The End of Time

Series: Preacher: Date: May 5, 2013 Scripture Reference: Revelation 1-5; 19-22

1 – The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show His servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John,

2 – who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

3 – Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

4 – John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne,

5 – and from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood,

6 – and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

7 – “Look, He is coming with the clouds, “and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him;” and all peoples on earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.”

8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty.”

In his book, When Christ Comes, Lucado tells of a time when, as a little boy, he sang in the Odessa Boys Choir. In the second year of his membership in this group the choir was enlisted by a local junior college drama department to play the part of the Munchkins in their production of The Wizard of Oz. And that makes sense—little kids would be perfect to play the part of those little people. Lucado says his task was to assume the role of a munchkin member of the “Lullaby Guild” and he took his role very seriously.

Now, at this point in his life Lucado had never heard of The Wizard of Oznor had he seen it on TV because, like most Christian families back then,  he was always at church on Sunday nights when the movie was typically broadcast. And since they rehearsed apart from the rest of the cast (until the night of the dress rehearsal) he thought the Odessa Boys Choir WAS the cast and that the parts they rehearsed was the ENTIRE story. He assumed the play ended with him and three other Munchkins stepping forward to sing, “On behalf of the Lullaby Guild, we wish to welcome you to Munchkin Land.” So, imagine how he felt when they were finally on stage with the rest of the cast for the dress rehearsal and, after he sang his little solo, instead of applause and curtain calls, there came a puff of smoke and the cackle of a wicked witch running from stage right to stage left, cape flying and waving her wand menacingly! Lucado said he didn’t have to ACT afraid! He was literally terrified! Of course he wouldn’t have been if he had read the entire script.

I mention this because we can make the same mistake when it comes to the way we look at some of the Bible’s teachings about the end of this fallen world of ours. Let me put it this way: If we aren’t acquainted with the whole story—particularly the end of the “script” — we can grow fearful during the “play of life.” Terms we read about this week in our last chapter of THE STORY — terms like “Armageddon” and “Lake of Fire” and “scarlet beast” ARE scary. Watching the news at night and hearing reports of the latest war breaking out or of the amazing increase of earthquakes and devastating freak storms never seen before…all this can cause us a great deal of anxiety. By the way, news reports like these match perfectly with Jesus’ description of the end times in Matthew 24:21 when He said, “…there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.”  Well, things like this can cause us a great deal of fear. And certainly those who do NOT know God have reason to be anxious. But Christians have no need to be afraid, because if they read the end of the story which God has lovingly included in Scripture, they will know that the “last act” says that the world will end—with people—believers—living forever with God in a paradise—the paradise of a NEW Heaven and a NEW Earth, while Satan and his demons end up in a lake of fire along with the beast—or the Anti-Christ—to be punished day and night forever.  (Revelation 20:10 )

I mean, God hasn’t kept the ending of His STORY a secret. No—He wants His children to see the big picture. He wants us to know what is going to happen. And most importantly He wants us to know that He wins in the end. He wants us to know that the evil we witness on the stage of life is not as mighty as we might think. This is why Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation…but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ) And note Jesus did Not say, “Will overcome.” He said, “HAVE overcome!” I mean, our Lord spoke of an accomplished deed. The battle is over. The manuscript has been published. The book has been bound!  Things may get a little rough as we approach the end times but even satan knows how things turn out. Revelation 12:2 says, “He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

So we CAN be at peace when we read about the end of time, including that terribly glorious day when Jesus will return. There is nothing for Christians to fear when it comes to the end but even though we can be at peace about the end of things, we still have questions about this part of God’s story and that’s what I want to deal with this morning. Before we get to those questions though, let me give you THE SETTING of this, the last book in God’s book, a book called REVELATION. And, it has that title because it REVEALS how life on earth as we know it will end but as Frazee points out, “…it could just as easily have been called, ‘THE NEW BEGINNING,’ because it is all about what life in God’s perfect community will be like. This book may mark the end of the Bible, but it’s really the beginning of a brand new adventure.”

