That’s where Jesus told his disciples to take the gospel to: “the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) We sometimes hear that verse misquoted as “…the uttermost parts of the earth,” but it was to the very remotest, uttermost PART that the good news, having begun in Jerusalem, then in all Judea, then Samaria, was to be delivered by people whom Jesus labeled as witnesses who would be filled with the Holy Ghost.
That assignment has not been completed as of yet. If any reader is in the Orlando area and has not visited the Wycliff Bible Translators world headquarters there, it would be a fascinating half-day for you to invest and would cost you very little but your time (which, in Orlando, FL, is a rare place to find, i.e. some place to visit that does not cost quite a good sum of money!) You will be amazed as your guide demonstrates to you the thousands of tongues and the myriads of places where there has never been a readable translation of scriptures produced in the native tongue of the local people.
We know that Jesus also instructed His disciples before He made His final journey to Jerusalem that the end of the age would not come before the gospel would be preached “in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt. 24:14).
In His “Great Commission” to the disciples just before He ascended back to Heaven, Jesus instructed them to teach (disciple) all nations (Matt. 28:19).
The task seems almost impossible; in two millennia we have still not reached nearly two thousand people groups with a clear presentation of God’s plan of salvation! What to do?
Well, as our Lord said, we should occupy until He comes. He is coming back as He promised He would, for His church, the body of Christ. That coming is imminent (I Thess. 4:13-18) and it will precede His second coming, what the Old Testament prophets and also the Apostles referred to as the “Day of the Lord,” or the “Day of Christ.” (I Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 2:2)
It is before the second coming, the subject of Matt. 24 & 25, that the gospel will have been preached in all the world. That will not happen before Christ’s return for His church, commonly called the rapture of the church, the blessed hope of every believer (Tit. 2:13).
That does not diminish our responsibility to fulfill our Lord’s Great Commission to disciple all nations. The field Jesus said is the world. We are to lift up our eyes and behold fields that are white unto harvest (John 4:35) So, keep your eyes open and up, your heart tender, your hands ready and engage in the most rewarding employment at the most exciting and opportune time in the history of the church and where ever your Jerusalem is, get ready, get set and go!
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
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