International (MNN) – With war, natural disasters, and other crises seemingly on the rise, the urgency of the Gospel is clear. Right now Earth boasts around 7.5 billion people and that number keeps growing. But many have never heard about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
On January 25th, the world worried again as the Science and Security Board for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock forward 30 seconds. As a symbol of humanity’s end, the clock sends the message that people need to slow the coming of end times. Some suggest that governments halt nuclear activity or take larger steps to mitigate climate change, but are those actions enough?
The climax of history
While working toward peace is good, Christians see the clock a little differently. Ron Hutchcraft, president of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, explains, “These folks have been looking at this since the 1950’s and they’re in essence saying this is as dangerous as it’s ever been. Of course, the clock that really matters we can’t see, and that’s God’s clock. That’s the one that really counts. And we know that God’s clock is counting down each day to the climax of human history. It’s counting down to the personal return of Jesus Christ, King Jesus, to this earth. And we don’t know how close that is.”
Hutchcraft observes that our conflict-ridden world is becoming more and more like the world Jesus described when he talked about his return. For Christian ministries and individual followers of Christ, that means the same thing: Christ’s second coming is near and people need to hear the Gospel.
Patient, seeking repentance
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Hutchcraft notes that the “everyone” in 2 Peter poses a big job for the Church. With over 7.5 billion people on the earth, Christians need to be in tune with the urgency of the Gospel before the return of Christ.
The Doomsday Clock may not be the motivation, but the Gospel should be.
He goes on, “Every generation of Christians is responsible for their generation of lost people. Except we’ve got the biggest job any Christians have ever had. Which means obviously we’d all be fully engaged with the best of our passions, and the best of our energies, and the best of our money in the work of getting the Gospel to people right? Or not? Is that right? And if it’s ever been important to live for what matters forever, it’s now, in moments like these.”
Work while you can
Hutchcraft believes the first place we start is with our hearts. Do we see the urgency of the Gospel as real?
“I wonder when we stand before our Savior and we… [see] only eternity ahead of us and all the Earth stuff gone, will we be saying, ‘I could have done more’? The time to be saying that is now, looking at the time we are living in and perhaps the time on God’s clock. The size of the task of 7.5 billion ‘ones’, and not one of them God wants to perish. Are we doing all we could do or could we be doing more?”
The time is now
Hutchcraft notes that every tool, ability, and gift we have should be captured for the Gospel. Is the message of salvation being spread in the places people go most often, their phones? Are we praying daily for those who need Christ? Are we seeking ways to use our gifts to draw people to the Lord?
Or are we wasting time, setting ourselves up to ask if we could’ve done more?
Here are three ways you can live with Christ’s return in mind every day:
- Pray today that God opens your eyes to the urgency of the Gospel. Ask that He works through your unique abilities to spread His word.
- Challenge your church to regularly ask if, as a whole body, you are doing everything you can to expand the kingdom of God in your community.
- Support the work of those around the world who are bringing the Gospel to unreached peoples both financially and through prayer.