Then the End Will Come
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.
Did you know that Jesus is in heaven right now waiting for a very special moment in time? He is waiting for the command from His Father to return to earth to collect His Church. He is waiting to gather us from the perils of this earth and take us to heaven to be with God. He is just as, if not more, anxious for that day as we are as Christians. That day will come when we, the Church, have fulfilled the Great Commission.
After Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, He returned to the earth for a period of forty days. During those forty days, He met with 500 men and taught them things about the kingdom of God. What was recorded in every one of the gospels about these meetings is the directive assigned to us by the Lord Himself. He commanded us to reach every tribe, every people group, and every language group with the wonderful message of salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord. Once that goal has been accomplished, Jesus will return.
Right before Jesus’ ascension, the disciples asked Jesus to tell them when He was coming back. Jesus not only rebuked them for getting the cart before the horse, but He also reminded them of their part in ushering in His triumphant return. He told them to be His witnesses in the entire world. For them, the commission would begin in Jerusalem.
I’ve heard many preachers and teachers say that if we want to get a hint of when Jesus is coming back that we should watch Israel. There is some truth to these statements. I don’t know about you, but I’m not content to watch if there’s something that I can be doing to hasten the return of my Lord and Savior.
In my house, I have two devices that I use a lot—the thermostat and the thermometer. The thermostat allows me to select a temperature for my house, and by means of a heating or cooling unit, the house is adjusted to meet my desire. The other instrument is the thermometer. It simply tells me about the current situation. It reports the actual temperature. Understanding these two devices, why would I keep watching the thermometer and wish it would get warmer when I could simply go to the thermostat and select the temperature I desire?
You can watch natural Israel all you want, but that will only make you a spectator. If you want to help hasten the return of Jesus, become a thermostat. You can still glance at the thermometer of Israel and continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but don’t stop there. Change the world in which we live! Either reach the nations by going yourself or help somebody else to go.
Recall what Jesus said: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Become part of preaching the gospel to every nation, every tribe, and every people group. Start today by praying for a specific missionary or evangelistic ministry. Don’t stop there. Make plans to begin going to different parts of the world to share your faith or help somebody who is going by becoming a financial partner in all they do. Move from being a spectator to a world-changer today!
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 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.
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.