Let's read both passages first, and watch carefully to see if you can find the day to which we are referred.
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. 5 "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. 6 "And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for [those things] must take place, but [that] is not yet the end. 7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 "But all these things are [merely] the beginning of birth pangs.
32 "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, (then) you know that summer is near; 33 even so you too, when you see all these things, (then) recognize that He is near, [right] at the door. 34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
36 "But of that day and hour (WHAT day and hour?) no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 "For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 "Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. 41 "Two women [will be] grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. 42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 "For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think [He will.]
5 And Jesus began to say to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. 6 "Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am [He!'] and will mislead many. 7 "And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; [those things] must take place; but [that is] not yet the end. 8 "For nation will arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will [also] be famines. These things are [merely] the beginning of birth pangs.
9 "But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to [the] courts, and you will be flogged in [the] synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. 10 "And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 "And when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but [it is] the Holy Spirit. 12 "And brother will deliver brother to death, and a father [his] child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 "And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.
14 "But WHEN you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), THEN let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 "And let him who is on the housetop not go down, or enter in, to get anything out of his house; 16 and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. 17 "But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! 18 "But pray that it may not happen in the winter. 19 "For those days will be a [time of] tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created, until now, and never shall. 20 "And unless the Lord had shortened [those] days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect whom He chose, He shortened the days. 21 "And THEN if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, [He is] there'; do not believe [him;] 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray. 23 "But take heed (); behold, I have told you everything in advance.
24 "But in those days, AFTER that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 "And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 "And THEN He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven. 28 "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, (then) you know that summer is near. 29 "Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, (then) recognize that He is near, [right] at the door. 30 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
32 "But of that day or hour (WHAT day and hour???) no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father [alone.] 33 "Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the [appointed] time is. 34 ["It is] like a man, away on a journey, [who] upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, [assigning] to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35 "Therefore, be on the alert-- for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, at cockcrowing, or in the morning-- 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 "And what I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'
Did you find it? Did you find the day that "that day" was referring to?
The reasons I bring it up are these:
The phrase "But of that day and hour no one knows..." is most often quoted as a proof text for the imminent (pretrib) rapture of the church. YET, these same people believe that the coming described in these passages is not the rapture (nevermind that the elect are gathered from earth and heaven after a trumpet call)! How can we find an antecedent if they claim the rapture is not even described in these passages? We can't!
also believe that the "Second Coming in clouds
with great power and glory" occurs
at the END of the seven years, thus the date of the Second Coming would
be calculable. If we could assume this, then they would be correct
in saying "that day and hour" could not refer to the second coming with
great power and glory. HOWEVER, Mt 24:22 and Mk 13:20 say that those
days ("those days" referring to the great tribulation) are cut short!
I realize that people argue about what that means (the scriptures don't
go into any detail), but if we can just accept by faith (since we believe
the word of God to be inerrant) that they ARE cut short, then we could
have an uncalculable second coming with great power and glory to which
"that day and hour" could refer. This alone would not disprove a
pretrib rapture, but it sure puts a dent in the doctrine
of imminence so often given as a proof of a pretrib rapture.
I believe that the Jesus goes to great lengths to tell us that "that day" is referring to the day of His coming in great power and glory. Look again at the scriptures and see just how many times "His coming" is referred to, both before and after "that day".
Mt 24:27, 29, 30, 33, 37, 39, 42, 44. Oh, and look at the thief comment in verse 43.
There are multiple WARNINGS in Matthew and Mark concerning being alert! "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." Why would He repeatedly warn us if we weren't going to be here? He even says in Mk 13:36, "lest he come suddenly and find you asleep." Asleep?! Sounds like our favorite "like a thief in the night" passage, 1 Thess 5:4 "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness , that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness . 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober." Looks like our "like a thief in the night" passage doesn't refer to an imminent return either. Hmmmmm.
The omnicient God could have chosen any number of things to write to us in His Word. HOWEVER, out of all of the knowledge in the world, all of the scientific discoveries, all of the the medical wisdom, He chose to warn us repeatedly about the end times. A full one quarter of the Bible is concerning the last days, yet we just skip over so much of it BECAUSE we think it won't personally affect us or our families. When are we going to WAKE UP!
The study of theology is just fine and dandy, but when our theology causes the Bible to contradict itself, who are we going to believe? Can an inerrant Word contradict itself? Can we pretend that we don't need an antecedent for "that day and hour" and ignore Christ's repeated warnings? Shall we just hope everything will "pan out" in the end?