Great and terrible things shall come. He could have said be strong or be prayerful etc... but He says to be patient. It is not that these other things are not each important, it is that they all come as a result of patience. Therefore posses your soul in patients.
This prophecy was fulfilled near AD 70 at the destruction of the temple by the Romans. It is said by critics that Jesus cannot be classified as a prophet because none of His prophecies have come true. Well what is this prophecy, chopped liver?
Many believe that since the temple destruction AD70 and resultant worldwide dispersion of the Jews that we have now lived in an "time of the gentiles" era. With drawing of the Jews back to Jerusalem since 1948 we now see a signal of the closing of the age and the drawing near of our redemption; The Lord's second coming. There are others that say that this all happened AD70 and that the Lord has already returned. Some believe that none of this happens until the end of the world. I believe that kjv@Luke:21:24 is the key verse suggesting the dispersion/age interpretation, "be led away captive" I have yet to find evidence of in other end time prophecy.
Three ways I can think of for this to have been fulfilled even though we are now 1990+ years down the time line. 1. "Generation" can just as easily be translated "period" thus within this age/period of time this will be fulfilled. 2. The specific of the prophecy can be interrupted as having been fulfilled in AD70 and the actual Lord's latter return fulfillment of a greater prophecy in whole. 3. There are also the considerations of God's eternal perceptions of time (thousand years as a day) (time relativity) (the possibility that time is not sequentially serial but rather sequentially parallel). How deep do you want to go with it?
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