People that work against Christianity, skeptics, can use any verse to support their position of denying the truth. Some verses are directly in support of their opposing arguments yet such people know the truth but choose not to follow it. One such verse is Matthew 24:34 where Jesus says that the generation of the time will not pass away until all these things have happened.
Theologians often say that when you analyse any verse, it matters that you consider the context, which means you may have to consider the whole chapter or even the book. You may even go on to consider the Testament in which the verse is recorded.
I’m not going to twist the Word to suite what I want to be heard but I will carefully scrutinise this verse and its context. Join me as I do so in the sections below:
What Jesus said would happen
First I wish to mention the things Jesus said would happen, according to the whole chapter 24, which the generation of the time would have to witness:
- Wars and rumours of war.
- Nation will rise against another, kingdom against another, famines, pestilences, earthquakes.
- They will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, you will hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
- Many will be offended, will betray one another, will hate one another.
- Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many,
- The love of many will grow cold,
- The gospel will be preached in all nations.
If we consider these things that Jesus said would happen in the time of that particular generation, none would seem impossible to have happened at that time. All of them are on a continuous basis. You are a witness with me to the fact that all of these have been fulfilled even in our generation, since then, all subsequent generations saw these things happen.
It must be noted that the levels and intensity of the occurrences may differ from generation to generation. Please also note that point 7 was starting out for a long term period. Indeed Jesus was telling the truth that the generation of the time saw these things.
Tell me therefore who has proof that one generation ever since did not see these things Jesus talked about? I would go with what Jesus said and believe that no one did not live at a generation where these things did not happen. Exposure and global communications may have been limited with earlier generations but being ignorant of whatever is happening elsewhere in the world does not mean it is not happening during your generation.
Apparently, some would mistake this portion of scripture to mean that fulfilment of these verses would mean that His return should have happened in that generation. Such interpretation would be wrong because Jesus further talks about His return in the same chapter but in verses 36 to 44.
In verse 36, Jesus says that ‘But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only’. He further makes an example of the times of Noah of old where the flood had been spoken of a lot but it only happened when least expected. In other words, for every generation, that particular generation should be mindful of the fact that Jesus’ return could be any time.
Implications to our generation
It must be noted that signs of the end times are not only spoken of by Jesus but some other apostles and prophets talk about it. Even though the Words of Jesus in the reference scriptures are complete, but it still is important to compare and contrast it with the many other verses that address the same topic.
I want to pick just the epistle of ‘Jude’ verse 18, which says just a few words about the end times. Today we see mockers that walk according to their ungodly lusts, as they have been ever since the generation Jesus lived in, that demonstrate their qualities in today’s methods. These are people that drink alcohol and get drunk but still go on and preach while drunk. Such people are those that prefer going for shopping on a Sunday and disregard to call to fellowship together. It also includes the many preachers and pastors that live a flamboyant lifestyle at the cost of sharing their wealth with the needy.
I implore you as you have read this far to take serious the Words of Jesus when He spoke about the end times and prepare your way. This generation has seen most of the end time prophecies and may be taken by shock when Jesus suddenly comes just life Noah’s generation.