The man God used to write this revealing book is John—the same John He used to give us the Gospel of John and the letters or epistles of John: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. John was one of Jesus original 12 disciples. He called himself, “the disciple Jesus loved.” At the Lord’s Supper the night of Jesus’ arrest, John sat next to Jesus and he is the one who was so excited about the empty tomb that he outran Peter and was the first to arrive. But when John wrote the book of Revelation, his running days were over because by this time he was very old. He spent his golden years in exile for his faith on the island of Patmos. I think the Romans thought if they put this old missionary on this island he wouldn’t be able to share any more unsettling news about Jesus. They thought exile would silence John. But they were VERY wrong…because it was on this island that our Lord visited John and told him how His story would end…including a picture of what the Kingdom of God will be like throughout eternity. Jesus had John write down what he saw. And God has used this last book in the Bible to give hope to believers around the world, first in John’s day…and then down through the ages. The book of Revelation has kept Christ-followers going in very difficult times…because it reminds us of what we have to look forward to…a perfect place to enjoy with fellow believers…a place where God Himself will be with us. Frazee writes, “If this sounds a little familiar, it is by design…for when we read this final part of THE STORY, we find ourselves right back where we started. Genesis 1 and 2 are remarkably similar to Revelation 21 and 22…”

One thing way that Revelation has kept believers going is by telling us that our home of the future—the new home we are getting closer to every minute—will be a place of unimaginable beauty—but the most wonderful things about it will be what I call the “NO-MORES” — the things we have here in our present, fallen home, that we won’t have any more in the new one. For example, there will be no more tears. Revelation tells us that God Himself will dry our eyes when we arrive at our new home and from that point on there will be no need for tear ducts because there will be nothing to cause us to weep anymore. For example, there will be NO MORE death. We will have new bodies that never wear out. This means there will be NO MORE separation like those that begin at every funeral here in this world. Plus we will be reunited with loved ones who have died, no more separation. But that’s not all. In Heaven, there will be NO MORE arguments or anger, NO MORE depression or anxiety. We will finally experience REAL peace! But that’s not all! There will be NO MORE tumors or treatments, NO MORE blind eyes or deaf ears, NO MORE Alzheimer’s or AIDS or Multiple Sclerosis or Muscular Dystrophy or Parkinson’s. There will be NO MORE Downe Syndrome, NO MORE ALS, NO MORE atrophied muscles or amputated limbs. In short there will be NO MORE DISEASE! But that’s not all! There will be NO MORE sinful desires because we will finally be like Jesus. We will be freed from temptation in all its forms. Quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada writes, “I can’t wait to be clothed in righteousness, without a trace of sin. True, it will be wonderful to stand, stretch, and reach to the sky, but it will be more wonderful to offer praise that is pure. I won’t be crippled by distractions, disabled by insincerity. I won’t be handicapped by a ho-hum half-heartedness. My heart will join with yours and bubble over with effervescent adoration. We will finally be able to fellowship FULLY with the Father and the SON.  For me, this will be the best part of Heaven.” But that’s not all. There will be NO MORE pink slips from the boss, NO MORE tearstained divorce papers. SORROW in any form will only be a distant memory. But best of all, there will be NO MORE straining to hear God’s still, small voice because as Joni inferred, He will be WITH US, face-to-face, just as He was with Adam and Eve. In fact, there will be NO MORE night—because God Himself will be all the light we need!  In short, we will finally be HOME—the HOME mankind lost when Adam and Eve sinned—the home we have all been HOME-SICK for all our lives.

By the way if you were looking for a good place to say “AMEN,” you just missed it!

Now, as I’m sure you were reminded of in your reading this past week, the book of Revelation can be a little intimidating because it is so full of symbolism. In fact, there are different ways that people interpret all these symbols and how they line up. We call these “millennial” views because the book of Revelation mentions a stretch of a thousand years—and without going into things too deeply I’ll say that there are three dominant, basic views on how the end of time is going to unfold. I embrace the “pre-millennial” view but regardless of which view you have—or don’t have—I agree with the way Aaron Brockett summarizes the bottom line of the Book of Revelation. He says, “When the apocalyptic dust settles, make certain you are standing with Jesus.”  That’s the most important thing! I mean we won’t get to Heaven on the basis of whether or not we figured out which millennial view is correct. No, we get in based on our faith in Jesus.

