Summary: A study of chapter 6 verses 12 through 17
Revelation 6: 12 - 17
Pay Day Has Arrived
12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
The background to this teaching was our Lord Jesus’ statement, given in reply to the disciples’ expressed admiration of Herod’s Temple which we read in Mark 13, ‘Do you see these great buildings? There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down’. This leads Peter, James, John and Andrew to ask Him privately, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign when these things are all about to be accomplished?’.
Now let us consider the circumstances. The apostles have just been told that the Temple they see before them, huge and magnificent and permanent, will be destroyed totally. No wonder their interest is stirred. Indeed they can hardly believe it could happen. That is what leads to their questions. All three writers mention this. It is apparent from this therefore that the writers interpreted our Holy Lord’s discourse as mainly applying to the destruction of the Temple, which took place in 70 AD.
Matthew adds further questions ‘ Tell us, when will these things happen, and  what will be the sign of your coming and  of the end of the age?’. The fact that Mark and Luke did not see fit to include the last phrase is proof positive that their main thought was of the destruction of the Temple.
If you review history you will find out that Matthew was the first to write the first Gospel, then the others. So, the other 2 Gospel writers were not thinking of the ‘end times’ only thinking about the standing Temple in Jerusalem. So it is clear that in our Master Lord Jesus’ reply we will expect to have an indication of when the Temple of Herod will be totally destroyed, as it was in 70 AD. Note the clear distinction Matthew makes between ‘these things’ and ‘the sign of your coming and of the end of the age’
The distinction is important because our Lord Jesus will later state that ‘these things’ will occur within the lifetime of that generation. I have heard a lot of bible teachers butcher these verses where they add all kinds of descriptions of the word ‘generation’ in order to force fit it to their incorrect theology.