Matthew 24:29—Did Christ come to earth immediately following the Tribulation or sometime later?

Problem: In Matthew, Jesus represents His coming as “immediately after” (24:29) the Great Tribulation. But Luke seems to separate it by the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24, 27).

Solution: The interval referred to by Luke is the time between the destruction of Jerusalem (a.d. 70), which began God’s judgment on Jerusalem (cf. Matt. 24:2), and the return of Christ to earth “with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30). So, when Matthew affirms that Christ’s coming is “immediately after the tribulation of those days” (24:29), he is referring to the end of the “times of the Gentiles” mentioned by Luke (21:24). Hence, there is no irresolvable conflict between the two accounts.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.