It is generally accepted that Matthew 24:32-34 provides the basis of
estimation. The "fig tree" is know to represent the State of Israel,
and its restoration was in May, 1948. The great debate surrounds
v34--"this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things
have happened" (NIV). How long is a "generation"? There are
three commonly-accepted suggestions:
1. 33.5 yrs - this is how long Jesus was on earth
2. 40 yrs - this is a common length of time (Moses' life in 3 sections of 40 yrs each, many kings' reign... etc.)
3. 70 yrs - this is how long Israelites were held captive in Babylon/Persia before they were allowed to return to Jerusalem.
Since it's been 51 years since 1948, choices 1 and 2 have already passed. I found number 3 to be most credible, and here's the verse that really showed me its uniqueness among the three: "The length of our days is seventy years--or eighty, if we have the strength..." (Psalms 90:10, written by Moses). Isn't it interesting that he lived to 120 but makes 70 the "length of our days"? But the second part of that phrase seems to suggest a possible addition of 10 years. This is echoed in 2Peter 3:9--a time of mercy so more can be saved. So according to this, I projected sometime before or during 2018 (1948+70) as the time of the second coming, with a possible grace period of 10 years, which makes it 2028 at the latest. Also Jewish years are slightly shorter than our regular years, but that should not affect the estimated year. We have less than 19 years, or at most 29. This was the estimate I had before, and it seems quite reasonable. We now have much of the technology that can fulfill the disasters in the Book of Revelation, so most things are in place. There might be some further realignment of European/Mid-East geopoligical borders, and another war (Russia or someone near the Caucasus invading the Mid-East?).
What hit me a few days ago was overlooked purely by mistake. It's commonly believed that it has been about 6,000 years since Adam and Eve (and note this is not the age of the Earth!), based on reverse tracking of the recorded geneology. I see little Biblical proof that it must be exactly 6,000 years from the fall of mankind to the second coming, so I never took it seriously, although there is some Biblical inference that can lead to such a conclusion. Since we are supposed to have a 1,000-year reign with Christ when the Earth shall rest from providing for mankind, some associate that 1,000 years with the seventh day of this current creation when God rested from His work, and this is where they get the 6,000 years as the length of human history (1,000 years for each day in Genesis 1 [see 2Peter 3:8, the verse right before the "mercy period" reference, isn't this interesting???]). I'm not certain why the exact date is so crucial. But here's an interesting observation...
Our current western calendar was developed hundreds of years after Jesus. At that time, they did their best to estimate when Jesus was born and set that estimated year to be 0 A.D. (anno domini--the year of our Lord). We now have better estimates and conclude that they were off by about 2 to 6 years, making Jesus' birth to be around 4 B.C. (+/- 2 yrs). Jesus was crucified at age 33.5, so the year of his crucifixion is about 29 A.D. (+/- 2 yrs). If you add 2,000 years to crucifixion to represent the 2 "days" (which represents 2,000 years by 2Peter 3:8), you get 2029 A.D. (+/- 2 yrs), which is close to the 2028 date based on the 70+10 formula... Coincidence? You be the judge. (You may ask why the crucifixion is the event dividing the time periods... It is the official start of the New Testament, and also Daniel's 69th week of seven ends there.)
Last updated: 3/25/2000