In those days it will be very hard for women who are to have a child. It will be very hard for mothers who have babies.
18Ask God that you may not have the trouble in the cold time of the year.
19The trouble then will be bigger than any trouble since God made the world. And there never will be any trouble as big as that.
20No person would be saved if the Lord did not make the time of trouble shorter. He will make it shorter for the sake of his chosen people.
21`If anyone says to you then, "Look, here is the Christ!" or, "There he is!" do not believe it.
22People will come and say they are the Christ. People will come and say they are prophets of God. But they are not true to themselves. They will show big signs and do wonderful things that will fool people. They will fool God's chosen people if they can.
23Watch! I have told you all these things before they happen.
24`In that time of trouble, the sun will be dark. The moon will not shine.
25The stars will fall from the sky. And the powers in the sky will be shaken.
26Then people will see the sign of the Son of Man in the clouds. He will have much power and be very great.
27He will send out the angels to gather his chosen people. They will gather them from everywhere all over the earth.
28`Learn a lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its branches begin to grow and the leaves come, then you know it will soon be the warm time of the year.
29`It is the same when you see all these things. You will know that the time is very near, right at the door.
30I tell you the truth. The people who are living then will not die before all these things happen.
31The sky and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32`But no one knows the day or the hour when the Son of Man will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son do not know. Only the Father knows.
33So watch! Stay awake and talk with God. You do not know when the time will be.
34It is like a man who went to a country far away. He left his home and told each one of his servants what work he must do. Then he told the man who guards the door to watch.
35So watch! You do not know when the master of the house will come. You do not know if he will come in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock calls, or in the morning.
36Watch, so that you will not be sleeping if he comes quickly.
37What I say to you I say to everybody, and this is "Watch".