The events here described too place in this world within thirty years of the time when Jesus spoke. They are now past. In Matt. 24:4, the disciples asked our Lord when the then existing age would end. The word (aion) is unfortunately translated world. Had he meant world he would have employed kosmos, which means world, as aion does not. After describing the particulars he announced that they would all be fulfilled, and the aion end in that generation, before some of his auditors should die. If he was correct the end came then. And this is demonstrated by a careful study of the entire discourse, running through Matthew 24 and 25. The disciples asked Jesus how they should know his coming and the end of the age. They did not inquire concerning the end of the actual world, as it is incorrectly translated, but age. This question Jesus answered by describing the signs so that they, his questioners, the disciples themselves, might perceive the approach of the end of the Jewish dispensation (aion). He speaks fifteen times in the discourse of his speedy coming, (Matt. 24:3, 27, 30, 37, 39, 42, 46, 48, 50, and 25:6, 10, 13, 19, 27, 31). He addresses those who shall be alive at his coming. Matt. 24:6. "Ye shall hear of wars, etc." 20. "Pray that your flight be not in the winter." 33, 34. "So likewiseye when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
Campbell, Clarke, Wakefield, and Newton(54) translate the phrase, end of the world (sunteleia tou aionos) "conclusion of the age," "end of this dispensation." The question was, then, what shall indicate thy second coming and the end of the Mosaic economy (aion)? "When shall all these things be fulfilled?" Mark 13:1, 34. He spoke of the temple (Luke 21:5, 7,) saying one stone should not be left on another, and the question of his disciples was, how shall we know when this is to take place? The answer is, "Ye shall hear of wars." 24:6. "Ye shall see the abomination of desolation." 15. "Pray that your flight be not in winter." 20. The adverbs "Then" and "When" connect all the events related in the two chapters in one unbroken series. And what infallible token did he give that these events would occur "then?" Matt. 24:34. "Verily I say unto you this generation shall not pass tillall these things be fulfilled." What things? The "son of man coming in his glory in the clouds," and the end of the existing aion, or age. Mark phrases it: "This generation shall not pass till all these things be done." See Luke 21:25, 32. This whole account is a parable describing the end of the Jewish aion, age, or economy, signalized by the destruction of Jerusalem, and the establishment if the new aion, world, or age to come, that is the Christian dispensation. Now on the authority of Jesus himself the aion then existing ended within a generation, namely, about A.D. 70. Hence those who were sent away into aionion punishment, or the punishment of that aion, were sent into a condition corresponding in duration to the meaning of the word aion, i.e., age-lasting. A punishment cannot be endless, when defined by an adjective derived from a noun describing an event, the end of which is distinctly stated to have come.
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