x531.......Around the world--Again and Again!
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached
in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end
(Matthew 24:14, KJV).
This is one of the end-times signs which Christian have been waiting to happen for centuries. At some time--the Gospel will be preached "in all the world--to all nations" --and then Christ will return.
Now, here is the problem we have. How is this going to happen?
1,700 years ago, the Roman emperor declared everyone in the world a Christian. He made it illegal to NOT be a Christian, and Sunday church attendance was mandatory.--did Jesus return?---nope.
1,000 years ago, the missionaries of the Roman church went to every part of the world that they could reach---did Jesus return?---nope.
200 years ago, the protestant missionaries combed Africa, traveled to China--brought the Gospel to every corner of the globe---did Jesus return?---nope.
75 years ago, short wave radio broadcast the Gospel literally around the globe--anyone could freely receive the Gospel message--did Jesus return?---nope.
Today, we are still trying the same method. Today we believe that if we can just reach out with enough Christian television--we will meet God's requirement--that the Gospel will reach around the world and go to every nation. There are literally hundreds of radio and television ministries--all asking for the money to do this. Apparently, we just need the "right guy"--the right "minister" to do the job. Apparently God has been waiting for the right person who will bring the Gospel to a worldwide audience---is this what this prophecy is saying?
The airwaves are loaded with "ministries" all asking for donations--that
they may "take the Gospel to the world". Can they all be right?--Is
one of the "pastors" of our generation the right person who will
somehow preach the Gospel to all the nations?
Well, we keep right on fund raising--through scandals and ripoffs and false teachers. We have the idea that Christian "ministry" is all about the person who can raise the most money--and carry on the ministry that we all can trust.
Maybe we are wrong.
Maybe, since we have misdefined "ministry" in the first place, Since we are assuming that it will be one person--or some "official" person who must carry the Gospel to the world---maybe we are starting on the wrong foot. "Official" people are the only people we have ever had "officially" witnessing the Gospel around the world in the first place. Perhaps we are starting out with the wrong definition of ministry to begin with.
Maybe it is the Gospel in all of us which needs to be released (the way that Jesus did in Israel 2,000 years ago).
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature.
(Mark 16:15, KJV).
Jesus spoke these words to His apostles 2,000 years ago. The question is this: were they specially chosen people whom He "sent"--the network of apostleship which they operated by--was this the correct way to preach the Gospel? who is an apostle?---are they the "saints" the founders of Christianity--who lived in another dispensation of the ages, "established" the church --and now we --the "established church" must witness the Gospel through something called "pastoral authority"?
Maybe, it is not the technology which we need--the television--internet--radio---Maybe these are just the tools we can use to reach out with the Gospel---but maybe we won't be doing it right--until we operate as they did--until every member of the body of Christ is made glorious in their fully released ministry. Until we've repented of thinking that only "some" have the "office" of ministry--and they are rulers over us.
Maybe the church can't overcome the world--until we are truly the church. And the Gospel will not truly be preached to all nations--until it is a Gospel which includes release--
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because
he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he
hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance
to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at
liberty them that are bruised,
(Luke 4:18, KJV).
Jesus did 5 things--He had 5 purposes in His ministry. The Gospel--feeding the poor--healing the sick--bringing deliverance to those in need---and the final part--release--taking those whom He met and "setting them at liberty"--freely releasing them--to their ministry--their apostleship. Instead we hold people under the "rule" of ministry, and ask for money to send only the few to preach the Gospel. Can't we just stop the "big parade" of ministry, and ask ourselves this simple basic question--do we really have the Gospel right? Are we really preaching ALL the Gospel? Are we truly repesenting all of Christ's purposes with our ideas of ministry, authority and operation?
We've been around the world already--and there are plenty of people who claim to be the "right one" to do the job today--but maybe the whole concept of who should preach the Gospel is wrong to begin with.
Maybe if we did it right--if we included release to all who hear the
Gospel--it would truly be the Gospel--the same Gospel that Jesus preached.