Matthew 24:29-51

Be ready! Jesus is coming back! Work while you wait!

But wait, what do we do with “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place?” Those who believe that all of the things that Jesus describes here have already happened don’t have a problem with it. The generation didn’t pass away! They saw it all happen with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. This understanding assumes that the description of the Son of Man coming on clouds is a description of judgment and that it’s not meant to be taken literally (24:29-31). However, those who believe all of this is still future think that Jesus meant the generation who will be alive when all of these things begin to happen. So it will all happen relatively quickly, especially on the cosmic timetable, and Jesus will literally and visibly return. But most of the time when generation is used the way Jesus uses it here it refers to those who are being addressed, i.e. the generation currently living. If that is the case then the best way to understand it may be that Jesus is answering both when the temple will be destroyed and when the end of the age will happen (24:3). The temple and Jerusalem being destroyed and much of the turmoil being described will all happen before that current generation passes away. However, the signs of His coming and the end of the age happen at a later time.

When it comes to passages like these the temptation is to believe that we have the right interpretation, and that anyone who believes differently is wrong and maybe even heretical! But the end times have generally been regarded as something that we can agree to disagree on.

For worship:

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