Far and Wide Gospel Proclamation

The tenth sign of the end of the age is the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. Jesus said, “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” (Matt. 24:14). The gospel of the kingdom is “the good news that the reign or rule of God has begun to be realized in history through the presence of Jesus Christ.” (Hagner)

Matthew wrote, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people” (Matt. 4:23; cf. 9:35; 10:5-8; 24:14). The preaching ministry of Jesus is the communication of the gospel. The healing ministry of Jesus is the manifestation of the gospel. Both the preaching (communication) and the healing (manifestation) of Jesus demonstrate the presence and reality of the reign of God (kingdom) in history. Thus, the gospel of the kingdom is both the communication and manifestation of the presence and reality of the reign of God through the words and acts of Jesus Christ. (Hagner)

Jesus said that this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed throughout the whole world. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom with accompanying signs and wonders. Hence, the gospel will be proclaimed with signs and wonders. Signs and wonders will accompany the preaching of the gospel. “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. . . . And these signs will accompany those who believe’” (Mk. 16:15, 17; cf. v. 20; Acts 2:43; 4:29-31; 5:12-16; 6:8; 8:6-7; 15:12). Paul wrote, “My speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:4-5; cf. Rom. 15:18-19).

God’s timing is perfect for this topic of gospel proclamation. This morning, we held “The Gospel Workshop” for the first batch. Last Friday, our small group started studying Mission. We talked about the miracles that God is doing in Muslim countries, where they have no Bible, no church, and no way to hear the gospel.

A true story is told of many Muslims in Syria coming to Christ after seeing miracles.

Nivine accepted Christ wholeheartedly and even started coming to the meetings along with her paralysed daughter, he said.

About two weeks later, when Nivine was worshiping during a meeting with her daughter next to her, she noticed that the girl’s hands were moving.”

Another Muslim named Amad who heard about the healing place in his town also brought his son, who was then suffering from a “worsening skin disease.” The believers prayed for him and the next day, the child woke up with clear skin.

“It was undeniably a miracle. The whole family has come to believe in the Lord, and they want to be baptised,” said the director.[1]

Yet I must stress that the signs and wonders are not there to prove the gospel, for the gospel is by itself the power of God unto salvation, but to show the presence of the kingdom (Matt. 10:1, 5-8; Lk. 10:17-18). Jesus said, “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Lk. 11:20). In Acts, signs and wonders confirmed the presence of the kingdom. Today, miracles confirm the presence of the kingdom in many closed countries, including China, North Korea, and Muslim countries.

Does it mean that miracles will go with gospel preaching every time? No, because God will send the signs by the sovereign act of His own will, His own time, and His own place (Heb. 2:4). But the sign of the presence of the kingdom is the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel of the kingdom.

Thus, the proclamation of the gospel is a “testimony” to all nations. The noun “testimony” (marturion) means “evidence.” (Friberg) The worldwide proclamation of the gospel is the evidence of the presence of the kingdom of God in this world. The worldwide proclamation of the gospel is a testimony to all nations that the kingdom of God is here and now.

Now when the gospel is proclaimed to all the world, the end will come. The worldwide preaching of the gospel is the sign of the end. This is not to say that the coming of Christ shall depend on the worldwide preaching of the gospel. The coming of the end is not conditioned on the worldwide preaching of the gospel. Conversely, the worldwide preaching of the gospel will not cause the coming of the end. Rather, the worldwide gospel preaching is the sign that the end will come.

[1] Shianee Mamanglu-Regala “’Unprecendented’ number of Muslims in Syria embracing Jesus after witnessing God’s miracles — Christian Aid Mission,” Christianitytoday.com. Cited July 22, 2017. Online: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/unprecendented.number.of.muslims.in.syria.embracing.jesus.after.witnessing.gods.miracles.christian.aid.mission/81601.htm.

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