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The Ends of the Earth and the End of the Age

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20)

In Acts 1:8, Jesus promises His disciples that they would be His witnesses even to the “remotest part of the earth.” Here at the close of the gospel of Matthew, He says “all nations” to refer to the same trajectory of mission. This geographical parameter is referred to alongside a chronological one: the end of the age. The completion of the Great Commission will be dramatic. And the stage God has ordained for this drama to unfold is the last days. The end of the age may be the great omission in the modern discussions of the Great Commission. We enthusiastically speak of “finishing the task” without any mention of the fact that Jesus Himself bound this inseparably to the subject of eschatology – the knowledge of the end.

The coming of the Son of Man is our great hope. Within the history of missiology, the prospect of the return of Jesus has been a powerful catalyst for renewing zeal for sending and going. We must also soberly reckon with all the things that Jesus said must come before His glorious appearing. The missionaries charged with the task of running the last leg of the race will do so in the midst of unprecedented global upheaval. Wars, famine, pestilence, and earthquakes will abound. Deception and persecution will assail those who proclaim Jesus with an intensity and fierceness never before seen in history. We might ask “who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:16) Yet the real question is “what is Jesus worthy of?” As we allow this question to shape our horizons, may God, by His grace, make us adequate for the call. 

The Provocation and Salvation of Israel

Israel has long been at the center of international controversy. Her very existence is troublesome to many nations. Hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians have inflamed regional and international tensions. No one has been righteous, yet both sides make divine claims, which amplifies hostility even more. As I travel and preach on the Second Coming, there is often a visible reaction to the inclusion of Israel in the storyline – and the centrality of Israel in the Father’s plans for the return of His Son. Loyalty to God’s plan and heart for Israel is not an easy thing to carry out.

From Jerusalem to Jerusalem

In the 1930s, there was a belief held by some that every country in the world had a presence of a Christian church, and western missionary enterprises were contemplating a moratorium on foreign missionary activities with the assumption that the remaining task of world evangelization could be completed by the national church within each country.

Is God Angry with His Enemies?

We are approaching a “high tide” season within the Body of Christ related to false teaching on the subject of the wrath of God. The overcorrection is beginning to flow into outright error and deception. An overemphasis on God’s enjoyment of humans and their worth and value to Him (also beautiful messages!) has given way to a mixture of humanistic, man-centered, self-centered ideas alongside the gospel. The fruit of this error is a denial of God’s wrath against ungodliness, unrighteousness, and His anger against the injustice of nations and leaders.

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb

Jesus, our Bridegroom and King, sent us the gift of the Holy Spirit. He reminds us of the love of Jesus and that we are set apart for Him until that day that we partake of the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:1-10). The Holy Spirit is orchestrating a global worship movement that will usher in Jesus' return. When Jesus first came, He came to His own and His own did not receive Him. But this second time when He comes to the earth, there will be a Bride that will receive Him and will be expecting Him.

Working with the End in Mind

"So soon and so long as that hope was dim, and Christ's Coming was pushed in the far-off future, the Church began leisurely working, then flippantly playing at missions, as though vast cycles of time lay before us to witness to the world. Revive this hope of the Lord's Coming and it begets hourly watching, ceaseless praying, tireless toiling, patient waiting." – A. T. Pierson (an early leader of the Student Volunteer Movement)