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Matthew 24

24
The Signs of the End
1Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him. They wanted him to admire the temple buildings. 2“Do you see all this?” Jesus asked. “Truly I tell you, there won’t be one stone left here on top of another. Every building will be torn down, to the last stone.”
3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately and asked, “Tell us, when will this happen? And what will be the sign of your coming? What will be the sign of the end of the age?”
4Jesus answered, “Don’t let anyone trick you! 5Many people will come claiming to be me and saying, ‘I’m the Messiah!’ They’ll get many people to follow them. 6You’ll hear about wars, and you’ll hear people saying there are going to be wars. Don’t be afraid. Those things will happen, but that won’t be the end. 7Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom will fight against kingdom. People won’t have enough food, and there will be earthquakes in many places. 8But all of this will be only the beginning of the birth pains.
9“Then people will hand you over to be oppressed and killed, and all nations will hate you because of me. 10At that time, many will turn away from the faith. They will hate one another and hand each other over to their enemies. 11Many false prophets will appear, and they will trick many people. 12Wickedness will increase and many people’s love will grow cold. 13But anyone who remains strong in the faith will be saved. 14This good news of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.
15“The prophet Daniel spoke about ‘the detestable thing that brings desolation.’ One day you’ll see it standing in the holy place.” (Let the one who reads this be sure to understand.) 16“When that happens, those who are in Judea should escape to the mountains. 17No one who’s on a housetop should go down into the house to take anything out. 18No one who’s out in the field should go back home to get their coat. 19How awful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that you won’t have to run away in the winter or on a Sabbath day. 21There will be terrible suffering in those days, worse than any other time from the beginning of the world until now, and there will never be anything like it again.
22“If that time were not cut short, no one would survive. But because of God’s chosen people, it will be shortened. 23At that time someone may say to you, ‘Look! Here’s the Messiah!’ Or, ‘He’s over there!’ Don’t believe it. 24False messiahs and false prophets will appear, and they’ll do great signs and miracles. They’ll even try to trick God’s chosen people if they can. 25See, I’ve told you ahead of time.
26“So if anyone tells you, ‘He’s out in the desert,’ don’t go out there. And if anyone says, ‘He’s deep inside the house,’ don’t believe it. 27Lightning that comes from the east can be seen in the west. It will be the same when the Son of Man comes. 28You know where a dead body is when you see vultures circling in the sky.
29“Right after the terrible suffering of those days,
“ ‘The sun will go dark,
the moon won’t shine,
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the planets will be shaken.’
30“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven. Then all the peoples of the earth will mourn, when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his chosen people from the north, south, east, and west—from one end of the sky to the other.
32“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33In the same way, when you see all these things happening, you’ll know that the end is near, right at the door. 34Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Time Are Not Known
36“But no one knows what day or time this will happen. The angels in heaven don’t even know, and the Son doesn’t know either—only the Father knows. 37When the Son of Man comes, it will be the same as it was in the days of Noah. 38In the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, getting married and arranging marriages, right up to the day when Noah entered the ark. 39They didn’t know anything about what was going to happen until the flood came and took them all away. That’s how it will be when the Son of Man comes. 40Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken and the other will be spared. 41Two women will be grinding together with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other will be left.
42“So keep watch, because you don’t know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the robber was coming, he would have kept watch. He wouldn’t have let his house be broken into. 44So you must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at a time when you aren’t expecting him.
45“Suppose a master puts one of his slaves in charge of the other slaves and tells him to give them their food at the right time. The master would want to choose a faithful and wise slave to do that. 46It will be good for this slave if the master finds him doing his job when he returns. 47Truly I tell you, the master will put that slave in charge of everything he owns. 48But suppose the slave is a bad person and he says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time. I can do whatever I want.’ 49Suppose he then starts to beat the other slaves and to eat and drink with people who drink too much. 50The master of that slave will come back on a day when he isn’t expecting him and at a time when he isn’t watching. 51Then the master will cut him to pieces and send him to the same place where hypocrites go, where people will weep and grind their teeth.
