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Is Matthew 24:34 grounds for skepticism?

Wheat Field

Member
C.S. Lewis, author and lay Anglican theologian wrote the following (from 'The world's last night and other essays' - 1960):

"Say what you like" we shall be told, "the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, 'this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.' And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else."

It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement "But of that day and that
hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are In heaven, neither the Son, but the Father"

I will admit that this issue makes me skeptical about Jesus. What do you say?
 
Moses words in Deuteronomy 18:21-22:
“But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’ If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared."

Surely, either Jesus' prophecy is truthful or he is made a false prophet by Moses' words?
 
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Hello Wheat Field.
If Mr. Lewis said that, he didn't understand what our Lord was saying. Most people don't

this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come. Mt.24:14 KJV
 
Hello Wheat Field.
If Mr. Lewis said that, he didn't understand what our Lord was saying. Most people don't

this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come. Mt.24:14 KJV

Thanks journeyman.

I think you are pointing out that it would take more than a few years for the gopsel to be preached to the whole world; is that correct?

Further to this would be verse 9:
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

Presumably this process would take some many years at the very least to occur.

The issue seems to be Jesus explicitly saying '...until all these things have taken place.'
 
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Hello Wheat Field.
If Mr. Lewis said that, he didn't understand what our Lord was saying. Most people don't

this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come. Mt.24:14 KJV

You are affirming that there are no grounds for skepticism?
 
Hi Wheat Field

I'm curious, and I don't really see a good answer in your OP. Skeptical about what. Whether or not you are born again? Or whether or not Jesus is who he says that he is? Or is it some other point of the Scriptures that you are skeptical of?

God bless,
Ted
 
Hi Wheat Field

I'm curious, and I don't really see a good answer in your OP. Skeptical about what. Whether or not you are born again? Or whether or not Jesus is who he says that he is? Or is it some other point of the Scriptures that you are skeptical of?

God bless,
Ted

Skeptical about Jesus being who he claimed to be (I'm not a Christian btw). When he said v.24 - Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened - we note that 'these things' includes the coming of the Son of Man when the elect will be gathered.
 
If we include not other things which the Lord Jesus Christ said, such as, If the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken up; and again, saying, But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming...The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of.
But if we believe that only Truth proceedeth out of the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ then will we not be skeptical in the least.
 
If we include not other things which the Lord Jesus Christ said, such as, If the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken up; and again, saying, But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming...The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of.
But if we believe that only Truth proceedeth out of the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ then will we not be skeptical in the least.

Sorry lastofall, I'm not understanding your point.
 
Thanks journeyman.

I think you are pointing out that it would take more than a few years for the gopsel to be preached to the whole world; is that correct?
Yes.
Further to this would be verse 9:
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

Presumably this process would take some many years at the very least to occur.
Exactly and to His entire church,

for them also which shall believe on me through their word; Jn.17:20
The issue seems to be Jesus explicitly saying '...until all these things have taken place.'
The secret is "all these things" are being fulfilled in Him. In us by His Spirit.
 
Yes.

Exactly and to His entire church,

for them also which shall believe on me through their word; Jn.17:20

The secret is "all these things" are being fulfilled in Him. In us by His Spirit.

The coming of the Son of Man (v.30) is explicitly stated - as is the abomination which causes desolation and the persecution of Christians throughout all the nations. Real events, surely?
 
The coming of the Son of Man (v.30) is explicitly stated - as is the abomination which causes desolation and the persecution of Christians throughout all the nations. Real events, surely?
Yes...in Him. The "abomination which causes desolation" is the rejection of Gods' Word, which is what happened when Jesus was condemned.
The confusion disappears when we understand how the difference in how God perceives things and how man incorrectly perceives them. Calamity all around but,

they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; Lk.17:28 KJV

Business as usual?
 
