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Signs of Christ’s Return

24 Jesus left the temple area and was going on His way when His disciples came up to Him to call His attention to the [magnificent and massive] [a]buildings of the temple.(A) And He said to them, “Do you see all these things? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, not one stone here will be left on another, which will not be torn down.”

While Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, and said, “Tell us, when will this [destruction of the temple] take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end (completion, consummation) of the age?”

Jesus answered, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age]. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble].

“Then they will hand you over to [endure] tribulation, and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved. 14 This good news of the kingdom [the gospel] will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end [of the age] will come.

Perilous Times

15 “So when you see the [b]abomination of desolation [the appalling sacrilege that astonishes and makes desolate], spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place (let the [c]reader understand),(B) 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains [for refuge]. 17 Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things that are in his house [because there will not be enough time]. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 19 And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 Pray that your flight [from persecution and suffering] will not be in winter, or on a Sabbath [when Jewish laws prohibit travel].

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 24:1 The massive size and polished surfaces of the fitted stones that formed the temple structure created a magnificent sight (cf Luke 21:5). The refurbishing of the temple was begun by Herod the Great in 20 b.c. and was completed in a.d. 64 by Herod Agrippa II. The rabbis had a saying: “Whoever has not seen the temple of Herod has never seen a beautiful building” (as quoted from the Talmud). They also said that Herod built it of yellow, white, and perhaps blue marble; and that he intended to cover it with gold, but the rabbis advised him not to because it was beautiful just as it was, looking like the waves of the sea.
  2. Matthew 24:15 I.e. the Antichrist (2 Thess 2:4), “the prince who is to come” who will make a covenant with Israel, then break it in the middle of the tribulation (the seven-year period of Dan 9:27).
  3. Matthew 24:15 I.e. the reader of the book of Daniel (cf 24:15). Jesus is indicating that the final fulfillment of this prophecy is yet to come.

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