When you talk about Jesus not “coming back” before the whole world hears, are you referring to his coming back as the event of the rapture of the Church or as the event of His earthly rule after the Tribulation?
To put it another way: “Do you believe the rapture of the Church will not happen before everyone hears, or do believe everyone will have heard at the time of Jesus’ 1,000 year reign here on earth?”
This question was asked me via email recently. Below is my response:
Whoah! You’ve asked a GREAT one!
When I reference Jesus not returning until everyone has heard, I am basing it off of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:14
– “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
The answer to your question really is determined by one’s view of the end. As I am sure you know, the opinions are rampant as to when Jesus will return for His Church: before the Great Tribulation; during the Great Tribulation; after the Great Tribulation; before – during – after the Millennial reign; etc. Guys and gals much smarter than me continue to debate these things and provide great support for their opinions.
Based on what Jesus says in the context of Matthew 24:14
, however, I tend to believe He is referring to prior to the rapture of the Church. In verses 9-13
, Jesus speaks to the disciples of how they will be treated prior to the ‘end.’ History tells us that, sure enough, the men hearing Jesus’ words were delivered up, hated, and put to death because of their testimony. These things continue to happen to Jesus’ followers all over the world. The disciples then, and many persecuted followers since, have lived with a sense of divine urgency. So must we.
So, yes, I believe (and what I mean when I talk about it) that the rapture will not occur until the Gospel has been made known to all the nations of the earth.
As I heard Tom Elliff say recently (my paraphrase): “No one should have to doubt that if they hang on just a little longer, someone will get to them with the Good News.” This sense of urgency is imperative.
I hope that helps you understand somewhat where I am coming from.
Okay. . .
What else would some of you out there add to this?
What do you think?