Summary: Christ prophecy that the Gospel will be preached in all the world
THE BEGINNING OF WHAT IS TO COME: WORLD EVANGELISM
If you will open your Bible, I ask that you turn with me to Matthew 24:14.
Matthew 24 is one of the most unique chapters in the entire New Testament. In this chapter Jesus gives us a picture of what the world would look like in the final days before His return. He said the world would experience several undeniable signs and events that would act as signals that His return was very near.
It was not a question if these signs would happen but only a question of when they would happen. Jesus said these signs would come; they would most certainly happen and they would take place in the final generation just before His return, and we are that generation. Before we begin, there are three simple points to remember.
First, when Jesus laid out for us these signs and events two thousand years ago, He was giving us a picture of what the final days would look like so that when they did happen, we would see them and recognize them as signs of Christ’s great return.
That exactly why Jesus said; Matthew 24:25 See, I have told you ahead of time. NIV
These signs are not accidents. They are not a coincidence all happening at the same time. They are converging together on the world’s stage exactly as Jesus said they would, which is exactly why Jesus gave us these signs ahead of time so that when they did happen we would know His word is true and that His coming is near.
A second point to remember is that Jesus said the signs we see now are only the beginning of what is to come.
For example, what we see today in earthquakes and fearful events and famines and spiritual darkness are just the beginning of bigger events still to come. The final prophetic picture of these signs and events will not find their complete fulfillment until the tribulation hour, so that means there are much bigger events still to come.
Third, these signs and events are not hidden in some far off corner of the world, they are happening out in the open for the world to see. They are a witness to the world so that no one can have the excuse that they didn’t know.
In this series we have looked at the sign of earthquakes, famines, pestilences, spiritual deception, and fearful events in the heavens. But today from Matthew 24:14, we come to what I believe is perhaps the most important sign of all and one that we cannot afford to overlook.
When compared with all the signs, it may not appear to be the biggest or the most exciting, but when you hear it, hopefully you will realize, that it is the most important sign Jesus gave concerning His return. It is a sign very dear to God’s heart and it is a sign that will have a huge impact in the final days. Listen carefully…
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a
testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. NIV
Of all the signs we have covered in this series, this the most significant prophecy that signals just how close we really are to the return of Christ.
Jesus said before He returned the gospel would first be preached to every nation.
That is huge and so important for us to understand.
So the immediate question is; is this happening? Is the gospel being preached to all the nations, and if so, where are we on God’s time table for Christ’s return?
History clearly pinpoints that the preaching of the gospel has been going on since the time of Christ. And since that is clearly true, what and how is our generation any different from previous generations that have experienced great revivals and great missionaries’ efforts? What makes our generation different? Is this sign happening in our generation and if so, what is the evidence of that?
For example, in every generation of every century since the days of Pentecost, the gospel has been preached and thousands have been won to Christ.
Even in the dark ages of history when Christians were marked for death, the gospel was still carried to various parts of the world penetrating the hearts and souls of men.
When the first pilgrims came America, they came with the hope and idea that what they were starting would be used of God to reach the world for Christ.
Since 1731, there have been at least 3 great awakenings where the Holy Spirit shook the world with the power of the gospel and millions of people came to know Christ.
The past 280 years of church history is filled with countless stories of men and women who sacrificially laid down their lives to carry the gospel so that others could hear the saving message of Christ.