When the Church loses its history, it's a shame. When the Church loses her literature, it's a CATASTROPHE. If you have the literature, you can relearn the history. But lose the records, and they're gone forever. Then straightforward prophecies about specific events are twisted in bizarre ways.
It seems such has nearly happened to Matthew 24, to the point where Futurist interpretations are regarded as "traditional," and End Times perversions such as "Left Behind" are considered mainstream. The noble Preterist tradition has been lost because we've forgetten the history surrounding the "Great Tribulation" -- the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. This event loomed large in the visions of the prophets (eg. Daniel 9). Jesus' prophecies -- inlcuding the promise that "this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Mt. 24:34) -- WAS indeed fufilled in the first century!
But, alas, we forgot our history. We've even lost sources. As recently as the 19th century Hegesippus' first-century Memoirs (composed c. 150 B.C.) were preserved in Eastern libraries. But they were ignored, and destroyed in the turmoil of the nations. Today we have snippets of this first-century historian in Eusebius' Church History, but nothing more.
O Christ, may you draw your Church back to what sources remain. May they be found, devoured, evaluated, and published for all!