“This Good News of the Kingdom Will Be Preached”
“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.
What It Means: The Gospel writer Luke reported that Jesus “went journeying from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.” (Luke 8:1) Jesus himself said: “I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.” (Luke 4:43) He sent his disciples to preach the good news in the towns and villages and later commanded them: “You will be witnesses of me . . . to the most distant part of the earth.”—Acts 1:8; Luke 10:1.
How Early Christians Measured Up: Jesus’ disciples wasted no time in doing what Jesus told them. “Every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ.” (Acts 5:42) Preaching was not limited to an elite group. Historian Neander observed that “Celsus, the first writer against Christianity, jeer[ed] at the fact, that wool-workers, cobblers, leather-dressers, the most illiterate and vulgar of mankind, were zealous preachers of the gospel.” In his book The Early Centuries of the Church, Jean Bernardi wrote: “[Christians] were to go out and speak everywhere and to everyone. On the highways and in the cities, on the public squares and in the homes. Welcome or unwelcome. . . . To the ends of the earth.”
Who Fit the Pattern Today? “The church’s failure to take preaching and teaching seriously is one reason for the general spiritual malaise of today,” writes Anglican priest David Watson. In his book Why Are the Catholics Leaving? José Luis Pérez Guadalupe wrote about the activities of Evangelicals, Adventists, and others and observed that “they do not go from house to house.” Regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses, he wrote: “They go systematically from house to house.”
An interesting and realistic observation made by Jonathan Turley is found in Cato Supreme Court Review, 2001-2002: “Mention the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and most people immediately think of preachers visiting our homes at inconvenient hours. For the Jehovah’s Witnesses, proselytizing door-to-door is not simply to advance their faith but the very article of faith.”
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Do You Recognize the Mark?
Based on the Scriptural criteria discussed in this series of articles, who today, do you think, bear the mark of true Christianity? Though there are tens of thousands of groups and denominations claiming to be Christian, bear in mind what Jesus told his followers: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.” (Matthew 7:21) Identifying those who are doing the will of the Father—thus bearing the mark of true Christianity—and associating with them can lead to eternal blessings under God’s Kingdom. We invite you to ask Jehovah’s Witnesses, who brought you this magazine, for more information about God’s Kingdom and the blessings it will bring.—Luke 4:43.