Maybe your schedule has gotten weird with the stay at home order. I’m up at 3 in the morning studying Matthew 24-25. I believe it is a good time to revisit these chapters and get a grip on what Jesus is saying here.
One of the flagship verses planted deep in my heart is Matthew 24:14. Before the end that Jesus is teaching about in Matthew 24 comes, the gospel will go to every ethnic group. It will NOT magically go to them. Followers of Jesus, the elect, will bring it to them. Jesus says this after He says the world will bring great tribulation upon his followers, even killing his followers, and that they will be hated by all nations.
Though the gospel will reach all nations, it will come at a great price and cost to those who take it to all nations. If you have studied missions history, you know this isn’t just coming in some future date. This has happened all along the way, the advance of the gospel starting in the Book of Acts.
There’s huge multi volume books on the martyrs in the country where I currently serve. Many today continue to lose their lives for the sake of His name. Jesus points out that only those who lose their lives will save them. Why? Because when you are persecuted, Jesus said it is because of His name. In most of my studies on persecution, persecutors often give an easy out...deny Him...deny your faith that Jesus is the Christ. Just like turning off a light switch, we can turn off the persecution by one simple act...just deny Him. Is it any wonder that Jesus said unless you love Him more than your family, even your own life, you can’t follow Him?
**I believe Jesus is saying this in these two chapters:**
PREPARE for a GREAT
Irregardless of your political opinions, the majority of nations were not prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. Jesus warns that many will not be PREPARED for His Return. But this I do know, Jesus says in Matthew 24:25 “Behold, I have told you in advance.” We will not have any excuse to be unprepared. I want to encourage you with this final thought on being prepared.
If Jesus wants the world saturated with the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14), then the first step is to be personally saturated with the gospel of the kingdom. Hearts that are full of the gospel will overflow with the gospel, in two ways I believe. One, we will overflow with the peace of God. The gospel is the message of the cross, how God has made his enemies his sons. Jesus paid our debt. He has purchased us from the grave. We now have peace with God. This peace will empower us when the pressures of the world begin to mount. When all the news we hear around us is bad news, we won’t have to hide our heads in the sand when our hearts have been gripped by the gospel of peace...when our feet are covered with the gospel of peace...the gospel of peace that says I consider myself dead, but alive in Him...I consider all things nothing compared to knowing Him in His death and resurrection. Revelation 12, they didn’t love their lives so much as to shrink back from death. Satan’s threats lose their power when our hearts have been grounded in the peace of God found in the gospel. It isn’t just a feeling or state of mind. It is dead to me but alive to Him. Two, the heart that is filled with the gospel of peace will overflow from a mouth that wants others to know this good news. Those saturated with the gospel will saturate the world with the gospel.
Praying we each be filled with the gospel of peace today.
Author: David Brown, SRC Missionary, Asia
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