The Last Generation
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.
(Luke 21:25-32 ESV)
When Jesus told the disciples what is going to happen in the end just before his return, He finished with a parable. As I said in my previous message, “Israel is the Key”, the fig tree represents Israel, and it’s growing, or coming out in leaf, began in 1948, when Israel came back together and was recognized as a nation. But what was Jesus referring to when He said “this generation will not pass away until all has taken place”? What exactly is a generation? There are two possibilities Jesus could have been referring to here.
First, if Jesus was referring to a period of time, I’ve found the bible lists a minimum of 60 years for a generation, and a maximum of 120 years. The 60 years comes from the book of Numbers when God condemned the Jews to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until they had all passed away. This condemnation was against all who were 20 years and older, so they were at least 60 when they died. The maximum comes from the book of Genesis when god said;
Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” (Genesis 6:3 ESV)
This presents us with a large time frame, but in Psalms we get a more precise time frame;
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
(Psalm 90:10 ESV)
Here the Lord sets the average lifespan to 70 to 80 years. If Jesus was referring to a period of time, I think this is the most likely. If this is what Jesus was referring to, 70 to 80 years from 1948 would be 2018 to 2028.
Jesus also could have been referring to actual people or generations of the time. In this case He could have been referring to the lifetimes of people alive in 1948 or the whole generation. If it is the lifetimes of people born in 1948, Terry Bradshaw, Al Gore, and Donna Summer are a few well known people born in 1948. If Jesus was referring to the whole generation, this would be the baby boomers, people born from 1946 to 1964. Michelle Obama, Nicolas Cage, and Sandra Bullock are well known people who are the last of the baby boomers, born in 1964.
So, if you are looking to the bible for a period of years for the return of our Lord, it appears to be anywhere between 2008, (60 years from 1948) and 2084, (120 years from 1964). These are the earliest and the latest according to biblical life spans, although I would lean toward the average which would be between 2018 (70 years from 1948) and 2044 (80 years from 1964). This is not my prediction of the end, just me trying to read the signs,(Jesus said we will be able to see when it is near) nobody knows for sure when the Lord will return, many have predicted and failed. So be skeptical when someone says that they’ve figured it out.
If you want a definite sign that the Lord’s return is near, watch Israel. Ezekiel 38-39 describes an end times attack that will happen against Israel. When this happens, God is going to supernaturally destroy the armies gathered to attack Israel. Ezekiel 39 ends like this;
“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies' lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.”
(Ezekiel 39:25-29 ESV)
The nation of Israel will know that God has rescued them and want to worship Him. I believe that this will create a stronger will in Israel to rebuild the temple. The people of Israel will want a place to worship God, who just saved them. This will still be opposed, but there will be a stronger desire, and push, to build the temple. I also believe that this will lead to the seven year covenant that the antichrist will make with Israel, and will allow the construction of the temple. This will also mark the beginning of the final seven years, known as the tribulation. This is what to watch for.