Just a quick thought from George Eldon Ladd (and then a couple of my own):
“If Jesus was sure that the end was to occur in the present generation, he was in effect setting a date for the time of the end; for in terms of the centuries of redemptive history, the identification of the particular generation when the end would occur amounts to rather precise knowledge of the time of the end….However, Jesus had just asserted that he did not know when the end would occur; this knowledge the Father had reserved to himself” (The Presence of the Future, pp. 320-321).
This is an interesting point. Many a preterist have used Mark 13:30 to “prove” that Jesus had His generation in mind when He was describing what would befall the earth just before His return. However, as Ladd points out, Jesus says in Mark 13:32 that not even He knows the date nor the hour. So which is it? Did He know or didn’t He?
In an hour of history when those who disagree with the premillennial outlook love to roast them with the date-setting skewer, it’s surprising to realize that’s exactly the mold into which Jesus is forced when someone holds the preterist position!
(For the uninitiated, premils take “this generation shall by no means pass away” to mean that the generation that is alive at the time of the beginning of the troubles described would remain on the earth through its duration to see it through to the end.)