It seems to me that we are being encouraged to worry about a lot of things when we read or listen to the news. Wars, global warming, nuclear events and the like. All causing us to ask “where will it all end?”.
But as Christians the Bible gives us positive activities to get stuck into now and it also lays out a clear plan for the future, if only we would read the Bible to see.
Matthew 24 v 14 says..”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”. If we then add in Matthew Chapter 28 v 19-20 we have this comment “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Matthew 24 v 14 is not a commission to anybody in particular—not to the first-century apostles nor to anyone else. It is simply a statement of fact by Jesus prophesying that the Gospel will be preached in all the world as a witness and then will the end come.
Matthew 24 v 14 and Matthew 28 v 19-20 do not have the same meaning. In the latter verses, though preaching as a witness is included within the scope of the commission, it actually places more emphasis upon the entire process, feeding, growing, and overcoming than merely witnessing, as in Matthew 24 v 14. The key word here is “process.”
The word “teach” in Matthew 28 v 19 is the key to this understanding. Many Bibles have a marginal reference beside it: “make disciples “Go you therefore into all the world and make disciples.”
“Teach” is not wrong as long as we understand that it implies a process. All the teaching required to make a disciple cannot occur merely in making a witness. There are major differences between the two. At best, preaching the gospel to the world begins the process of teaching. Disciples are created through steady feeding, a believing response in those who hear combined with overcoming.
The second factor appears in verse 20: “Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” The key here is “all things.” That cannot be done merely through a witness. As we are learning, observing all things is a lifelong project requiring the structure of a church. This is the reason why the church exists.
What is being emphasized in verses 19-20, though witnessing is included in it, is the feeding of the flock because it is the called, the elect—God’s children—who are His greatest concern. These are the ones who are being prepared for the Kingdom of God.It takes a great deal of feeding and experiences with God for Christ to be formed in us.
So let’s not restrict our Christian lives to Sunday but to every day so we can gain daily experiences with God. Also, as we will soon see in Daniel Chapter 9 in January when I will be bringing this next study to our church, just as here Jesus refers to a planned end to our world system so in Daniel there is given the blueprint of the plan as to how He will usher in a new world system and eternity. So take heart, this planet won’t end by global warming, atomic war explosion happening suddenly or anything else we care to be encouraged to worry about.
Before anything like an end to our planet first Matthew 24 v 14 needs to have been achieved, then certain events for Israel, the Jewish nation and the temple in Jerusalem need to have happened and also a change in world leadership. SO watch the news but not to simply be passive and worry but to be excited to see how things are beginning to shape up to help bring all of the above to a conclusion.
The Bible has been spot on in hundreds of accurate predictions that have already come to pass so we have no reason to doubt the remaining predictions it has for us as Christians in what we can enjoy today and for the future.
Have a great week