One of the main thing we must understand in our study of the New testament texts is that the writers assumed that their readers understood the First Testament, which was the only written materials as at that time. Though majority were not literate enough to read on their own.
Every week they attended the synagogue they heard read to them the Law and the Prophets. Each time it pointed to the coming Messiah and the world He would introduce to them.
Unfortunately they did this for more than 30 years not realizing that He was around. Their eyes were not opened. The New testament writers employed heavy use of the first testament to bring them to the realization that He had come and that he would return within their time to establish that new heaven and earth that Isaiah wrote about. Did they receive them? Largely No!
As long as they were not willing to see John and Jesus they would not embrace the truth that was dawned on them. Instead they persecuted the disciples and provoked the Romans in their own quest to make national Israel the kingdom. That was their redemption route.
The end; Their lost everything when Jerusalem became hell itself and it was too late to revert. But these events were foretold by the prophets and Jesus along with his disciples echoed so that that generation would end up in misery but truly enter God’s kingdom.
When Jesus in Matthew spoke of the sun being darkened, the moon not giving its light, and the stars falling from heaven, He was not referring to the end of the solar system, but of the complete dissolution of the Jewish state.
He used what is termed as apocalyptic language. This was common among the Hebrew prophets. There are multiples passages where mention is made of the destruction of a kingdom and government using language which seems to set forth the end of the world. One of such:
The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw. (Isaiah 13:1)
In this chapter God is talking about the judgement that is to fall upon Babylon. The word “oracle” is the Hebrew word massa, which means: “an utterance, chiefly a doom.” This introduction sets the stage for the subject matter in that chapter.
Wail, for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. (Isaiah 13:6)
Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises, And the moon will not shed its light. 11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud, And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. 12 I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold, And mankind than the gold of Ophir. 13 Therefore I shall make the heavens tremble, And the earth will be shaken from its place At the fury of the LORD of hosts In the day of His burning anger.
This is a historical event that took place in 539 B.C. When the Medes destroyed Babylon, the Babylonian world came to an end.
It is highly important for the church not only to read the apocalyptic texts but make every effort to read scripture with scripture to understand the commonness of language as employed thousand years back.
The idea of speaking forth a coming doom using global economic, social and political indices is not in line with expectations from the scriptures. The scriptures is basically about Jesus. The revelation of Him from it is to introduce us to the world that resides in Him and endless possibilities that exist by the power of His Spirit.