Mt 24:26-27 "So if anyone tells you, `There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, `Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Understanding the Kingdom purpose of God also helps our understanding of the End Times. If we have grasped that God's plan for the church is going to end in success and not failure it helps us separate the truth from the fictional and just plain bizarre.
I am often surprised and concerned to find how influential dispensationalist ideas have become in so many Christians' Escatology. In particular the belief in a Secret Rapture, seems almost ubiquitous. This doctrine states that all the Christians will be whisked off the face of the earth, leaving the world in the control of the Anti-Christ for the final tribulation. Does that sound like God's kingdom plan to you? Is the church going to be a beleaguered remnant just holding out against a tide of evil until it can be "airlifted" to safety, or is it going to be the triumphant Bride who has filled the earth with the knowledge of the glory of God, and prepared herself for his coming?
The scriptures are clear. There is not going to be anything secret about his coming! Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him (Rev 1:7) Yes, we will be caught up to meet him in the air, but this will not be at some secret prequel to the last day, but on that last and glorious day itself.
The rock in Daniel 2 expanded until it filled the whole earth, it did not shrivel into a corner and then get beamed up into heaven. If our doctrine of the end times is one of pessimism and gloom, then we have not understood the Kingdom.