Friday, November 04, 2011

Unstoppable Gospel

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 24:1-28

TO CHEW ON: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14

Jesus' teaching in this chapter touches on three topics: 1] the destruction of the temple, 2] His second coming, and 3] the END.

As is typical with prophecy, His predictions are capable of having both a near and remote fulfillment. My Bible footnotes explain about the near fulfillment:

"Jesus uses the tragic events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 as a picture of conditions preceding HIs own return..." And about the reference to Daniel's mysterious "abomination of desolation": "...Jesus views the prophecy as referring ... to the arrival of the Roman army which besieged Jerusalem and destroyed the temple in A.D. 70. That event foreshadows the conditions connected with Christ's return" New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, pp. 1334-5.

However, the END has not happened yet—though we would be blind not to recognize many of Jesus' predictions playing out in living colour around us right now:
- false Christs, false prophets, and deception.
- wars and rumours of wars.
- famine, pestilence, and earthquakes.
- persecution of believers in Jesus.
- lawlessness.
- people taking offense at the gospel.
- the gospel continuing to spread.

Let's pause for a minute on this last point and consider this one positive sign of the END.
  • The internet and smart phone technologies have made the spread of the gospel almost impossible to detect and to stop. (For example, readers of this little blog come from all over the world: Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Malaysia, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Viet Nam, France, India, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Germany... How cool is that!)

We are living in exciting, near-the-end times. Let's be busy doing our part to spread "this gospel of the kingdom" as we keep one eye on the sky (Matthew 24:27).

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to live with the expectation of Your near return. Amen.

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