A member on my private forum asked this Question:
Hey Tim I got one more question. We are 100% sure we are in the last generation right? If this is true then do you have any idea how long a generation actually is? It seems like no one has a clear cut answer. Ive heard 40, 50, 70, but no one really knows.
Answer: Actually there is no “last generation” described in Scripture. That concept came from a popular misapplication of the Parable of the Fig Tree (Mt 24:32-35).Â This view posits that the thing to watch is the fig tree (Israel) putting forth leaves (take Jerusalem) and that “this generation shall not pass until all is fulfilled” refers to the people alive when the fig tree does this still being alive when Jesus returns.
If this were true, then again we’d have a calculation for the absolute single time of Jesus’ return far in advance which contradicts what he expressly said about the impossibility of no man knowing the time (“day or hour”) of his return (Mt 24:36). This is the reason all such calculations have failed throughout history: Jesus said they never will work since even he the Son of God (and the entire Word of God) does not know. The Bible is just a subset of the Word of God and so we can never use it to figure out Jesus’ return (further in advance than 1290 days from the Abomination of Desolation probably).
In truth, the Parable of the Fig Tree does not refer to Israel at all. It tells us to watch for “all these things” that the Olivet Discourse listed as the precursors to his return. Just as seeing leaves on any tree (not just a fig treeâ€”Lk 21:29) tells you summer is nigh, so do all these events happening tell you Jesus’ return is near.
Read Mt 24 to see what all those things listed are. Ironically, none of them match Jerusalem getting return to Israel and instead one of them is Jerusalem taken from Israel by the Antichrist (Lk 21:20)!
Now that you know it won’t help you figure out the Second Coming’s timing, do you still want to know the length of a biblical generation? It’s established at 40 years from more than one precedent (Heb 3:9-10; Ps 95:10). Sign up for my free newsletter for a series on the Seven Prophecy Pitfalls that discusses this in more detail.
4 thoughts on “Are We The “Last Generation”?”
It seems to me you are contradicting yourself. We ARE to take the bible literally. We are not told we can’t know when Jesus will return, we are told we won’t know the exact day or hour. This could be due to several reasons: the sun, moon is obscured, earth is actually moved off it’s axis and days disrupted, God may cause another missing block of time, our clocks won’t work, time zones make synchronicity for everyone impossible or perhaps simply because the festivals are based on when the moon is seen to rise by witnesses and until that hour, nobody knows. I believe that there is also one festival and I can’t remember which one, which was moved from it’s original time and is not celebrated as dictated by God. The festivals are markers and the clock will become clearer as we go along. One generation will have some living members when Jesus returns. The countdown starts with the formation of Israel. That couldn’t be clearer to me.
Whoops, you seemed to miss that “day or hour” is in Bible parlance “time”. Playing semantics like that therefore does not resolve the dilemma of “no man knows” in the face of the fact that we will know the time of the end once the abomination happens (it will be exactly 1290 days ahead and counting days even without the sun given the invention of watches is not a problem). The only solution is that no man knows is present tense only this far in advance. If you study the prohibition you will see it is connected always to the warning to stay alert and not backslide “because you don’t know the day or hour”.
However, once the abomination happens, God’s people will know the time of the end (1290 days away) AND they also will not be liable to backslide because they will have been taken out of the general world to a specific place prepared (Rev 12, times time and half a time = Great Tribulation, same period as the 1290 days). So the whole reason for saying “no man knows” (potential for backsliding) will be gone and with it as well the restriction on knowing. The restriction was never stated as “no man will EVER know”, but only “(presently) no man knows.
I am confused. I understand that we can’t know when the “peace treaty” with Israel will be singed so to speak; but I always thought that the idea of this generation not passing away refereed to the rebirth of Israel, not the direct return of Christ at the end of the seven year Tribulation. As far as I understand it, Everyone who was alive when Israel became a nation again, (I use the date after the 6 day war) at least one person who was alive on that day would still be alive when the last seven years are kicked in. (1967 plus 120 years = 2087) I figure we are in the last century. IF I am wrong, could I be shown the correct article please?
“This generation” can only refer to the people standing there when he spoke; his listening audience as he did not say, “that generation.” See http://www.escapeallthesethings.com/parable-of-the-fig-tree.htm