Even a newly born again child of God with even a minimal knowledge of the Old Testament reading the New Testament scriptures would know that the END of the AGE and the Day of the Lord were imminent when Jesus ended his ministry in the setting of Jerusalem at approx AD 33.
The gospels and epistles and Revelations contain approx 60 separate references to the imminence of the Second Coming FOR THAT GENERATION and the soon coming great tribulation, resurrection and judgment on Israel for its rejection of her Messiah. We are told that the events related to this were 'at hand' (Mat 4:17, Rom13:12, Phil 4:5, James 5:8, 1 Pet 4:7)...and 'it is near' (Zep 1:14, Mat 24,31, Luke 21:31, Rev 1:3) ....and that they were 'coming shortly' (Rom 16:20, Rev 1:1, Rev 22:6)
Heb 9:27 ...but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. ....28 To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. NKJV
Please note that Christ appeared ONCE at the END of the AGES in AD 33....being the age of the Patriarchs and the age of the Law. Christ's appearance signified the END of the age of the Law and ushered in the NEW age of grace. As we know today 2000 years later, it did not usher in the end of the world. This scripture also tells us of a second appearance...for those who eagerly await Him.
This indicates that the second appearance was IMMINENT in AD 33 and would NOT necessarily be seen by those who do not believe.
There are quite a few references to the time of the apostles being 'THE LAST DAYS' ... (Acts 2:17, Heb 1:2, James 5:3 and 2 Pet 3:3) ...clearly these referred to the last day of their present age rather than the end of time. With a little study it soon becomes clear that the 'last days' were also the 70th week of Daniel chapter 9's timeline for Israel's judgment and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (vs 26). Today almost 2000 years later we can be sure it does not refer to the end of the world.
BUT there are three key scriptures on which many even dare to conclude that Jesus was MISTAKEN about his claims as to when this would be...
Matt 16:28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. NKJV
(Either there are some who are over 2000 years old and still alive and walking around today .... or Jesus came on the clouds and in His Kingdom in AD70 ...or you think that Jesus got this word wrong?)
Matt 26:62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?" 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him,"I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" 64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." NKJV
(The high priest and other priests of that time are dead and Jews of that day did not go around saying...'See Jesus did not do as He promised'. They knew this promise was comprehensively fulfilled in AD70. Yet today some are suggesting ...'Jesus got this one wrong'?)
Matt 24:34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. NKJV
Please note that Jesus did NOT say "THAT Generation" ...allowing for an interpretation that he was referring to future hearers...but "THIS Generation" i.e. specifically the generation and the YOU he was addressing RIGHT THERE. Do you believe Jesus or are you in doubt?
ALL these things which were to have taken place include ALL of the following:-
1) False Christs, wars, famines, pestilences vs 4-8
2) Tribulation, lawlessness and a falling away vs 5-13
3) The gospel being preached in ALL the world vs 14
4) The Abomination of Desolation manifesting and the flight of believers from Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple vs 15-22
5) The coming of the Son of Man on the clouds vs 23-28, vs 30
6) The stars falling from heaven vs 29
6) The gathering together of the elect vs 31, vs 32-44
The Old testament contains a very precise and confiming restraint on the time by which the fulfillment of these items would take place.
"At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.
4 "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?"
7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. NKJV
Brethren these scriptures are the same ones Jesus quoted from in Mat 24 and other places.
When Israel's (i.e. the holy people's) power was completely shattered ALL these things shall be finished or fulfilled!
All these things in Daniel specifically includes the tribulation, the resurrection and the judgment which were ALL to have been fulfilled when the Temple was destroyed, and the priesthood terminated, and the sacrifices stopped (ie the POWER of the Holy people was their covenant with God)....and the LAW which encapsolated this had been made OBSOLETE (by the introduction of the New Covenant) then vanishing away (Heb 8:13) ...this came to an end in AD70.
History records that 1.1 million Jews were killed and vast numbers taken captive as slaves. Israel LOST it's promised land and ceased to exist as a nation for almost 1900 years and the Hebrew language was also lost.
ALL of this history records was fulfilled in AD 70....and there is NO possibility these prophecies could EVER be repeated.... (unless God first restores His covenant with Israel)
(The temple would then also need to be rebuilt first (where Islam's Aqsa mosque now sits)...the priesthood records which were destroyed in the AD 70 fire would need to be recovered so that priests of proven genealogy could be appointed. ... and sacrifices recommenced....and even then this would ALL be no more than the works of the FLESH because GOD now lives in His people....and not in dwellings made by human hands)
BUT THEN... after the scriptures speaking about 'weeks of years' ... and then 'this generation' ... and then 'the last days' ....John the apostle puts the time of Christ's return as critically close as can be....
1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour NKJV
and Peter confirms its imminence strongly as well
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. NKJV
We all know the world continued after Peters warning...but the Jewish world and its covenant with God certainly ended in AD 70.
Matt 25:13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. NKJV
The apostles did not know the day nor the hour ... but they certainly believed and taught the Jesus's coming was VERY CLOSE. They ALL spoke of the imminence of his return.
(The other great challenge for those who teach the 'imminence of the return of Christ' for us today is that for almost 2000 years there HAS BEEN AND STILL IS NO TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM which almost all futurist prophecy 'experts' say HAS to exist before Christ can return.....and along with this sacrificial Judaism has also not been in operation for almost 2000 years. At best this means that the 5 years or so it would take to re-build the temple would need to happen BEFORE Christ could return! This fact in itself eliminates the possibility of real imminence having existed at all any time in the last 1940 years?) (Ezek 37-40, Zech 12-14)
For confirmation of how the imminence of Christ's return at the time of the early church has been understated in most translations of the bible available today, do a study on the Greek word 'mello'. This was mind blowing to many and shows also how today we do not understand the simple hermeneutic of 'audience relevance'. If Jesus said to his disciples in AD 30 that a certain event was to take place in 'three days time', that does NOT mean 'three days time from when people 2000 years later read of his words' but three days from when it was said to THE AUDIENCE right then and there back in history.
I attach a link for those who want to know truth and are prepared to spend a while being like the Bereans and searching the scriptures (and Greek lexicons) to find a solid foundation.
Please do not believe the false claims that the apostles did not know the times and seasons. Jesus had used the analogy of a pregnant woman...YES you do not know the day or hour...BUT you certainly know that in about 40 weeks a baby will be born. AND when birth pains start you KNOW the event is VERY CLOSE.
ALL the apostles KNEW Jesus was coming soon and that the time was at hand. Jesus before His death had told them it would be in THIS generation (40 years). Jesus had explained it to them after his death ...Luke 24:27...He opened their understanding... Luke 24:45 .... He spent 40 days with them 'speaking of things pertaining to the Kingdom of God'. They certainly did not believe in or teach a 2000 years break somewhere between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel's prophecy.....or a 2000 year period before the KINGDOM of God would reign on earth. Ask yourself if Jesus would bother to tell the apostles so much about this time if it was something which would have had no relevance to their or anyone elses lives for 2000 years?
Brethren Jesus was speaking of the reality which would exist after His return in judgment on Israel in AD 70....the realm in which the early church existed and the same realm in which we today also can live!