Luke 17:20–37 (NKJV)
Jesus diverts slightly from His teachings on what was lost and true discipleship to discuss the goal of life: to be ready when He comes!
20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”Luke 17:20-29
22 Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. 24 For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Prophetic utterances in the Bible are myriad in their meanings. There is usually an immediate context and meaning, but also a future context and meaning. This makes the Bible relative to each reader in every generation. The Holy Spirit reveals His message to each individual as they read the Word for themselves. While there must be accountability and honest interpretation to avoid heresy, there is a great deal of flexibility concerning the meaning of prophecy for each setting. For instance, the second coming has multiple meanings for us today. The coming of the Son on Man may allude to the fact that Jesus was walking among the people to whom He was speaking at that moment. It could refer to the rapture of the church, although that is not the most likely meaning due to the destruction that is foretold. Another, most likely, meaning, is the coming of the Son of Man to touch down in the Valley of Megiddo (Armageddon) to do battle and rain down judgement on the armies of the earth. This passage can be related to both the rapture and the return of Christ on a white horse as a whole unit.
The thing that translates here is that the kingdom of God should not be something to seek after in every place, meeting, or crusade that comes through town. While God does use people to reach the masses in large meetings, the kingdom of God is not so much an experience to be found, but a relationship to be lived. If you live with Jesus within you every day, you will not be surprised when He shows up in the last days. You will not be confused when false gods, christs, and prophets speak lies and hypocrisy. Be vigilant to develop and maintain your relationship with Christ!
31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”Luke 17:31-37
37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”
So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
This passage does seem to have elements of a rapture scene, as it talks about some being taken while others are left behind. This speaks to the uncertainty of the time of the rapture, and the need to be ready to go at any time. Don’t let things hold you back. Don’t let people hold you back. Be ready and willing to go with Christ at any moment, for that is the way to eternal salvation. Jesus is coming. Be ready!