While Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, and said, “Tell us, when will this [destruction of the temple] take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end (completion, consummation) of the age?”
Jesus answered, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age]. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble].
“Then they will hand you over to [endure] tribulation, and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another. Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold. But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved. This good news of the kingdom [the gospel] will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end [of the age] will come.
“So when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION [the appalling sacrilege that astonishes and makes desolate], spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains [for refuge]. Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things that are in his house [because there will not be enough time]. Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his coat. And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! Pray that your flight [from persecution and suffering] will not be in winter, or on a Sabbath [when Jewish laws prohibit travel]. For at that time there will be a great tribulation (pressure, distress, oppression), such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will [again]. And if those days [of tribulation] had not been cut short, no human life would be saved; but for the sake of the elect (God’s chosen ones) those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you [during the great tribulation], ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will provide great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect (God’s chosen ones). Listen carefully, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out there, or, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms [of a house],’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming [in glory] of the Son of Man [everyone will see Him clearly].