24
The Temple Will Be Destroyed
1As Jesus left the Temple and was walking away, his followers came up to show him the Temple’s buildings. 2Jesus asked, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, not one stone will be left on another. Every stone will be thrown down to the ground.”
3Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his followers came to be alone with him. They said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that it is time for you to come again and for this age to end?”
4Jesus answered, “Be careful that no one fools you. 5Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will fool many people. 6You will hear about wars and stories of wars that are coming, but don’t be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes. 7Nations will fight against other nations; kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. There will be times when there is no food for people to eat, and there will be earthquakes in different places. 8These things are like the first pains when something new is about to be born.
9“Then people will arrest you, hand you over to be hurt, and kill you. They will hate you because you believe in me. 10At that time, many will lose their faith, and they will turn against each other and hate each other. 11Many false prophets will come and cause many people to believe lies. 12There will be more and more evil in the world, so most people will stop showing their love for each other. 13But those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved. 14The Good News about God’s kingdom will be preached in all the world, to every nation. Then the end will come.
15“Daniel the prophet spoke about ‘a blasphemous object that brings destruction.’ You will see this standing in the holy place.” (You who read this should understand what it means.) 16“At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains. 17If people are on the roofs of their houses, they must not go down to get anything out of their houses. 18If people are in the fields, they must not go back to get their coats. 19At that time, how terrible it will be for women who are pregnant or have nursing babies! 20Pray that it will not be winter or a Sabbath day when these things happen and you have to run away, 21because at that time there will be much trouble. There will be more trouble than there has ever been since the beginning of the world until now, and nothing as bad will ever happen again. 22God has decided to make that terrible time short. Otherwise, no one would go on living. But God will make that time short to help the people he has chosen. 23At that time, someone might say to you, ‘Look, there is the Christ!’ Or another person might say, ‘There he is!’ But don’t believe them. 24False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible. 25Now I have warned you about this before it happens.
26“If people tell you, ‘The Christ is in the desert,’ don’t go there. If they say, ‘The Christ is in the inner room,’ don’t believe it. 27When the Son of Man comes, he will be seen by everyone, like lightning flashing from the east to the west. 28Wherever the dead body is, there the vultures will gather.
29“Soon after the trouble of those days,
‘the sun will grow dark,
and the moon will not give its light.
The stars will fall from the sky.
And the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ #Isaiah 13:10; 34:4
30“At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the peoples of the world will cry. They will see the Son of Man coming on clouds in the sky with great power and glory. 31He will use a loud trumpet to send his angels all around the earth, and they will gather his chosen people from every part of the world.
32“Learn a lesson from the fig tree: When its branches become green and soft and new leaves appear, you know summer is near. 33In the same way, when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time is near, ready to come. 34I tell you the truth, all these things will happen while the people of this time are still living. 35Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.
When Will Jesus Come Again?
36“No one knows when that day or time will be, not the angels in heaven, not even the Son. Only the Father knows. 37When the Son of Man comes, it will be like what happened during Noah’s time. 38In those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving their children to be married, until the day Noah entered the boat. 39They knew nothing about what was happening until the flood came and destroyed them. It will be the same when the Son of Man comes. 40Two men will be in the field. One will be taken, and the other will be left. 41Two women will be grinding grain with a mill. One will be taken, and the other will be left.
42“So always be ready, because you don’t know the day your Lord will come. 43Remember this: If the owner of the house knew what time of night a thief was coming, the owner would watch and not let the thief break in. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at a time you don’t expect him.
45“Who is the wise and loyal servant that the master trusts to give the other servants their food at the right time? 46When the master comes and finds the servant doing his work, the servant will be blessed. 47I tell you the truth, the master will choose that servant to take care of everything he owns. 48But suppose that evil servant thinks to himself, ‘My master will not come back soon,’ 49and he begins to beat the other servants and eat and get drunk with others like him? 50The master will come when that servant is not ready and is not expecting him. 51Then the master will cut him in pieces and send him away to be with the hypocrites, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.