Matthew 24:14, the Great Commission

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

//These are Matthew’s words, and it seemed to be an understanding shared by Paul and others. The Gospel must be preached to the ends of the earth before Jesus comes back. Matthew, in telling us what to expect before the Lord’s return, lists only one “sign of the times” for us to anticipate: the completion of this world mission. We’ve even made up a name for this evangelism … we call it the “Great Commission.” 

Paul seemed to consider himself the primary evangelist in this movement, concerned that he had little time to accomplish the task before Jesus arrived, and was on his way to Spain, the very end of the earth, to complete this purpose before his plans were finally derailed in Rome, where he would presumably spend the rest of his life. 

Whether or not Paul himself felt satisfied with his success, later biblical writers would agree that Paul properly fulfilled his commission. The author of Colossians would write, Every creature under heaven has heard the Word, and all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing.

The book of Titus would affirm that Paul succeeded in his mission: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, and as such the time had come, and they sought that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.

The book of Timothy also affirms that Paul’s world mission has come to a close, and now the end would arrive quickly.

But life goes on. I guess the world turned out to be a little bigger than they thought.

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