Down our way the dogwoods and redbuds have nearly finished blooming and a sudden untimely hail-storm dashed their few remaining flowers to the ground. Temperatures are still up and down, and the wind is moderate. It’s truly early springtime! But my fig tree hasn’t yet put forth shoots, let alone begun leafing!

Jesus said, “When they (fig trees) put forth leaves you can see and know yourselves that summer is already near” (Luke 21: 30 CCNT/P). Was He pointing to a sign of His second coming? NO! Two verses later, He explained, “Truly, I tell you that this generation won’t pass away until all of this[1] happens” (v. 32).

Why, then, will Christians misuse the verse about the fig tree to refer to an event that is future when it already occurred in 70 AD?

Again, we hear people teaching that when Jesus warned of a sudden coming by saying not to come down from the housetop or in from the field to get any valuable items, He was referring to the rapture. If so, how foolish that warning would have been! Can you imagine believers ascending into the air to meet the Lord who are trying, instead, to get back into their houses somehow to retrieve things they want to take with them?

Much foolish talk is going on today. It is not when people are saying “wars and rumors of wars” that we should look for the bodily return of Jesus. Paul made it clear that He would return when the world is saying “peace and safety.” That is when we can expect Him—not before (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Be careful what teaching you accept—read the entire context to see what is really in view.

[1] Including the leafing of the fig trees.

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