Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unitl the Whole World Hears

In case you missed it, the world did not end Saturday (but we'll get a second chance in October). While it would be easy to point fingers and mock those who sold everything, quit jobs, and otherwise lived as though they wouldn't be sitting next to you at church on Sunday, we need to remember that Jesus can return at any time, like a thief in the night.

With that in mind, I'll repeat a point that was buried in the text Friday: don't ask yourself what you would do if you knew you only had a short time to live, ask yourself what you would do if you knew in a short time you'd be standing before the Creator of the universe.

Another important point to consider regarding Jesus' return is that he promised he would not return until the whole world hears.

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14, emphasis added)

While this could be disputed (the whole known world was reached during the time of the Acts of the Apostles) the point is still important considering the Great Commission in Matthew 28 and an alternate version in Mark 16. (make disciples of "every nation" in the former and go into "all the world" in the latter) Those commands are still valid today.

Will Jesus come back in October? I don't know. He might come back tomorrow. But has the whole world heard the Gospel of Jesus? It is estimated that there are more than 11,000 "people groups" in the world (unique ethnicities, not necessarily nationalities) and six thousand are "unreached" (based on numbers from David Platt's Radical Together). Another way to look at it is the 10/40 window where nearly two-thirds of the world's population resides and includes the poorest regions of the world as well as the most unreached.

Either way you slice it, we have our work cut out for us if Jesus is to return in October. Maybe He was planning on coming Saturday and saw that we weren't finished yet. No, that doesn't work either, you're either ready or you're not.

So what are you doing to make sure the whole world hears?

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