By Babu G. Ranganathan
Not all prophecy in Scripture has been fulfilled yet but the second coming of Jesus Christ was totally fulfilled in the first century. The second coming of Christ had to do with the destruction of the Jewish Age and the establishment of Christ's Kingdom.
Jesus said that some of His disciples will not finish preaching through all the cities of Israel before He comes back (Matthew 10:23). Jesus said that some who were living during His time would not die before they see the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) coming in His Kingdom (Matthew 16:28). Jesus said that "this generation" will not pass away before all these things concerning His second coming are fulfilled (Matthew 24:34). He was talking to the people of that time and the generation of that time. He was saying that they (not us) would be witnesses to these things happening.
Some have argued that Jesus was talking about His glory that His disciples would behold when they reach the top of, what now is known as, the Mount of Transfiguration. But that had nothing to do with Jesus coming back to establish His Kingdom. Besides, as one commentator put it, it's obvious that the people who were with Jesus would be alive for the little time it took for Him to go up the Mount and come back. It wouldn't be a big deal for Jesus to say that some of those who were with Him would still be alive by the time He returns from His trip up the Mount.
Jesus wasn't referring to His trip up the Mount and back when He said that some would not see death before He returns. He was referring to His second coming. That's when He would establish His Kingdom. All this means that the second coming occurred in that generation, not in a generation some thousands of years later.
Jesus said that when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies and is destroyed that would be the time of His second coming. This already happened between 63 A.D. and 70 A.D. Jesus said that the Gospel will be preached to every nation before He comes. The Apostle Paul says in Colossians 1:23 that the Gospel had already been preached to all nations (that is all nations of the then known world of the Roman Empire and beyond). One of the reasons that this Gospel was to be preached to all nations was in order to be a witness to them that God was through with Israel as a nation for its ultimate disobedience. The end of the world that Jesus was talking referred to the end of the age, not the end of the physical world. The word "world" in the passage comes from the Greek word "aion" meaning "age". The other Greek word for "world" is "cosmos" which refers to the physical world, but that's not the Greek word that's used in Scripture in reference to when Jesus returns. Jesus was referring to the end of the Jewish Age. That is why Jesus Himself said the "axe is laid at the root" (Luke 3:9) meaning the destruction of the nation was near.
God is still committed to His elect individual Jews who turn to Christ for salvation. But, He is through with Israel as a nation. The last time God prophesied that the Jews would return to the land was fulfilled after their return from the Babylonian captivity. During the Babylonian captivity the Jews were spread throughout all the nations of the Babylonian empire.
But, isn't there still a Jewish Age because Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism? It is true that Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism and Christians are the true Jews spiritually speaking. But, there was a distinct Jewish Age, which is what Jesus referred to, meaning that the way God worked uniquely and solely through the Jewish nation of Israel is now over. It is in that context, Israel nationally, that the termination of the "Jewish Age" must be understood, not the termination of elect individual Jews or being a "Jew" spiritually which is what the Apostle Paul says of all Christians. Context is important in interpreting and understanding these phrases and truths. If you take them out of context then, of course, you're going to have problems
It is vital to understand that God's promises concerning the land to the Jews in the Old Testament were conditional - only so long as they continued to obey Him were those promises concerning the land binding (read Deuteronomy 28).
We read in the Book of Joshua 21:43, 45: "And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which He swore to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass." Thus, there is no promise concerning the land that still awaits any fulfillment.
Furthermore, almost none of the Jews in modern Israel are descendants of the original Jews of Palestine thousands of years ago. Most of the Jews in Israel today are descendants of Europeans who had converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages (known as Khazar or Ashkenazi Jews).
The modern state of Israel today has the right to exist like any other nation, but it does not have the right to territorial conquest and control in the name of Zionism.
Most evangelical Christians, who are dispensationalists, are still seeking for an Israel that the New Testament says is the spiritual body of Christ made up of both Jew and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ and who together (as one seed) inherit the same (not different) promises (Galatians 3:14-16).