Are We The Final Generation?
By Hal Lindsey
It is difficult for me to deal with most people who write articles about the "Late Great Planet Earth". I am so fed-up with being mis-quoted about Matthew 24:34. So here is what I actually did say and what I meant about the passage of Matthew 24:32-34.
On page 54 of the LGPE, I wrote, "What generation? Obviously, in context, the generation that would see the signs - chief among them the rebirth of the State of Israel. A generation in the Bible is something like forty years. IF this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so of 1948, all these things could take place."
I underlined the subjective mood of the statements to emphasize that I DID NOT say "all these things will take place within 40 years of Israel's rebirth." All of the qualifications I gave in this passage were designed to convey that I was by no means certain of the deduction. But who ever takes note of that. Most people that believe that I said Christ would return within 40 years of Israel's rebirth and that a generation could only be 40 years did not read my actual statement. I am shocked that even a friend like Tim LaHaye apparently did not read it.
In consequent studies, I have come to believe that I missed a very important word in this verse that gives perimeters as to what kind of generation Jesus had in mind. It is the average life span of those who are in the generation to which He pointed. Jesus said, "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place." In other words, the generation that witnesses the coming together of all the signs given in the Olivet Discourse will not die before they are all fulfilled.
I believe we are in the generation that will live to see the fulfillment of the "birth pangs" that Jesus predicted would all come together in one time frame shortly before the Tribulations events that bring about His return. I have never believed that the precise day or hour could be known. But I do believe that Jesus commanded for us to know the general time. Otherwise, what was the point of giving signs that would indicate His coming was near? Jesus actually commanded us to learn the signs of His return by commanding us to learn the parable of the fig tree. In Matthew 24:32, Jesus said, "Now learn the parable of the fig tree ..." The verb "learn" is in the imperative mood, which means it is a command, not something optional. Jesus continued, "... When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see ALL these things, KNOW that it is near - at the doors."
The verb "know" or "recognize" is also in the imperative mood in the Greek, which means it is a command.
In summary, just as the first leaves of the fig tree indicate that the general time Summer is near, even so the appearance of all the predicted signs in concert within one time period appear, it indicates that the general time of Christ's coming is near. And we are all commanded to "recognize" that His coming is near by the imperative mood verb of this Scripture.
I believe the signs I wrote about in the Late Great Planet Earth are still valid. In fact, more so now than ever.