It’s nigh impossible to listen to a typical Christian radio station without encountering two of the most popular topics being taught. They are that Jesus is coming back at some point in the future and the central mission of the church is to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Both teachings are interrelated and interdependent on each other. In other words, you can’t have one without the other. Both must be true. If one of those teachings falters, so does the other. So, let’s dig a little deeper and examine each topic.
The Condition That Must Be Fulfilled
It is contended that in order for Jesus to come again, a certain condition must be fulfilled according to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24:14:
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14
Before “the end” would come, the “gospel of the kingdom” must first “be preached in the whole world” as a testimony to “all the nations.” The phrase “the end” is associated in the context with “the end of the age” (verse 3), the “abomination of desolation” (verse 15), the “great tribulation” (verse 21) as signs of “the end” just prior to the “coming” of Jesus Christ (verse 30).
Therefore, “the end” will not come and the “coming” of Jesus will not happen until the gospel is “preached in the whole world.” That is the condition that must be fulfilled prior to the return of Jesus Christ. Both the worldwide preaching of the gospel and the future return of Jesus Christ are interdependent and inseparable.
A Critical Assumption
It is assumed in modern Christianity that the preaching of the “gospel” to the entire planet has been an ongoing commission to Christians since after the resurrection of Christ some 2000 years ago (Matthew 28:19-20). That is believed because of several other underlying assumptions: all races came from Adam and “the world” and “nations” means the planet and everybody on it.
Unless it can be demonstrated biblically that those underlying assumptions are correct, then the widely-accepted commission to preach the gospel in the entire planet to every racial kind and racial mix is suspect. So, the question arises, “Is it biblically valid to understand this commission as ongoing and not yet fulfilled or is this an errant teaching?”
The Question Is Answered
I am in disagreement with the popular teaching of modern Christianity that the so-called “Great Commission” is still ongoing and that it is applicable to all races other than Adamic Israel. In my first four books, and particularly Books Three and Four, I thoroughly discuss the meaning of “world” and “nations.” I show these do not refer to the planet and all races, respectively. These words, in fact, refer to the “world” of Israel and the “nations” of Israel in the biblical context.
If that is a correct conclusion, then the “Great Commission” as typically understood by modern Christianity is now suspect as to its scope. But yet, it is a question as to whether Matthew 24:14 is still ongoing or has it been fulfilled? That question has been decisively answered in Book Four, God’s Covenant Creation, chapter 7. Yes, Matthew 24:14 has already been fulfilled.
The Return of Jesus Christ
If the “gospel of the Kingdom” has already been preached to Israel, then this condition has been fulfilled in respect to the coming of Jesus. Therefore, “the end” has already come, the “abomination of desolation” has already taken place and Jesus has come again.
The modern Christian understanding of the ongoing commission of Matthew 24:14 is not true. If that teaching falters, so does the teaching of a future time-frame for the coming of Jesus. They are interdependent on each other.
For a comprehensive discussion on the subject of the time-frame of Jesus’s coming, please read Book Six, The Biblical Story of Prophecy.”
By Lawrence Blanchard, ND, MDiv