Don’t let anyone fool you. 5 Many will come and claim to be me. They will say that they are the Messiah, and they will fool many people.
6 You will soon hear about wars and threats of wars, but don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end. 7 Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. People will starve to death, and in some places there will be earthquakes. 8 But this is just the beginning of troubles.
9 You will be arrested, punished, and even killed. Because of me, you will be hated by people of all nations. 10 Many will give up and will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will come and fool a lot of people. 12 Evil will spread and cause many people to stop loving others. 13 But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved. 14 When the good news about the kingdom has been preached all over the world and told to all nations, the end will come.
The Horrible Thing
15 Someday you will see that “Horrible Thing” in the holy place, just as the prophet Daniel said. Everyone who reads this must try to understand! 16 If you are living in Judea at that time, run to the mountains. 17 If you are on the roof[a] of your house, don’t go inside to get anything. 18 If you are out in the field, don’t go back for your coat. 19 It will be a terrible time for women who are expecting babies or nursing young children. 20 And pray that you won’t have to escape in winter or on a Sabbath.[b]21 This will be the worst time of suffering since the beginning of the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again. 22 If God doesn’t make the time shorter, no one will be left alive. But because of God’s chosen ones, he will make the time shorter.
23 Someone may say, “Here is the Messiah!” or “There he is!” But don’t believe it. 24 False messiahs and false prophets will come and work great miracles and signs. They will even try to fool God’s chosen ones. 25 But I have warned you ahead of time. 26 If you are told that the Messiah is out in the desert, don’t go there! And if you are told that he is in some secret place, don’t believe it! 27 The coming of the Son of Man will be like lightning that can be seen from east to west. 28 Where there is a corpse, there will always be buzzards.[c]
When the Son of Man Appears
29 Right after those days of suffering,
“The sun will become dark, and the moon will no longer shine. The stars will fall, and the powers in the sky[d] will be shaken.”
30 Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man.[e] All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 At the sound of a loud trumpet, he will send his angels to bring his chosen ones together from all over the earth.
24.17roof: In Palestine the houses usually had a flat roof. Stairs on the outside led up to the roof, which was made of beams and boards covered with packed earth.
24.20in winter or on a Sabbath: In Palestine the winters are cold and rainy and make travel difficult. The Jewish people were not allowed to travel much more than half a mile on the Sabbath. For these reasons it was hard for them to escape from their enemies in the winter or on a Sabbath.
24.28Where there is a corpse, there will always be buzzards: This saying may mean that when anything important happens, people soon know about it. Or the saying may mean that whenever something bad happens, curious people gather around and stare. But the word translated “buzzard” also means “eagle” and may refer to the Roman army, which had an eagle as its symbol.
24.29the powers in the sky: In ancient times people thought that the stars were spiritual powers.
24.30And there will be the Son of Man: Or “And it will be the Son of Man.”
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