About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Last Great Gospel Witness
might find the following debatable, so consider what I say and the Lord
give you the understanding.
"witness" is one who has personal knowledge of something.
His "testimony" concerning his knowledge is meant to
authenticate certain facts. The
Greek noun "martyrion" is translated as "witness"
and "testimony" in our English Bibles, and pretty much means
the same as our English words "witness" and
Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples that after the Holy Spirit came into
their lives, they would be His "witnesses". (martyrion)
Their preaching and the way they lived would give a clear
"testimony", would authenticate, who Jesus is and what He
stands for. Acts 4:33 states
that "with great power the apostles continued to 'testify' (martyrion)
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus".
Even though the cost is becoming progressively more expensive for
us these days, we should follow the apostles' example in what we preach
and how we live.
New Testament terms, the testimony we preach and live is called
"the gospel". As
in the early days of the church, the gospel is meant to lead people to
Jesus. It has become my
thinking, that at the end of this age, there will be one last
proclamation of the gospel that isn't necessarily meant to lead people
to Jesus, although many may find Jesus in the process.
Matthew 24 Jesus warns us of troublesome times at the end of this age.
Christians will be persecuted.
False prophets will distort the gospel testimony.
Believers will turn away from the faith and betray one another.
Wickedness will increase, and on it goes.
the midst of all these terrible events Jesus says that "this gospel
of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all
nations, then the end will come". (Matthew 24:14)
a prophetic futurist standpoint, the term "this gospel of the
kingdom" in this end times context refers to "the
last great gospel proclamation doesn't necessarily extend salvation to
lost individuals, even though many may find salvation in the process.
The last great gospel message declares God's judgment to guilty
nations and to their guilty leaders.
I say this because Matthew 24:14 states that this gospel of the
kingdom is directed specifically to "nations as a testimony",
and I would add, "as a testimony against these nations".
This gospel declares God's verdict; the nations are guilty and
judgment is near. It's a
declaration of what nations should be but aren't.
It's all about the nations and their leaders collapsing under
God's judgment and being replaced by the Kingdom
time will come when Revelation 22:11 is proclaimed to the nations as
part of the gospel of the kingdom. "Let
him who does wrong, continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue
to be vile …" The
Almighty will no longer concern Himself with evil nations.
They can be as evil as they want to be.
God will wash His hands clean of them, and then bring them down
in one moment of time. (Zechariah 14:2)
His prophets will declare this in advance through the preaching
of "this gospel of the kingdom".
It's just a matter of restating that which is prophesied throughout the
you understand Biblical prophecy, you will know that God gives ample
warning of judgment to a nation. If
the nation rejects the warning, at some point God declares judgment
on that nation through His prophets.
Once judgment is declared, that's it.
It's irrevocable. In
defiance to God, the evil nation will continue to be evil.
(Revelation 22:11) Then, at
God's appointed time, the evil nation falls.
This is the end time scenario which is predicted throughout
Scripture and will be proclaimed one last time in the gospel of the
kingdom at the end of this age.
4:17 sums it all up. "…
the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the
Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men …"
In one statement, Daniel defines the gospel of the kingdom.
The holy ones declares the verdict that the Most High is
sovereign over all nations. The
nations are guilty, and they
will fall in judgment. Once the last prophet stands as God's "witness" and
"testifies" to "this gospel of the kingdom" for the last time,
the end will come.
a thousand years of Jesus' rule, and after satan is thrown into the