Jesus' Followers Must Continue Preaching the Kingdom Gospel to the Entire World Until the End!

November 13, 2011

The Gospels record two important statements by Jesus about worldwide preaching of the gospel:

“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” (Matt. 24:14).

“And He said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:15).

Unlike the former statement, the latter statement does not specify the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom; it only speaks of the apostles preaching the gospel. Several facts, however, make it clear that it was a command to the apostles to preach the kingdom gospel.

First, Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25) late during His time on the earth, and He commissioned His apostles (Mk. 16:14-18) during the forty days between His resurrection and His ascension. Because the Scripture does not indicate that He gave any intervening teaching about the content of the gospel, we are justified in concluding that both references pertain to the gospel of the kingdom.

Second, Acts 1:3 highlights Jesus’ “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom” during the forty days between His resurrection and His ascension. Because Mark 16:15 records a key statement in seminal teaching that Jesus gave His disciples during that period, we are justified in identifying it as part of the key teaching that Jesus gave about the kingdom.

Third, Luke’s recording that Philip preached as the gospel “the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12) makes it certain that the gospel that he received from the apostles was the kingdom gospel. The gospel that they themselves, therefore, were commanded to preach by Jesus must have been the kingdom gospel.

We thus conclude that Jesus commanded the apostles to preach the kingdom gospel to the entire world (Mk. 16:15). Furthermore, because He also taught that the end will only come after the gospel of the kingdom will have been preached in the entire world for a witness to all nations (Matt. 24:14), His followers must continue preaching that same kingdom gospel to the entire world until the end!

Rajesh

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2 responses to Jesus' Followers Must Continue Preaching the Kingdom Gospel to the Entire World Until the End!

  1. Bradley McKenzie November 14, 2011 at 1:52 am

    A study of the subsequent references to the kingdom throughout the New Testament should back up whether the followers of the Lord understood their task in this way. And we do observe Paul continuing to preach the kingdom as Philip had been doing (19:8; 20:25; 28:23, and even in the last verse of Acts 28:31). This continued emphasis on the kingdom of God is borne out through many references in the Epistles, including the final words of various vice lists (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:5).
    Without diminishing our own responsibility to preach the gospel to every nation, Revelation 7:9 does make reference to a future time at which there most certainly will be converts from every nation: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” A reference in the Revelation to “the end” (as in Matthew 24:14) is found in connection with the church of Thyatira (Rev. 2:26). There the overcomer is promised authority over the nations. Otherwise the only end (telos) that is mentioned is the One Who Himself is “the beginning and the end(ing).”

    • The rest of the NT certainly does back up this understanding of the kingdom gospel, which is something that I plan to treat in some detail in the future. Thanks for supplementing this post with your comment that points people to that dimension of this issue, which further supports the main idea of my post.