Jesus privately tells Peter, James, John and Andrew about the future destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. At the same time, He speaks of His return and “the beginning of the birth pains” when “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.” Jesus also states, “And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.”
Some of us seem to be hung-up on the when of Jesus’ return, even getting excited when Japan was hit by the largest magnitude earthquake ever recorded in that country. In actuality, there have always been earthquakes, famines, and wars — they are not particularly more prevalent now than in our past.
The key element upon which few seem to focus is Jesus’ emphatic statement that “the gospel must first be preached to all nations.” Missionaries are indeed located around the world, but somewhere there is a tribe — yes? — not yet reached. There are peoples who have never heard of their Savior, Jesus Christ.
Paul says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!'” (Romans 10:13-15)
Jesus commands, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)