Matthew 24:14 "Why we Proclaim" (Proclamation - Week 4)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. ESV
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. NIV
Have you ever wanted to know your purpose in life? It’s one of those big existential questions that most people end up asking. At some point or another, people want to know: what is my purpose, why was I created, and what is the meaning of life? The Story of Redemption helps answer those questions.
The Story of Redemption is both beautiful and potent. It’s beautiful because in it, we see that God is a loving Creator who desires our good. It’s potent because it shows that He desires our worship. That’s the reason for which you and I were created. In the beginning, God created mankind and breathed life into him. God made you in His image and gives you purpose in the world. In other words, the meaning of your life is not arbitrary — it’s a beautiful gift from God.
Mankind was created to worship.
The purpose for which you and I were created is this: To worship God and live with God forever. When God first created the world, mankind was to do this by tending the garden and multiplying fruitfully. Adam and Eve were meant to live within rhythms of rest and work. Both rest and work were to be done with God and for God as an act of worship.
But rather than living a life of worship to God through rhythms of rest and work, mankind chose to rebel. The result is that the world has been marked and broken by sin. The good news of the Gospel, however, is that through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, you and I can be brought back into a relationship with our Creator. From the very beginning of mankind’s rebellion, God has been on a mission to restore all things to Himself. His desire is to bring people back into relationship with Him. All of that is for one purpose: That people from every tribe, tongue, language, and nation would worship Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That is the reason for which you and I were created. And in Matthew 24:14 Jesus makes a promise that “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Why does proclamation exist?
In other words, the gospel we proclaim is intended for the whole world. God’s desire is that all people would worship Him. Pastor John Piper has said it this way, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” The reason we proclaim the gospel is that there are people across the street, across the country, and across the world who do not yet worship Jesus. In Matthew 24:14, Jesus promises that one day the Gospel will reach the entire world. That’s why Jesus, when He calls you out of darkness, always sends you back out into the darkness to proclaim the gospel to those who haven’t heard. Over the years, people have had different thoughts about Jesus’ promise in Matthew 24:14. And there are basically two main ways you can think of these verses and gospel proclamation.
1. Jesus needs me.
One attitude you could have about Jesus’ promise is that Jesus needs you to complete His mission. If this is your attitude, you might think something like this: There are people out there who do not yet know Jesus, and we need to take Jesus to the places where He is not. You might think, “It’s up to us to complete the Great Commission. If we don't go, Jesus will never come back.” And though we are told to go, this is the wrong attitude to have when it comes to gospel proclamation.
2. Join what Jesus is already doing.
Another attitude you could have is the attitude of partnering with Jesus in the work He is already doing. Understand. We do not take Jesus with us anywhere — He is already present in every square inch of the universe. I love the well-known quote by Abraham Kuyper. He writes, “There is not a square inch in the whole of creation over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” In other words, when you take the gospel to your neighbor, Jesus is already there. When we share the gospel in Europe, the Middle East, or China, Jesus is already there. Jesus is ruling and reigning over every square inch of the globe. He is already there.
The implication is this: We have the privilege of joining with Jesus in the gospel proclamation that he is already doing. We don't take Jesus anywhere — He’s already there. We simply meet Him and join in on the work He’s already doing.
If that’s true, then why should we share at all? The answer is simple. We proclaim the gospel to the nations because the gospel is a global message. God created every person in his image, and he desires that all people would come to a saving knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). God is a global God, and the Gospel is a global message. It cuts through cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and economic statuses. Salvation is freely offered to anyone who would believe. So, why proclaim the Gospel to all nations? Because we’ve been invited to take the Gospel and proclaim it to all nations until Jesus returns.
Even so come, Jesus.