have both seen and heard all of these prophecies come to pass.

Prepare your heart; for in the hour that you least expect it, the Son of Man will come.

Hear the story of ten bridesmaids who carried their lamps out to meet the bridegroom to illuminate the path of his arrival. This group was comprised of five wise and five foolish women. Those that were foolish remembered their lamps, but not extra fuel , while the wise carried both their lamps and added fuel. The bridegroom's coming was delayed, and they began to grow tired and fall asleep.

Finally, at midnight, there arose a cry: "Behold, the bridegroom approaches! The time has come to go out to meet him."

Hurriedly, the bridesmaids began preparing their lamps. Then the foolish said to the wise: "Give us some of your fuel; for our lamps have burned out in the night."

"We cannot," the wise replied, "for there is not enough fuel for both your lamps and ours. Go quickly, wake those that sell fuel, and buy extra for yourselves."

But while they were off searching for fuel, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went with him to the marriage celebration, and behind them the door was shut.

Some time later, the foolish bridesmaids returned and began to call out plaintively: "Lord, Lord, let us in."

But he answered and said: "Truly I say to you, I do not know who you are."

Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he comes, finds ready and anticipating his arrival, even if he should come in the middle of the night or at dawning of the day. Truly I say, that he will adorn himself in his banquet clothes and invite such servants to sit down with him at the table of feasting, rising himself to serve them as honored guests!

Be always watchful; for you do not know the day or the hour when the Son of Man will return. Live your life in a prepared manner, your lights burning brightly , like those servants who wait with expectancy for the sound of the Lord's approaching.

It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one of these words to fail.

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