Jesus and the future (Part 5)

The last days will not be dire for Christians alone. Jesus also related that the world would get worse, not better. He said there will be an increase of wickedness.

Contrast Jesus’ perspective of the future with the previous worldviews. It is not a glorious future of peace and harmony due to world government, a classless society, an evolved human race, or a global Islamic state that we can anticipate, but rather one marked by growing sin and depravity. Recall that only Christianity tells the truth regarding our human nature: we are sinful. That is why the future is not bright, but dark. However, there is a Light for the darkness. 

Jesus mentioned that the Gospel will be preached all over before the Last Day. Even in the midst of mankind’s sin, God extends His love and grace to all His fallen creatures. In what is called the “Great Commission of the Old Testament,” Isaiah 49:6 foretold that God’s salvation would extend to everyone. “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Paul quoted this prophecy in Acts 13:47 as he preached in Asia Minor (what is now Turkey). He was obeying the Great Commission of the New Testament (Matthew 28:18-20): making disciples by going to unbelievers and sharing the Good News of Jesus.

What percent of humans still need to hear this message of salvation? According to the Joshua Project, there is approximately 25-28% of earth’s population that has no or little access to the Gospel. Where are most of these people? Southern Nazarene University states that most of those who need to hear the Good News are in northern Africa and southern Asia. Evangelism strategist Luis Bush called this rectangular area “the 10/40 window.” That window lies across Africa and Asia from 10 degrees latitude north of the equator to 40 degrees latitude north of the equator. Every time we share the Gospel, the good news that our sins can be forgiven by Jesus’ perfect life and atoning sacrifice, we hasten the Lord’s return. Yet God only knows when this sign will be completely fulfilled. Until then we do as Peter instructed in 2 Peter 3:11-12. “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.”

Persecution, falling away from the faith, false prophets, increased sinfulness, and the Gospel’s proclamation all over are markers of the Tribulation Age.

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June 16, 2020

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