Luke 21:24 says, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Earlier the knowledge of the terrible destruction of the city had caused our Lord to weep (Luke 19:41). Does this mean that Jerusalem must be destroyed again before the ‘times of the Gentiles be fulfilled’ and the Rapture takes place? It seems right around the corner but I would like your opinion or clarification on this verse.
The phrase trodden down (or trampled on) by the Gentiles until the times of the gentiles are fulfilled means that there would always be a strong Gentile influence in Jerusalem until the times of the Gentiles are over. Using the same phraseology, Revelation 11:2 says this will continue throughout the Great Tribulation. Therefore the times of the Gentiles will not truly end until the 2nd Coming. The idea that the 1967 re-unification of Jerusalem put an end to the times of the Gentiles is not accurate.
This doesn’t mean the city will be destroyed again before the 2nd Coming, although it will be the prize over which the Battle of Armageddon is fought (Zechariah 14:2). But it does mean that despite strong resistance on the part of the current Jewish leadership, the Gentile nations will be determined to meddle in the affairs of the city until the Lord personally puts an end to it.