A Prophecy of Enormous Importance
“This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.”—MATTHEW 24:14.
THAT verse, scholars agree, is highly important. It is important because of the global scope of the work it describes. And it is important because it points to what Christians should be doing—a preaching work that would precede and herald the momentous and far-reaching event that Jesus called “the end.”
That prophetic verse is being fulfilled today. You are involved because the good news contains both an invitation and a warning. It offers you a choice: Accept God’s Kingdom or oppose it. The choice you make affects your very life.
Consider the context. Several days before Jesus was impaled, the disciples came to him and asked him about the future. They were interested in knowing about the establishment of God’s Kingdom, of which Jesus had so often spoken. They also wanted to know about “the conclusion of the system of things,” or as some translations render that expression, “the end of the world.”—Matthew 24:3, American Standard Version; King James Version.
In reply, Jesus foretold that there would be large-scale wars, famines, pestilences, and great earthquakes. He also said that lawlessness would increase, false religious teachers would mislead many, and true Christians would be hated and persecuted. All of this was bad news.—Matthew 24:4-13; Luke 21:11.
But there was also good news. Jesus next spoke the words quoted above, words that have intrigued and inspired men for centuries. Though people agree about the importance of Jesus’ words, they disagree about the meaning. What exactly is this good news? What is the Kingdom? When is this prophecy to be fulfilled, and by whom? And what is “the end”? Let us see.
[Picture on pages 2, 3]
Facsimile of the Washington Manuscript of Four Gospels. Matthew 24:14 is highlighted
From the book Facsimile of the Washington Manuscript of the Four Gospels in the Freer Collection 1912