So, this morning, rather than sorting out these various millennial views, I want us to look at the event that is the FOCUS of this last book of the Bible—the return of Jesus. And the book of Revelation is not the only book that talks about Jesus’ 2nd coming.  It’s all over the New Testament. Just as the Old Testament abounds with prophecies of Jesus’ FIRST coming, so does the New Testament overflow with promises of His return. There are over 300 of them! As I inferred a moment ago, we all have questions about this part of God’s story so this morning I want to deal with three of them. Here’s the first.

(1)   When will it happen? When will Jesus come back?

This first question is an old one. In fact Jesus’ first disciples asked it before His ascension. And, even though when they did Jesus pointedly told them the date or timing of His return was basically none of their business (Acts 1:7 ) for two thousand years many of His other disciples have repeatedly put aside serving Christ and sharing the good news of His love with a lost world so that they could take the time to attempt to answer this question by calculating the day and the time that Jesus would return.

I remember my Dad once told me of a group of people in a Los Angeles suburb who gathered on a roof-top early one chilly morning in the 1960’s. The wind whipped the white-bed sheets in which they were robed and a newspaper photographer turned his camera toward the sky. You see, they were there to greet the Lord when He came down from Heaven because, according to their leader’s schedule, this was when the great event was to occur. Needless to say, after they waited until some of their group almost caught pneumonia and still there was no trumpet-call from on high, they began to slip away to their homes. This all began when a self-styled prophet multiplied his own age by the number of his children, threw in the number 666 from Revelation, divided that number by the number of puppies in a litter their dog had, and came up with a date on which He said the Lord would certainly return. The amazing thing is that, instead of getting this guy some help some people actually believed him. And, however sincere these people may have been, they were flying in the face of Scripture. As I said, Jesus plainly told us that it is not for us to know the “times or seasons.” In fact, according to Matthew 24:36, Jesus Himself said that He did not know the day or hour of His second coming.  Yet in spite of this some people like this crowd from L. A. have persisted in trying to know MORE than Jesus.

The founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses set the date of Jesus’ return three times and today that group claim Jesus has returned but invisibly so no one is able to see Him.  In the year 999A.D. many thought the dawn of the new millennium would be the beginning of the end of time.  In 1999 many others were wrongfully proclaiming that the world would end when 2000 rolled around if Y2K didn’t get us first. And of course many thought the Mayans were right in saying the world would end last year but all we had was a movie full of great special effects.

Perhaps THE REASON so many are preoccupied with the exact date that this promise will be fulfilled is that, like little children, people have a tough time waiting for GOOD things.  When my kids were small, one of the first questions they would ask me when we loaded up and headed off for a fun visit with their grandparents in Dover was “How much farther is it?”  And, it can be hard to answer that question when you are dealing with someone who doesn’t understand concepts like time and distance. I might have said to Daniel or Sarah or Becca, “Well it is 115 miles from here to Dover, Delaware,” but miles mean nothing to a child. If I did they would have asked, “Well, what’s 115 miles? How far is that?” And, at this point I could go technical and say, “Well a mile is 5280 feet so 115 miles equals 607,200 feet,” But four words into that sentence and they would simply say again, “How much farther?” This is because the mind of a child is blissfully free of things like mile markers. They don’t understand things like that. Well at this point I could get creative and speak in terms they DO understand and say something like: “The trip to Grandmom’s will take as long as it takes for you to watch Cinderella two times.”

