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Future Destruction of the Temple
(Mt. 24:1–44; Lk. 21:5–33)

1Jesus was leaving the temple area. One of his followers said to him, “Look, Teacher! This temple has very beautiful buildings with very big stones.”

2Jesus said, “Are you looking at these great buildings? They will all 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. He was alone with Peter, James, John, and Andrew. They could all see the temple. Those followers asked Jesus,

4“Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will show us it is time for these things to happen?”

5Jesus said to the followers: “Be careful! Don’t let any person fool you.

6Many people will come and use my name. They will say, ‘I am the One.’ And they will fool many people.

7You 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.

8Nations 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. These things are like the first pains when something new is born.

9“You must be careful. People will arrest you and take you to be judged. They will beat you in their synagogues. You will be forced to stand before kings and governors. You will tell them about me. This will happen to you because you follow me.

10Before these things happen, the Good News must be told to all people.

11You will be arrested and judged. But don’t worry about what you should say. Say the things God gives you to say at that time. It will not really be you speaking. It will be the Holy Spirit speaking.

12“Brothers will turn against their own brothers and give them to be killed. Fathers will turn against their own children and give them to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and find ways for their parents to be killed.

13All people will hate you because you follow me. But the person that continues strong until the end will be saved.

14“You will see ‘the terrible thing that causes destruction.’ You will see this thing standing in the place where it should not be.” (You that read this should understand what it means.) “At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains.

15People should run away without wasting time to stop for anything. If a person is on the roof of his house, he must not go down to take things out of his house.

16If a person is in the field, he must not go back to get his coat.

17At that time, it will be bad for women that are pregnant or have small babies.

18Pray that these things will not happen in winter.

19Why? Because those days will be full of much trouble. There will be more trouble than has ever happened since the beginning, when God made the world. And nothing as bad as that will ever happen again.

20But God has decided to make that terrible time short. If that time were not made short, then no person could continue living. But God will make that time short to help his special people that he has chosen.

21At 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.

22False 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.

23So be careful. Now I have warned you about all this before it happens.

24“During the days after this trouble happens, ‘ The sun will become dark, and the moon will not give light.

25The stars will fall from the sky, and everything in the sky will be changed.’ Isaiah 13:10; 34:4

26“Then people will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory.

27The Son of Man will send his angels all around the earth. The angels will gather his chosen people from every part of the earth.

28“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.

29It is the same with these things that I told you would happen. When you see all these things happening, then you will know that the time is near, ready to come.

30I tell you the truth. All these things will happen while people of this time are still living.

31The whole world, earth and sky, will be destroyed. But the words I have said will never be destroyed.

32“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.

33Be careful! Always be ready! You don’t know when that time will be.

34This is like a man that goes on a trip and leaves his house. The man lets his servants take care of the house. He gives each servant a special job to do. One servant has the work of guarding the door. The man tells this servant to always be ready. This is the same as I am now telling you.

35So you must always be ready. You don’t know when the owner of the house will come back. He might come in the afternoon, or at midnight, or in the early morning, or when the sun rises.

36The owner might come back quickly. If you are always ready, then he will not find you sleeping.

37I tell you this, and I say this to every person: ‘Be ready!’”

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