Today's verses are Mark 13:30,31: "Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." Verse 30, "this generation will not pass away until all these things take place," has caused several different interpretations:

1. Some think "this generation" is addressing the disciples who were alive when Jesus was giving this teaching.  Therefore, the "all these things" refers to the beginning of the sufferings described in 3-13 but they are not alive when they will be completed.

2. Some others think the "in all these things" has several different understandings.  First, the disciples living then will see the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. while other disciples will see the final "abomination of desolation" (vs 14) in the final age.

3. Some interpret "this generation of..." to refer to an Old Testament understanding to mean a certain quality of people.  Therefore, a quality of faithful, diligent believers throughout all generations will persist until Jesus returns to establish his kingdom.

4. Others interpret "generation" to mean a certain race.  They believe Jesus is referring to the Jewish race which will last until his Second Coming.

5. Still others understand "this generation" to mean the generation that sees "all these things", specifically, the generation that is alive when the great tribulation occurs.

Any one of these interpretations can be accurate.  The bottom line is what Jesus said will come true.  He has given certain signs that will occur before he returns.  Like the shoots on a fig tree that show summer is coming, we "generations" of Christians should look for these signs and be alert for his return.  Our lives should reflect every day a witness that we are ready to meet him whenever he should come.

Then Jesus gives a great promise to us all: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."  Amazingly, Jesus says that heaven and earth, all of creation will one day pass away.  In his Second Coming, he will create a new heaven and a new earth.  All the sin that has stained this world will one day be eradicated and Jesus will place a new, perfect world in place.  On that day, there will be no more pain, trial, turmoil or tears.  It will be as God originally intended, the old made new!

Note too Jesus claims that his words, as he previously said about the entire Old Testament in Matthew 5:18) will endure longer than creation!  How?  Because his words are eternal.  The are perfect in every way.  No sin stains his words.  They are the revealed Word of God and echo similar words from the prophets Isaiah (51:6) and Jeremiah (31`:35-37).  They will never pass away.

We all can totally trust God's Word and specifically the words of Jesus in God's Word.  They never change.  They never fail.  They are true.

We can cling to their promises, no matter how great the tribulation.