Turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “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! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left” (Luke 17:22-35 NIV).
There are many days, and especially as we approach the last days, that believers will "long to see" the return of Christ. However, Jesus cautioned against listening to the pronouncements of false teachers. When he does return, his appearance will be very visible. Jesus pointed out that life will be going on in a normal fashion (Luke 17:27). Most people are so engaged in their daily lives that they do not stop and think about ultimate reality of judgment and eternity. Before they know it, it will come upon them just as it has on others. When the Lord does appear, there will be no need to return to our homes for anything. The things that mean so much to us now will not be needed or matter then. Jesus repeated the paradox that those who attempt to hold on to life lose it while those who give up their lives in service to God and others preserve it. When Christ comes, there will be a separation of those who are ready and prepared and those who are not. Closeness and intimacy with people of faith will not be enough for those who are unprepared.
The disciples responded by asking, "Where Lord? He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather" (verse 37). In other words, when conditions are met, Christ will return and believers will be gathered to meet him. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Are you ready?