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Open your Bible to Matthew 24, and highlight verse 34—for it proves that everything Jesus has said up to that point is not about the end of time. To what, then, was Jesus referring in those verses?

Remember, the disciples had asked Him, “When will these things be?” “These things” are the “thing(s)” that Jesus had mentioned in verse 2: that the temple would someday be destroyed. Thus, in Matthew 24:4-35, Jesus is talking not about the end of the world, but about the “end” of the temple—which He explicitly declared to them would be fulfilled in the time of that generation (v. 34).

The Jews considered a generation to be about forty years. You sit reading this paper nearly 2,000 years removed from Jesus’s prophecy in Matthew 24:4-35, and, as you’ve assuredly noticed, the end of the world has still not come (or even “begun”). Therefore, if Jesus was speaking of the end of the world in those verses, then Jesus was wrong.

But what about the temple in Jerusalem—was it ever destroyed after Jesus’s earthly advent? Indeed. In a.d. 70, “Jerusalem [was] surrounded by armies” (see Luke 21:20), destroying city, people, and the temple, thus fulfilling Matthew 24:4-35 about forty years after Jesus spoke the words—i.e., before the generation to which He spoke passed away (v. 34).

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