"The time is coming when you will long to see ..." (Luke 17:22-32)

"The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. People will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife!" (Luke 17:22-32)

Is Jesus referring to the end of the world?

Jesus is not discussing a doomsday scenario, as some have misinterpreted. This misinterpretation took hold as the Roman government formed the Roman Catholic church.

In 325 AD, Constantine brought together the leaders of the various institutions around the Roman empire and formed a commission - the First Council of Nicaea. This council argued over the meaning of Jesus' teachings and Jesus' role and position.

The result was the Nicene Creed, which was upheld violently for over 1,000 years, and is still supported today by many sects. Using a combination of scare tactics and the threat of imprisonment or being burnt at the stake, the Romans enforced this interpretation of Jesus' life and teachings.

Part of the misinterpretation made it seem that Jesus was predicting the end of the world and if people didn't join the church they would be annihilated when the world ended.

Have any doomsday predictions been right?

Over the years, this "end of the world" interpretation led to many preachers predicting the end of the world. And yet, some 2,000 years after Jesus said it - and after literally hundreds of doomsday dates have been predicted, the end of the world still has yet to come.

This makes this doomsday interpretation a conspiracy theory.

Here is a list of some of the priests, cardinals, popes, preachers and sect founders that erroneously predicted the end of the world - all of which were certainly wrong because we are still here:

Hilary of Poitiers: 365 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Martin of Tours: 375 to 400 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Hydatius (Bishop of Aquae) 482 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Sextus Julius Africanus: 500 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Hippolytus of Rome: 500 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Beatus of Leibana: 793 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Gregory of Tours: 799 to 800 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Thiota: 847 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Pope Sylvester II: 1000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Gerard of Poehlde: 1147 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John of Toledo: 1179 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joachim of Fiore: 1205 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Pope Innocent III: 1284 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joachimites: 1290 and 1335 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Jean de Roquetaillade: 1368 and 1370 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Amaldus de Villa Nova: 1378 (predicted doomsday date)
Thomas Muntzer: 1525 AD  (predicted doomsday date)
Johannes Stoffler: 1524 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Hans Hut (Anabaptist): 1528 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Melchior Hoffman (Anabaptist): 1533 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Jan Matthys (Anabaptist): 1534 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Martin Luther (Augustinian monk): 1600 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Christopher Columbus: 1658 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joseph Mede: 1660 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Sabbatai Zevi: 1648 and 1666 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Fifth Monarchists: 1666 and 1673 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Benjamin Keach (Baptist): 1689 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Pierre Jurieu: 1689 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John Mason (Anglican): 1694 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Johan Heinrich Alsted (Calvinist): 1694 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Cotton Mather (Puritan): 1697, 1716 and 1736 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Henry Archer (Fifth Monarchist): 1700 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa: 1700 to 1734 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Camisards: 1705 and 1708 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
William Whitson: 1736 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Emanuel Swedenborg (Lutheran): 1757 AD (predicted doomsday date)
The Shakers (Ann Lee): 1792 and 1794 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly: 1789 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Charles Wesley (Methodist): 1794 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Christopher Love (Presbyterian): 1805 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Margaret McDonald: 1830 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joseph Smith (Mormon): 1832 and 1891 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Johann Albrecht Bengel (Lutheran): 1846 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John Wesley (Methodist founder): 1836 AD (predicted doomsday date)
William Miller (Millerites founder): 1843 and 1844 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
George Rapp (Harmony Society founder): 1847 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Harriet Livermore: 1847 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Ellen White (Seven Day Adventists): 1850, 1856 and "early 1900s" AD (predicted doomsday dates)
John Cumming: 1862 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joseph Morris (Mormon): 1862 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John Wroe (Christian Israelite Church): 1863 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Jonas Wendell and other Adventist preachers: 1863, 1874, 1870 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Mother Shipton: 1881 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Wovoka (Ghost Dance): 1890 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Catholic Apostolic Church: 1901 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah's Witnesses): 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1994 and others more recent. (predicted doomsday dates)
Margaret Rowen (Seventh-Day Adventist): 1920 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Spencer Perceval (Catholic Apostolic Church): 1926 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Wilbur Glenn Voliva: 1935 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Herbert Armstrong (Worldwide Church of God founder): 1936 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Florence Houteff (Branch Davidians): 1959 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Johann Bischoff (New Apostolic Church): 1951 and 1960 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Jim Jones (People's Temple cult): 1967 AD (predicted doomsday date)
George Williams (Church of the Firstborn): 1969 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Herbert Armstrong (Worldwide Church of God): 1972 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John Wroe (Christian Israelite Church): 1977 AD (predicted doomsday date)
William Branham (evangelist): 1977 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Chuck Smith (Calvary Chapel): 1981 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Pat Robertson (evangelist): 1982 and 2007 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Lester Sumrall (Pentecostal): 1985 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Edgar Whisenant: 1988 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Elizabeth Clare (Summit Lighthouse): 1990 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Rollen Stewart: 1992 AD (predicted doomsday date)
David Berg (The Family): 1993 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Harold Camping: 1994, 1995, 2011 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Ronald Weinland (Church of God): 2011 and 2012 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Aggai: 1997 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Marshall Applewhite (Heavens Gate cult): 1997 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Archbishop James Ussher: 1997 AD (predicted doomsday date)
James Gordon Lindsay (Christ for the Nations): 1999 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Jerry Falwell (evangelist): 2000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Ed Dobson: 2000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Lester Sumrall: 2000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Jonathan Edwards (Congr. Protestant): 2000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
David Meade: 2017 and 2018 AD (predicted doomsday dates)

Why should we continue to believe this misinterpretation?

