Had we been there that day when Jesus’ disciples asked a question many have pondered through the ages, we likely would have agreed with the consensus query. We too would have wanted to know what the signs of His coming would be. Our Lord’s answer to His disciples, and by extension to us, is given in Matthew 24, Mark 10 and Luke 21.
Here is the question from Matthew 24:3: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?”
Immediately, Jesus answered them. The full extent of His explanation can be found in the verses that follow. Most of us are very familiar with them and we see many of those signs apparently coming to pass today. But we want to deal with just one of the many things Jesus said would happen before His glorious return.
Jesus said in verse 14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” So, among the many signs is that the gospel will be preached to everyone and everywhere.
Let us first consider what Jesus meant by “this gospel of the kingdom.” Dr. Henry Morris, in his Study Bible, wrote: “‘The gospel of the kingdom’ is simply ‘the gospel,’ as it is recorded in the parallel account in Mark 13:10.
Jesus also said in Acts 1:8 that we as His followers are to actively pursuing His command to do that. He said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
How are we doing with that? Has that prophecy been fulfilled yet? It would appear the answer is “No.” Evangelistic associations have gone around the globe preaching the gospel. Denominations have sent missionaries everywhere. Individuals have taken up the work of evangelizing the world. And yet, we find there are still pockets of people groups who have no idea who Jesus is and no nothing of His power to give them eternal life.
Therefore, we must ask the question, “When will the gospel be preached to all the world?” We ask because those of us who hold to the pre-mil, pre-trib position of the end times routinely preach that there are no prophecies yet to be fulfilled before Jesus comes to take His church out of the world. Since He said the gospel would be preached to the world before He comes, how does that fit?
First of all we must understand there are two comings, not one. Jesus “raptures” the church when He comes in the air and believers meet Him there. Then there is the Second Coming when His feet touch the earth and the end comes. So the gospel does not have to be preached to the entire world before the snatching away of the church, but it does have to be preached before the end of time. Guess what, while we cannot know the day or hour of that coming, the Bible actually tells us when the gospel will be preached everywhere.
We read John’s words in Revelation 14: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).
A final question to consider is this: Are you ready to meet Jesus in the air? If there is any doubt at all, it is essential that you erase the doubts by asking Jesus to save you. He will erase every sin, past, present and future and you can be prepared for that glorious day that we anxiously await.
If you feel a need to get your life aligned with Christ, Paul gave excellent directions on how that can be done. He wrote: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:9-10, 13). Call on Jesus to save you now!
Jerry Guiltner firstname.lastname@example.org