It is ironic that Jesus' opening imperative in His "Olivet Discourse" is "Take heed that no man deceive you". This is His command, but it begs a question of means: "How do we avoid that?" There seems to be more conjectures and misunderstandings over this passage than almost any other in the New Testament.
For many students of eschatology - the study of last things - the so-called Olivet Discourse has proven to be a troublesome passage; a hermeneutical battleground between the dispensationalists and the preterists, etc. The preterists insist that this passage - and the Book of Revelation - has been already fulfilled, and much of it is dismissed by them as simply allegorical. Yet even those who embrace a dispensational view have difficulty reconciling many of the Olivet Discourse passages.
Our exploration of this passage will challenge more than simply our hermeneutics alone. It will challenge our grasp of the whole eschatological plan in its entirety.