About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Full Circle

 

In Acts 1:8 Jesus predicted that His disciples would first be witnesses to Him in Jerusalem, then in Judea, and then Samaria.  Eventually the gospel these Israeli believers preached would reach to the ends of the earth.  Jesus made a similar prediction in Mathew 24:14 when He said, "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come". 

 

As an aside, note that it's the "gospel of the Kingdom of God" that is referred to in Matthew 24:14, not the "gospel of forgiveness of sins".  There's more to the gospel than forgiveness of sins.  Also note that the "gospel of the Kingdom" will be preached as a "testimony to all nations", not just to individuals.  The "gospel of the Kingdom of God" has just as much relevance to nations as it has to individuals.  

 

The gospel of the Kingdom of God was first preached in Jerusalem.  From there, it proceeded north to Judea and Samaria.  From there it spread in all directions, but mostly to the west.  Many believers took the gospel west across northern Africa.  Others, like the apostle Paul, spread the gospel north west to Rome and possibly Spain.

 

From Rome the gospel spread north into Europe.  European explorers sailed west to the new world where they spread the gospel to North, Central, and South America.  The gospel eventually spread farther west into the far east.  During the 20th century, especially since the rise of communism in the far east, millions of Chinese men and women gave their lives to Jesus under the threat of great persecution. 

 

Now, from the orient, the gospel message has headed even farther west into Iran and surrounding Islamic nations.  Countless numbers of Muslims are now miraculously turning to Jesus, and like their oriental counterparts, they are suffering great persecution.    

 

So where does the gospel head next?  It continues on its westward trek.  There's only one place left for it to go, and that's where its journey began.  The gospel will soon head west from Iran back to Israel.  The last great gospel movement will take place in Israel, and then the end will come, as Jesus predicted.  The 144,000 Israelis of Revelation 7 will preach the gospel of the Kingdom to a war torn and weary Israel.  Israelis were the first to preach this gospel and they will be the last to preach it.  This is what Paul spoke about when he said "all Israel will be saved". (Romans 11:26)  This is also the fulfillment of countless Old Testament prophecies that predict this great gospel revival in Israel. (example - Zechariah 13:8 and 9)

 

The gospel will have spread west from  Jerusalem, to the ends of the earth, and back to Jerusalem again.  It will have come "full circle".  Its journey is almost complete.  From Iran, the next and last stop on its journey is Israel.  When it lands in Israel , "the gospel of the Kingdom of God" will no longer be a "testimony to the nations" as stated in Matthew 24:14.  The Kingdom of God will come in reality and all nations will submit to it or else.  (Zechariah 14;16 read whole chapter) 

 

Keep your eyes on Israel.  The gospel will land in that nation like a squadron of jet fighter returning from battle.  The noise and commotion it makes with its arrival will be unmatched in human history.  The Lord Jesus Christ will suddenly appear before a repentant Israel and rule the entire earth from a place of authority on David's throne in Jerusalem. 

 

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