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End-Times Prophecies

The Beginning of birth pangs

As Jesus was leaving the temple compound, his disciples came and began to remark about how the temple was built. But Jesus replied, “See all these things? I can assure you that not one stone will be left on top of another!” Then a while later, after he had sat down on the Mount of Olives, Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and said, “Tell us when these things will happen, and what sign to look for that will signal your official arrival and the end of the age.”

And he replied, “Watch out so that you are not deceived! For many will claim to come from me, or even say, ‘I am the Anointed One! The end is near!’, and they will deceive many. You will see wars and hear reports of wars far away, but don’t be alarmed; such things must happen— but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, there will be famines and earthquakes and other terrible things in various places, including extraordinary signs in the heavens, but these are only the beginning of birth pangs.

“So be on your guard, because even before this they will persecute you and hand you over to be executed, and you will be despised in all nations because of me. They will bring you before councils, and you’ll be beaten in synagogues and prisons. On account of me they’ll also make you stand before kings and governers to give your testimony. And when they do these things, don’t worry about what you will say, because the words will be given to you at that moment; the Holy Spirit will speak through you. I will give you wise words that your opponents will not be able to refute.

“Many will be ensnared; they will betray and hate each other. Siblings will hand each other over to be executed; fathers will hand over their own children to die, and children will do the same to their own parents. Everyone will despise you on my account, but the one who endures to the end will be saved. Many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people, and due to all the lawlessness the love of many will grow cold. The good news of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

The Abomination and Great Oppression

“As declared through the prophet Daniel, when you see the disgusting thing that defiles the temple standing in the Holy Place (reader, make sure this is clear!), and when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, its demise is imminent. Then those in Judea must run away into the mountains. Those in the city must evacuate, and those in the country must not go back to the city. Those on the housetops must not go inside to get belongings, and those out in the fields must not go back to get their coats. This will be the fulfillment of what was written about the days of retribution. Woe to women who are pregnant or nursing at that time! And pray that your escape will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

“Then there will be great oppression on the land and its people, the likes of which has never happened from the beginning of the world until now, nor will ever happen again! Jerusalem will be trampled on by other nations until their time is up. In fact, so many will be killed in battle and taken captive to all the other nations that if those days had not been cut short, all flesh would have been wiped out. But they will be shortened for the sake of the chosen people.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Anointed One!’ or ‘There he is!’, don’t believe it. For false Anointed Ones and false prophets will rise up and perform impressive miracles and signs, to the point where even the chosen ones would be misled— if that were possible. That’s why I’ve warned you in advance. So if they say ‘Look, here in the desert!’, don’t go; if they say ‘Look, in this hidden place!’, don’t believe it. For the official arrival of the Human will be as the lightning that flashes across the whole sky. And where the carcass is, there you will find the birds of prey.”

The end of the judgments

“Immediately after the oppression of those days there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky. And on the earth, the nations will be filled with anguish and perplexity due to the roaring and turbulence of the sea. People will be deathly afraid and apprehensive of what is coming upon the whole world, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken.

“But when you see this all coming to pass, stand up and look up, because you’re about to be rescued! The sign of the Human will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the world will be filled with self-loathing as they see the Human coming on the clouds of the sky with great power and majesty. With the blast of a trumpet he will send out his angels to gather his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree: When you see that the branches have become tender and the leaves have sprouted, you know that summer is about to begin. Likewise, when you see all these things, you will know that the kingdom of God is right at the door. I can assure you that the generation that sees all this will not pass away until all of it has happened. The earth and sky will pass away, but not my words!”

The day and hour unknown

Another time, Jesus was asked by the religious leaders when the kingdom of God would come, and he explained, “The kingdom of God is not coming in a way you can watch for it. No one will be able to say ‘Look, over here!’ or ‘Look, over there!’, for the kingdom of God is all around you.” Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will wish you could see just one of the days of the Human, but you won’t see it.

“No one knows the day or hour when this will happen; not the angels of heaven nor even the Son, but only the Father. The official arrival of the Human will be just like the days of Noah: In the days just before the Flood, people were eating, drinking, and marrying as usual, right up to the very day that Noah entered the ark. They had no idea what was about to happen until the Flood took them all away. And so will it be with the official arrival of the Human. Two will be in the field: one is accepted and the other rejected. Two will be grinding with a millstone: one is accepted and the other rejected. So stay alert, because you don’t know what day your Master will show up.

“Take care that your hearts are not weighed down with drunkenness and hangovers and the anxieties of daily life, so this Day doesn’t spring like a trap on you, as it will on everyone else on the earth. Always be alert, praying that you will prevail and escape all that is about to happen, so you will be able to stand before the Human. Understand that if the homeowner knew exactly when the thief would arrive, he would stay alert and not let his house be broken into. So be prepared, because the Human will come when you least expect him.

“So who is a trustworthy and thoughtful servant? It’s the one the master put in charge of the household staff and sees to it that they get their meals at the right times. That servant will be happy when their master arrives and finds them doing their duty. I can assure you that such a person will be put in charge of all their master’s possessions.

“But what if the servant is shiftless and says to himself, ‘My master isn’t coming back anytime soon’, so they begin to beat the other servants, eat all the food, and go out drinking with the drunkards? Their master will come on an unexpected day and time. He will rip them to pieces and sentence them to the fate of the hypocrites, where they wail and grind their teeth. So stay sharp! You don’t know when the owner of the house will come; it may be in the evening, or maybe midnight, or at dawn, or in the morning. Don’t let him come unexpectedly and find you sleeping! What I say to you, I say to all: Be alert!”

The judgment of sheep and goats

“When the Human comes in his majesty, accompanied by all the angels, he will sit on his majestic throne. All the nations will be gathered in front of him, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. He’ll put the sheep at his right and the goats at his left. And then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come here, you who are blessed by my Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from when the world was established! For when I was hungry you gave me food; when I was thirsty you gave me drink; when I was a stranger you took me in; when I needed clothes you gave them to me; when I was ill you looked after me; when I was in prison you came to see me.’

“Then the righteous will ask, ‘Master, when did we feed you when you were hungry, or give you a drink when you were thirsty, or take you in as a stranger, or give you clothes you needed, or look after you when you were ill, or come to see you in prison?’ And the King will answer, ‘I assure you that whenever you did these things for one of my lowly brothers or sisters, you did them for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his fallen angels! For I was hungry but you gave me no food; I was thirsty but you gave me no drink; I was a stranger but you wouldn’t take me in; I needed clothes but you wouldn’t give me any; I was ill and in prison but you wouldn’t visit me.’

“And they will ask, ‘Master, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison, and didn’t help you?’ And he will reply, ‘I assure you that whenever you failed to do these things for one of my lowly ones, you failed to do them for me!’ Then these will go into eternal punishment, while the righteous will go into eternal life.”

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