Day 23: March 18
And learn the parable from the fig tree: When its branch is already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know ye that it is near, even at the doors. Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass away until all these things be done. The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away. But concerning that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels who are in heaven, nor the Son, except the Father. Look ye, be sleepless and pray; for you know not when the time is. It is as a man taking a far journey, leaving his house, and giving authority to his servants, and to every one his work; and he commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch ye therefore, for you know not when the Lord of the house comes, at evening, or at midnight, or at the cock- crowing, or in the morning; unless coming suddenly, He find you sleeping. But what I say to you, I say to all: Watch. (Mark 13:28-37)
Thou shalt not know in what hour I will come upon thee,” means not only that one is ignorant of the time of death but also of the state of life at that time which will continue to eternity; for such as the state of man’s past life is, even to the end, such he remains to eternity. (Apocalypse Explained 194)
“But of that day and hour no one knows” signifies the state of the church at that time as to goods and truths, that it would not appear to anyone, neither on earth nor in heaven.... “Not the angels of the heavens, but My Father only;” signifies that heaven does not know the state of the church as to good and truth specifically, but the Lord alone, and also when that state of the church will come.... The Divine Good in the Lord is what is called the “Father,” and the Divine Truth from the Divine Good “the Son,” and therefore they who believe that the Father is one and the Son another, and who separate them from each other, do not understand the Scriptures. (Arcana Coelestia 4334)
Many people are afraid of the end-times and think of the Lord as an angry father looking to catch us misbehaving and punish us. In the New Church we are taught that the Second coming has happened, and we do not need to be afraid. Still, we should feel a sense of urgency to start right now being the kind of person we want to be to eternity.