“And the gospel must FIRST (capitals mine) be preached to all nations.”
As Believers anxiously await the Rapture of the Church so we can meet the Lord in the air and spend eternity with Him in Heaven, the unbelievers unknowingly await the coming horrors, trials and Tribulation of the Last Days. However, by God’s Word we are told something MUST FIRST HAPPEN before the end comes. One of the most forgotten and perhaps unknown, prophecies regarding the End Times is the preaching of the Gospel in ALL the world. If you are familiar with God’s coming Judgement on a sinful, unrepentant world you know soon mankind will see things like the War of Gog and Magog; Armageddon; the rise of the anti-christ and false prophet; the Mark of the Beast; the Israeli/Palestinian “peace agreement”; “wars and rumors of war”; “famines”; “pestilences”; “earthquakes in diverse places”, etc. How bad will it be? After the Rapture of the Christian Believers, ONE HALF OF ALL MANKIND WILL DIE in these Judgements during the 7 year Tribulation period! But, BEFORE all this occurs, we still have ONE thing which MUST HAPPEN FIRST:
“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 (capitals mine)“.
In God’s Ultimate Mercy, He will give all of us one last chance to seek redemption BEFORE the End comes. As undeserving as we are, God sent Jesus to die on the cross as THE sacrifice for our sins. All we have to do is by faith accept He did this for us, ask for His forgiveness of our sins and honestly attempt to change our sinful behavior. While we are doing this, IF the Rapture has not yet happened, we have also been instructed by God to share His Gospel with the entire world.
“He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Not wanting to leave anyone behind, God instructed all of us, in the same manner Jesus instructed His disciples, to tell the entire world of His Mercy that awaits us. This is NOT limited to telling other Christians or Jews what is said in the Holy Bible and Torah. This is about evangelizing the entire world so everyone will know about Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins which is the ONLY path to Heaven. Whether we/they accept this gift is up to us/them BUT God’s Word must be preached to the entire world BEFORE the End Times come. Who is to do this evangelizing? All of us! We have been justified by God through faith to let all know the promises which await those who believe in Him:
“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (Gentiles) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.”
Interestingly, in approximately 33 A.D. Jesus commanded His disciples to go out into the world and give the people His message. The geography covered by those 12 was relatively small compared to the entire size of the earth. Therefore the commandment to His disciples had to have been continued throughout the following centuries by those who listened to His Words and adhered to His Commandments. Even with that momentum, I believe it has only been through the advancement of modern day technology and communications can we with surety say His Message can now be disseminated to ALL peoples of the world. This was not possible in earlier time periods and in fact was ONLY possible in the last 30-50 years! Is it working? Absolutely! What you probably haven’t heard and I would encourage you to check online for even more stats but this is what is happening TODAY!
- As of October 2017 the entire Bible has been translated into 670 languages with the New Testament (the story detailing Jesus’s ministry) translated into 1521 languages. How many languages are there in the entire world?
- It is estimated by 2050 there will be over 3 billion Christians in the world, the fastest growing evangelical movement in history and at that time the number of Christians will be1 1/2 times larger than the global population of Muslims.
- Since the death of Mao Tse Tung of China in 1976, there have been 63 million Chinese conversions to Christianity. And, these are only those we know of…
- Every year approximately 10.2 million Muslims convert to Christianity.
- In the late 90’s there were an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 Christians in Iran. Today that number is 300,000 to 1 million. Iran is projected to have 7 million Christians by 2020. This, even in a country ranked 8th worst in the world for Christian persecution.
- In 2010 29.3% of all South Koreans proclaimed themselves to be Christian, up from just 2.0% in 1945.
- In 1900 there were 10 million Christians in Africa. By 2000 that number had increased to 360 million and is estimated to rise to 633 million by 2025.
Even though God saved the world through His Son Jesus, a Jew, and His message was at the time primarily aimed at the Jewish people in Israel, what wasn’t known then to many was His Message was eventually intended for all, Jew and Gentile alike.
“Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”
If you are like me, my take away from God’s Words in this post are quite simple:
- The Last Days WILL NOT happen until His Word has been preached to ALL people of the entire world.
- Based on the above stats, I believe it could be argued successfully, the Word has now been preached to the entire world and there is nothing standing in the way of the start of the Last Days EXCEPT for the Grace of God!
- The Message of Salvation is NOT just for the Jew, as viewed at that time, but for all people.
- The ability to deliver His Gospel on a world platform DID NOT exist until this generation.
- Once His Word is preached, ALL of mankind will make a decision as to whether or not they follow the Word of God or reject it for their own selfish, sinful behavior.
- The Bible is clear as to what happens to those who decide to walk away from His Message.
“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
2 Thessalonians 1:8
Fortunately, those who are members of Christ’s Church WILL BE judged (rewarded) for our acceptance of Him and will be Raptured prior to the start of the horrible 7 year Tribulation Period.
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
Those who do not accept Jesus WILL ALSO BE judged, but unfortunately for them, it won’t be pretty!
“For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
1 Peter 4:17
Again, it is so comforting to know the only way to escape God’s Wrath. We MUST accept His Gift to us of eternal salvation by simply accepting we can not “make it” to Heaven on our own and in our sinful manner. Only through accepting Christ’s sacrifice can we be assured of eternity with Him. BUT, we also have a commandment from God we MUST adhere to! It is up to each and every single one of us to do all we can to spread His Gospel to all we come in contact with; to support the ministries that are involved throughout the world; and, to do this with the urgency knowing our time is short. As Jesus spoke to His disciples:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
I don’t say this very often anymore but this particular post brought home to me how critical it is to get His Word out to our friends, family and everyone we can as quickly as possible. We are commanded by Jesus to do it! If you agree, I ask that you share this post with your family, friends, your church, your colleagues at work and play. Please Like and/or Share it on Facebook and/or LinkedIn to help get His Message out quickly. By doing this, we share the comfort of knowing we are SAVED and can then “…therefore comfort one another with these words.”
May God Bless you as we anxiously await His soon Return!