Skeptical about Jesus being who he claimed to be (I'm not a Christian btw). When he said v.24 - Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened - we note that 'these things' includes the coming of the Son of Man when the elect will be gathered.
Hi Wheat Field

I hear ya. And there was a time in my life that I was right where you are. Who is this dude, Jesus? I was almost 40 before I came to believe in the truth of God. But let me also mention that because I've been there, I also know that we don't really understand a lot of God's word without the Spirit of God as our counselor and arbiter of truth. But then I trusted Jesus and I can tell you that a lot of those 'skeptical' places became clear.

If you do any real study up with some of the respected theologians of the past and present, then you'll find answer to your questions. But without the Spirit they may still not make sense to you. Jesus spoke of those that he personally preached to. I mean the Son of the living God, as christians believe him to be, was out teaching all over Israel for some 3 years. At one point though, he spoke directly to his disciples and said of those to whom he had been speaking to, that he spoke to them in parables. Though they be ever hearing, never perceiving. Ever seeing but never believing.

So, I hear you and where you are in your understanding of this whole issue of God and Jesus, but I would direct you to the book of Daniel, chapter 9. In it we find a prophecy. A prophecy that is specific as to time and person of the Messiah. If you take the time to follow to where the end of the period of time that the prophecy speaks of, there's only one person who was on the world scene that anyone would even think to consider was God's Messiah within 50 years either way of the date that the prophecy points to. It was written some 500 years before Jesus came. Following the conclusion of that prophecy, there can hardly be any doubt as to 'who' God was pointing to in giving Daniel that prophecy.

If you're interested I've already broken it down on another thread. https://christianforums.net/threads...s-acceptable-to-us.103090/page-2#post-1849037 posts 23 & 25.

If you'd like to discuss it some more, I'll be happy to help. All you need do is ask.

God bless,
Ted
 
Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Could it be that in the full context that Jesus was referring to the last generation that will be here on earth when He returns on the last day! The Disciples asked Jesus three questions that day as they sat with Jesus on Mt of Olives.

Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

That generation that Jesus spoke to on the mount would see many things that Christ said would happen in Matthew 24 especially with the destruction of the Temple in 70AD, but not the end of all those things Jesus foretold would happen before He returns. If you think about it the Gospel even today is still being preached throughout the world as many new continents and nations came to be way after 70AD. The seven trumpets have not sounded yet nor has the son of perdition taken his seat on the very Temple mount of God for a period of 3 1/2 years. Most importantly Jesus has not yet returned in the way He said He would in Matthew 24:29-31. So, in general it was not the generation in the days of the Disciples, but that of the generation of Jews in the end of days that will see all these things come to pass.
 
C.S. Lewis, author and lay Anglican theologian wrote the following (from 'The world's last night and other essays' - 1960):

"Say what you like" we shall be told, "the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, 'this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.' And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else."

It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement "But of that day and that
hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are In heaven, neither the Son, but the Father"

I will admit that this issue makes me skeptical about Jesus. What do you say?

Well, first, I'd correct the description of Lewis as a "theologian." He was a wonderful philosopher but not, I think, a particularly good theologian.

When all the Gospel passages parallel to Matthew 24 are taken together, the apparent "issue" you've pointed out resolves. Check them out: Mark 13; Luke 21.
 
C.S. Lewis, author and lay Anglican theologian wrote the following (from 'The world's last night and other essays' - 1960):

"Say what you like" we shall be told, "the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, 'this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.' And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else."

It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement "But of that day and that
hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are In heaven, neither the Son, but the Father"

I will admit that this issue makes me skeptical about Jesus. What do you say?
You must first understand the fig tree? Israel was that fig tree but the fruit was not good. Jesus curse the fig tree in other words He will remove them from being a witness for God. What Gods is saying is that once you see Israel become a nation again and it's still young rather its leaves are tender this generation will not pass. This is the day we live in now. Long story short God raised up two different witnesses, two olive trees with oil whom after He scattered the 12 had developed into.
 
