Matthew 24 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

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1 As Jesus left the temple courtyard and was walking away, his disciples came to him. They proudly pointed out to him the temple buildings. 2 Jesus said to them, "You see all these buildings, don't you? I can guarantee this truth: Not one of these stones will be left on top of another. Each one will be torn down." 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, "Tell us, when will this happen? What will be the sign that you are coming again, and when will the world come to an end?" 4 Jesus answered them, "Be careful not to let anyone deceive you. 5 Many will come using my name. They will say, 'I am the Messiah,' and they will deceive many people. 6 "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Don't be alarmed! These things must happen, but they don't mean that the end has come. 7 Nation will fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All of these are only the beginning pains [of the end]. 9 "Then they will hand you over to those who will torture and kill you. All nations will hate you because you are committed to me. 10 Then many will lose faith. They will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 And because there will be more and more lawlessness, most people's love will grow cold. 13 But the person who endures to the end will be saved. 14 "This Good News about the kingdom will be spread throughout the world as a testimony to all nations. Then the end will come. 15 "The prophet Daniel said that the disgusting thing that will cause destruction will stand in the holy place. When you see this (let the reader take note), 16 those of you in Judea should flee to the mountains. 17 Those who are on the roof should not come down to get anything out of their houses. 18 Those who are in the field should not turn back to get their coats. 19 "How horrible it will be for the women who are pregnant or who are nursing babies in those days. 20 Pray that it will not be winter or a day of worship when you flee. 21 There will be a lot of misery at that time, a kind of misery that has not happened from the beginning of the world until now and will certainly never happen again. 22 If God does not reduce the number of those days, no one will be saved. But those days will be reduced because of those whom God has chosen. 23 "At that time don't believe anyone who tells you, 'Here is the Messiah!' or 'There he is!' 24 False messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will work spectacular, miraculous signs and do wonderful things to deceive, if possible, even those whom God has chosen. 25 Listen! I've told you this before it happens. 26 So if someone tells you, 'He's in the desert!' don't go out [looking for him]. And don't believe anyone who says, 'He's in a secret place!' 27 The Son of Man will come again just as lightning flashes from east to west. 28 Vultures will gather wherever there is a dead body. 29 "Immediately after the misery of those days, the sun will turn dark, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the universe will be shaken. 30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. All the people on earth will cry in agony when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds in the sky with power and great glory. 31 He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and from every direction under the sky, they will gather those whom God has chosen. 32 "Learn from the story of the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and it sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the door. 34 "I can guarantee this truth: This generation will not disappear until all these things take place. 35 The earth and the heavens will disappear, but my words will never disappear. 36 "No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don't know. Only the Father knows. 37 "When the Son of Man comes again, it will be exactly like the days of Noah. 38 In the days before the flood, people were eating, drinking, and getting married until the day that Noah went into the ship. 39 They were not aware of what was happening until the flood came and swept all of them away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes again. 40 "At that time two men will be working in the field. One will be taken, and the other one will be left. 41 Two women will be working at a mill. One will be taken, and the other one will be left. 42 "Therefore, be alert, because you don't know on what day your Lord will return. 43 You realize that if a homeowner had known at what time of the night a thief was coming, he would have stayed awake. He would not have let the thief break into his house. 44 Therefore, you, too, must be ready because the Son of Man will return when you least expect him. 45 "Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? The master will put that person in charge of giving the other servants their food at the right time. 46 That servant will be blessed if his master finds him doing this job when he comes. 47 I can guarantee this truth: He will put that servant in charge of all his property. 48 On the other hand, that servant, if he is wicked, may think that it will be a long time before his master comes. 49 The servant may begin to beat the other servants and eat and drink with the drunks. 50 His master will return unexpectedly. 51 Then his master will severely punish him and assign him a place with the hypocrites. People will cry and be in extreme pain there.
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