Jesus teaches about the end of days in Matthew 24. Verse 14 gives clear guidance. When the good news about the kingdom is preached throughout the whole world, then the end will come. Believers who care about the end of the story will work to complete the story. While we cannot predict the exact time of Christ’s return, we know what will prompt the second coming. We’ve got to get the good news to the ends of the earth!
Use the following guide to prepare for Sunday. Onward!
Monday’s Passage to Read: Read Acts 1:1-11. As you digest the text, consider how every local church has a global mandate. We are to share Jesus’ truth with our neighbors. We are also to share good news with the nations. Now read 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. This text reveals the motivation of the church. The love of Christ compels us. Anyone can be saved, so we should share Jesus with everyone!
Tuesday’s Devotional Thought: A stationary church is a disobedient church. After Jesus ascends in Acts 1, the disciples stand and stare into heaven. I would do the same. It’s an understandable reaction after seeing your Savior leave this earth. But an angel reminds them of the mission. In essence, the angel says, “What are you doing standing around? Get to work!” An inactive Christian does not understand the significance of Jesus’ ascension. When Jesus returned to heaven, He left the church to complete His mission of seeking and saving the lost. We are to be on the move!
Take a moment and read Matthew 24:14 with Acts 1:1-11. Whereas Acts 1 is about the beginning of God’s mission, Matthew 24 is about the end. Between the launch of the church in Acts 1 and 2 and the end of days in Matthew 24, the people of God are to be on mission sharing the good news of Jesus.
A missionary is someone who crosses boundaries to communicate the gospel of Jesus and make disciples. This boundary is local, international, and cross-cultural. Locally, we often struggle to cross the invisible line between yards. Our immediate neighbors can be the ones we neglect the most. Boundaries are also international. The church should cross geopolitical lines on a map. I’m thankful West Bradenton desires to reach our neighbors and the nations. Lastly, these boundaries can be cross-cultural. We should reach people who speak a different language, have another socioeconomic class, and are of different ethnicities.
Refer again to Matthew 24:14. Notice the verse does not say the gospel should be preached or might be preached. The verse says the gospel will be preached. The Great Commandment reminds us to love our neighbors. The Great Commission reminds us to make disciples of all nations. But Matthew 24:14 is the Great Confidence: The church will go. People will hear. Many will be saved.
The Great Commandment and Great Commission verses are commands. But Matthew 24:14 is a promise. The gospel will get to all peoples. It will go to every nation and tribe. If you care about the end of the story, then you will work to complete the story. You are God’s promise to the nations!
Maybe some of you are like me. I will read the last page of a book to see how it ends. When you read the last page of the story in the Bible, what do you find? Spoiler alert. Jesus’ story ends in victory.
It is pleasant to see dreams come true,
but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.
What are you willing to do to achieve your dreams? What motivates you? First, consider if your dreams are aligned with God’s will. Second, reflect on how you are achieving your dreams. Maybe you aren’t working on them at all. Or perhaps you are compromising your morals to achieve certain goals. Do any of your dreams involve someone you know coming to Christ? It’s great to dream. Just ensure you are aligned with God’s will and ethics.
Thursday’s Prayer through Scripture: Read Acts 1:11. How might you be standing around and staring instead of doing God’s work? Pray today that God will reveal more gospel work for your life. Ask Him to give you the strength to do this work for His glory.
Friday’s Bible Project Video: Watch this video clip about the book of Acts. If you need to catch up on last week, then you can find the first video here.