Matthew 24; Matthew 25

1 Jesus left the temple. He was walking away when his disciples came up to him. They wanted to call his attention to the temple buildings. 2 "Do you see all these things?" Jesus asked. "What I'm about to tell you is true. Not one stone here will be left on top of another. Every stone will be thrown down." 3 Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives. There the disciples came to him in private. "Tell us," they said. "When will this happen? And what will be the sign of your coming? What will be the sign of the end?" 4 Jesus answered, "Keep watch! Be careful that no one fools you. 5 Many will come in my name. They will claim, 'I am the Christ!' They will fool many people. 6 "You will hear about wars. You will also hear people talking about future wars. Don't be alarmed. Those things must happen. But the end still isn't here. 7 Nation will fight against nation. Kingdom will fight against kingdom. People will go hungry. There will be earthquakes in many places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 "Then people will hand you over to be treated badly and killed. All nations will hate you because of me. 10 At that time, many will turn away from their faith. They will hate each other. They will hand each other over to their enemies. 11 Many false prophets will appear. They will fool many people. 12 Because evil will grow, most people's love will grow cold. 13 But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 This good news of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world. It will be a witness to all nations. Then the end will come. 15 "The prophet Daniel spoke about 'the hated thing that destroys.'(Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11) Someday you will see it standing in the holy place. The reader should understand this. 16 Then those who are in Judea should escape to the mountains. 17 No one on the roof should go down into his house to take anything out. 18 No one in the field should go back to get his coat. 19 How awful it will be in those days for pregnant women! How awful for nursing mothers! 20 Pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on the Sabbath day. 21 There will be terrible suffering in those days. It will be worse than any other from the beginning of the world until now. And there will never be anything like it again. 22 If the time had not been cut short, no one would live. But because of God's chosen people, it will be shortened. 23 "At that time someone may say to you, 'Look! Here is the Christ!' Or, 'There he is!' Do not believe it. 24 False Christs and false prophets will appear. They will do great signs and miracles. They will try to fool God's chosen people if possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 "So if anyone tells you, 'He is far out in the desert,' do not go out there. Or if anyone says, 'He is deep inside the house,' do not believe it. 27 Lightning that comes from the east can be seen in the west. It will be the same when the Son of Man comes. 28 The vultures will gather wherever there is a dead body. 29 "Right after the terrible suffering of those days, " 'The sun will be darkened. The moon will not shine. The stars will fall from the sky. The heavenly bodies will be shaken.' (Isaiah 13:10; 34:4) 30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. All the nations on earth will be sad. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky. He will come with power and great glory. 31 He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call. They will gather his chosen people from all four directions. They will bring them from one end of the heavens to the other. 32 "Learn a lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all those things happening, you know that the end is near. It is right at the door. 34 What I'm about to tell you is true. The people living at that time will certainly not pass away until all those things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away. But my words will never pass away. 36 "No one knows about that day or hour. Not even the angels in heaven know. The Son does not know. Only the Father knows. 37 "Remember how it was in the days of Noah. It will be the same when the Son of Man comes. 38 "In the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking. They were getting married. They were giving their daughters to be married. They did all those things right up to the day Noah entered the ark. 39 They knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes. 40 "Two men will be in the field. One will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill. One will be taken and the other left. 42 "So keep watch. You do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 You must understand something. Suppose the owner of the house knew what time of night the robber was coming. Then he would have kept watch. He would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready. The Son of Man will come at an hour when you don't expect him. 45 "Suppose a master puts one of his servants in charge of the other servants in his house. The servant's job is to give them their food at the right time. The master wants a faithful and wise servant for this. 46 It will be good for the servant if the master finds him doing his job when the master returns. 47 What I'm about to tell you is true. The master will put that servant in charge of everything he owns. 48 "But suppose that servant is evil. Suppose he says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time.' 49 Suppose he begins to beat the other servants. And suppose he eats and drinks with those who drink too much. 50 The master of that servant will come back on a day the servant doesn't expect him. He will return at an hour the servant does not know. 51 Then the master will cut him to pieces. He will send him to the place where pretenders go. There people will sob and grind their teeth.
1 "Here is what the kingdom of heaven will be like at that time. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. 2 Five of them were foolish. Five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but didn't take any olive oil with them. 4 The wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The groom did not come for a long time. So the bridesmaids all grew tired and fell asleep. 6 "At midnight someone cried out, 'Here's the groom! Come out to meet him!' 7 "Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise ones, 'Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out.' 9 " 'No,' they replied. 'There may not be enough for all of us. Instead, go to those who sell oil. Buy some for yourselves.' 10 "So they went to buy the oil. But while they were on their way, the groom arrived. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with him to the wedding dinner. Then the door was shut. 11 "Later, the other bridesmaids also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12 "But he replied, 'What I'm about to tell you is true. I don't know you.' 13 "So keep watch. You do not know the day or the hour that the groom will come. 14 "Again, here is what the kingdom of heaven will be like. A man was going on a journey. He sent for his servants and put them in charge of his property. 15 He gave $10,000 to one. He gave $4,000 to another. And he gave $2,000 to the third. The man gave each servant the amount of money he knew the servant could take care of. Then he went on his journey. 16 "The servant who had received the $10,000 went at once and put his money to work. He earned $10,000 more. 17 The one with the $4,000 earned $4,000 more. 18 But the man who had received $2,000 went and dug a hole in the ground. He hid his master's money in it. 19 "After a long time the master of those servants returned. He wanted to collect all the money they had earned. 20 The man who had received $10,000 brought the other $10,000. 'Master,' he said, 'you trusted me with $10,000. See, I have earned $10,000 more.' 21 "His master replied, 'You have done well, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' 22 "The man with $4,000 also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you trusted me with $4,000. See, I have earned $4,000 more.' 23 "His master replied, 'You have done well, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' 24 "Then the man who had received $2,000 came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest where you have not planted. You gather crops where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid. I went out and hid your $2,000 in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' 26 "His master replied, 'You evil, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not planted? You knew that I gather crops where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money in the bank. When I returned, I would have received it back with interest.' 28 "Then his master commanded the other servants, 'Take the $2,000 from him. Give it to the one who has $20,000. 29 Everyone who has will be given more. He will have more than enough. And what about anyone who doesn't have? Even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 Throw that worthless servant outside. There in the darkness, people will sob and grind their teeth.' 31 "The Son of Man will come in all his glory. All the angels will come with him. Then he will sit on his throne in the glory of heaven. 32 All the nations will be gathered in front of him. He will separate the people into two groups. He will be like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep to his right and the goats to his left. 34 "Then the King will speak to those on his right. He will say, 'My Father has blessed you. Come and take what is yours. It is the kingdom prepared for you since the world was created. 35 I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. 36 I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me.' 37 "Then the people who have done what is right will answer him. 'Lord,' they will ask, 'when did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you needing clothes and give them to you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply, 'What I'm about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'You are cursed! Go away from me into the fire that burns forever. It has been prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 I was hungry. But you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty. But you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger. But you did not invite me in. I needed clothes. But you did not give me any. I was sick and in prison. But you did not take care of me.' 44 "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and not help you? When did we see you as a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and not help you?' 45 "He will reply, 'What I'm about to tell you is true. Anything you didn't do for one of the least important of these, you didn't do for me.' 46 "Then they will go away to be punished forever. But those who have done what is right will receive eternal life."
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