Q. I have a twofold question this time regarding Matt.24:29,30.
First, in Matt.24:3 the disciples asked Jesus “what shall be the sign of thy coming,?” Doesn’t Jesus’s appearing in heaven with all the saints and the holy angels have to be the sign? Otherwise it seems he left their question unanswered because he doesn’t describe any other sign.
It seems to me that at least part of the reason why the sun and moon are darkened and the stars diminish their brightness is so that it will be totally dark everywhere on the face of the earth. This would allow everyone to be aware of his sudden coming in all his glory (brightness). If it were to happen during mid-day, his appearing wouldn’t be immediately apparent. This also seems to be what is happening in Zech.14:6,7.
Secondly, I believe I remember reading where you hint that there might be a delay between Matt.24:29 and Matt.24:30. I don’t see how it could be very long. If it was a delay of, say one day, then it would have to be said that the Great Tribulation and the Antichrist’s rule during it will last 1261 days, not the 1260 days the scriptures say. To limit this rule to 1260 days it seems Jesus’s return would have to be immediately after the sun, moon and stars are darkened. I would appreciate your thoughts.
A. I disagree with both points. I think He gave a number of signs that are progressive in nature. First he gave them the so-called birth pangs, signs that would grow more frequent and intense as the end nears. Then He said the Gospel will be preached in all the world before the End comes. This will be followed by the Abomination of Desolation, a sign that the 1260 day Great Tribulation has begun. And finally, at the end of the Great Tribulation they will see His sign in the sky followed by His actual appearance.
As for the delay between Matt. 24:29 and Matt. 24:30, there’s nothing to prevent it. The Bible doesn’t say that the Lord will come 1260 days after the Abomination of Desolation, it only says that the Great Tribulation will last that long. But in Matt. 24:36, 42, 44, and Matt. 25:13 The Lord said that those present on Earth at the end of the Great Tribulation would not know the day or hour of His coming in advance. To me this is a strong indication of a delay of unknown length between the appearance of His sign and His actual coming.