Jehovah`s Witness/"This Generation"

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Question
Dear Bro. 'Be Reasonable',

Could you please explain in more details about Matt. 24:34 regarding "this generation" and the nearness of the start of the Great Tribulation?

Thank You.

Answer
Hello Reg,

I found this question in the question pool of unanswered questions.

From what we do know, the generation that Jesus spoke of does not have a too many decades left.  As to when the great tribulation starts, no one knows.  And it is a folly to speculate on it.

There are several uses of that word as can be seen from this online dictionary  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/generation


1.the entire body of individuals born and living at about the same time:
the postwar generation.

2.the term of years, roughly 30 among human beings, accepted as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring.

3.a group of individuals, most of whom are the same approximate age, having similar ideas, problems, attitudes, etc.
Compare Beat Generation, Lost Generation.

4.a group of individuals belonging to a specific category at the same time:
Chaplin belonged to the generation of silent-screen stars.

5. a single step in natural descent, as of human beings, animals, or plants.

6. a form, type, class, etc., of objects existing at the same time and having many similarities or developed from a common model or ancestor (often used in combination): a new generation of anticancer drugs;
a third-generation phone.

7.the offspring of a certain parent or couple, considered as a step in natural descent.

Just which one do we apply? Jesus did not explain which meaning he had in mind, so over the years JWs have applied a couple of different meanings.

In the past we had used the words at Psalm 90:10   as a possible guide -  “The span of our life is 70 years, Or 80 if one is especially strong.”  (2013 NWT)

Since we understand that Bible chronology points to 1914, with the out brake of WW 1  as the start of the composite sign of Jesus presence as recorded in Matthew 24, it was assumed that Jesus meant that all the things he mentioned would be over and done with within 70 or 80 years from that time, especially since our  Bible chronology shows 1975 to be the end of 6000 years from man's creation.  At the time, that explanation seemed reasonable and feasible.  Obviously, taking Ps 90:10 and 1914 as the starting date proved to be a wrong assumption, a closer look at the use of the word generation was needed.

Now, I tried to write out an explanation of what is currently seen to be the meaning of "that generation", summarizing what can be found at tv.jw.org but I could not do it any better than what is presented there.

So may I suggest that you look at this video from September 2015  http://tv.jw.org/#en/video/VODStudio/pub-jwb_201509_1_VIDEO   The explanation starts at the 1 minute and 15 second point.

At the 9 minute 45 second point there is a diagram showing the relationship of the generation as it is understood now.

No length of time is suggested as to how near the end of that generation.  That, just serves to keep us awake

Mark 13:32,33 .“32 “Concerning that day or the hour nobody knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father. 33 Keep looking, keep awake , for you do not know when the appointed time is”

If we do not keep awake we may be caught in one of Satan's traps

Luke 21:34-36 “ 34 But pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you 35 as a snare. For it will come upon all those dwelling on the face of the whole earth. 36 Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that must occur and in standing before the Son of man”

1 Thessalonians 5:6-9 "6 So, then, let us not sleep on as the rest do, but let us stay awake and keep our senses . 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But as for us who belong to the day, let us keep our senses and put on the breastplate of faith and love and the hope of salvation as a helmet 9 because God assigned us, not to wrath, but to the acquiring of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." 

Speculating on when that generation will be up (as some have done) does us no good at all.  We should be concentrating on building, and maintain, our relationship with Jehovah and Jesus.

We have the assurance that no matter what "it" will not be late

Isaiah 46:13 "It is not far away, and my own salvation will not be late."

Habakkuk 2:3 "Even if it should delay, keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late."

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