Matthew 24; Matthew 25 (New Living Translation)

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?" 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! 16 "Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person outside the house must not go inside to pack. 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. " 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. 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. 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. 35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever." 36 "However, no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows." 37 "When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day. 38 In those days before the Flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn't realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes." 40 "Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. 42 So be prepared, because you don't know what day your Lord is coming." 43 "Know this: A homeowner who knew exactly when a burglar was coming would stay alert and not permit the house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected." 45 "Who is a faithful, sensible servant, to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his household and feeding his family? 46 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 47 I assure you, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 48 But if the servant is evil and thinks, 'My master won't be back for a while,' 49 and begins oppressing the other servants, partying, and getting drunk -- 50 well, the master will return unannounced and unexpected. 51 He will tear the servant apart and banish him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 1 "The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish took no oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all lay down and slept. 6 At midnight they were roused by the shout, 'Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!' 7 "All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, 'Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.' 9 But the others replied, 'We don't have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.' 10 "But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, 'Sir, open the door for us!' 12 But he called back, 'I don't know you!' 13 "So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return. 14 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a trip. He called together his servants and gave them money to invest for him while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of gold to one, two bags of gold to another, and one bag of gold to the last -- dividing it in proportion to their abilities -- and then left on his trip. 16 The servant who received the five bags of gold began immediately to invest the money and soon doubled it. 17 The servant with two bags of gold also went right to work and doubled the money. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of gold dug a hole in the ground and hid the master's money for safekeeping. 19 "After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of gold said, 'Sir, you gave me five bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.' 21 The master was full of praise. 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!' 22 "Next came the servant who had received the two bags of gold, with the report, 'Sir, you gave me two bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.' 23 The master said, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!' 24 "Then the servant with the one bag of gold came and said, 'Sir, I know you are a hard man, harvesting crops you didn't plant and gathering crops you didn't cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth and here it is.' 26 "But the master replied, 'You wicked and lazy servant! You think I'm a hard man, do you, harvesting crops I didn't plant and gathering crops I didn't cultivate? 27 Well, you should at least have put my money into the bank so I could have some interest. 28 Take the money from this servant and give it to the one with the ten bags of gold. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 31 "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. 34 Then the King will say to those on the right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.' 37 "Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?' 40 And the King will tell them, 'I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!' 41 "Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! 42 For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.' 44 "Then they will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?' 45 And he will answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.' 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life."
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