Unfolding Prophecy Truth
Elkmont Baptist Church
The Last Generation
Matthew 24:34 states: "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Which generation? I believe that the generation spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:34 was the last generation to be alive just before His Second Coming. Several questions arise then regarding this "last generation."
- When did it start?
- How long is a generation?
- Will it be cut short with Christ's return?
Some relevant Scriptures that might assist us in this discussion include the following:
- The rebirth of Israel as a nation in 1948 (predicted in Isaiah 66:8)
- The Jerusalem controversy in the end times (spoken of in
Zechariah 12:1-3 and discussed in Matthew 24-25)
- Preparations for rebuilding the Jewish Temple (prediction in Revelation 11:1-2 and
now being undertaken by the Temple Faithful)
- Ongoing negotiations for a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians (foretold
by an angel in Daniel 9:27 and rather dubiously ongoing today)
- And many others . . .
When did it start?
Some might ask - has it started yet? Many prophecy buffs and scholars have decided to start the "last generation" with the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Others have selected the 1967 Six-Day War as the beginning time, since that is when Israel reclaimed Jerusalem. Many of our older scholars have postulated a 40 year generation based on clues like: Moses and Israel in the wilderness 40 years, Moses on Mount Sinai 40 days and 40 nights, it rained 40 days during Noah's Flood (why do we give responsibility to Noah for that? it was God's Flood . . .), and, well, you get the point. The problem with a generation of 40 years is that adding 40 to 1948 or 1967 yields the following two dates: 1988 and 2007, both of which have come and gone. Even if we reason that the 7 years might be legitimately tacked on to the 40 years, 2007 plus 7 equals 2014, and the Six-Day War was in June. Therefore, once again the calculated day has passed.
Others feel like it is 70 years based on the promise by God that man's years will now be limited to 70. Psalm 90:10: "The days of our years
threescore years and ten; and
if by reason of strength
fourscore years, yet
their strength labor and
sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away." Our own insurance actuary tables average around 70 years. So lets see how that works out:
If 1948 is the start, then 2018 could be the year of His return, but I really don't think that the seven-year tribulation period has started yet . . . so we might be off there.
If 1967 is the start, then 2037 is the date "not to exceed."
Then there are the centurions - those who use a timeframe associated with Abraham - he was a hundred years old when the next generation was born (Isaac - Genesis 21:5). Of course, that would allow 1948 to extend to 2048 and 1967 to 2067.
Finally, Jesus said all these things would happen BEFORE that generation passed. Now we mix things up with the postulation that we can assume that at least a seven-year period (Tribulation Period) must be fulfilled, so, at a bare minimum, the generation that sees all these things happening would be 1948+7 (1956) or 1967+7 (1974), and neither of these were it. So we can slide that seven-year period around all the way up to 2018, 2037, 2048, 2067!
Hey - I got a better idea . . . let's stop date speculation and be as the wise virgins who did not know when their bridegroom would return, but made themselves ready for any eventual return time. One thing is for sure - none of us knows when God will call us home and for most of us (especially those born around 1948), we are more likely to be called home, individually, than with Christ's return.
Let's be always ready - we could go home any minute! If we are believers in Christ, we are headed home; if we are not, we are headed to judgement. Why face judgement when you can be assured of a home in Heaven forever? Read our Gospel page (Good News) and accept Christ as your Lord and Savior today.
May God richly bless.