Main point summary
The temple will be destroyed. The end of the age will be a time of tribulation. Do not believe false prophets telling you to go and meet Jesus at His return at a certain place because His return will be evident to His people.
Then * Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.
And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, * not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, * the disciples came to Him privately, saying,
* “Tell us, when will these things be?
And what will be the sign of Your coming,
and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them: * “Take heed that no one deceives you.
For * many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ * and will deceive many.
And you will hear of * wars and rumors of wars.
See that you are not troubled;
for all these things must come to pass,
but the end is not yet.
For * nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
And there will be * famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
* “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations
for My name’s sake.
And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Then * many false prophets will rise up and * deceive many.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow * cold.
* But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
And this * gospel of the kingdom * will be preached in all the world
as a witness to all the nations,
and then the end will come.
* “Therefore when you see the * ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” * (whoever reads, let him understand),
“then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.
And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
But * woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
For * then there will be great tribulation,
such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved;
* but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
* “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’
do not believe it.
For * false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive,
* if possible, even the elect.
See, I have told you beforehand.
“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.
* For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west,
so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
* For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
Verse 3 : The question What did the disciples refer to when they said "these things" in verse 3? They could have been referring to Jesus comment about the destruction of the temple in verse 2. It is possible that they connected the destruction of the temple with the Lord's coming and the end of the age. Jesus answer is far beyond there question then. Because the destruction of the temple happened 70 AD under the Roman Emperor Nero. Jesus was connecting the end of the age and His coming with Daniel's prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. The disciples asked about the: Time of the destruction of the temple Sign of the Lord's coming Sign of the end of the age Verses 4-8 : The beginning of sorrows Deception: "I am the Christ" Wars and rumors of wars Natural disasters Verses 9-14 : The end in sight Tribulation: Kill and hate for Jesus name's sake Evil among man: Offendedness, betrayal and hate Deception: Many will be deceived by false prophets Lawlessness: Love of many will grow cold Spread of the gospel through preaching (I learned the other day that the word witness in Greek means martyr. It could connect to verse 9 : killed for Jesus name's sake, but looking at verse 14b's preposition "as", it more likely means witness through preaching the gospel) Verses 15-25 : The great tribulation Here in verse 15 is Jesus reference to time: "when you see...". Interesting, the Lord foretells of the destruction of the temple and then makes reference to the 'abomination of desolation' standing in the holy place, which is the area before the most holy in the temple. So, that means that a new temple needs to be built to put the abomination of desolation in. This would unite the destruction of the temple, the coming of the Lord, and the prophecy in Daniel to one future event. When this happens the Lord tells to: Flee immediately to the mountains. (Some say that the church in Jerusalem fled because of this command, when the Roman army drew near, before the destruction in 70 AD. If this is what the Lord was referring to, then it was fulfilled only partially back then. Since Daniel's prophecy and the Lord's return did not happen at that time.) Because it will be the great tribulation. The Lord tells of the intensity of the tribulation, that if the time would not be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But the elect will be saved and that is why those days will be shortened. Verses 26-28 : The coming of the Lord In regard to His coming, the Lord warned not to listen to deceivers who tell that Christ can be found in some place only. Jesus taught with the illustration of the lightning and the carcass that His return will be unmistakable for His people.