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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
Jesus Speaks of the Destruction of the Temple
(Mk 13.1–2; Lk 21.5–6)
1Jesus left and was going away from the Temple when his disciples came to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2“Yes,” he said, “you may well look at all these. I tell you this: not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one of them will be thrown down.”
Troubles and Persecutions
(Mk 13.3–13; Lk 21.7–19)
3As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him in private. “Tell us when all this will be,” they asked, “and what will happen to show that it is the time for your coming and the end of the age.”
4Jesus answered, “Be on your guard, and do not let anyone deceive you. 5Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will deceive many people. 6You are going to hear the noise of battles close by and the news of battles far away; but do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come. 7Countries will fight each other, kingdoms will attack one another. There will be famines and earthquakes everywhere. 8All these things are like the first pains of childbirth.
9 # Mt 10.22 “Then you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and be put to death. All nations will hate you because of me. 10Many will give up their faith at that time; they will betray one another and hate one another. 11Then many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Such will be the spread of evil that many people's love will grow cold. 13#Mt 10.22But whoever holds out to the end will be saved. 14And this Good News about the Kingdom will be preached through all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end will come.
The Awful Horror
(Mk 13.14–23; Lk 21.20–24)
15 # Dan 9.27; 11.31; 12.11 “You will see ‘The Awful Horror’ of which the prophet Daniel spoke. It will be standing in the holy place.” (Note to the reader: be sure to understand what this means!) 16“Then those who are in Judea must run away to the hills. 17#Lk 17.31Someone who is on the roof of his house must not take the time to go down and get his belongings from the house. 18Someone who is in the field must not go back to get his cloak. 19How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies! 20Pray to God that you will not have to run away during the winter or on a Sabbath! 21#Dan 12.1; Rev 7.14For the trouble at that time will be far more terrible than any there has ever been, from the beginning of the world to this very day. Nor will there ever be anything like it again. 22But God has already reduced the number of days; had he not done so, nobody would survive. For the sake of his chosen people, however, God will reduce the days.
23 “Then, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ — do not believe it. 24For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear; they will perform great miracles and wonders in order to deceive even God's chosen people, if possible. 25Listen! I have told you this before the time comes.
26 # Lk 17.23–24 “Or, if people should tell you, ‘Look, he is out in the desert!’ — don't go there; or if they say, ‘Look, he is hiding here!’ — don't believe it. 27For the Son of Man will come like the lightning which flashes across the whole sky from the east to the west.
28 # Lk 17.37 “Wherever there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.
The Coming of the Son of Man
(Mk 13.24–27; Lk 21.25–28)
29 # Is 13.10; 34.4; Ezek 32.7; Joel 2.10, 31; 3.15; Rev 6.12–13 “Soon after the trouble of those days, the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses. 30#Dan 7.13; Zech 12.10–14; Rev 1.7Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky; and all the peoples of earth will weep as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31The great trumpet will sound, and he will send out his angels to the four corners of the earth, and they will gather his chosen people from one end of the world to the other.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
(Mk 13.28–31; Lk 21.29–33)
32 “Let the fig tree teach you a lesson. When its branches become green and tender and it starts putting out leaves, you know that summer is near. 33In the same way, when you see all these things, you will know that the time is near, ready to begin.#24.33 the time is near, ready to begin; or he is near, ready to come. 34Remember that all these things will happen before the people now living have all died. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
No One Knows the Day and Hour
(Mk 13.32–37; Lk 17.26–30, 34–36)
36 “No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come — neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; # 24.36 Some manuscripts do not have nor the Son. the Father alone knows. 37#Gen 6.5–8The coming of the Son of Man will be like what happened in the time of Noah. 38In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; 39#Gen 7.6–24yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes. 40At that time two men will be working in a field: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind. 41Two women will be at a mill grinding meal: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind.
42 “Be on your guard, then, because you do not know what day your Lord will come. 43#Lk 12.39–40If the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, you can be sure that he would stay awake and not let the thief break into his house. 44So then, you also must always be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.
The Faithful or the Unfaithful Servant
(Lk 12.41–48)
45 “Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant? It is the one that his master has placed in charge of the other servants to give them their food at the proper time. 46How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home! 47Indeed, I tell you, the master will put that servant in charge of all his property. 48But if he is a bad servant, he will tell himself that his master will not come back for a long time, 49and he will begin to beat his fellow-servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50Then that servant's master will come back one day when the servant does not expect him and at a time he does not know. 51The master will cut him in pieces#24.51 cut him in pieces; or throw him out. and make him share the fate of the hypocrites. There he will cry and grind his teeth.