Q. I have a question about the generation not passing away until all things are fulfilled.
I assume this idea is coming from Luke 21:32. Does this idea appear anywhere else in scripture?
Luke 21 is often compared with matt 24 and mark 13, but I believe there are some very important differences. Matt and Mark are private discussions with his disciples on the mount of olives. Luke 21 Jesus is teaching in the temple to the people (not just the disciples). It starts off very similar in verses 7-11 but in verse 12 it says “But before all these” Luke begins a discussion that describes the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the dispersion of the Jews into all nations and later what appears to be a description of the rapture. The abomination of desolation is absent from Luke’s account, but present in Matt 24 and Mark 13.
What time period is verse 32 referring to: The rapture generation or the generation that witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple?
A. There really isn’t any Biblical basis for seeing Luke 21 as a public teaching after verse 4. The disciples’ comments in verse 5 parallel those of Matt 24:1 and Mark 13:1, and prompted a similar response from the Lord.
The four disciples who met privately with the Lord on the Mt. of Olives asked him three questions after he had told them that the Temple would soon be torn down to the last stone. 1) When will this happen, 2) what will be the sign of your coming, and 3) of the end of the age? (Matt. 24:3)
Matthew and Mark address the 2nd and 3rd questions. Luke is the only one who includes the Lord’s answer to the first, and does so in chapter 21 verses 12-24. Beginning in verse 25 the end times is in view again.
The Lord’s comment about the generation not passing away in Luke 21:32 is also contained in Matt. 24:34 and Mark 13:30 and has the end times in view. In all three references the phrase “these things” points to end times signs listed in the previous verses.
By the way I don’t believe any of the three Olivet Discourse accounts mention the Rapture at all. It would be out of context for them to do so, since the disciples’ questions and the Lord’s answer concerned Israel and not the Church.