Matthew 24:1-31

Jesus talks about God's Great House

1 Jesus left God's Great House. While he was leaving, his disciples came to him. They began to talk to him about the buildings of God's Great House. 2 So Jesus said to them, ‘Yes, you can see all these beautiful buildings now. But I tell you this: Enemies will completely destroy them. Not even one stone will remain on top of another stone.’

24:2Jesus is talking about when the Romans would destroy Jerusalem in the year AD 70.

3 After that, Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives. While he was alone, his disciples came to him. They said to him, ‘Please tell us when all these things will happen. Also tell us what will show us that you will soon return? What will show us that the world will soon end?’

4 Jesus said, ‘You must be careful! Some people will tell you things that are not true. Do not believe them. 5 Many people will say that they have come on my behalf. They will say, “I am the Messiah.” Many people will believe their false words. 6 You will hear about wars. You will hear reports about wars in other places. But you must not be afraid. Those things must happen first, but it is not yet the end of everything. 7 People in one country will attack the people in another country. Kings and their armies will fight against other kings and their armies. Some people will be hungry, with no food. The ground will move in many different places. 8 All those things will be like the first pains that a mother has before her baby is born.

9 Then people will take hold of you and they will give you pain. They will even kill some of you. People in every country will hate you because you are my disciples. 10 At that time, many people who believe in me will stop believing. They will put some of my disciples in the power of their rulers. They will hate each other. 11 Also at that time, many people will say that they are prophets from God. Their message is false, but many people will believe them. 12 More and more people everywhere will be doing very bad things. Because of this, many people will no longer love each other in the way that they did before. 13 But God will save the person who remains strong until the end. 14 People will tell the good news about God's kingdom to people all over the world. People in every country will hear the true message from God. Then God will cause the world to come to an end.

15 Long ago, God's prophet Daniel wrote in the Bible about something that was going to happen. He said that one day people would put a very bad thing in God's Great House. It is the very bad thing that destroys good things. You will see it in the special place for God. (When you read this, you must understand what it means.) 16 At that time, people in Judea must run away to the hills to hide.

17 A person who is on the roof of his house must not go down into his house. He must not stop to get anything from his home to take with him. 18 People who are outside in their fields must not go back to their homes. They must not even go to fetch their coats. 19 That will be a bad time for women who are soon to have a baby! It will also be a bad time for those women who have little babies! 20 You must pray to God about this time when you have to run away quickly. Pray that this time of trouble will not happen in winter. Pray that it will not happen on your day of rest. 21 Great troubles will happen to people at that time. Nothing as bad has ever happened before, since the beginning of the world. Nothing as bad will ever happen again. 22 God will cause those days of great trouble to be not so many. If he did not do that, there would be nobody still alive. But God will cause those days to come to an end. He will do that to help the people that he has chosen. 23 At that time, someone may say to you, “Look, here is the Messiah.” Or they may say, “There he is!” When they say that, do not believe them. 24 Some people will say to you, “I am the Messiah!” Other people will say, “I am a prophet from God.” But their words will be false. They will do strange and powerful things for people to see. If possible, they would even cause the people that God has chosen to believe in them. 25 So be careful! I have told you about these things before they happen.

24:17At that time, people often sat on the roof of their house after they had finished their work. The roof was flat, and it was cool there. People told each other news across the roofs. There were steps outside the house up on to the roof.

26 Some people may say to you, “Look, the Messiah is out there in the wilderness.” But do not go out to see who is there. Some people may say to you, “Look, the Messiah is hiding in that secret room.” You must not believe these people. 27 Lightning shines quickly and it lights up the whole of the sky from one side to the other. It will be like that when the Son of Man returns. 28 If the dead body of an animal is lying somewhere, vultures will come together in that place.

24:28People know if there is a dead animal on the ground. When they see vultures flying in the sky, they know. In the same way, people will see the things happening that Jesus talked about. Then they will know that he will soon return.

29 Then after all these bad things have happened,

“The sun will become dark.

The moon will not shine any more.

Stars will fall out of the sky.

And the powerful things in the sky will shake.”

30 Then people will see a powerful thing in the sky. This will show them that the Son of Man is coming. All kinds of people in the world will cry because they are very sad. Then they will see the Son of Man. He will be riding on the clouds in the sky. He will be very powerful and very beautiful. 31 People will hear the sound of a loud trumpet. The Son of Man will send out his angels. They will go in every direction. They will bring together all the people that God has chosen from every part of the earth and from every part of the sky.’