When I first began to wrestle with Jesus’ Olivet Discourse (which emerges from a heated Matthew 23, rests solidly in Matthew 24 and then ascends into end-of-days judgment by Matthew 25), I struggled.
At one point, I thought I had it figured out. Like many others, I determined there had to be a line drawn somewhere through the middle of Matthew 24 in order to make sense of the end-of-the-world, imminent rapture language that appears by v29-31:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from…