Things to Come
1 And as [Jesus] was coming out of the temple [ area], one of His disciples said to Him, Look, Teacher! Notice the sort and quality of these stones and buildings! 2 And Jesus replied to him, You see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be loosened and torn down.
3 And as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple [ enclosure], Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 Tell us when is this to take place and what will be the sign when these things, all [of them], are about to be accomplished? 5 And Jesus began to tell them, Be careful and watchful that no one misleads you [about it]. 6 Many will come in [ appropriating to themselves] the name [of Messiah] which belongs to Me [ basing their claims on the use of My name], saying, I am [He]! And they will mislead many. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not get alarmed (troubled and frightened); it is necessary [that these things] take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines and calamities. This is but the beginning of the intolerable anguish and suffering [only the first of the birth pangs].
9 But look to yourselves; for they will turn you over to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake as a testimony to them. 10 And the good news (the Gospel) must first be preached to all nations. 11 Now when they take you [to court] and put you under arrest, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say nor [even] meditate about it; but say whatever is given you in that hour and at the moment, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; and children will take a stand against their parents and [have] them put to death. 13 And you will be hated and detested by everybody for My name's sake, but he who patiently perseveres and endures to the end will be saved ( made a partaker of the salvation by Christ, and delivered from spiritual death).
14 But when you see the abomination of desolation mentioned by Daniel the prophet standing where it ought not to be -- "[and] let the one who reads take notice and consider and understand and heed [this] -- "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house nor go inside to take anything out of his house; 16 And let him who is in the field not turn back again to get his mantle (cloak). 17 And alas for those who are pregnant and for those who have nursing babies in those days! 18 Pray that it may not occur in winter, 19 For at that time there will be such affliction (oppression and tribulation) as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until this particular time -- "and positively never will be [again]. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened the days, no human being would be saved (rescued); but for the sake of the elect, His chosen ones (those whom He picked out for Himself), He has shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, See, here is the Christ (the Messiah)! or, Look, there He is! do not believe it. 22 False Christs (Messiahs) and false prophets will arise and show signs and [work] miracles to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (those God has chosen out for Himself). 23 But look to yourselves and be on your guard; I have told you everything beforehand.
The Return of Christ
24 But in those days, after [the affliction and oppression and distress of] that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 And the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great (kingly) power and glory (majesty and splendor). 27 And then He will send out the angels and will gather together His elect (those He has picked out for Himself) from the four winds, from the farthest bounds of the earth to the farthest bounds of heaven.
28 Now learn a lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its branch becomes tender and it puts forth its leaves, you recognize and know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things happening, you may recognize and know that He is near, at [the very] door. 30 Surely I say to you, this generation ( the whole multitude of people living at that one time) positively will not perish or pass away before all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will perish and pass away, but My words will not perish or pass away. 32 But of that day or that hour not a [single] person knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 Be on your guard [constantly alert], and watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man [ already] going on a journey; when he leaves home, he puts his servants in charge, each with his particular task, and he gives orders to the doorkeeper to be constantly alert and on the watch. 35 Therefore watch (give strict attention, be cautious and alert), for you do not know when the Master of the house is coming -- "in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning -- " 36 [Watch, I say] lest He come suddenly and unexpectedly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)!