Mission of the Church

The mission of the church between now and the return of Jesus is to announce the Good News of his Kingdom to all nations – Matthew 24:14

Europe Map - by Calvin Hanson on Unsplash
In the New Testament, the message proclaimed by Jesus is summarized as the “
good news of the Kingdom of God.” In him, God’s final rule over all creation is being established, although in unexpected and paradoxical ways. By the time he arrives in glory, he will establish the total sovereignty of his Father over the Cosmos and overthrow all His enemies, including Death - [Photo by Calvin Hanson on Unsplash].

All men are summoned to respond decisively to this offer of life while the opportunity to do so remains – The day is approaching when it will be too late to respond to the gospel. And embracing the gospel requires a complete reorientation of one’s life - Nothing is more vital than how one responds to the call to believe the “good news.”

In his Death and Resurrection, Jesus defeated all forces that were hostile to God, including Satan, death, and sin. His resurrection and the outpouring of the Spirit signaled the commencement of the “last days,” and the reign of the Son at the “right hand of God,” just as Yahweh promised in the Hebrew Bible - (Psalm 2:2-8, 110:1).

His victory means that the “ends of the ages have arrived” upon his disciples. Even now, the “forms of this age are in process of passing away.” Sin and death may continue for a time, but the decisive victory has already been achieved on Golgotha; already, the Messiah, Jesus, reigns on the “throne of David” at the right hand of God - (1 Corinthians 7:29-31, 2 Corinthians 5:16-18).
Satan’s defeat was achieved in the past Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Since then, the Son of God has been putting down all powers and regimes opposed to his rule, until all that will remain is the unopposed reign of the Almighty throughout the Cosmos - (1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Hebrews 1:5-14, Revelation 1:4-6).

Consequently, ever since, the Church has been tasked with proclaiming the “gospel of the Kingdom to all nations,” from his resurrection until his “arrival” at the end of the age. Since the messianic king now reigns, it is imperative that his followers herald his victory and rule throughout the earth - “Go and teach all nations…to observe all things whatever I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you even unto the end of the age.

Believers are his “witnesses,” the envoys of Jesus sent to summon all men to enter his kingdom, to preach “repentance and remission of sins in his name among all nations.” At his ascension, he commanded the disciples to tarry until “they received power after the Holy Spirit came upon them,” then they would become his “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth”; to men and women from every nation - (Matthew 28:18-20Luke 24:45-48, Acts 1:7-9, 3:19-21).

That mission must continue until the “end,” to the very day and hour when he appears “on the clouds of heaven.” Nowhere did Jesus order his disciples to engage in the social, economic, or political reformation of the institutions of the existing world order. Instead, he tasked them with preparing a people for everlasting life in the “age to come.” The present order has been judged already on Calvary, and even now, it is in the process of “passing away.” To spend time and effort on reforming the things already judged and destined to disappear is pointless. “Why work for the meat that perishes?”

When Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple, the disciples asked when it would occur, and what would be the “sign” of the “coming of the Son of Man.” To the first question, he responded - Before the termination of the generation that was contemporary with him. To the second, he warned - No one EXCEPT GOD ALONE knows the hour, day, “season,” “seasons” or “times” of his return. But there is one factor on the earth that will determine “when” he will appear:
  •  “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole habitable earth for a testimony for all nations; and then shall the end come” - (Matthew 24:14, 24:36, Acts 1:6-8).
The completion of that mission is THE “sign” of the “end,” for the end of this age cannot come until the task of gospel proclamation is completed.

The very fact that the “end” has not arrived is irrefutable evidence that the church’s mission remains unfinished, and therefore, all who wait anxiously for his “arrival” must, above all else, preach the Gospel - (2 Timothy 4:8).

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