PMW 2018-065 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In my last article I introduced a “problem” that arises in some Christians’ minds regarding the first-century fulfillment of the opening section of the Olivet Discourse. One problem that confuses many is Matt. 24:31, which reads:
“And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
We must note that just three verses later Jesus unequivocally declares: “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Matt. 24:34). This clearly demands that the statement before us must come to pass in the first century. And as we shall see, so it does! Continue reading
PMW 2018-064 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The Olivet Discourse is a fascinating eschatological discourse given by the Lord to his disciples. It is the largest discourse of Christ recorded in Matthew (Matt. 24:4–25:46), the only one given over to issues beyond the temporal boundaries of Matthew’s storyline (which ends shortly after Christ’s resurrection, Matt. 28:1–7), and is his last (therefore, climactic) discourse in Matthew (Matt. 26:1). Hence, for Matthew it is clearly significant for his theological point (which I will be discussing in a new book I am working on, see note at the end of this article).
The key to understanding the first portion of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:4–35) is to recognize its local, first-century focus. We see this from several angles: (1) The Discourse is prompted by Jesus’s declaration of the approaching destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2), which we know happened in AD 70. (2) It is clearly a local event, for the tribulation surrounding it can be escaped by fleeing from Judea (Matt. 24:16). And (3) it will happen to the first-century generation of Jesus and his disciples (Matt. 24:34), the same generation in which the Pharisees resisted Christ’s earthly ministry (Matt. 23:36; cf. vv. 29–35). I have dealt abundantly with the Olivet Discourse in other blog articles.
However, some Christians become confused because of Matthew 24:31. Continue reading