8. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God Preached to All Nations
The great “Olivet prophecy” of Jesus Christ is pivotal in understanding future events. In Matthew 24:3, Jesus was asked by the disciples, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” As we have seen, Jesus first warned them about false prophets, wars and rumors of wars leading to world war, famines, disease epidemics and earthquakes, and said, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (v. 8).
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation” (v. 9). The coming Great Tribulation will affect the Church as well as national Israel. “And [they will] kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” This verse is quite significant because it says, in effect, that God’s true Church and Work will be known by all nations. People will not hate it unless they know about it, will they? They will hate the true Work of God because they will hate its message.
“But he who endures to the end, shall be saved” (v. 13). The end of what? Well, certainly the end of our physical lives individually, but this also applies to those alive at the end of this age. By this statement, Jesus intended to signify the end of 6,000 years of human experience and sin under the influence of Satan the Devil, which is heralded by the Second Coming of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In verse 14, Jesus mentions another sign that must happen before His Second Coming—and is happening right now. “And this gospel of the kingdom”—the Good News of the coming Kingdom or world-ruling government of God, based on God’s laws—“will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations.” This Gospel is good news, but it contains a warning. Every nation on earth, not just a few, will hear about this as a “witness,” not to convert them, but as a testimony of God’s future intentions.
This is not the time when God is trying to convert everyone, as many ministers, who are trying to “save” the world now, would have you believe! God is not going around like a lonely hound dog, wagging his tail and hoping someone will pay attention to him. Through his sins, man has cut himself off from God (Isaiah 59:1–2). Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). This is the only way one can come to God. God’s Church is proclaiming the Gospel, witnessing to humanity so that those who are willing can seek Him. Whoever has their mind opened by God can understand. You are reading part of God’s “witness” right now!