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Matthew 24:14 New International Version

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Romans 1:8 New International Version

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

While Matthew 24:14 emphasizes the preaching of the gospel to all nations as a precursor to the end times, Romans 1:8 highlights the reported faith of the Romans spreading throughout the world.

Have the end times prophesied in Matthew 24:14 been expected to happen immediately after Romans 1:8?

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Answer

No, the end times prophesied in Matthew 24:14 need not be expected to occur after Romans 1:8 because these two passages are talking about two different things.

Explanation

The ownership of the Gospel belongs to Lord Jesus Christ and hence it is known as the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel has two parts (Acts 8:12; 28:31):

  1. The things concerning the Kingdom of God; and
  2. The things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ (the King).

The eye- witness Apostles were proclaiming both parts at the same time. But after the catastrophe that fell on Jerusalem and Judea in 70AD and 135AD, the expectation of the first part of the Gospel, that is, the Kingdom of God, was watered down with allegorical explanations saying that the kingdom of God was not "literal" but will be established in the hearts of the believers, in the Church etc.

But Jesus was very specific: there will happen a “revival” of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (the first part) before the End begins.

This is what Matthew 24:14 is all about.

But Romans 1:8 is talking about the “faith” of the Gentile believers in Rome being spoken (in a praiseworthy manner) in all the world.

It is not talking about the general Christian faith but only about the faith of the Roman Gentiles.

So, Matthew 24:14 and Romans 1:8 cannot be correlated prophetically.

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The New Testament calls the time after Jesus’ resurrection, the “last days”, or “last hour”, or similar. Note the following:

  • Acts 2:17 – Peter calls the day of Pentecost the “last day” in fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel. Compare v29-32.
  • 2 Tim 3:1 – perilous times in the “last day” which Paul discusses as already at his time.
  • Heb 1:2 – “These last days” God is revealed in Jesus.
  • James 5:3 – warning against rampant materialism and worship of money in the “last day”, that is, the time of James himself.
  • 1 Peter 1:5 – Christians reveal God and are miraculously preserved in the “last time”.
  • 1 Peter 1:20 – Jesus revealed in these “last times”.
  • 2 Peter 3:3 – Peter writes about his time as the fulfilment of that spoken by the ancient prophets about the “last days”.
  • 1 John 2:18 – Twice, John calls his time the “last hour”.
  • Jude 18 – Jude describes his time as the fulfilment of ancient prophecies about the “last time”.
  • Rev 2:16, 3:11, 22:7, 12, 20 – Jesus says, “I am coming soon/quickly”.
  • Even in a passage like John 6:39, 40, 54 where Jesus refers to the resurrection at the “last day” (see below) that time began with His death, Matt 27:50-53.

Thus, the last days are those since the resurrection of Jesus. It should not surprise us that the gospel was preached to the whole world soon after Jesus rose - many rejected the message. See Acts 17:6, Rom 1:8.

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  • The reference to Acts 17:6 is very pertinent to me, since it is in the books of the acts of the apostles, after Jesus' resurrection and also includes the time of writing the letter of Romans.
    – Betho's
    Commented Jan 20 at 12:02
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Those first century Christians certainly wanted it to be immediate. They were waiting for it.

The word most often translated as "world" in Matt. 24:14 is Strong's Gr. 3625 "oikouménē" and is "the land that is being inhabited, the land in a state of habitation, the inhabited world, that is, the Roman world (orbis terrarum), for all outside it was regarded as of no account" Source: Biblehub)

The word translated as "world" in Roman 1:8 is Strong's Gr. 2889, and is defined as an order, or the world. Thayer's has it as the earth, and hyperbole at Romans 1:8 for "far and wide, in widely separated places." Source: Biblehub

Jesus' prophesy in Matt. chapters 24-25 is of the fall of the temple in Jerusalem.

And having gone forth, Jesus departed from the temple, and his disciples came near to show him the buildings of the temple, 2 and Jesus said to them, `Do ye not see all these? verily I say to you, There may not be left here a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.'

