To answer this question, one must address an underlying presupposition: that somehow the 5 Kingdoms merely represent political entities that were destroyed(or replaced) with future ones. Hence, the conclusion is "it all leads up to Christ", and an arbitrary conclusion that it ends with the Destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, from which time we have entered 'the eternal ages to come'. This is the argument of Preterism, and I have outlined their position here
In this particular paper, found here, the author challenges the hermeneutic that a Preterist must use to 'satisfy' Dan 2 with current reality:
While acknowledging that the four Gentile empires given in
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome) were
literal, geopolitical empires, 55 Gentry’s interpretation requires
that the smiting stone recorded at the conclusion of the dream be
given a spiritualized interpretation. In other words, most of the
statue must be read with one hermeneutical lens while the statue’s
feet, destruction, and replacement must be read with another
hermeneutical lens. Furthermore, Pentecost notes inconsistencies
associated with locating the fulfillment of the smiting stone aspect
of the dream in the first century. At that time, “Christianity did not
suddenly‘fill the whole earth’ (Dan 2:35),” Rome was not destroyed,
the Roman Empire did not consist of ten simultaneous kings, Christ
was not a smiting stone, Christ did not put an end to all the kingdoms
of the world, and Christ did not usher in a political kingdom. 56
At the root of Futurist Interpretations is an adherence to Literal Interpretation. Thomas Ice, a Dispensational Futurist describes it this way,
Let's look at some general support for the futurist approach. First
and foremost, only the futurist can interpret the whole Bible
literally and having done so harmonize those conclusions into a
consistent theological system. Just as the people, places, and times
were meant to be understood literally in Genesis 1-11, so are the
texts that relate to the end-times are to be taken literally. Days
mean days; years mean years; months mean months. Thus, the only way
that the book of Revelation and other prophetic portions of the Bible
make any sense is if they are taken literally, which means that they
have not yet happened, and thus, they are future. Taken from here
Therefore, given this understanding, the Entire Statue(not individual parts, but the Whole Statue) is destroyed by the "stone taken from the mountain without hands". Since one cannot say that Christ had physically returned to earth yet(Paul described this as heretical:(2 Tim. 2:17-18))
And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and
Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection
is past already; and overthrow the faith of some,
we must say that He hasn't yet returned. This of course was averred in the Constantinople Creed of 381AD, where it says,
and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of
whose Kingdom there shall be no end.
There would be no inclusion of this verse if He already 'came', therefore it has been traditionally accepted that "He will come again".
To Answer The Question
"How do the world kingdoms described in Daniel 2 'hold together' until their destruction at Christ's Physical Return?"
To interpret the meaning of this prophetic dream, we have to go beyond the mere recording of historical events and ask "What is God showing us?"
In Dan 7, Daniel is given a series of visions in the night where he is shown the same prophetic picture as Dan. 2, except instead of body parts of 'a man', it is a series of beasts, yet they describe the same kingdoms as in Dan. 2. Each successive beast is described, yet it is obvious that it isn't "The Animal" that is meant, but what that animal Figuratively represents.
In this article, John Walvoord, another Dispensational Futurist describes the beasts as being Babylon, Mede-Persia, Greece, and Rome. I won't go into the reasons given as he does an in-depth analysis of them, but we see a pattern developing, and that is God is describing these specific kingdoms to communicate a truth to Daniel. The Statue of Nebuchadnezzar is a composite statue of A MAN. In Dan. 7:4, the lion with eagle's wings has it's wings removed, and made to stand UPRIGHT and given a MAN's heart. It isn't the geo-political reality that is important as what it stands for, which is "The Kingdom of Man". These kingdoms combine their wealth, knowledge, and influence as the Statue increases in stature until it becomes an imposing kingdom on the earth. And it's these kingdoms/beasts that oppose the will of God on earth until the Entire statue(kingdom of man) is destroyed and the Kingdom of God, with Christ as it's King, is firmly implanted in Jerusalem. The epitome of man's achievement through these earthly kingdoms will come to an end, and God's reign will be manifested throughout the entire earth.
In Conclusion: these earthly 'kingdoms' represent a spiritual reality that opposes the Kingdom of God. When Christ physically returns, as the angels told the disciples in Acts 1:11, He will put down all earthly authority and establish His physical Kingdom.(1 Cor. 15:24)
53 Gentry, “A Preterist View of Revelation,” 66.
54 The NIV Study Bible, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), 1311.
55 Gentry, “A Preterist View of Revelation,” 66.19