In Revelation 22, Jesus declared three times that He was coming back quickly. The word quickly in Greek (tachy ‘ta-who’) means speedily, suddenly, without delay or soon. In verse 7 Jesus said “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Then in verse 12 He says “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work”, then finally in verse 20 Jesus says “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’”
This is the manner in which Jesus will return, when He comes, as He surely will, He will come quickly. When the time set by the Father is fulfilled, He will not delay. Presently Jesus is received in Heaven as it says in Acts 3:21 until the restoration of all things, but when that time comes, the nature of His return will be one of great speed, just like lightning, so shall the glory of His appearing be. This quick return sets the spiritual climate in which we have been living for the last two thousand years, that Jesus will come back speedily. But notice here, that there is a difference between a quick return and an imminent one. Though Jesus says He’s coming back quickly, doesn’t mean His return is imminent, as in the sense Jesus could return at any moment unexpectedly, for Jesus also gives clear instruction about the signs of His coming. It is true we will not know the hour as in Matt 24:36 which reads “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”But though we may not know the day or hour of His return, Jesus uses the parable of the fig tree to describe that when you see the things He told them, taking place, then to know that this is the season of His return. Listen to what Luke writes in chapter 21 Luke 21:28-31 (ESV2011) 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
The Bible doesn’t teach an imminent return. Though it says you won’t know the day or hour, doesn’t mean that it could be any day or hour. Yes Jesus will return like a thief in the night which will catch those in darkness by surprise, but only when certain criteria has first been fulfilled. The only return that the Bible teaches is when He returns in great glory known as the Day of the Lord, which Paul writes should not be a surprise to us, because we are children of the light (1 Thess 5:1-5). Jesus taught us to watch and pray, for there are signs which will herald that the day of His coming is near, and He will return exactly in the way He said He would, in the way which is recorded for us in His Word, so that we will know. And the final recorded requirement, the one that all Heaven is waiting for is found in Rev 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.”