Hi again Wheat Field

There are actually several places where we are told a list of things that are going to happen, but the don't all necessarily follow one after the other or in any certain order. There can also be a list where some of the things are happening now and some of the other things happen later. Prophetic writings are full of this kind of revelation. So I would call your attention to Jesus' words in 24:33. And remember please, that chapters and verses are additions that we've made to God's word.

"Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door."

Now Jesus has just giving his disciples a list of things that they will see happening as the end, that they had asked him about, comes. But they also asked him three questions.

“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Two questions: When will this happen? What will be the sign of your coming? Then the third, "and of the end of the age?"

Now, we can assume that the sign of his coming and of the end of the age, might be the same answer. But we must also understand that it might not, too. Anyway, Jesus gives them a list of things that they will be seeing happening upon the earth that will signify these things that Jesus is talking about, coming to be in real life and real time.

Now, the entire conversation starts with his disciples asking him to marvel at the site of their holy temple. I can imagine Peter sweeping his hand across the view of the building and declaring, "Look! Look at this marvelous temple where we worship your Father! See what a grand structure it is."

So to this statement that must have been something like what I've fabricated, Jesus first tells them that the temple isn't going to stand. "Don't marvel at that grand temple because in a very short time it will not be standing. And I mean there won't be one stone upon another. That's how totally it will be destroyed".

Jesus first warns them of being deceived by false prophets and false messiahs. He tells them that you will hear of war and rumors of war. But the end is still to come. So when we do hear these things, we know that the end hasn't come yet. He gets a little more detailed in the accounting of the wars. Telling them that nation will rise up against nation. Now that statement right there, tells me that Jesus isn't talking about 70 A.D. There wasn't any proliferation of nations warring with each other at that time. It was merely the destruction of a city under the control of Rome.

There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. So this isn't some mid afternoon shaking of the earth in Israel at Jesus' crucifixion. There is no record that there were some lot of famines or earthquakes at that time. Today, one might say that they have become much more common place. But there are still only the birth pangs, he tells us. It isn't the end yet.

Then he continues with his list of prophetic signs that we should see, and closes by telling them that when they see 'all' of these things, then the end is near. Right at the door, he says to them. Certainly, making the point that it is immediately eminent. Then Jesus says, "Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place." And the question is 'what' generation did Jesus mean by saying 'this generation'? Is it the generation of the people that he was talking to, or was it the generation to come when the last signs are shown? In other words, once we get to where we are seeing wars all over the globe and famines and earthquakes, that generation will not pass away until Jesus returns.

I mean, I hear a lot of nations are actively involved or thinking about going to war with a neighbor nation. I know that there are nearly always places of famine around the globe. I see pictures about once every couple of months of some city or area devastated by an earthquake. So it could be this generation living today that won't pass away before Jesus' return. If we consider that the Scriptures generally use 20 years to establish one generation from another in lineage. But the lifespan of any generation should be about 70-80 years.

So I believe that we are now becoming the generation that Jesus spoke of. Oddly enough, there are other clues that would lead me to believe that it could happen in the next 100 years. Now please, I am not foretelling a day or hour, merely a season. Just calling out from the watchtower, "Keep watch! For the days are fast approaching that we should expect to see the return of our Lord."

We are hearing of wars and rumors of war. We are witnessing nation rise up against nation. We are seeing signs and wonders in the heavens. We are becoming, across the globe, as it was in the days of Noah. Jesus' return could be very close.

However, I would encourage that you spend time actually seeking after Jesus first. And I'm not asking you to make some grand life change. I'm just encouraging that you at least give it 30 seconds of your time to bow your head and ask God to show you the truth. "God, by the power of your Holy Spirit, please let me understand what you ask of me. Give me understanding of your word." Just those two sentences and feel free to add anything else that come to your mind, but at least those words before you begin seeking the answers to the questions that you are asking.

Simple, ease, won't take 30 seconds out of your life. And please don't hesitate to PM me if you'd like a more private communication.

God bless,
Ted
 
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