Matthew 24

1Jesus left the temple area and was walking away. But his followers came to him to show him the temple’s buildings. 2Jesus asked the followers, “Are you looking at these buildings? I tell you the truth. They will be destroyed. Every stone will be thrown down to the ground. Not one stone will be left on another.” 3Later, Jesus was sitting at a place on the Mount of Olives. The followers came to be alone with Jesus. They said, “Tell us when these things will happen. And what will happen to show us that it is time for you to come again and time for the world to end?” 4Jesus answered: “Be careful! Don’t let any person fool you. 5Many people will come and use my name. They will say, 'I am the Christ.’ And they will fool many people. 6You will hear about wars that are being fought. And you will hear stories about other wars beginning. 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 born. 9”Then people will treat you badly. People will give you ˻to the rulers˼ to be persecuted ˻(hurt)˼ and killed. All people will hate you. All these things will happen to you because you believe in me. 10At that time, many believers will lose their faith. They will turn against each other and hate each other. 11Many false prophets will come. They will cause many people to believe wrong things. 12There will be more and more evil in the world. So most believers will stop showing love. 13But the person that continues strong to the end will be saved. 14The Good News about ˻God’s˼ kingdom will be told in the whole world. It will be told to every nation. Then the end will come. 15”Daniel the prophet spoke about 'the terrible thing that causes destruction.’ You will see this terrible thing standing in the holy place ˻(the temple)˼.” (You that read this should understand what it means.) 16”At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains. 17People should run away without wasting the time to stop for anything. If a person is on the roof of his house, he must not go down to get things out of his house. 18If a person is in the field, he must not go back to get his coat. 19At that time, it will be bad for women that are pregnant or have small babies! 20Pray that it will not be winter or a Sabbath day when these things happen and you have to run away. 21Why? Because at that time there will be much trouble. There will be more trouble than has ever happened since the beginning of the world. And nothing as bad as that will ever happen again. 22But God has decided to make that terrible time short. If that time were not made short, then no person would continue living. But God will make that time short to help the people he has chosen. 23At that time, some person 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 do great things and miracles. They will do these things to the people God has chosen. They will do these things to try to fool his people, if that is possible. 25Now I have warned you about this before it happens. 26”Some person might tell you, 'The Christ is there in the desert!’ But don’t go into the desert to look for the Christ. Another person might say, 'There is the Christ in that room!’ But don’t believe that. 27When the Son of Man comes, he will be seen by all people. It will be like lightning flashing in the sky that can be seen everywhere. 28˻My coming will be clear, the same as˼ any time you see vultures gathering, you know there is a dead body. 29”Soon after the trouble of those days, this will happen: 'The sun will become dark, and the moon will not give light. The stars will fall from the sky, and everything in the sky will be changed.’ 30”At that time, there will be something in the sky that shows the Son of Man coming. All the people of the world will cry. All the people will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds in the sky. The Son of Man will come with power and great glory. 31The Son of Man will use a loud trumpet to send his angels all around the earth. The angels will gather his chosen people from every part of the earth. 32”The fig tree teaches us a lesson: When the fig tree’s branches become green and soft, and new leaves begin to grow, then you know that summer is near. 33It is the same with these things that I told you would happen. 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 people of this time are still living! 35The whole world, earth and sky, will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed! 36”No person knows when that day or time will be. The Son and the angels in heaven don’t know when that day or time will be. Only the Father knows. 37When the Son of Man comes, it will be the same as the thing that happened during Noah’s time. 38In those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking. People were marrying and giving their children to be married. The people were still doing those things until the day Noah entered the boat. 39Those people knew nothing about what was happening. But then the flood came and all those people were destroyed. It will be the same when the Son of Man comes. 40Two men will be working together in the field. One man will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding grain with a mill. One woman will be taken and the other woman will be left. 42”So always be ready. You don’t know the day your Lord will come. 43Remember this: If the owner of the house knew what time the thief was coming, then the owner would be ready for him. The owner would watch and not let the thief enter his house. 44So you also must be ready. The Son of Man will come at a time when you don’t expect him. 45”Who is the wise and trusted servant? The master trusts one servant to give the other servants their food at the right time. Who is the servant that the master trusts to do that work? 46When the master comes and finds that servant doing the work he gave him, the servant will be very happy. 47I tell you the truth. The master will choose that servant to take care of everything the master owns. 48But what will happen if the servant is evil and thinks his master will not come back soon? 49Then that servant will begin to beat the other servants. That servant will eat the food and get drunk with other people like him. 50Then the master of that servant will come when the servant is not ready. It will be a time when the servant is not expecting the master. 51Then the master will punish that servant. The master will send him away to be with the hypocrites. And in that place people will cry and grind their teeth ˻with pain˼.

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