But pray that your flight may not be in winter, or on the Sabbath; for then there will be great tribulation, such as has not occured since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. Matthew 24:20-21.
The dispensationalist attemps to fit the tribulation into his future-oriented paradigm as well. Comparisons are often made between WWI or II and the idea of the Roman invasion fulfilling that prophecy in A.D. 70 is then dismissed. However, if we investigate history we'll see that the invasion of Jerusalem is the most devastating event in history as the text claims.
Referring back to the time text, Christ did say all these things would happen within the time frame of this generation. The history of the Roman invasion of Jerusalem does record the events as Jesus predicted them. Josephus documents many of the events that transpired. Within his writings we find that over one million Jews lost their lives and manu thousands more were forced into bondage. The Romans literally razed the city to the ground so that Jesus' words of vs. 2 were completely fulfilled. Josephus recounts numerous episodes of horror, too many to repeat in this short article, that vividly display the horrible anguish endured by the people within the city. Ample support of Christ's prophecy is given within Josephus' pages to the horrible tribulation the Romans wrought upon the city and the temple. (See Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Books 4-7, Grand Rapids; Kregal Publications, 1981).
Next, we find that from Christ's words in chapter 23, vss. 37 & 38, punishment was being placed on the apostate nation of Israel. The most significant outcome was the end of Old Covenant Judaism. Ken Gentry summed up the matter well when he wrote that as awful as the Jewish loss of life was, the utter devastationof Jersalem, the final destruction of the temple, and the conclusive cessation of the sacrificial system were lamented even more. The covenantal significance of the loss of the temple stands as the most dramatic outcome of the war. Hence, any Jewish calamity after A.D. 70 would pale in comparison to the redemptive-historical significance of the loss of the temple. (Ken Gentry, Dispensationalism in Transition, Ice, November 1991.) Hence, the real tribulation was not the human misery but the end of the Old Covenant.
more to come...
Eschatology of Victory
Eschatology of Victory