In the Olivet discourse Jesus has warned His disciples that they would experience tribulation for not warring after the world along with the false Christs who would arise promising the sort of worldly salvation that caused the Jews to reject Him (Mat 24:4-10). He has also warned of a great tribulation that would sweep away the dead corpse of false and harlot religion which like a catalyst allows lawlessness to increase exponentially by calling evil good and good evil and putting forth darkness as light and light for darkness so that the love of most grows cold (Mat 24:11-22). After repeating His warning against being misled by false Christs and false prophets in regard to the nature of His coming (Mat 24:23-28), what does Jesus say in Mat 24:29 would happen immediately after the tribulation of those days? What one word summarizes the three events pictured in Mat 24:29? In what way is darkness, and especially the darkness of judgment, the immediate and natural consequence of men seeking to extinguish the Lord’s light that gives life to man and that is manifested in the tribulation and distress Jesus has just described? Cf. Isa 13:9-11, Joel 2:9-11, and Amos 8:9 in the context of the rest of Amos 8. What does this also remind us about how the Lord will give men over to the darkness they desire if they continue to resist His light? Cf. Joh 3:19, Rom 1:24,26,28, 2Th 2:11-12. In spite of the darkness that will overtake the enemies of the Lord and result in their destruction, why will that darkness not also overtake those who trust in God? See Joel 2:28-32, 3:13-16 and consider that in the very darkest of times those who cling to the Lord have Him as their light; see Psa 27:1, and cf. Exo 10:21-23, Act 27:20-25, 2Co 1:8-10.
Considering that Peter speaks of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy in Acts 2:15-21 and there are historical accounts that there were signs in the sun, moon and stars prior to the destruction of the Jewish nation in 70 A.D. (cf. the parallel account to Mat 24:29 in Luk 21:25), should we necessarily assume that the events Jesus describes in Matthew 24:29 must refer only to the very end of time?