And for a few minutes that would work but sooner or later they ask again and sooner or later all parents eventually say, “JUST TRUST ME. You enjoy the trip and don’t worry about the details—like how long it takes. I’ll make sure we get there okay.”  And we mean it. We don’t want our kids to sweat the details. Well, this is just what Jesus has done for us. Just prior to His crucifixion, He told His disciples that He would be leaving them. In John 13:36 He said, “Where I am going you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter spoke up and asked, “Lord why can’t I follow You now?” And then in a reply that reflects the tenderness of a parent to a child Jesus said, “Don’t’ let your hearts be troubled. TRUST….trust in God and trust in Me…..I will come back and take you to be with Me so that you may be where I am going.”

In other words Jesus was saying, “You do the trusting and I’ll do the taking.” And that is exactly what God wants us to do. You see our minds are not equipped to handle concepts like eternity. We’re not “old enough or wise enough” to understand a world with no boundaries of space and time. So God asks us to trust Him for that. When it comes to Jesus’ return, He wants us to leave the timing to Him.

But—this does not mean that God wants us to forget about His return—you know, put it totally out of our minds. He just wants us to look forward to this great day and trust Him for the timing. Lucado writes, “Issues like the millennium and the Antichrist are intended to challenge and stretch us, but not to overwhelm [us with anxiety] and certainly not to divide us. For the Christian, the return of Christ is not a riddle to be solved or a code to be broken but rather a day to be anticipated.” So, the end of time is not something for us to fear. It’s something for us to eagerly anticipate. I’m reminded of an incident in the life of Bud Wood, the founder of what has become one of the finest homes for mentally challenged children and adults. It’s called Shepherd’s Home and it’s in Union Grove, Wisconsin. In that facility, they care for and minister to many children with Down Syndrome. The staff at Shepherd’s Home makes a concentrated effort to present the gospel to the children. As a result many have come to faith in Jesus. They have learned how deeply Jesus loves them and that He wants to make them whole and be with them forever.  They have learned that He has prepared a place for them in His home in Heaven and could return from the sky at any moment to take them there.  On a tour of the home with a friend, Bud Wood happened to remark that one of the greatest daily maintenance problems the staff faces is smudged windows.  “Smudged windows?” his friend asked. “Why is that?”  Bud smiled and said, “You can walk through Shepherd’s Home any time of day, and you will see some of these children standing with their hands, noses, and faces pressed to the glass.” Looking over at his perplexed friend, Bud added, “They’re watching for Jesus. They keep checking to see if Christ is coming back yet to take them to Heaven.” Well, I can identify with the hearts and minds of my brothers and sisters who live at Shepherd’s Rest. The older I get the more I too long for that day!  Let me put it this way: When I was little I smudged the windows of my parent’s home looking for Santa and his sleigh. These days I smudge it to see Jesus returning. I know, that as Jesus told His first followers, it’s not for me to know the day He’s coming back. But if I did know it, I’d mark it on my calendar and eagerly count the days until He comes again!

Here’s a second question many have about the return of Jesus.

(2)   What will it be like?

Well, it will be a VISIBLE return that everyone will see. Jesus’ first coming was seen by only a handful but His return will be seen by all!

Another thing we need to know is that the Bible teaches Jesus’ return will happen on a NORMAL day. People will drink coffee, endure traffic jams on I-270. People will laugh at jokes and take note of the weather. Thousands of people will be born on that day and thousands will die, just like any other day. Here’s THE MESSAGE paraphrase of Jesus’ words from Matthew 24:37-39: “The arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.” In other words, the day Jesus returns will be a normal day—so His Glorious Appearing will be unanticipated. I can’t help but think of the tourists on Thailand’s coast on the morning of December 26, 2004. They were applying suntan oil and throwing beach balls…unaware that a gigantic tsunami was moving toward them with amazing speed. The Bible teaches that Jesus’ return will be just as unexpected. 1st Corinthians 15:52-3 says, “It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. Our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.” (NLT)

The Greek word translated, “moment” is “atmos,” from which we get our word “atom.”  It’s an indivisible moment of time, not the batting of an eye, but the time it takes for light to flash—or TWINKLE—across the eye. That’s how quick it will happen. Jesus will return on a normal day and in a moment everything will be changed, including us!

