"According to Herman Ridderbos, many biblical prophecies refer to 'things that appear to be centuries apart in the fulfillment [and] are sometimes comprehended by Jesus' prophecy in the same temporal frame and within the same local framework.' According to Ridderbos, such prophecy is 'something different than a diary of future events...The function of prophecy is consequently not that of a detailed projection of the future, but is the urgent insistence on the certainty of the things to come. This explains why, at the end of the vista, the perspective is lacking. The prophet sees all kinds of events that will come, and he sees in all of them the coming of God. But he cannot fix a date for the events, he cannot distinguish all phases in God's coming. To him it is one great reality.'
This is an important point. The prophet is not concerned with when certain things will come to pass but with the fact that they will come to pass."
Kim Riddlebarger, The Man Of Sin, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2006), 69.