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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
1 JESUS DEPARTED from the temple area and was going on His way when His disciples came up to Him to call His attention to the buildings of the temple and point them out to Him.
2 But He answered them, Do you see all these? Truly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.
3 While He was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately and said, Tell us, when will this take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end (the completion, the consummation) of the age?
4 Jesus answered them, Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error].
5 For many will come in (on the strength of) My name [appropriating the name which belongs to Me], saying, I am the Christ (the Messiah), and they will lead many astray.
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place;
8 All this is but the beginning [the early pains] of the birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish].
9 Then they will hand you over to suffer affliction and tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.
10 And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.
11 And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error.
12 And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity,
13 But he who endures to the end will be saved.
14 And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end.
15 So when you see the appalling sacrilege [the abomination that astonishes and makes desolate], spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place–let the reader take notice and ponder and consider and heed [this]–[Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11.]
16 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
17 Let him who is on the housetop not come down and go into the house to take anything;
18 And let him who is in the field not turn back to get his overcoat.
19 And alas for the women who are pregnant and for those who have nursing babies in those days!
20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.
21 For then there will be great tribulation (affliction, distress, and oppression) such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now–no, and never will be [again]. [Dan. 12:1; Joel 2:2.]
22 And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would endure and survive, but for the sake of the elect (God's chosen ones) those days will be shortened.
23 If anyone says to you then, Behold, here is the Christ (the Messiah)! or, There He is!–do not believe it.
24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (God's chosen ones).
25 See, I have warned you beforehand.
26 So if they say to you, Behold, He is in the wilderness (desert)–do not go out there; if they tell you, Behold, He is in the secret places or inner rooms–do not believe it.
27 For just as the lightning flashes from the east and shines and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
28 Wherever there is a fallen body (a corpse), there the vultures (or eagles) will flock together. [Job 39:30.]
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. [Isa. 13:10; 34:4; Joel 2:10, 11; Zeph. 1:15.]
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and beat their breasts and lament in anguish, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [in brilliancy and splendor]. [Dan. 7:13; Rev. 1:7.]
31 And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect (His chosen ones) from the four winds, [even] from one end of the universe to the other. [Isa. 27:13; Zech. 9:14.]
32 From the fig tree learn this lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near.
33 So also when you see these signs, all taken together, coming to pass, you may know of a surety that He is near, at the very doors.
34 Truly I tell you, this generation (the whole multitude of people living at the same time, in a definite, given period) will not pass away till all these things taken together take place.
35 Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
36 But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
38 For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark,
39 And they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away–so will be the coming of the Son of Man. [Gen. 6:5-8; 7:6-24.]
40 At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
41 Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
42 Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming.
43 But understand this: had the householder known in what [part of the night, whether in a night or a morning] watch the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be undermined and broken into.
44 You also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.
45 Who then is the faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household to give to the others the food and supplies at the proper time?
46 Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is that servant whom, when his master comes, he will find so doing.
47 I solemnly declare to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
48 But if that servant is wicked and says to himself, My master is delayed and is going to be gone a long time,
49 And begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunken,
50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour of which he is not aware,
51 And will punish him [cut him up by scourging] and put him with the pretenders (hypocrites); there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.