Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Mission

Jesus charged his followers with announcing the same message he preached, He summarized it as the “Good News of the Kingdom of God.” His Church would establish God’s Kingdom in unexpected and paradoxical ways. By his return, he will establish his complete sovereignty over the nations and subdue all his “enemies,” including “Death.” Until then, his disciples must proclaim his message to the “uttermost parts of the Earth.”

All men are invited to accept his offer of salvation while the door remains open. The day will come when it will be too late, and everyone who refused his gracious gift will find that his name is NOTwritten in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Globe Europe - Photo by Nejc Soklič on Unsplash
[Photo by Nejc Soklič on Unsplash]

Embracing his message requires a complete reorientation of life. The level of commitment required to be his disciple is absolute. Nothing is more important than responding to his call to believe the “
Good News,” take up the cross, and follow him “wherever he leads.”

Through his Death and Resurrection, Jesus defeated all the forces that were hostile to God, including Satan, Death, the “powers and principalities,” and sin. His Resurrection and the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost signaled the commencement of the “Last Days” during which the Son reigns from the “right hand of God” - (Psalm 2:2-8, 110:1).

His Death, Resurrection, and Ascension meant the arrival of the “ends of the ages.” The “forms of this age are in the process of passing away.” Sin and Death may continue for a while, but the decisive victory has been achieved on the Cross. The possession of the Gift of the Spirit by the Church is irrefutable evidence of this.

The defeat of Satan was secured on Calvary and confirmed when God raised Jesus from the Dead. The Son of God is putting down all the “powers and principalities” that oppose him and oppress his people. He will continue to do so until all that remains is the unopposed rule of God - (1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Hebrews 1:5-14, Revelation 1:4-6).

Jesus has summoned his Assembly to proclaim the “Gospel of the Kingdom to all nations” until his arrival “on the clouds of Heaven.” Since he now reigns, his followers must herald his Lordship throughout the Earth, providing every man and woman the opportunity to repent and receive salvation:

  • Go and teach all nations…to observe all things whatever I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you even unto the end of the age.

His disciples are his “witnesses,” his envoys commissioned to call all men to enter his Kingdom, and to preach “repentance and the remission of sins in his name among all the nations.”

Just before he ascended to Heaven, Jesus commanded HIS disciples to wait until “they received power after the Holy Spirit came upon them.” They would become his “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” - (Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 24:45-48, Acts 1:7-9, 3:19-21).

This mission will continue until the “end” when he appears. His followers preach his Gospel and prepare others for life in the coming age, teaching them how to become his disciples. Sin and Death may persist for now, but Death will not have the final word.

THE ASSIGNMENT


None of this means that his followers should disengage from the world. Far from it! But HIS disciples are called to engage humanity by preaching the Gospel and living cruciform lives. Without his salvation, the world would remain forever in darkness and without hope.

Before his death, Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. In response, the disciples asked when that would occur, and what would be the “sign” of the “Coming of the Son of Man.”

To the first question, he replied - Before the termination of the generation contemporary with him. To the second, he warned - No one EXCEPT GOD ALONE knows the hour, day, “season,” “seasons” or “times” of his return - (also, Mark 13:30-33, Acts 1:6-9).

The one factor that will determine “when” he will return is the completion of the Gospel mission by the Body of Christ:

  • This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole habitable earth for a testimony for all nations, and then shall the end come” - (Matthew 24:14, 24:36, Acts 1:6-8).

Clipper - Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash
[Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash]

Finishing this task is
THEsign” of the “end” since the end of this age cannot come until the completion of this mission. It is not optional but pivotal to the consummation of all things, the redemption of humanity, and the creation.

Based on his logic, the fact that the “end” has not arrived is indisputable evidence that the mission remains unfinished. He will not return until his message has reached the furthest corners of the Earth, “as a testimony.” Therefore, all who wait anxiously for his “arrival” must, above all else, preach the Gospel!



SEE ALSO:
  • Voice in the Wilderness - (The Kingdom of God arrived in the ministry of Jesus, commencing with his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist – Mark 1:1-3)
  • The Kingdom Herald - (After his baptism, the Spirit drove Jesus to the wilderness to be tested by the Devil. But he overcame and succeeded where Israel failed)