In episode 9 of "The Coming Summer", we were looking at Jesus' prophecy that the Good News would reach all nations before his return. He said, "And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)
What's striking about this prophecy is that it suggests the proximity of his return can almost be entirely gauged by how much progress has been made on this single front. When all nations have heard, then the end will come. Indeed, it may be as simple as saying, "because we are between 60-82% finished with the Great Commission, we are 60-82% towards the day Jesus comes back." That idea is further supported when we read these words from Peter: "The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise [to return], as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." (2 Peter 3:9) Again, the idea here is that God, above anything else, is waiting for the world to be saturated with the Good News before he brings world history to its conclusion.
With this in mind, it strikes me that there's no more important work on earth than the spread of the Gospel. And there's even an inference within these passages that we could speed the return of the Lord if we completed this task more quickly. Peter wrote, "Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along." (2 Peter 3:11-12) According to Peter, we can "hurry" the day of God along, and again, it seems the best way to do that is by facilitating the spread of the Good News. This is the primary task of the church, after all. It's our Great Commission. The last command of Jesus before he ascended to heaven. Indeed, it's so fundamental to our Christian walk that, as Piper famously noted, when it comes to evangelism, a Christian really only has three choices: to "go, send, or disobey." The option to be a Christian and not be a facilitator for the spread of the Gospel simply doesn't exist.
Here's a very simple challenge then for every believer reading this blog: if you aren't already doing something to facilitate the spread of the Good News, make a commitment to do so today. Commit to doing just one thing that will help get the Good News out to the world. One thing. Anything. Just do something. Because there's no more important use of your time, resources and abilities - indeed, even of your life. And not to be involved in the Great Commission is simple disobedience.
You could personally commit to mission work. You could come up with evangelism ideas for your community. You could join an outreach team at your church. You could start supporting missionary or evangelistic ministries financially. But whatever you do, do something.