I don’t know about your body—but mine is wearing out. I try to take care of it—but every morning when I look in the mirror I can see it is definitely a “perishable” body. Well, when that trumpet sounds bodies like mine will be changed INSTANTLY to become “imperishable.” As I said earlier, when I listed the “no mores,” our new bodies will never contract a disease, never suffer injury, never sin, never experience sorrow, never wear down or die. When Christ comes back finally, “…death will have been swallowed up in victory!” (1 Corinthians 15:54)

Now, instant transformation can be very appealing.  We all want our bodies to at least “look” less perishable quickly—which is why there are ads all over the place about ways to instantly get rid of a double chin or crow’s feet or age spots.  Perhaps you’ve heard the joke about the farmer who visited the big city for the first time in his life and, he brought his wife and son along with him. They drove their pick-up into the heart of the city, and they had never seen anything like it. They parked in front of one of the huge buildings and the farmer said to his son, “Come in with me. We’re gonna go get us a city newspaper.” They went inside and were mesmerized by everything. But what really caught their attention was this odd set of shiny doors. It was more like two shiny WALLS. They were staring at them and suddenly they opened up. There was an elderly lady that was standing there with a cane, and she walked inside of this newly formed room. Then all of a sudden, the two shiny doors closed again. The farmer and his son had never seen anything like it in their life. They watched as dials next to the shiny kept lighting up and numbers kept flashing. They didn’t know what to make of it.  Then, about thirty seconds after the older lady went in, all of a sudden, the two shiny walls opened and a beautiful, twenty-four-year-old brunette walked out. The father said, “Boy, go get your mama.”  Of course I am not endorsing this man’s obvious conditional love—but you get my point. We all are attracted to the thought of transformation. Well, when the final trumpet sounds our transformation will be a lot quicker than an elevator.  And, I don’t know if you will look like you did when you were twenty-one. I don’t know if God will eternally have you keep yourself at the prime of your life—you know, at what everyone knows is the perfect age: 58 years and nine months.  I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see. Jesus has promised that when  He returns we will instantly have a glorified body, and that’s something that we look forward to But the day of Jesus’ return won’t be something for EVERYONE to look forward to because another answer to the question of what will this day be like is this.

It will be a day of judgment. On that day God will gather ALL people before Him. Lucado writes, “On that great day, angels will escort you to the skies, where you’ll meet God. As Mark 13:27 says, ‘He’ll dispatch the angels; they will pull in the chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.’ Whether you are in Peoria or in Paradise, if you’re a follower of Jesus, you can count on an angelic chaperone into the greatest gathering in history. We assume the demons will gather the rebellious…but we aren’t told. We ARE told however that the saved and lost alike will witness the assembly. Matthew 25:32 says, ‘All the nations will be gathered before Him.’”

You know, the Population Reference Bureau estimates that 106 billion people have been born since the dawn of the human race. Well, every single one of them will stand in the great assembly of souls. He Who made us will CONVENE us and the purpose of this gathering is for God to JUDGE us. I know people these days think that’s an old-fashioned, outdated belief—something that went out with annual fire and brimstone revivals but when Jesus comes back God’s judgment is coming with Him. 2nd Peter 3:3-7 says, “Scoffers will come in the last days, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is the coming He promised? Ever since our fathers died everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s Word the heavens existed and the earth was formed. By the same Word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”

As we read earlier, Jesus compared the coming judgment with the flood in the time of Noah and Lucado lists the parallels Jesus was referring to with this comparison.

  • People didn’t listen in Noah’s day. Some refuse to listen in our day.
  • Noah was sent to save the faithful. Christ will do the same.
  • Noah built a safe place out of wood. Jesus made a safe place with the wood of the cross.
  • Those who believed hid in the ark. Those who believe are hidden in Christ.
  • A message of judgment was proclaimed when the flood came. It will be the same when Christ returns.

I like that comparison—and it should remind us that when Christ comes judgment is indeed coming for EVERYONE. Matthew 25:32 says, “All the nations will be gathered before Him.” In 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul writes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body whether good or bad.”  Ecclesiastes 12:14 says, “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Matthew 12:36 “On the day of judgment, men will render account for every careless word they utter.”  Romans 14:10, 12 says, “For we will ALL stand before God’s judgment seat.”

