Oct 3, 2013
A few years back a young couple in our church were ready to buy a house, work as teachers, and start a family.
But two years later they were living half-way around the world in a dangerous country, in a city of 3 million, giving their lives to bring the Gospel to an unreached people group.
Why this dramatic change? One factor was what Jesus says in Matthew 24:14 —
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
This verse has three life-changing implications. First –
The Gospel Has NOT YET Been Proclaimed To All The Nations
Jesus says He will come back when the gospel has been proclaimed to all nations. So since Jesus has not yet come back, that means the gospel has not yet been proclaimed to all the nations.
This might surprise you, if you think “nations” refers to geographical areas like India or Brazil. But in Matthew 24 the word “nations” is the Greek word ethne, which refers not to nations as geopolitical regions, but to nations as people groups.
Take India, for example. India is a geopolitical region. But India has over 2,500 different ethne – distinct people groups with different languages and cultures. There are 3 million Urdu unbelievers, half a million Gadaria Hindus, 1.5 million Punjabis, and so forth.
So if we are going to proclaim the Gospel to every ethne – we must proclaim it not just to the geopolitical region of India, but to every people group in India.
That’s why Jesus has not yet come back, because there are still 12,000 people groups who have not yet had the Gospel proclaimed to them. (Click here to learn more about unreached people groups.)
Five years ago my wife and I visited this young couple in Central Asia. We traveled together to a city of 250,000 which had no believers in it, and met a family who invited us into their home for lunch.
As we ate, and as our friends shared the Gospel with this family, I felt the weight of what was happening — this family is hearing the Gospel for the very first time.
And then I was overwhelmed with this thought — it’s not just this family; there are 12,000 entire people groups who have not yet heard the Gospel.
That’s why Jesus has not yet come back.
Here’s the second implication —
The Gospel WILL Be Proclaimed To All Peoples
In Matthew 24:14 Jesus says He will come back when the gospel has been proclaimed to every people group. And is it certain that Jesus Christ will come back? Absolutely.
So — if it is certain that Jesus will come back, and if He will not come back until the gospel is proclaimed to every people group — that means the gospel will certainly be proclaimed to every people group.
And it’s not just that the Gospel will be proclaimed. In Revelation 7:9-10 we see that people will be saved from every people group —
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation [ethne], from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
It is certain. Individuals will be saved from every people group. Not one tribe, culture, or language will be missing.
And here’s the third implication from Matthew 24:14 —
Everyone who loves Jesus will WANT to take the gospel to all peoples
We will want to do this because it will glorify Christ, and because we care about lost people who face eternal punishment.
But there’s another reason given in Matthew 24:14. If you trust Christ, then your greatest joy is knowing Him. And if your greatest joy is knowing him, your deepest longing is for his return. And since he will return when the gospel is proclaimed to every people group, you will want to do all you can to take the gospel to every people group — because when that’s done, he will return.
Let’s say that a father tells his children – I will take you for ice cream as soon as your rooms are cleaned up. Since the children love ice cream, what will they do? They will clean their rooms.
In the same way, Jesus has told us – I will return when the gospel is taken to all the people groups. Since we want Jesus to return, we will do all we can to take the gospel to all the people groups.
So every follower of Jesus will ask — are you calling me to go? Are you calling me to move to a dangerous and difficult place to help bring the gospel to all the peoples?
Jesus won’t call all of us to go. Many of us need to stay, so we can advance the gospel here, and so we can give financial and prayer support to those who are called to go. But we all should want to go. We all should be willing to go.
So ask yourself — are you willing to go?
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful –
- Are We Misunderstanding The Great Commission?
- A Story To Motivate Your Evangelism
- Listen At Your Own Risk (Keith Green’s “Asleep In The Light“)
- How God Saved A Hardened Atheist