As Jesus was leaving the Temple, one of his followers said to him, "Look, Teacher! How beautiful the buildings are! How big the stones are!"
Jesus said, "Do you see all these great buildings? Not one stone will be left on another. Every stone will be thrown down to the ground."
Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, opposite the Temple, he was alone with Peter, James, John, and Andrew. They asked Jesus,
"Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are going to happen?"
Jesus began to answer them, "Be careful that no one fools you.
Many people will come in my name, saying, 'I am the One,' and they will fool many people.
When you hear about wars and stories of wars that are coming, don't be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes.
Nations will fight against other nations, and kingdoms against other kingdoms. There will be earthquakes in different places, and there will be times when there is no food for people to eat. These things are like the first pains when something new is about to be born.
"You must be careful. People will arrest you and take you to court and beat you in their synagogues. You will be forced to stand before kings and governors, to tell them about me. This will happen to you because you follow me.
But before these things happen, the Good News must be told to all people.
When you are arrested and judged, don't worry ahead of time about what you should say. Say whatever is given you to say at that time, because it will not really be you speaking; it will be the Holy Spirit.
"Brothers will give their own brothers to be killed, and fathers will give their own children to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and cause them to be put to death.
All people will hate you because you follow me, but those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved.
"You will see 'the destroying terror' standing where it should not be." (You who read this should understand what it means.) "At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains.
If people are on the roof of their houses, they must not go down or go inside to get anything out of their houses.
If people are in the fields, they must not go back to get their coats.
At that time, how terrible it will be for women who are pregnant or have nursing babies!
Pray that these things will not happen in winter,
because those days will be full of trouble. There will be more trouble than there has ever been since the beginning, when God made the world, until now, and nothing as bad will ever happen again.
God has decided to make that terrible time short. Otherwise, no one would go on living. But God will make that time short to help the people he has chosen.
At that time, someone might say to you, 'Look, there is the Christ!' Or another person might say, 'There he is!' But don't believe them.
False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible.
So be careful. I have warned you about all this before it happens.
"During the days after this trouble comes, 'the sun will grow dark, and the moon will not give its light.
The stars will fall from the sky. And the powers of the heavens will be shaken.'
"Then people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
Then he will send his angels all around the earth to gather his chosen people from every part of the earth and from every part of heaven.
"Learn a lesson from the fig tree: When its branches become green and soft and new leaves appear, you know summer is near.
In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that the time is near, ready to come.
I tell you the truth, all these things will happen while the people of this time are still living.
Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.
"No one knows when that day or time will be, not the angels in heaven, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.
Be careful! Always be ready, because you don't know when that time will be.
It is like a man who goes on a trip. He leaves his house and lets his servants take care of it, giving each one a special job to do. The man tells the servant guarding the door always to be watchful.
So always be ready, because you don't know when the owner of the house will come back. It might be in the evening, or at midnight, or in the morning while it is still dark, or when the sun rises.
Always be ready. Otherwise he might come back suddenly and find you sleeping.
I tell you this, and I say this to everyone: 'Be ready!'"