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In the Gospel of Luke we are explicitly told:

Luke 17:22-24: "And He said to the disciples, 'The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23They will say to you, "Look there! Look here!" Do not go away, and do not run after them. 24For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day" (emphasis added).

Will all of those who read this see Christ's return as promised?

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    But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Mark 13:32. If none knows the time (not even the Son) how can anyone answer this question ? It can only be a matter of unwarranted speculation and opinion.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 23 '21 at 20:52
  • Sorry, but has-this-prophecy-been-fulfilled-yet questions are not exegetical questions and are off-topic.
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 24 '21 at 7:28
  • Please don't erase questions like that.
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 25 '21 at 9:09
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In Peter's days, they asked Peter also, 2 Peter 3:

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

This is his answer:

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

The you here refers to individuals alive then as well as believers in future generations. Apparently, the "delay" has to do with God's patience. In the meantime, these are our believers' responsibilities:

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

God is giving more time to more believers the opportunity for sanctification.

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  • While I agree that "God is giving us more time for our sanctification purpose", hasn't that sanctification been fulfilled by the time of our demise? I do want to be clear that, despite my post, I am not among those who believe 2 Pet. 3:3-4: "[In] the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?'" I am simply posing the question for others to contemplate. Surprisingly (at least to me), this has gotten no up votes at all. For the record, I am hardly a skeptic of anything in the Bible.
    – Xeno
    Sep 23 '21 at 20:54
  • Good points. I updated :)
    – Tony Chan
    Sep 23 '21 at 21:03
  • Thanks Tony. Based solely on Hebrews 10:25 (which was the passage I cited), I believe you are correct. +1. However, I'm also asking why Christ hasn't returned even though over 300 passages (as I understand) speak of this spectacular event, Luke 17:24: “For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day." I am certain I will see this, but I would argue this occurs at the moment of my demise "as a thief in the night." :)
    – Xeno
    Sep 23 '21 at 21:14
  • Yes, that would be spectacular. I'd like to see that myself :)
    – Tony Chan
    Sep 23 '21 at 21:28
  • Yes, Xeno, so I agree with you. We have two ‘universes’ engaging with each other: the one we live in, bounded by time, with a linear, finite experience - our life - laid briefly on its timeline if you will. And then the eternal universe (heaven) with an infinite God in both directions (to express infinity in terms of a finite set!), and the angels (with a beginning point one side and infinite the other), and us - “like the angels”. From the perspective of the living, people die and then “sleep” but from the dying person’s perspective, they die, and in the “twinkling of an eye” (cont’d.) Sep 23 '21 at 23:59
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That idea does not seem to fit the context of Hebrews 10. Within the context of this chapter, “As you see the day approaching” may refer to the impending time of persecution of which he has just warned them. If this is the case, it would certainly be of primary importance to be of encouragement to one another.

It may also refer to the first day of the week which marks the corporate day of worship when the Church comes together. He has just chastised some for habitually forsaking that day. I think this is more likely the case considering what follows. The writer says that our fidelity to one another is demonstrated in two ways.

  1. Our relationship to one another in love and good works.

  2. Our responsibility to fellowship. Both of these involve…

a. The exhortation of one another, and

b. Individual participation in corporate worship. This would include the corporate fellowship of the table which is the purpose of the assembly of the saints.

Perhaps we could examine this a bit more closely.

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The answer is written in one of your cited passages:

Mark 13:29-31

So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father.

As Jesus said, the son (himself and those who do the will of God) did not know it and do not know it.

Jesus as many other people expected the Last Day to be soon (an expectation that probably goes back to Zarathustra and the Parsic religion). We know that their expectations did not fulfill but we should accept that we simply cannot know when the time has come.

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