In order to answer your question, we will have to consider all that Jesus said about the “great tribulation” and also what He meant by the word “generation.”  In Matthew 24:15 & 21 Jesus said, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains….For then there will be GREAT TRIBULATION, such has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall” (NKJV). Now let’s read Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the WING OF ABOMINATIONS shall be ONE WHO MAKES DESOLATE.” In comparing these two passages we see that the Great Tribulation begins by the breaking of a peace treaty followed by the setting up of an idol in the Temple in Jerusalem. Those who believe that this took place in the First Century have difficulty pointing to events that would fulfill these two things. Besides that, the Lord said the Great Tribulation would be worse than anything in human history and He went on to say in verse 22, “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” It is true that God did judge the nation of Israel in AD 70 by allowing the Roman army (under General Titus) to lay siege to the city and to destroy it, but can anyone honestly say that this is the worst “tribulation” the world has ever seen and that it could have led to “no flesh being saved” (i.e. everyone dying throughout the world!) if God had not shortened the days? I believe any honest thinker would have to conclude that as awful as Jerusalem’s destruction was in AD 70, there have been worse events in history that threatened the death of not only Jews but of all people living on earth. World War Two is a prime example where 6 million Jews were exterminated in Nazi concentration camps and most countries throughout the world were involved in conflict that resulted in countless lives being lost.

Another important scripture passage that rules out the view that the Great Tribulation took place in around AD 70 is Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Again, can anyone who espouses the view that the Great Tribulation took place in AD 70 point to events that fulfill these words? I believe these words speak of literal signs in the heavens followed by the literal Second Coming of Jesus Christ in power and glory. The GREAT TRIBULATION will give way to GREAT GLORY which in turn will cause a GREAT SOUND of a trumpet that will summon all of the elect (i.e. chosen) Jews from around the world. Surely these GREAT EVENTS have not been fulfilled yet, thus the GREAT TRIBULATION is yet future.

In closing, we need to address your question about THIS GENERATION. I have found that it is almost impossible to define exactly how many years make up a GENERATION, for in Biblical days it was much longer than a generation is today. This means there could be another definition for the word “generation” that would fit the context of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:34. This word, at times, means “a RACE of people.” If so, then Jesus was saying, “This JEWISH RACE will by no means pass away till all these things have happened.” When we think of the long history of the Jewish race it is a miracle that they have survived as a people. They have been dispersed throughout the world, hated and persecuted by all nations, and yet they have retained their national identity. God has truly PERSERVED THEM and allowed them to become a nation once again and in the Lord’s words in Matthew 24:34 He assures them that they will continue to survive and will see “all these things come to pass.” They will see a peace treaty between them and their Arab neighbors; they will see the peace treaty broken and their Temple in Jerusalem defiled by an idol; they will live through another time of trouble unlike any they’ve ever experienced; and they will then see the Lord coming in power and glory to establish His kingdom. The moment they see Him they will also experience the forgiveness of sins and the Lord will put a new heart in them and make them His people once again. I would encourage you to read Revelation 1:7; Zechariah 12:9-14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Romans 11:26-27.  (442.1)  (DO)