Gospel Preached in the Whole World - then The End will Come

Almost every Christian knows about the Great Commission. Jesus gave the Great Commission to the Church as their marching orders until His return.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20).

Jesus commanded us to proclaim the gospel to all peoples, making disciples and teaching them to obey everything He commanded. 

However, some erroneously teach that we ourselves must complete the Great Commission before Christ can return. Here is the verse they quote.

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).

The prophecy states that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached and then the end will come.  Therefore, Christ cannot return until this message has been proclaimed in the whole world.  However, this verse does not say who or how the gospel will be proclaimed to all nations.  We might imagine that it would be the Church. Who else could proclaim the gospel to all nations?

The answer to this prophecy by Christ, is found in the Revelation 14:6-7.  

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water (Revelation 14:6-7).

If this is what Jesus was referring to, then we should expect to see the end following this proclamation.  Sure enough, that's what we do find, in verses 15-16.

Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, "Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested (Revelation 14:15-16).

So, the gospel will be proclaimed by an angel to the whole world and then the earth is harvested.  We also know that the harvest is at the end of the age when Christ returns.

The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels (Matthew 13:38-39).

God doesn't have to wait for the Church to complete the Great Commission.  Jesus will return at the appointed time, whether the church is ready or not.

Richard H Perry