“They will be killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end.” (Luke 21:24) Some people misunderstand and misinterpret Luke 21:24. Some claim that when Israel became a state on May 14, 1948, and then captured the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in June 1967, the times of the Gentiles ended. But this is not the correct interpretation of the verse. The times of the Gentiles will not end until Christ returns to Earth at His Second Coming, destroys Gentile rule, and establishes His universal reign forever. Jerusalem will remain under Gentile domination until He returns. Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem in 588 BC began the time of the Gentiles. The prophet Daniel described the times of the Gentiles when he outlined the successive Gentile nations that would rule throughout world history from Babylon to the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation. (Dan. 2:31–45). Jesus predicted Jerusalem’s future destruction and the scattering of the Jewish people during the Antichrist’s persecution of Israel (Matthew 24:1–29). The Antichrist will seize Jerusalem and tread the city underfoot for 42 months (Rev. 11:2).
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion; And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-27) God’s purpose in the times of the Gentiles: the spread of the gospel throughout the whole world. The organization and inventions of the pagan world powers have actually aided the evangelism of the world. For example, in the first century, it was the widespread use of the Greek language and the network of Roman roads that allowed many people in far-off lands to hear the gospel. As we can see, God is working out His plan. To God be the Glory!