Luk 21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
Luk 21:30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
Luk 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Luk 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
Luk 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Luke records in chapter 21 what was also recorded by the Gospels of Matthew in chapters 24 and 25, and Mark chapter 13 where Jesus teaches about end times prophecy; dealing with the destruction of Jerusalem and Christ’s Second coming. To be true to the passage we need to remember that Jesus was a Jew, speaking to the Jewish people what would happen to the Jewish nation. Yet it also has some application to Christian believers through the church age. The emphasis Jesus speaks about is on Jerusalem, the Jews, and the Temple. This is not discussing the rapture of the church, instead it discusses from the Jewish perspective what will be the signs of Christ’s Coming. Remember the rapture will occur with no given sign to forewarn us . The rapture of the Church is discussed in 1 Cor 15:51-58 and 1 Thes 4:13-18; but the Jews required and requested “a sign” (1 Cor 1:22) and Jesus describes these signs.
Jesus gives them the lesson of the fig tree ( Luke 21:29-33). Mankind can observe the fig tree (and all trees vs 21:29) and watch it’s leaves or buds shoot forth and they will know that summer is nigh. So likewise when they see these things: the Temple surrounded and destroyed, the Jews fall by the sword or led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem controlled by the Gentile nations until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. He then states “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and waves roaring” – which describes a world in chaos. (vs 25) ripe for the coming of the Antichrist.
When these things occur, men’s hearts will fail them for fear (vs 26). Thank God we will not have to face the Tribulation period. But to the nation of Israel he states they are : “To look after those things” the events that have unfolded on the earth for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Then will they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (No false Christ has ever come into the world like Jesus will come in his glory.)
Jesus cautions the Jews to take heed to yourselves, stop and consider, don’t be distracted with the cares of this life on that day so that it catches you unprepared. Here is where application to Christians comes in. We will not be here through the tribulations and the Great Tribulation awaiting the second coming of Christ; instead we are suppose to be waiting expectantly for the rapture of the church. To be prepared as stewards of what God has given us that we might be able to give a good account of what we have done with our master’s goods when he returns.
In both cases we should not get caught up in the cares of the world and not be prepared for our meeting with Christ. Verse 36 starts with this phrase “Watch ye therefore” the Jewish nation and the remaining gentiles need to be prepared that they are not caught in “snare” that Satan will lay out through the Antichrist and the tribulation period. Instead they need to pray that they will be prepared so that they may be counted worthy to escape all these things which Jesus has just described and to stand before the Son of man – Jesus Christ when he comes again. Christian we need to “watch ye therefore and pray always” that we will be faithful to Christ’s calling in our lives;
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.