Recognizing the Seasons
While we do not know the exact timing of Yeshua’s coming (Matthew 24:36), we are to recognize the season (Matthew 24:33). He will come like a “thief in the night” to the unrighteous (I Thessalonians 5:2), yet He does not want us to be in darkness on the subject (I Thessalonians 5:4).
The scriptures say repeatedly that He will come quickly (Rev 1:3, 3:11, 22:20), yet at the same time warn that it may seem like a long time to us (Matthew 24:48, 25:5; Luke 19:11; 2 Peter 3:4). Why is this? God wants believers in every generation to assume that Yeshua will return in their time in order to be prepared spiritually and morally, thus building us in intimacy and the knowledge of God. Furthermore, His will is that we should desire His coming passionately (Rev 22:17; 2 Tim 4:8), understanding the urgency of divine judgment and wishing to see our Lord magnified on His throne in Jerusalem.
The Dual Nature of Prophecy
End times’ prophecies have a final and a partial fulfillment. The final fulfillment comes at the end of history, while partial fulfillments occur in many generations throughout history. Understanding this dual nature – partial and final, present and future – will give us further insight when dealing with teachings about the end times.