Wars and rumors of wars
Last modified 2016-02-22 ....................... 3 pages
In brief: The wars and rumors of wars Jesus was talking about happened from when Jesus gave this prophecy in AD 30 to 70 AD, but especially from June of 68AD to 70 AD. Premill and Dispy preachers of today like to point to current events, and say "see, there are wars and rumors of wars", so it MUST be talking about today. This is shameless and extremely poor exposition. You should immediately FIRE that preacher and promote an elder as pastor-pro-tem until a better full time pastor can be found. He is completely ignoring the time context of the verse and the question Jesus was answering. See Matthew 24 (the little Revelation) exposited verse by verse
Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 24:7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
Given the time context that Jesus places this in, and the question that Jesus was answering, this can only apply to:
After the death of Nero, from June, A.D. 68 through December, A.D. 69, the Roman Empire suffered through a gruesome and severe Civil War that almost brought the Empire down, and that had reverberations throughout the Empire. This era witnessed the remarkable and unique “Year of Four Emperors” (AD. 68-69) Tacitus in his Histories writes: “The history on which I am entering is that of a period rich in disasters, terrible with battles, torn by civil struggles, horrible even in peace. Four emperors failed by the sword (Nero died in June 8, AD 68; Galba was murdered Jan 15, AD 69; Otho committed suicide April 17, AD 69, and Vitellius was slain on December 20, AD 69).
There were 3 civil wars, more foreign wars and often both at the same time. There was success in the East (the Jewish war generaled by Vespasian/Titus father/son reduced Judea to submission but also devastated it) misfortune in the West. Illyricum was disturbed, the Gallic provinces wavering, Britain subdued and immediately let go. The Sarmatae and Suebi rose against us; the Dacians won fame by defeats inflicted and suffered; even the Parthians were almost roused to arms through the trickery of a pretended Nero.
Moreover, Italy was distressed by disasters unknown before or returning after the lapse of ages. Cities of the rich fertile shores of Campania were swallowed up or overwhelmed; Rome was devastated by conflagrations, in which her most ancient shrines were consumed and the very Capitol fired by citizens hands. Sacred rites were defiled; there were adulteries in high places. The sea was filled with exiles, its cliffs made foul with the bodies of the dead.
In Rome there was more awful cruelty... Besides the manifold misfortunes that befell mankind, there were prodigies in the sky and on the earth, warnings given by thunderbolts, and prophecies of the future, both joyful and gloomy, uncertain and clear. For never was it more fully proved by awful disasters of the Roman people or by indubitable signs that gods care not for our safety, but for our punishment.”
Indeed Rome had to be punished for committing the unpardonable sin. See What is the Unpardonable Sin?
The Roman Empire, as they knew it, died. The Julio-claudian line died. Rome, as protective Beast for Gods People, died at this time. From now on, Rome was just like any other country, in Gods eyes. No prophetic role. Even as Israel as the covenant people of God died at 70 AD. No prophetic role. The New and ONLY people of God from now on was the "bride of Christ" i.e. the church.