Jesus had left the temple and was going on His way, when His disciples came and called His attention to the Temple buildings.
“You see all these?” He replied; “in solemn truth I tell you that there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be pulled down.”
Afterwards He was on the Mount of Olives and was seated there when the disciples came to Him, apart from the others, and said, “Tell us when this will be; and what will be the sign of your Coming and of the Close of the Age?”
“Take care that no one misleads you,” answered Jesus;
“for many will come assuming my name and saying `I am the Christ;’ and they will mislead many.
And before long you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. Do not be alarmed, for such things must be; but the End is not yet.
<For nation will rise in arms against nation, kingdom against kingdom,> and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places;
but all these miseries are but like the early pains of childbirth.
“At that time they will deliver you up to punishment and will put you to death; and you will be objects of hatred to all the nations because you are called by my name.
Then <will many stumble and fall,> and they will betray one another and hate one another.
Many false prophets will rise up and lead multitudes astray;
and because of the prevalent disregard of God’s law the love of the great majority will grow cold;
but those who stand firm to the End shall be saved.
And this Good News of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed throughout the whole world to set the evidence before all the Gentiles; and then the End will come.
“When you have seen (to use the language of the Prophet Daniel) the <`Abomination of Desolation’,> standing in the holy Place” –let the reader observe those words–
“then let those who are in judaea escape to the hills;
let him who is on the roof not go down to fetch what is in his house;
nor let him who is outside the city stay to pick up his outer garment.
And alas for the women who at that time are with child or have infants!
“But pray that your flight may not be in winter, nor on the Sabbath;
for it <will be> a time of great <suffering, such as never has been from the beginning of the world till now,> and assuredly never will be again.
And if those days had not been cut short, no one would escape; but for the sake of God’s own People those days will be cut short.
“If at that time any one should say to you, `See, here is the Christ!’ or `Here!’ give no credence to it.
For there will rise up false Christs and false prophets, displaying wonderful signs and prodigies, so as to deceive, were it possible, even God’s own People.
Remember, I have forewarned you.
If therefore they should say to you, `See, He is in the Desert!’ do not go out there: or `See, He is indoors in the room!’ do not believe it.
For just as the lightning flashes in the east and is seen to the very west, so will be the Coming of the Son of Man.
Wherever the dead body is, there will the vultures flock together.
“But immediately after those times of distress <the sun will be darkened, the moon will not shed her light, the stars will fall from the firmament, and the forces which control the heavens will be disordered and disturbed.>
Then will appear the Sign of the Son of Man in the sky; and <then will all the nations of the earth lament,> when they see the Son of Man <coming on the clouds of the sky> with great power and glory.
And He will send out His angels <with a loud trumpet-blast,> and <they will bring together His own People to Him from north, south, east and west–from one extremity of the world to the other.>
“Now learn from the fig-tree the lesson it teaches. As soon as its branches have now become soft and it is bursting into leaf, you all know that summer is near.
So you also, when you see all these signs, may be sure that He is near–at your very door.
I tell you in solemn truth that the present generation will certainly not pass away without all these things having first taken place.
Earth and sky will pass away, but it is certain that my words will not pass away.
“But as to that day and the exact time no one knows–not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the father alone.
`For as it was in the time of Noah, so it will be at the Coming of the Son of Man.
At that time, before the Deluge, men were busy eating and drinking, taking wives or giving them, up to the very day when Noah entered the Ark,
nor did they realise any danger till the Deluge came and swept them all away; so will it be at the Coming of the Son of Man.
Then will two men be in the open country: one will be taken away, and one left behind.
Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken away, and one left behind.
Be on the alert therefore, for you do not know the day on which your Lord is coming.
But of this be assured, that if the master of the house had known the hour at which the robber was coming, he would have kept awake, and not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Therefore you also must be ready; for it is at a time when you do not expect Him that the Son of Man will come.
“Who therefore is the loyal and intelligent servant to whom his master has entrusted the control of his household to give them their rations at the appointed time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes shall find so doing!
In solemn truth I tell you that he will give him the management of all his wealth.
But if the man, being a bad servant, should say in his heart, `My master is a long time in coming,’
and should begin to beat his fellow servants, while he eats and drinks with drunkards;
the master of that servant will arrive on a day when he is not expecting him and at an hour of which he has not been informed;
he will treat him with the utmost severity and assign him a place among the hypocrites: there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.