“14And 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.” (Matt. 24:14).
The word “world” in this verse is [Greek: “oikoumene” 一 Strong’s #3625 = the inhabited lands of the Roman Empire]. The word “nations” [Gr. “ethnos” – Strong’s #1484 = lit. nations, including Romans and the Gentile nations, not just Jews (Rom. 16:26)].
The gospel had to be preached to all the nations (both Jews and Gentiles) throughout the Roman Empire and Diaspora (Luke 2:1; Acts 24:5; Heb. 1:6; 2:5; Rev. 3:10; 12:9; 16:14).
Whatever Jesus meant in AD 30 by the gospel being preached in “ALL THE WORLD,” the apostle Paul said that it had already been accomplished when he wrote to the Romans and Colossians in AD 62-63.
“6which (gospel) has come to you, as it has also in ALL THE WORLD, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.” (Col. 1:6).
“23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away front the hope of the GOSPEL which you heard, WHICH WAS PREACHED TO EVERY CREATURE UNDER HEAVEN, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” (Col 1:23).
“17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ‘Their sound has gone out to ALL THE EARTH, and their words to THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.’” (Rom. 10:17-18).
The end [Greek: “telos” — Strong’s #5056 = the principal end] of the Jewish age came in AD 70 during that generation just as Christ predicted (Matt. 23:36, 24:34). The persecution and tribulation which occurred then, was as severe as any since the beginning of the world [Greek: “kosmos” – Strong’s #2889 = world, universe, ordered system of His creation].
After AD 70, there would never again be such tribulation against His faithful believers, who are born-again Christians in His spiritual Kingdom (Matt. 24:21-22).
A major misunderstanding of Matthew 24:3:
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your Coming, and of the end of the age’” (Matt. 24:3 NKJV).
The original King James Version incorrectly translated the phrase “end of the age” as “world.” The correct translation of this Greek phrase “Santelias ton aionos” is “age,” and is used to denote the ending of a dispensation/age – i.e. Matt. 13:39, 40, 49; 24:3; 2 Pet. 3:6. All of these passages denoted an ending to the Mosaic dispensation/age and not world/universe. Heb. 9:26 proves this. Suppose the gathering of the tares in Matt. 13:39-40 were yet future. If this were so, then by the same use of the term in Heb. 9:26 the sacrifice of Christ at the end of the world is yet future, and we are still in our sins! It is this physical misunderstanding which places “end of the world” terms as yet future. When Peter infers that the world will burn up, 2 Pet. 3:10, the reference is to burning of the tares at the end of the dispensation, the annihilation of earth is not intended. Look at 2 Pet. 3:2, “You should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and spoken by your apostles.” Notice Peter’s words in Chapter 3 were first spoken by the holy prophets, second, by Christ, then third, by the apostles. Peter leaves no room for anyone to say that this chapter was a new revelation. It had been spoken first in the long ago by the holy prophets. According to the Messiah, all prophecy was fulfilled when Jerusalem the city and Temple was destroyed by the Romans, Luke 21:20, 22; 22:37; 24:44. When the Mosaic dispensation ended, all things were fulfilled in Christ, including 2 Peter 3.
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 7 Lesson 1 Matt. 24:1-14”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 7 Lesson 1 Appendix 2”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 7 Lesson 3b”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 9 Rev. Chapter 21”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 10 Rev. Chapter 22”]