Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“Now learn the parable of the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:32-35). The parable of the fig tree, appearing in what is known as the Olivet Discourse, is perhaps one of the most challenging passages of Scripture for Bible students. The challenge stems from the fact that Jesus appears to be predicting a particular period of time in which we can expect to witness His glorious and visible return to earth.
The argument goes something like this: The fig tree represents the nation of Israel. The branch that becomes tender and puts forth its leaves refers to the rebirth of the nation in 1948. Therefore, the generation born around the time of Israel’s return to the land will be alive at the Second Coming of Christ. But is this the correct interpretation of this particular passage of Scripture?
Many conclude this traditional interpretation cannot possibly be correct given Jesus’ words in verse 36: “But of that day and hour no one knows.” He said the same thing in Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.” Paul reiterated this in his first letter to the Thessalonian believers: “Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you” (1 Thess. 5:1).
“If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen?” (Ecclesiastes 8:7). It is not unusual for people in legal proceedings or other official venues to execute what is known as an affidavit, a formal written statement that is signed by the author under oath or affirmation before an authorized official. So what does this have to do with Bible Prophecy?
The Bible makes numerous claims about itself. For example, it claims to be the Word of God and therefore perfect. David wrote, “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). He goes on to describe God’s word as being right, pure, clean, true, and righteous.
In the New Testament we are told, “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). Inspired means God-breathed, and since God, by His very nature is perfection, we know that He cannot breathe imperfection. Sounds simple enough right?
It may sound simple but there is one problem. Other books, or so called sacred writings, make similar claims. I remember visiting a temple in India once and looking at a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, the most revered sacred writings of Hinduism. I shared with the attendant how I believe only the Bible is God’s word to us and he quickly responded, “This is the same thing.”
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You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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