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Chapter 13

The Temple Will Be Destroyed

1As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Teacher, look at these beautiful stones and wonderful buildings!"

2Jesus replied, "Do you see these huge buildings? They will certainly be torn down! Not one stone will be left in place."

Warning about Trouble

3Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him in private. 4They asked, "When will these things happen? What will be the sign that they are about to take place?"

5Jesus answered:

Watch out and don't let anyone fool you! 6Many will come and claim to be me. They will use my name and fool many people

7When you hear about wars and threats of wars, don't be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn't the end. 8Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. There will be earthquakes in many places, and people will starve to death. But this is just the beginning of troubles.

9Be on your guard! You will be taken to courts and beaten with whips in their meeting places. And because of me, you will have to stand before rulers and kings to tell about your faith. 10But before the end comes, the good news must be preached to all nations.

11When you are arrested, don't worry about what you will say. You will be given the right words when the time comes. But you will not really be the ones speaking. Your words will come from the Holy Spirit.

12Brothers and sisters will betray each other and have each other put to death. Parents will betray their own children, and children will turn against their parents and have them killed. 13Everyone will hate you because of me. But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved.

The Horrible Thing

14Someday you will see that "Horrible Thing" where it should not be. Everyone who reads this must try to understand! If you are living in Judea at that time, run to the mountains. 15If you are on the roof of your house, don't go inside to get anything. 16If you are out in the field, don't go back for your coat. 17It will be an awful time for women who are expecting babies or nursing young children. 18Pray that it won't happen in winter. 19This will be the worst time of suffering since God created the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again. 20If the Lord doesn't make the time shorter, no one will be left alive. But because of his chosen and special ones, he will make the time shorter.

21If someone should say, "Here is the Messiah!" or "There he is!" don't believe it. 22False messiahs and false prophets will come and work miracles and signs. They will even try to fool God's chosen ones. 23But be on your guard! That's why I am telling you these things now.

When the Son of Man Appears

24In those days, right after that time of suffering

"The sun will become dark,
and the moon
will no longer shine
The stars will fall,
and the powers in the sky
will be shaken.

26Then the Son of Man will be seen coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27He will send his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the earth.

A Lesson from a Fig Tree

28Learn a lesson from a fig tree. When its branches sprout and start putting out leaves, you know summer is near. 29So when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time has almost come. 30You can be sure that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all this happens. 31The sky and the earth will not last forever, but my words will.

No One Knows the Day or Time

32No one knows the day or the time. The angels in heaven don't know, and the Son himself doesn't know. Only the Father knows. 33So watch out and be ready! You don't know when the time will come. 34It is like what happens when a man goes away for a while and places his servants in charge of everything. He tells each of them what to do, and he orders the guard to keep alert. 35So be alert! You don't know when the master of the house will come back. It could be in the evening or at midnight or before dawn or in the morning. 36But if he comes suddenly, don't let him find you asleep. 37I tell everyone just what I have told you. Be alert!