The Destruction of the Temple and Signs before the End
24 1 Jesus then left the Temple. As he walked away, his disciples pointed out how very impressive the Temple architecture was. 2 Jesus said, "You're not impressed by all this sheer size, are you? The truth of the matter is that there's not a stone in that building that is not going to end up in a pile of rubble." 3 Later as he was sitting on Mount Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, "Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time's up?"
4 Jesus said, "Watch out for doomsday deceivers. 5 Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, 'I am Christ, the Messiah.' They will deceive a lot of people. 6 When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don't panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. 7 Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. 8 This is nothing compared to what is coming. 9 "They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name. 10 And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other's throat, everyone hating each other. 11 "In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. 12 For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in - nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes. 13 "Staying with it - that's what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry, and you'll be saved. 14 All during this time, the good news - the Message of the kingdom - will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come. 15 "But be ready to run for it when you see the monster of desecration set up in the Temple sanctuary. The prophet Daniel described this. If you've read Daniel, you'll know what I'm talking about. 16 If you're living in Judea at the time, run for the hills; 17 if you're working in the yard, don't return to the house to get anything; 18 if you're out in the field, don't go back and get your coat. 19 Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. 20 Hope and pray this won't happen during the winter or on a Sabbath. 21 "This is going to be trouble on a scale beyond what the world has ever seen, or will see again. 22 If these days of trouble were left to run their course, nobody would make it. But on account of God's chosen people, the trouble will be cut short. 23 "If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, 'Here's the Messiah!' or points, 'There he is!' don't fall for it. 24 Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better. 25 But I've given you fair warning. 26 "So if they say, 'Run to the country and see him arrive!' or, 'Quick, get downtown, see him come!' don't give them the time of day. 27 The Arrival of the Son of Man isn't something you go to see. He comes like swift lightning to you! 28 Whenever you see crowds gathering, think of carrion vultures circling, moving in, hovering over a rotting carcass. You can be quite sure that it's not the living Son of Man pulling in those crowds.