But, as Christians we need not fear this coming day of judgment. As Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  When our sins are brought to light on Judgment Day they will be revealed as FORGIVEN sins. Our transgressions will be announced as PARDONED transgressions.

This week I read the story of a couple who resorted to do-it-yourself marriage counseling. They decided to make a list of each other’s faults and then read them aloud. She made hers and he made his. The wife gave her list of complaints to her husband and he read them aloud. “You snore, you eat in bed, you get home too late and up too early.” After finishing the husband gave her his list. But when she looked at the paper, she began to smile. You see, he too, had written his grievances, but next to each one he had written, “I forgive this.” The result was a husband’s tabulated list of grace.

Well, if you are a Christian, then like me, you’ll receive a list similar to that on judgment day. The instant we stand before God and see the list of our sins we’ll feel God’s grace more genuinely than ever before. It might sound like this:

  • Disrespect of parents at age 13 – PARDONED
  • Shaded the truth at 15 – PARDONED
  • Divorced at 25 – PARDONED
  • Gossiped at age 28 – PARDONED
  • Lusted at 30 – PARDONED
  • Gave into fear instead of trusting God at 32 – PARDONED
  • Disregarded the leading of the Spirit at 40 – PARDONED
  • Disobeyed God’s Word at 55 – PARDONED

In the presence of our Holy God, as forgiven sinners, whose sins where covered by the blood of the Lamb, for the first time we will each understand the depth of God’s love and forgiveness. We will stand in awe as our sins are proclaimed then pardoned. As Lucado puts it, “The devil will shrink back in defeat. The angels will step forward in awe, and we saints will stand tall in God’s grace.”

One more quick question….

(3)   What are we supposed to do until Jesus returns?

We are to use this time to tell people God’s Story, the Story we’ve been reading these past nine months. We are to use every chance we get to tell more and more people about Jesus and His love. You see, God want’s all people to have the opportunity to hear the Gospel and respond. As 1 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise [to return], as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  God loves all people so He’s commissioned Christians like you and me to spend our time telling all people all about what Jesus did for them on the cross—giving them an opportunity to accept the forgiveness of sin that Jesus alone makes possible. As Jesus Himself said, “This Gospel of the Kingdom must be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations—then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) And, it may shock you but even in this day and age when the world seems to have shrunk thanks to 24-hour news networks and cell-phones and satellites, there are still people who haven’t heard. Even today there are people who don’t know Jesus and why He came. They don’t know God’s Story. Here are some statistics that show you how much work we have to do:

  • As of April 2012, there were approximately 7 billion people on Earth.
  • Approximately 750 million (or about 11 percent) of those are willing to claim Jesus as personal Lord and Savior.
  • About 2.6 billion people (or 38 percent of the world’s population) have heard the gospel but have not accepted Christ yet.
  • At present, just over 50 percent of the world’s population (or 3.5 billion people) have not heard the gospel and most of them do not have a realistic opportunity to hear the gospel.

Here’s another way to look at the challenge of world evangelism: Of the 11,646 distinct people groups on the planet, 6,734 people groups (roughly 60 percent) contain between zero and two percent evangelical Christians. Many of these 6,734 people groups have no churches, no Bibles, no Christian literature, and no mission agencies who are seeking to share the gospel with them.

Here’s something else to consider.  We don’t know WHEN Jesus will come back—but the day of His return has already been set and that means we have a limited amount of years—or even days—–to fulfill this Great Commission. I mean, as I said, Jesus made it CLEAR that the DATE of His return is none of our business but we do know this. There is less time to share the Gospel today than there has ever been before—and I say that to remind us all that there should be a sense of urgency in our evangelistic endeavors. We have a critical task to complete and the clock is ticking. As Jesus said in John 9, “We must work while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.” This is why as Paul said in his final words, we should share our faith “in season and out of season.” Evangelism must be a priority in the life of every Christian! Is it a priority in yours?


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