Jesus now dispenses the gift of the Spirit to his people, and it empowers them to carry out gospel proclamation to all nations.
In the second Psalm, the Messiah is the Son of God and the ideal king anointed by Yahweh to reign over the nations, the one to whom the “kings of the earth” will pay homage. And in the gospel accounts, he is anointed by the Spirit at his baptism to equip him to proclaim the “kingdom of God” to all of Israel.
Continue reading SPIRIT AND MISSION
In the interim between Christ’s ascension and return, God has granted humanity the opportunity to repent.
In his second epistle, Peter explains the apparent “delay” in the return of Jesus from heaven. God is characterized by mercy and has no desire for anyone to perish. But the apostle even contends that the conduct of the church may “hasten” that day’s arrival. The relationship of men with God is dynamic, not static, and He responds eagerly to repentance.
Continue reading HASTENING THAT DAY
Jesus declared that the “end” will not come until this gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed to all nations.
When the future return of Jesus is discussed, the question naturally arises – What “signs” will precede it? Will its proximity be marked by wars, earthquakes, and other catastrophes? Fortunately, Jesus provided a definitive answer to this question – The completion of the church’s mission to testify to the whole earth.
Continue reading WITNESS TO ALL NATIONS
Christians wage spiritual “warfare” through right conduct and by emulating the example of Jesus.
Today, “spiritual warfare” is a popular topic and features prominently in popular preaching. The basic idea is derived from a passage Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus – “Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers… against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
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The mission of the church between now and the return of Jesus is to announce the Good News of his Kingdom to all men.
Jesus tasked his church with announcing his gospel to all nations. The New Testament summarizes his message as the “good news of the Kingdom of God.” In him, God’s rule over the earth is being established, though often in unexpected and paradoxical ways. By the time Christ returns, he will have established total sovereignty over the nations and subjugated all His “enemies,” especially the “last enemy,” death.
Continue reading MISSION OF THE CHURCH
Jesus declared, definitively, that the “end” will not come until “this gospel of the kingdom of God is proclaimed to all nations.”
When we discuss the future coming of Jesus, quite naturally we ask what “signs” will precede it. Wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, and the like? Spectacular cosmic events in the heavens? The rise of unprecedented evil and chaos? Fortunately, Jesus provided us with a most definitive answer – The completion of the church’s mission.
Continue reading SIGN OF THE END