Summary: Has the gospel reached all nations? I think so!

Today we continue to look at Matthew 24. On Monday we noted Jesus’ warning of the danger of ‘premature eschatological excitement’. (‘Eschatology’ is another word for ‘End Times’.) Yesterday we noted Jesus’ warning that ‘End Times’ will be tough.

As part of his warning, Jesus said this: ‘…you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.’ It’s very strong, isn’t it? ‘Hated by all nations’?! In an earlier Reflection I noted the perception of many Christian advocacy organizations that the level of persecution of Christians around the world is increasing. But hostility towards Christians is increasing in the west too.

In 2014, George Yancey, a professor of sociology at Baylor University, published a book titled ‘So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States?’ The title is based on the idea – expressed by a number of respondents to a survey, that they would like Christians to be thrown to the lions, as in Roman times! The part of the book I read was enough to show me that a significant part of the US population harbours what looks very much like hatred for Christians, and especially ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘conservative’ Christians. It doesn’t take too much imagination to guess where the hatred arises from, as Christian values are so opposed to the values of humanistic western society. I think Christians experience some hatred in Britain, but perhaps the situation in the US gives us a clue as to where we too may be heading.

Anyway, onto other things. Today, we look at just one verse: Matthew 24:14.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

There is now no nation which the gospel has not reached. Even in countries where there is only a tiny percentage of Christians, such as Somalia or Algeria or Afghanistan, there has been a Christian witness.

Many mission organizations see it as more significant to think in terms of ‘people groups’ rather than nations. However, there are 195 countries in the world – but 12-18,000 people groups! Reaching every people group is a much, much bigger task than reaching every nation.

If you want to know how the church is doing in reaching every people group, good places to go are the websites of ‘The Joshua Project’ and ‘Finishing the Task’.

It would of course be ideal if not simply every people group but every individual heard the gospel from a sincere believer. But the plain meaning of this verse is that the gospel will be proclaimed throughout the whole world, to all nations, rather than to every people group or to every individual.

Have a good rest of the day!


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