Olivet Discourse (Six)

It is written:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

Jesus taught that the signs of Matthew 24:3-34 would be fulfilled in the lifetime of those people then living (Matthew 24:34).

Yet was the Gospel preached in all the world before 70 A.D.?


Paul wrote:

Romans 10:18-But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “THEIR SOUND HAS GONE OUT TO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.”

Romans 16:25-26-Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26  but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—

Colossians 1:6-which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;

Colossians 1:23-if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

The word “world” used in Matthew 24:14 had primary reference to the Roman Empire, and the notations included in such. This is made clear from other passages in the New Testament:

Luke 2:1-3-And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2  This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3  So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Acts 11:28-Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.

However, even if the reference in Matthew 24:14 had reference to all the nations-even those outside the scope of the Roman Empire-the same truth applies. The writings of the church fathers are in agreement that the Gospel was preached all through the world by the end of the first century A.D., and archaeology confirms this as well. (For one example, consider the fascinating book Finding God In Ancient China by Thong, Chain Kei).

The Gospel was preached in all the world before the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., just as Jesus prophesied.

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