#235 – THEN THE END WILL COME (13/11/20)
The date of Jesus’ coming is incalculable. No matter what anyone says about a new scheme for formulating Jesus’ return they are wrong. However, we know that certain things will take place before His return, one of them being that the gospel will go to all ‘nations’ before Jesus’ return.
Readings and reflections
1. The gospel going to all people-groups is promised by Jesus.
“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:12-14)
What is increasing through these last days and how will this affect the love of mankind?
From this text, and the testimony of the bible more broadly, how does persecution affect the missionary efforts of the church?
What is to be preached in the whole world?
Do you understand what ‘the gospel of the Kingdom’ is? How would you explain it to a friend who wanted to talk to you about your faith?
2. The gospel ‘is the power of God for everyone who believes’. It’s God’s wisdom for salvation.
‘The gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.’ (Colosians 1:6)
Take some time to pray for the spread of the gospel in the ‘whole world’ before Jesus' returns in judgement.
To memorise this week
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
To consider this week
How will you expand your awareness, heart and involvement in reaching the nations?
Downloading the ‘Operation World’ App. is a good place to start.
Here is the vlog that Jem mentioned on Sunday by Sam Hēnare (New Zealand) as he speaks about contextualising the gospel to reach the Māori community.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - GO TO THE NATIONS
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Where would you most like to visit in the world and why?
Introduction - please share in your group
On Sunday, we continued in our series on discipleship.
We saw how Jesus, in His Great Commission, commanded all Christians to be involved in reaching all the people groups of the world.
Let's remind ourselves of Jesus' words,
‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Of course, we will be involved in differing ways; for some, it will involve actually going to a different nation, for others, it will mean giving, prayer, support...
We all have a part to play and it's important that we take the time to prayerfully seek God's guidance in this regard.
Jesus made the promise,
‘He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”’ (Acts 1:7-8)
A church and any individual Christian who is filled with the Spirit will be involved in reaching the nations. As we ask for and receive the Spirit, He will lead us into ever greater involvement with the nations of the world.
1. Would you like to share anything that struck you or something that God spoke to you about from Sunday's message or the devotionals this week?
2. Please read Matthew 28:18-20 and discuss:
i) How much do you pray and think about your involvement in reaching other people groups for Jesus?
ii) What are the things that distract or diminish our faith for international mission?
2. Read read Revelation 7:9-10 and discuss:
i) Jesus wants us to have a vision for reaching all nations with the gospel. We need to see this with the eyes of faith. Who, according to this vision, will be included in God’s Kingdom?
ii) What are they crying and what does this say about the content of the gospel message?
God’s Kingdom will include people from ‘every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages’. This means that the message of the gospel will be taken to these people. In this age of travel and digital communications, we can see how God is building ‘highways’ for this to be achieved.
3. Is there anything that you want to pray about?
4. How can we pray for you as you seek to reach out to your community for Jesus?