Question of the Week: Is it true that the generation that saw Israel restored as a nation in 1948 will not pass away until Jesus’ return?
No. People who make any claim that sets any required period of time for the Rapture to occur in is denying a very plain reality when it comes to scripture. Jesus stated in Matthew 24:36-44 that no man knows the day or the hour of His coming. This is what is known as the doctrine of immanency. From the plain things of scripture, we remember these rules when interpreting other statements made in scripture. If what we aren’t certain of conflicts with what we can be certain of, then we need to revisit our interpretation. This claim about 1948 marking the generation that will not pass away is based on the parable of the fig tree that immediately precedes Jesus’ clarification that no man knows the day or the hour. The fig tree is rightly interpreted to be Israel on the basis of several Old Testament prophets, (Jeremiah Ezekiel, and Joel mainly), and that like a fig tree blossoming shows that harvest is coming soon, so the blossoming of the nation of Israel will mark the fulfillment of the End Times Jesus was speaking of to be at the doors. This is where the fork in the road appears. What is meant by “this generation” in the passage? Those who harmonize the doctrine of immanency with this claim say that a generation simply means the people of Israel will not pass away after being restored to their land. This is the position we would take. Those that claim a date for the rapture is being set interpret a generation in the other ways scripture claims a generation lasts. Genesis 6 claims it is 120 years. Psalm 90 claims it is 70 years or 80 if they have strength. The problem is that neither of these passages claim this is a biblical generation, nor is the point Jesus is trying to make in light of the clarification He immediately proceeds to make after stating this parable. Genesis 6 simply observed that unlike the long ages Adam’s generation lived to, man’s days will become progressively shorter to that point. From centuries to perhaps one century would constitute an average lifespan post-flood. Likewise, Psalm 90 is Moses observing a simple fact in a poetic context. Men live on average 70-80 years depending on health and circumstances. To say these passages are giving us a date for a biblical generation attribute a contradiction in scripture, as well as end up contradicting Jesus’ main point. If Moses’ generation is correct, then the Rapture should have happened two years ago at the time this article is being written. If Genesis’ generation is correct, then Jesus was wrong. The Rapture is going to happen in 2068. We CAN know the day and the hour of the Lord’s return. This statement is of course sarcastic. I have more reason to trust Jesus’ plain statements than reading into Psalms and Genesis a measurement of time that isn’t necessarily there.
A Reason For Hope is a ministry of Calvary Christian Fellowship of Tucson
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