By Ken Blue
Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
We often hear well-meaning Christians say, “We have to get the gospel to all the world, so Christ will come for His church.” Or, you may hear another say, “When we get the last person saved to complete the church, Christ will return.” This is often done to motivate church members to soul-winning.
There are at least two major problems with these concepts. First, the gospel spoken of in the context of Matthew is the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it never got out of Palestine as an act of obedience to the commission. The few who did take it did so because of persecution, and they went to Jew only. This gospel of the Kingdom is the same gospel preached in the four gospels and early Acts, and will be preached again after the rapture of the church.
The second problem suggests that there are a predestined number of believers who must be saved before Christ returns for His church. That idea is false. The Lord is not waiting on His church to make it possible for Him to return. The gospel of grace, which we preach, has already gone to every country on earth. However, the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven must be preached to every creature.
Matthew is not about the church of this dispensation. And chapter 24 clearly describes events surrounding the return of Christ at the Second Advent. Verse 14b says, “and then shall the end come.” The “end” is not the end of the world, but rather, the end of this present age. There are five ages, and we are in the third one. An age is not a dispensation. The age spoken of here reaches from Noah’s flood to the end of Armageddon. The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to “every creature” before it ends, even if God must uses an angel to preach it. (Rev. 14:6)
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.