So are we to continue to believe this "end of the world" interpretation of Jesus' statement some 2,000 years later? Are we still going to pretend that Jesus was warning his students - who also died nearly 2,000 years ago - that they were going to face the end of the world?

The reality is that this "end of the world" interpretation is a farce. It is an error, created and then continued by those who want to scare us into joining their sect.

Yes, it is true there will be disasters that will kill many people, and we might even cause the ruin of human civilization - and the world as we know it might end. But this is not what Jesus is speaking of to his disciples some 2,000 years ago.

What is Jesus referring to then?

We must understand that Jesus was teaching this to his students - about an event that would take place for each of them. Otherwise, why would he make such an effort to warn them?

Thus we must accept that whatever Jesus is speaking about has already taken place. At least for those students, Jesus was speaking to. So what is it?

Humm, let's see. What will be taking place in the era of Jesus' audience that could be compared with the flood of Noah? Or the destruction of Sodom? And what does this have to do with Lot's wife - and people on the roof trying to go down to get their possessions? Furthermore, what does it have to do with the "Son of Man" being revealed?

Think of what is common among the people who were "eating and drinking" in the days of Noah when the flood took place, and in Sodom. And for Lots' wife. What is it?

Death. People died. In these two cases - the flood of Noah and Sodom - lots of people died at the same time. And in the case of Lot's wife, she was told to not look back at the destruction but continue to flee - but she stopped and looked back. Then she died as a result.

And consider what would happen if a person were to be on one's rooftop (people during Jesus' era often had balconies on their roofs where they would sit) when their time to die occurred? Jesus is warning them that they shouldn't try to go down and get their possessions when this "day" happens.

In reality, the Greek word ἡμέρα (hēmera) can mean "day" or it can mean, according to Thayer's lexicon, "used of time in general."

Jesus is speaking of a particular moment in time. What is that moment in time?

Isn't this about the time of death?

Each of us - when that moment of death comes - will be leaving this physical body behind. During this moment in time, what occurred at the time of Noah's flood and in the fires of Sodom - and for Lot's wife - will be precisely the same thing that will happen to each of us at the time of death.

At the time of death, we will leave our physical body and everything in the material world. We will leave everything behind, in one fell swoop - as fast as a bolt of lightning lights up the sky - as Jesus puts it - we will leave this body in an instant. Whether we die from a flood or a fire or by some other form - we will be leaving the physical world. And for this reason, our attention should not be on what possessions we might have in our home. Because all will be left behind.

Jesus did not know precisely when the time of death would come for each of his students - or any of us. He likewise described this event using another analogy:
"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' " (Mark 13:32-37)
Thus we find that not even Jesus knows when this time - this time of death - will come. We can see from Jesus' analogy here that Jesus was specifically warning his students to be watchful, as "the owner of the house will come back" at any moment. Why?

Because the time of death can happen at any moment - for every one of us. And at the time of death, we 'meet our Maker' - this is when we must face the Supreme Being and face how we lived our lives.

And it will come, for sure. Our bodies might die when we are least expecting it: In a plane crash. Or a car crash. Or a heart attack. Or a tornado. Or we might slip and fall.

But why is this moment of death connected with "revealing" the "Son of Man"? And if Jesus is speaking only of himself, why doesn't he say "me"?

Was Jesus referring to a role?

Carefully considering the Greek, the word "Son of Man" is better translated to "Servant of Humanity." As also mentioned in that discussion, others have also been called "Son of Man" - Servant of Humanity - including David, Job and Ezekiel. Ezekiel was called the "son of man" [servant of humanity] over thirty times by the Supreme Being.

Jesus is speaking of God's representative. Someone who is sent to the earth to introduce us to the Supreme Being. This is what makes that person a servant to all of humanity - because they have the ability to save everyone.

Certainly, to Jesus' students, Jesus is the Servant of Humanity. But to Ezekiel's students, Ezekiel was the servant of humanity. To them, Ezekiel was their means to come to know the Supreme Being.

But to Jesus' students - those who accept Jesus as God's representative - Jesus was their means to come to know and love the Supreme Being.

This makes God's representative the person who will also guide the devoted person back to the spiritual realm at the time of death.

Where will we go after the time of death?

You see, when our bodies die, we leave them behind. We (the spirit-person) will rise (resurrect) up out of our body at the time of death. Once we release from the body, we leave the physical dimension.

After a respite and counseling from our guides, our next destination is determined by a combination of our consciousness and our past activities. If we have utilized this lifetime in a manner that develops our consciousness, we will progress towards the goal of returning to our loving relationship with the Supreme Being.

But this opportunity does not come by our own power. It comes by God's mercy. In other words, we must be escorted back to our relationship with the Supreme Being. We must be re-introduced to His love.

This is why Jesus said:
"It will be just like this on the day [at the time] the Son of Man [Servant of Humanity] is revealed."
God's representative will be revealed to each of us at the time of death. Even a person who has not followed their spiritual guide during their lifetime will still become aware of their position at the time of death.

Even if we did not follow, he will still be revealed to us at the time of death - as we are being directed to the place determined by the consequences of our activities during this physical lifetime.

Learn more about the time of death.

The reason Jesus is warning his students about the moment of death is that he wants them - and each of us - to prepare for the time of death. How do we do that? By following his teachings, the most important of which is to put our love upon the Supreme Being - with all our hearts:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)
Where ever our love is placed - that's where we will go at the time of death.