And then the end shall come, but what end? The end of what? Jesus was answering a question by the disciples. — “Tell us … what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matt 24:3)
In between this question and Jesus’ statement “and then the end shall come” were His listings of the birth pangs leading to that end. “Then” He begins telling us how the age will end. 1. Tribulation and hatred of “you” on account of “My name”. Deaths on account of “My name”. 2. False prophets will mislead many. Endurance is called for, because lawlessness will cause a coldness to overcome love and a falling away. 3. The gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations of the earth.
So Jesus makes clear that in the midst of persecution some will grow cold and fall away, but some will fulfill the great commission. “And then the end shall come.”
But wait a minute prophecy scholars tell us the great commission won’t be fulfilled by us. We won’t be here. But what does Jesus say?
Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
But this is not all that Jesus says, listen:
Matthew 24:14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
So in order to conclude that we are not involved in both of these prophecies by our Lord, we must define them differently. So the end and the end of the age are different according to those who tell us we won’t be here.
But remember, Jesus was answering a question by the disciples. — “Tell us … what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
There was no question by the disciples concerning the timing of the resurrection and Rapture, nor was there any statement by the Lord that He was answering anything other than the disciples question. Yet, we are told that the secrete Rapture of the church was only implied because this was a Jewish question related only to a Jewish age. In fact we are told that Jesus only preached a gospel of the kingdom to the Jews or Israel, and that it was this gospel that was rejected, but that it will be reinstated again before He returns in this end to this Jewish age. Listen to how one theologian thinks on the gospel message:
“Another issue concerns the gospel itself. Under the “Great Commission” the apostles were commanded to preach the gospel. But what gospel? The Scriptures teach more than one gospel–the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4.23), the “gospel of the circumcision” (Galatians 2.7), the “gospel of the uncircumcision” (Galatians 2.7), and the “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20.24). What gospel did John the Baptizer, Jesus, and the apostles preach? Did they preach that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4)? Hardly. That gospel remained undisclosed until God revealed it to Paul (Romans 16.25). The “good news” preached prior to Paul was the gospel of the coming kingdom. (Quoted from doctrine.org)
But what does Paul say of the gospel and the Jew? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
And what of the kingdom gospel that Jesus preached to the Jews? Was it a message to establish an earthly kingdom? “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand'” Matthew 10.5-7
Much is made of the fact that Paul supposedly was preaching a gospel primarily for the Gentiles and it was not the kingdom gospel. Yet, he preached the kingdom to the Ephesians and Romans as part of the gospel. See Acts 20:25, and 28:21.
He said to the Ephesian elders: Acts 20:25-27 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
Paul also told us in Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
There is only one plan from God for the salvation of man. To the Jew first and also to the Gentile.
There is only one age that mankind will see brought to an end with the coming of Jesus to establish His millennial kingdom, (God’s kingdom on earth) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We are given the same promises in the gospel that Paul preached as were the Jews in the days of the prophets.
Ephesians 2:11-22 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Jesus had stated to the Jews, who came to trick Him concerning the Resurrection, that in this age there is marriage, but in the age to come there is no marriage. As you read His statement ask yourself — does this not imply that the church and the Tribulation are both included in this age rather than an age or the age to come after the Resurrection? Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Luke 20:34-36 NASB
So the resurrection is placed by our savior at a specific point in time. The end of the age is it’s time, and the end of the age is after the Tribulation when marriage and giving in marriage cease in this age. It then appears that Jesus considers this age to have started with the fall when God instituted marriage and giving in marriage. The next age comes after the resurrection when there will be no marriage for the saved from this age. That age yet to come is the millennium.