Luke 21:29-32 29 He told them a parable. "See the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near. Even so you also, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished." (web)
"All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree."Isaiah 34:4"this generation will certainly not pass away"
This phrase has been used as a basis for skeptics to question the credibility of Christ. For hasn't that generation already "passed away" and these things have not been all fulfilled? But then again, has that generation really passed away? Consider the whole phrase:
"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."And notice also the promise previous to this
Today we use "pass away" to mean "die", but that's not the way it was generally used in the New Testament. Metaphorically it meant either to perish or to pass over, neglect or omit. A person has not metaphorically "passed away" if memories of them continue. But Jesus says "certainly not", indicate they won't even come close to passing away. And that indeed is the case. For the words and lives of that generation of Christians continues to remain dominant in the Christian community.
Another possibility is that he is referring just to that final generation of Christians - that they would not perish before the Rapture, being interpreted as an exhoratation to endure through the great tribulation. Or more generally that mankind of that generation would not perish until all was fulfilled.
"when you see these things happening"
Luke 21:9-19 refers to wars, disasters and persecution
Luke 21:20-23 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in 70 AD.
(But may have a double fulfillment)
Luke 21:24 refers to the last 2000 years
Luke 21:25-27 refers to events in the book of Revelation yet to occur.
See also The Rapture
|Look at the fig tree and all the trees
When you see their leaves blow in the breeze
Then you know that summer is near.
So God's kingdom is almost here
When you see happen the things I say
And this generation will certainly not pass away
Until all the things I said come about
And I speak the truth without any doubt
Heaven and earth will pass away
But my words remain long past that day.
And indeed what he says has been true
For the words of those men and their deeds too
Continue their influence as they've been heard
They've not passed away, they remain through the Word.
The Berean Christian Bible Study ResourcesJul 29,2015