A poster on here talked about the absurdity of Jesus' prophecy about the last days, especially after the great tribulation when the "sign of the son of man" will appear in heaven. I wish I had more time to go into this, because you ask a great question in the OP.
Perhaps I will be able to later.
Nevertheless I would like to address a few of these questions. Firstly, there will be no religion when the "sign of the son of man" appears in the
heavens. Here let me explain it.
The great tribulation has two phases. An initial phase, an intermediate period between the first and second phase, and then a final phase. The first
phase of the great tribulation will be triggered by the even Jehovah God recorded in the Bible here:
(1 Thes 5:3) Whenever it is that they are saying: “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of
distress upon a pregnant woman; and they will by no means escape.
That cry of "peace and security" is a future event that will be unique in mankind's history. How it will unfold we are not told. We will have to
wait and see. But when it does hit then sudden destruction will be "instantly upon them." Upon whom? Revelation 17, 18 speaks of a great harlot
known as "Babylon the great." She represents this worlds religions. There it shows us that Jehovah will maneuver the world rulers to give their
power to the United Nations in one united thought to turn upon the harlot, devastate, make her naked, and completely burn her with fire. Her
destruction will be complete. Thus this world's rulers will empower the United Nations (as represented by the imagine of the wild beast with seven
heads and ten horns) to turn upon religion and destroy her. You must get out of this world's religions if you do not want to share with her in her
plagues and her sins.
At that time there will be nowhere else to flee but to ungodly atheism. Of course at that time Jehovah will prevent his witnesses on earth to be done
away with as are all the other religions.
Right now Jehovah has his witnesses warning of these events in all the nations of the earth. They have constantly gone house to house warning the
people of these coming events. Most of them have ignored and snubbed the loving message of urgency these peace-lovers bring to the people. The
world's media now have ignored the warning, and will not start then to proclaim it. It will be Jehovah's witnesses doing the proclamations.
Now "after the tribulation of those days," when religion is done away with, then the "sign of the son of man" appears in the heavens.
And Jesus does say this:
(Matthew 24:28-30) Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will
fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of
the earth will beat themselves in lamentation, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
This is not to be taken literally. In the Bible the heavens refer to the ruling political elements of human society, and the earth refer to the
people. There are many prophecies that talk of, for example, a "new heavens and new earth" that are obviously referring to a new government and a
new people being governed. For example when the Israealites were repatriated to their homeland after 70 years in captivity to Babylon in 537 B. C. E.
the prophecy in Isaiah about the "new heaven and new earth" (Isaiah 51:16).
Thus after those events the world's rulers, and its stars, the ones that the people look up to, their financial moguls, their great scientists, and
leaders who all lead them away from God, and especially the world's religious leaders, will all simply fall. They will be revealed for the utter
frauds they are, and they will have no saving power what-so-ever for what is to befall mankind. When that does happen, they will be no hope and no
salvation to the people. The people will recognize who it is they are fighting against, and they will have no hope left, at that time. Their sun and
moon and stars, they will all of them simply loose their false lights they proclaim to be.
Luke recorded Jesus' words as saying that during that time period men would become "faint out of fear" (Luke 21:25, 26) because of what is going to
At that time the second phase of the great tribulation will shortly thereafter commence, after an all-out assault that Satan and his demon hordes will
lead against Jehovah's people. Jehovah will find himself having to intervene to save his witnesses and the battle of Armageddon will have
What the world's rulers will do when they see that sign after they destroy religion is foretold in Revelation: