In Matthew 24:14 Jesus prophesies, “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.” In this one verse, we find Jesus linking the timing of His return to the gospel being experienced among every people group on earth.
This verse correlates with the vision the exalted Jesus gave John in the book of Revelation of the throne of God in Revelation 7:9. “After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palm branches in their hands…”
Who is this “great multitude?” Those brought into the Kingdom representing every single ethnic family (people group) on earth.
They are the result of the mission movement, and particularly, the great move of the Holy Spirit during the final seven years timeframe before Jesus returns. This move of God ushers into the Kingdom the greatest global harvest of souls ever seen in history.
This is the culmination of God’s prophetic promise to Abraham that “in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
This is no small group before the throne. John saw a great, uncountable multitude before the throne. Mass numbers, maybe more than 50% of the population of every single people group, are before the throne worshiping the King.
Matthew 24:14 signals what is referred to as the “fulfillment of the Great Commission.” It directly relates to Jesus’ last command to His church before He ascended to the right hand of the Father – His Great Commission.
It is a visual of our great goal as the body of Christ. We are to see it as the church’s finish line, the primary purpose why the church exists. The laying hold of the purpose of the very unfolding of recorded history.
This “fulfillment of the Great Commission” must be taken in the context of Matthew 24 as a whole. Jesus is describing the lead up to the “end of the age” when the greatest transition and shift ever known will take place – from the “present age” to the “age to come” under the physical, visual leadership of Jesus on the earth again.
Jesus sets in context the challenges and difficulties of that lead-up, culminating with the “fulfillment of the Great Commission.” This task then of the church takes place in the context of great pressure, persecution, challenge, and difficulty. In His love, kindness and perfect leadership, Jesus forewarns us of this.
His global church engages with Him in His Great Commission with eyes wide open, with hearts ablaze with love, responding in faithfulness and obedience to the core purpose of God in this age.
If Matthew 24:14 is truly a “finish line,” what are core elements the Bible reveals related to fulfilling the Great Commission?
Rapid reproducing church planting movements in every people group producing a culturally relevant, vibrant, spiritually alive church (in a house, building, office or otherwise) in every neighborhood within walking distance of every person.
The victorious completion of the translation of the Bible in the mother tongue of every person living on the planet – in audio format among orality learners.
Permeation of every people group in every place (every person hearing and seeing) with the gospel of the Kingdom in a culturally relevant, age-appropriate way. This is accompanied by the demonstration of the spirit and power (a result of God’s people expressing the gifts of the Spirit like no time in human history) producing people movements to Christ of uncountable multitudes across every people group.
“A great multitude” (several billion) of vibrant, wholehearted believers from every people group living as true, New Testament, disciples living out authentic and apostolic faith, loving Jesus with all their hearts, standing firm in the face of persecution, with joy and victory. A glorious bride made ready for her bridegroom.
A large proportion of these vibrant disciples voluntarily scattering themselves cross-culturally as message bearers (John the Baptist types preparing the way of the Lord) from every ethnic people group to other similar culture people groups nearby with the Gospel of the Kingdom. They are salt and light and are not only traditional, professional message bearers but taking their jobs and families, deliberately doing church planting movements with the power of the gospel.
Breakthrough revival among Jews and a great proportion of living Jews coming to saving faith in Yeshua and living as wholehearted disciples (as a result of Jews seeing Arabs and other Gentile believers experiencing true faith and provoked to jealousy to embrace their Messiah).