When Shall These Things Be? Understanding the Olivet Discourse (Mt. 24-25)
Shortly before his passion, the Lord Jesus sat with his disciples on the Mount of Olives and taught them about the Consummation. All agree that his lengthy discourse, recounted by three of the four Gospel writers, is the single most important dominical teaching on this subject.
It is also the most difficult and controversial. However, if our grasp of biblical eschatology is firm, and our understanding of prophetic diction clear, the difficulties are actually quite surmountable, and the controversies fairly easily laid to rest.
My approach in this essay will be as follows.
First, we will look closely at the Disciple’s Question, a question that both elicited the Lord’s reply and determined the prophetic principles by which he would give it.
Secondly, we will briefly survey the Discourse itself, using those principles to help us interpret his meaning.
Thirdly, we will address some of the more difficult questions involved, even as we interact with different interpretations of controversial passages.
And finally, we will summarize our findings, showing how richly they favor the amillennial view of the Consummation.
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