There are some basic arguments against a futurist understanding of the Olivet Discourse. Within the context that Jesus spoke, it seems reasonable that he was continuing to pronounce judgment on the old system of Temple worship that he would have viewed as corrupt and void. The judgment of God on the nation of Israel was inevitable; and this was going to be carried out through the pagan nation of Rome. Jesus’ statements about the fall of the Temple can be seen as the “focal point of Jesus’ whole prophetic ministry.” The coming judgment would culminate the official end of the Jewish age of sacrifice, and usher in the ‘beginning’ of God’s new family (first the Jew, then the Gentile) in a more tangible way.
Another argument for first century fulfillment is that Jesus described the whole of His prophetic discourse as having to be fulfilled in the generation of his hearers. In Mark 13 (and parallel accounts) Jesus gives a promise concerning the whole of what He has just predicted.  “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” This statement of Jesus has been understood in one of two ways. The futurist (premillenialists, et cetera) interpretation of the phrase ‘this generation’ is often to view the phrase as speaking of the Jewish race of people rather than a time in history. John MacArthur does not hold to that understanding but rather believes that ‘this generation’ will be the one that is alive during the cosmic disturbances of the future. I would propose that the word ‘this’ represented the actual group that Jesus was addressing in the first century. Everything in the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in the events leading up to 70 A.D. The “Bible Answer Man,” Hank Hanegraaff, (who can be a bit hyper-modern at times, but helpful in this area) states the following in reference to this matter:
When Jesus says, “this generation,” this means this. This does not mean that. The phrase “this generation” appears multiple times in the Gospels and always refers to Jesus’ contemporaries. Allow me to state the obvious. Our Lord was not grammatically challenged in the least. Had he wanted to draw the attention of his disciples to a generation nineteen hundred years hence, he would not have confused them with the adjective this.
Finally, Jesus may not have taught literal future cosmic disturbances, as many suppose based on the Olivet Discourse, but when He makes references to the future they seem to deal with issues of either: resurrection or putting the universe back to rights. Jesus’ prophetic ministry did not focus on the eventual doomsday scenarios that many in the church have imagined, but one of His statements that does pertain to the second coming can be found in Matthew:
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory…”
Jesus is coming again to heal all of creation and to carry this project to completion. He will lift the curse of Eden and fulfill the hopes of Isaiah and the others in the Old Testament. When Christ returns it will be to transform the cosmos. The physical world will be renewed, and those who have trusted in Christ for salvation will be restored to glory through resurrection.
N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), 344.
Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus: When Did Jesus Say He Would Return?, 71.
Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus: When Did Jesus Say He Would Return?, 56-57.
Holy Bible, New International Version, Mark 13:30.
MacArthur, The Second Coming:: Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age, 133.
Hank Hanegraaff, The Bible Answer Book, Volume 2 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2006), 211.
 See Matthew 22:23-33 for an example of Jesus’ affirmation of resurrection of the body.
Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 10.
Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version, Matthew 19:28a [emphasis added].
Bell, Velvet Elvis: repainting the Christian faith, 160-161.