The second question that the disciples asked Jesus when He was giving His Olivet Discourse was: What will be the (one) sign of the end of the age? Matthew 24:14 tells us the answer: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Jesus said that before the end of this age, the gospel of the kingdom must be preached then shall the end come.
John the Baptist was sent to proclaim to the world that “The Kingdom of Heaven” was at hand, and to point out the King. When the Lord Jesus began His public ministry, He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23 KJV). (See also Mark 1:14-15)
Therefore the Lord Jesus took up and continued the message of the kingdom and only adding to John the Baptist’s preaching of repentance the call to believe the Gospel—to have faith in the good tidings which He came to tell of the Kingdom of Heaven and of God. And from this time to the end of His ministry we find that the Gospel of the Kingdom was the continual subject of His teaching. Luke records that:
And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. (Luke 4:43 KJV) and after a few chapters we read that: Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1 NKJV)
We read that “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:1-2 KJV). And having thus spent the years of His public ministry in publishing the good news of the Kingdom, He declared towards the end of it, as He was foretelling to His disciples the signs of the end of the age and of His coming. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
What is this Gospel of the Kingdom?
In Matthew 10 Jesus sends out His twelve disciples for the first time to preach , saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10:5-7) When Adam and Eve sinned, God the Father promised a Deliverer. The Bible says:
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. (Genesis 3:15 AMP)
Ages passed with a dim hope of a Savior, until God gave Abraham a promise that the Deliverer should arise from his posterity; saying, “And in your Seed [Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by Him] bless themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:18 AMP)
The promise pointed at the Messiah, and the grace of the gospel. Again time passed and David was raised up from amongst the descendants of Abraham, and of the predicted tribe of Judah, and to him the promise was made, “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. (2 Samuel 7:16 KJV)
David is saying in (Psalm 2:1-2 KJV) that the nations of the world are represented in rebellion against God and His Messiah. “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed” i.e. Messiah—Christ. And then the decree of the universal sovereignty of Messiah is proclaimed: “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession” (Psalm 2:7-8 KJV)
Then in (Psalm 22:1) David gave an accurate description of the suffering the Messiah would endure hundreds of years later. Jesus, the Messiah quoted this verse while hanging on the Cross carrying our burden of sin (Matthew 27:46) His Kingdom is again proclaimed as universal: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee” (Psalm 22:27).
And, to fast forward over other passages, in Psalm 72: 5,7, 11,17 again we look forward to the endless reign of the Messiah, who alone can rule with perfect justice and whose citizens will enjoy perfect peace.
They shall fear Thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. In His days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. All kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him. His Name shall endure for ever; and men shall be blessed in Him; all nations shall call Him blessed”
Many years passed; and then Isaiah proclaimed in prophecy, “Behold a King shall reign in righteousness” (Isaiah 32:1) And Jeremiah contrasted the present corrupt leaders with the coming Messiah, the perfect King, Who would come from David’s line to reign over Israel. “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:5-6)
In Daniel we see a description of the time when human governments will be put down and the kingdom of God will be established. And Daniel was directed to explain the king’s dream, as a vision of earthly kingdoms which will be destroyed.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”(Daniel 2:44-45 KJV)
And Zechariah sang, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee” (Zechariah 9:9 KJV) Another Scripture says “And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be -The LORD is one,” And His name one. (Zechariah 14:9 NKJV) The Bible says that this salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation and kingdom prepared for us:
The prophets, who prophesied of the grace (divine blessing) which was intended for you, searched and inquired earnestly about this salvation. They sought [to find out] to whom or when this was to come which the Spirit of Christ working within them was indicating when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow [them].
It was then disclosed to them that the services they were rendering were not meant for themselves and their period of time, but for you. [It is these very] things which have now already been made known plainly to you by those who preached the good news (the Gospel) to you by the [same] Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Into these things [the very] angels long to look! (1 Peter 1:10-12 AMP)
Source of image: Wikipedia