Robert Van Kampen, a prophecy author who believed the events outlined by Jesus in Matthew 24 are yet to be fulfilled, wrote, “Christ tells His disciples that only after the gospel is preached to all nations, ‘then the end shall come.’” [1] Since the Bible clearly states that the gospel “was proclaimed in all creation under heaven” (Col. 1:23), then the end spoken of by Jesus is a past event for us. Earlier in his letter to the Colossians, Paul describes how the gospel was “constantly bearing fruit and increasing in all the world [kosmos]” (1:6). The faith of the Romans was “being proclaimed throughout the whole world [kosmos]” (Rom. 1:8), “to all the nations” (16:26). These statements by Paul reveal a fulfillment of what Jesus told His disciples would be a prelude to the destruction of Jerusalem.

The Gospel had been preached through the whole Roman world, and every nation had received its testimony, before the destruction of Jerusalem: see Col. i. 6, 23; 2 Tim. iv. 17. This was necessary not only as regarded the Gentiles, but to give God’s people the Jews, who were scattered among the nations, the opportunity of receiving or rejecting the preaching of Christ. [2]

In addition, we learn that Paul was making plans to go “to Spain” (Rom. 15:24, 28). It is possible that a church already existed there. This would mean that the gospel had nearly reached the western border of the Roman Empire in Paul’s day. This may explain why Paul quoted from Psalm 19:4: “But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have: ‘THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD [oikoumenē]’” (Rom. 10:18; cf. 2 Tim. 4:17). Luke records that “all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10).

Last Days Madness

Last Days Madness

In this authoritative book, Gary DeMar clears the haze of ‘end-times’ fever, shedding light on the most difficult and studied prophetic passages in the Bible, including Daniel 7:13-14; 9:24-27; Matt. 16:27-28; 24-25; Thess. 2; 2 Peter 3:3-13, and clearly explaining a host of other controversial topics.

Buy Now

On today’s podcast, Gary responds to John Piper about the gospel going to the world. Pastor Piper answered a question about what it means that the gospel had been preached to the “world” and to “every creature under heaven” in Colossians 1. In his answer, Piper compares Colossians 1 to Matthew 24:14, and looks at the Greek in Colossians but not in Matthew. Gary points out that eschatology affects our gospel and missionary presentations, as well as how the Bible itself is translated.

Click here for today’s episode

Click here to browse all episodes of The Gary DeMar Podcast

[1] Robert Van Kampen, The Rapture Question Answered: Plain and Simple (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1997), 74.

[2] Alford, The New Testament for English Readers, 164. Emphasis in original.