Many Christians and prophecy teachers say that some things in New Testament prophecies must occur before Jesus can return. One of these is that the gospel had to be preached everywhere. Well, guess what? That was done! The Apostle Paul, aided by Timothy and various others, accomplished this goal, as stated in his own words. First look at Mark 13:10.
This is Mark's Olivet Discourse, compared to Matthew and Luke. Mark 13 is where we find Jesus foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem (which occurred in 70 A.D.) and where we find Jesus making this comment in verse 10, "And the gospel must first be published among all nations."
After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus in 32 A.D., Peter, John and the others began to fulfill Matthew 28:19. In actuality the gospel was being preached by the Apostles and the 70 disciples Jesus sent out during his ministry. By the mid 30's A.D., the gospel was spreading far and wide throughout Judea and Samaria. Peter by the way only went as far north as Caesarea, a coastal city 65 miles northwest of Jerusalem to preach the gospel. He NEVER once went to Rome like the Catholic Church teaches.
His mission with John and others was to preach to the Jews (although he did preach to Gentiles). The use of the word Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13 and throughout Revelation refers to Jerusalem NOT Rome. Contrary to popular belief, the Catholic Church is not what is pictured in Revelation; this was popularized during and after the Reformation.
Eventually along comes Saul (who went from being the single greatest persecutor of the church to being the greatest soul winner to walk the earth since Christ) who later becomes Paul and begins a titanic mission of preaching to the Gentiles. From the late 30's A.D. to late 60's A.D., he along with Timothy, Silas, Barnabas, Luke, Mark, Titus and others, spread the Word of God like wildfire throughout the lands or regions that made up the world in their time, all the way up to Rome. Now, look at Romans 15:19, "Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."
Do you think that Paul was lying about this? I don't! Otherwise God would have reproved him for making a false statement about having "fully" preached the gospel. But this my friends is not the only verse where Paul makes this statement. Go to Colossians 1:23. "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister."
The key words there are "was preached", past tense. For over 35 years, the Apostles and disciples spent every day of every week of every month of every year, spreading the Word of God. You have to remember that the writings in the New Testament were aimed at the audience of its time, the first century audience. We are no longer bound by the law, for we are free in Christ, so we are to live by faith and to produce good fruit FOR Christ. He will one day judge us, not for our sins, since we are born again believers, but for how we represented him by how we lived our lives for him and how we presented him to others, as in if we witnessed to others, preached the gospel without compromise.
The principles, instruction and hope in the N.T. apply to us today, but prophetic elements have been fulfilled. Revelation was fulfilled and its fulfillment can be read in the works of Josephus, the Jewish historian who lived before, during and after 70 A.D. in Jerusalem. You can go to any Christian bookstore and find his work in completed volumes. You can line up Revelation next to Josephus and they match up. The details he provides fulfills Matthew 24, to the last verse. And don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying we should stop preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ because of Paul's statements, I'm NOT saying that at all!
As long as a born again believer lives, it is his duty to preach the gospel JUST AS THE BIBLE PRESENTS IT!
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