Mission of the Church

SYNOPSIS – The mission of the church between now and the return of Jesus is to announce the Good News of his Kingdom to all nations – Matthew 24:14

Harvest - Photo by Joao Marcelo Marques on Unsplash
The message proclaimed by Jesus is summarized in the New Testament as the “Good News of the Kingdom of God.” In him, the final rule of God over all creation is being established, although in unexpected and paradoxical ways. By the time Jesus arrives in glory, this process will consummate with the total sovereignty of God over the Cosmos and the defeat of all His enemies, including the termination of Death - (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). - [Photo by Joao Marcelo Marques on Unsplash].

All men and women are summoned to respond decisively to this offer of life in the coming age while the opportunity to do so remains – A day will come when it will be too late. Among other things, to respond to this call requires a complete reorientation of one’s life - Nothing is more vital than how one responds to the call to repent and believe the “good news.”
  • (Mark 1:14-15) – “And after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the glad-message of God,  [and saying]—The season is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God hath drawn near,—Repent ye, and have faith in the glad-message.” – (The Emphasized Bible – Compare - Matthew 3:2, 4:17).
In his Death and Resurrection, Jesus defeated all forces that are hostile to God, including Satan, death, and sin. His resurrection and the outpouring of the Spirit signaled the commencement of the “last days” and the reign of the Son at the “right hand of God,” just as Yahweh promised in the Hebrew Bible:
  • (Psalm 2:2-8) – “The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against Yahweh, and against his anointed…I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said unto me, Thou art my son; This day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”
  • (Psalm 110:1) – “Yahweh saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
  • (Acts 4:23-28) – “And being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said unto them. And they, when they heard it, lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, O Lord, thou that didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say, Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, And the rulers were gathered together, Against the Lord, and against his Anointed: for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass.”
  • (Hebrews 1:1-3) – “God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;  who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and pholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
His Death, Resurrection, and Exaltation mean that the “ends of the ages have arrived” upon the disciples of Jesus. Even now, the “forms of this age are in process of passing away.” Sin and death may continue for a time, but the decisive victory has already been achieved on Golgotha; already, Jesus reigns from the right hand of God - (1 Corinthians 7:29-31, 2 Corinthians 5:16-18).

The defeat of Satan was achieved in the past Death and Resurrection of Jesus. In the interim, the Son of God is in the process of putting down all powers and regimes opposed to his rule, until all that remains is the unopposed reign of the Almighty throughout the Cosmos - (Hebrews 1:5-14, Revelation 1:4-6).

Peter at the house of Cornelius
Consequently, the Church is tasked by Jesus to proclaim, the “gospel of the Kingdom to all nations,” from his resurrection until the present age is consummated at his parousia or “arrival.” Therefore, Christians must “go and teach all nations…to observe all things whatever I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you even unto the end of the age.

Believers are the “witnesses,” the envoys of Jesus sent by him to summon all men so that the “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.” At his ascension, he commanded the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until “they received power after the Holy Spirit came upon them.” Afterward, they would become his witnesses - “In Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” - (Matthew 28:18-20Luke 24:45-48, Acts 1:7-9).

The Lord tasked his people with proclaiming repentance to men and women from every nation:
  • For the blotting out of their sins; to the end, there may come seasons of refreshing from the face of the Lord, and he may send forth him who had been appointed for you, Christ Jesus, unto whom heaven must needs to give welcome until the times of the due establishment of all things” - (Acts 3:19-21).
The church's mission must continue until the end – To the very day and hour when he appears in glory and power.
Nowhere did Jesus order his people to engage in the social, economic, or political reformation of the present fallen world order. Instead, they are to summon and prepare a people for life in the “age to come.” The present order has already been judged on Calvary, even now, it is in the process of “passing away.” To expend effort to fix or reform it is pointless.
When Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the disciples asked when that event would occur, and what would be the sign of the end of the age and the arrival of the “Son of Man” - (Matthew 24:1-3).

To the first question, Jesus responded - Before the termination of the generation that was contemporary with him. To the second, he warned - No one EXCEPT  GOD ALONE knows the hour, day, “season,” “seasons” or “times” of the coming of the Son of Man and the consummation of the kingdom. There is one factor on the earth that determines “when” he will return - “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole habitable earth for a testimony for all nations; and then shall the end come” - (Matthew 24:14, 24:36, Acts 1:6-8).

The completion of this mission is THE “sign” of the “end,” not the rebuilding of a temple in Jerusalem, nuclear war, earthquakes, famines, or celestial events. The end of this age cannot come until the task of gospel proclamation is completed.

The very fact that the “end” has not arrived is irrefutable evidence that the church’s mission remains unfinished. Therefore, all who wait anxiously for his arrival must preach the Gospel - (2 Timothy 4:8)!!



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