Matthew Chapter 24, 'The Olivet Discourse' attracts more discussion than any other. Futurists contend that:
- all tribulations described are yet future (Matthew 24:9, 21 and 29),
- all prophecies in this passage are yet future, and that
- the church is the object of the tribulations.
Given the severity of the destruction described, the impact on the morale of the church of this devastating teaching is enormous. But are these views true?
The Olivet Discourse is also included in Mark's gospel. Luke records similar material but his account is based on what Jesus said in the temple in Jerusalem the previous day. Textual differences between the three accounts are used by Futurists to argue that the tribulation in Matthew's account (all three are part of the same) is a different tribulation to that in Luke's account. However, these differences can be accounted for in that the statements made by Jesus were made on different occasions, were recorded by different writers for different purposes and with different audiences in mind. There are no conflicts between the accounts and therefore no grounds for believing that different tribulations are being described between the gospels.
According to Mark 13:3, Peter, James, John and Andrew were present during the 'Olivet Discourse'. These were apostles.