Then shalt the end come (Matthew 24:14)


When will these things be?

The disciples asked Jesus two important questions after he had told them of the future destruction of the temple.
when will these things be
what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age
In reply, Jesus gave them warnings about the emergence of false Christs, and talked about a number of key events, culminating in one event which I took interest in exploring in this session.
Matthew 24:14 NKJV
14 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.
As a marker of precision, all the other things that were given in Jesus’s answer present some challenges in interpretation as in history, there has been some similar issues which could have been looked at as marking the time of the end. However, Matthew 24 verse 14 gives us a measurable or quantifiable marker that can only be fulfilled once.

Against all odds!

From the time that Jesus made this bold statement, both the bible and history tells us of the near impossible feat with which the Gospel survived obliteration, assimilation, counterfeiting, and stigmatisation!
Not only did it survive, but has continued to make inroads into literally all corners of the world. Many nations and nationalities have seen the Gospel, even those who have taken the wilful path away or against it. There remains but very small parts of the world where the Gospel may be unknown or still new.
The progression of science has carried the Gospel far and wide, with radio, television, internet and other forms of telephony wiring the world together.
The photo shows how much Christianity was prevalent in 2014 (source - Wikipedia). Article itself references more than 80 other articles.

The training of the Twelve

This takes us back to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20). Where the apprenticeship of the apostles or disciples is concluded by the final instruction from Jesus… to go out and preach the Gospel to the whole world, and baptise the people in the names of the Godhead; and a promise that he was going to be with them until the end of time.
Matthew 28:16–20 NKJV
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 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.
Jesus took great care in the training of the Disciples, taking them through all manner of lessons fit for building up of faith. He also trained them in evangelism (very detailed accounts in Luke).
The following are some of the things they had to do:
To trust him (Luke 9:1-6). In verse 3, he instructed them to take nothing in preparation. In that time, not having money, or a second coat or food was hazardous for a traveller. It would take absolute trust for the disciples to believe that they could carry out this evangelistic feat without suffering loss.
To exercise power over all manner of evil spirits. In the 1st verse of Luke 9, Jesus gives ‘Power and Authority’, to the disciples. They would cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead.
They could only live in the one house they arrived at, until they needed to leave. This means that when they were rejected, they abandoned the whole village altogether! Shaking the dust of the place from their sandals as a witness against those places.
This may seem counterintuitive, but it was a masterstroke and mathematical genius, because it meant that the disciples would not waste precious time in places where God was not wanted, nor have to deal with rejection by entire villages or towns. The focus on a single household would plant a seed, by which whomever else has not experienced the Gospel in that place can be saved. In simple words.. the salvation of a single household, was salvation of the entire town!

You and me..

The training of the Twelve gave us a sound model for the training of future disciples, and evangelists. Jesus indeed, provided all that was required for the continuation of this evangelistic effort.
****When we have believed and been baptised, ‘Power and Authority’ is given to us;
Mark 16:17–18 NKJV
17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
The Church, is our house of instruction, and the bible gives us all we need to know. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we also, have become disciples, and trusting in the Lord, therefore we shall …
Pray for more workers for the harvest (Matthew 9:38)
Go out and preach the Gospel (the news of the Kingdom of God)
Cast out demons
Heal the sick
Proclaim the coming of the end of time

Salvation is the key aim!

Luke 10:17 NKJV
17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
It must have been extremely exciting for these disciples of old to see the sheer Power that had been afforded them cause Demons to obey them, the healing of the sick and raising of the dead! However, listen to what Jesus tells the excited Disciples...
Luke 10:20 NKJV
20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
It is not the Power given to us in the Holy Ghost, nor the miracles that we can now perform, or even the Power over the Evil one! which spell the ultimate achievement of a true Christian. It is instead, the promise of eternal life that follows the end of all these things.
Revelation 20:15 NKJV
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Points of Reflection:

What have you done so far in your Christian walk to fulfil the instruction by Jesus? Are you still suckling, or have you started eating solid food? If you were the only surviving Disciple of Christ in this day, would you be able to rebuild the Church? Are you afraid?
Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Therefore I also say to you, go and preach this Gospel of the Kingdom of God, for the return of Christ is imminent, and soon shall we walk on the sea of glass, all together. Amen
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