Matthew 24

Matthew 24

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1 As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings.

2 But he told them, "Do you see all these buildings? I assure you, they will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another!"

3 Later, Jesus sat on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and asked, "When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world*?"1

4 Jesus told them, "Don't let anyone mislead you.

5 For many will come in my name, saying, `I am the Messiah.' They will lead many astray.

6 And wars will break out near and far, but don't panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won't follow immediately.

7 The nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.

8 But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come.

9 "Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because of your allegiance to me.

10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.

11 And many false prophets will appear and will lead many people astray.

12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.

13 But those who endure to the end will be saved.

14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then, finally, the end will come.

15 "The time will come when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about: the sacrilegious object that causes desecration* standing in the Holy Place"--reader, pay attention!2

16 "Then those in Judea must flee to the hills.

17 A person outside the house* must not go inside to pack.3

18 A person in the field must not return even to get a coat.

19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for mothers nursing their babies in those days.

20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

21 For that will be a time of greater horror than anything the world has ever seen or will ever see again.

22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, the entire human race will be destroyed. But it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones.

23 "Then if anyone tells you, `Look, here is the Messiah,' or `There he is,' don't pay any attention.

24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God's chosen ones.

25 See, I have warned you.

26 "So if someone tells you, `Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,' don't bother to go and look. Or, `Look, he is hiding here,' don't believe it!

27 For as the lightning lights up the entire sky, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.

28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.*4

29 "Immediately after those horrible days end, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.*5

30 And then at last, the sign of the coming of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the nations of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.*6

31 And he will send forth his angels with the sound of a mighty trumpet blast, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

32 "Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know without being told that summer is near.

33 Just so, when you see the events I've described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door.

34 I assure you, this generation* will not pass from the scene before all these things take place.7

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1: Or the age.

2: Greek the abomination of desolation. See Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11.

3: Greek on the roof.

4: Greek Wherever the carcass is, the vultures gather.

5: See Isa 13:10; 34:4; Joel 2:10.

6: See Dan 7:13.

7: Or this age, or this nation.

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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