4230. When the end of an old church and the beginning of a new church is at hand, then is the Last Judgment. This is the time that is meant in the Word by the "Last Judgment" (see n. 2117-2133, 3353, 4057), and also by the "coming of the Son of man." It is this very Coming that is now the subject before us, as referred to in the question addressed to the Lord by the disciples:
Tell us when shall these things be, especially what is the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3).
It remains therefore to unfold the things predicted by the Lord concerning this very time of His Coming and of the Consummation of the age which is the Last Judgment; but in the preface to this chapter only those contained in verses 32 to 35:
Now learn a parable from the fig-tree. When her branch is now become tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh. So also ye, when ye see all these things, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away till all these things be accomplished. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away (Matt. 24:32-35).
The internal sense of these words is as follows.