3 And when he is sitting on the mount of the Olives, the disciples came near to him by himself, saying, `Tell us, when shall these be? and what [is] the sign of thy presence, and of the full end of the age?' (Matt. 24:1-3, YLT)

This is the subject matter for the rest of the prophesy through Matt. 25:46. The disciples asked a specific question, "when shall these be?" Jesus' answer covered all of the events that would transpire before that temple fell, which the disciples KNEW meant the end of that age! That temple was the center of their lives and they knew its destruction would change everything for them. Jesus had told the Samaritan woman at the well,

Jesus saith to her, `Woman, believe me, that there doth come an hour, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father; (John 4:21, YLT)

Jesus told His disciples that their generation would not pass before all the things He warned the disciples of would happen (Matt. 24:34). He told them that their house - "your house" - was left to them desolate (Matt. 23:38) "Desolate" is Strong's Gr. 2048, "eremos," a deserted, abandoned waste. (Biblehub)

Therefore, as the disciples' specifically asked when that temple would be destroyed, and as Jesus told them all the things that would happen in that generation before it fell, then the end times He prophesied was specifically for and about the fall of their temple in Jerusalem.

Paul confirmed the preaching throughout the known world - inhabited earth - of the Roman empire in Rom. 1:8, and also

which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; (Col. 1:23, KJV)

(which "heaven" Thayer's has at Strong's Gr. 3772, 1.a as "ie. earth." In prophesy, "heaven" is often the ruling authority of the land, so in Rom. 1:8, it was the Roman empire)

and also,

'''I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (Rom. 15:19)

As Jesus told His disciples in Matt. 24:15 that "the end" would come once the gospel had been preached throughout the inhabited lands of that old Roman empire, and as Paul told those in Romans and Colossians, and 1 Tim. 3:16 that he had preached the gospel and all the world had heard it, then the "end" that Jesus spoke of was still about the fall of that temple in Jerusalem which happened in AD 70.

The first century believers and followers of Christ, the first century converts to The Way were living in expectation of that event, and Paul told them that they knew what was coming.

And this, knowing the time, that for us, the hour already [is] to be aroused out of sleep, for now nearer [is] our salvation than when we did believe; (Rom. 13:11, YLT)

Do ye not remember that, being yet with you, these things I said to you? (2 Thess. 2:5, YLT)

They were continually being comforted and assured that "the end" Jesus spoke of was coming soon as the Apostles repeatedly told them to continue in the faith, to keep on believing, but it was not immediate. They were waiting, and wondering how long. If they had considered the time frame of a "generation" which would span an extended number of years, usually 30-40 years, then they may have known that "the end" Paul spoke of would not be an immediate event.

But, the end Jesus told them of, the end of that temple, the end of that age was the end of the old Mosaic covenant when that earthly temple fell in AD 70. It took a little time, the generation in which Christ was manifested that had to have the will and testament (the gospel) of the testator (Jesus) to be probated (preached) throughout the inhabited lands of that 4th beast kingdom of which Daniel prophesied (Dan. 2, and 7).

That 40 years exodus from the slavery of the old covenant to the freedom of the new covenant (Gal.4:25-26) was a mirror of the exodus out of Egypt and the 40 years wandering in the wilderness. That generation of Jesus' appearance on earth was a time of transition from the old law to the everlasting kingdom of Christ.

They witnessed that change. It was yet in their future when the books of the New Testament were being written and read, so the future tenses of the verbs were appropriate for their time. When we read the books now, almost 2,000 years after they were written, the verbs are not future to us. That temple fell in AD 70, and it is our history.

See further explanation from the scriptures that show what and when "the end" Jesus prophesied was about:

Testing The Spirits Part II: The End

Testing The Spirits Part III: Daniel's Lot

Frequent Mistakes Part IV: Where Was All the World

Frequent Mistakes Part VI: The End of the World ?

The Signs of Revelation Part I: The Time of His Coming

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  • Your answer is quite enlightening, but a bit complex for me.
    – Betho's
    Commented Jan 20 at 12:12
  • It is only complex b/c of the indoctrination of the institutional teachings of "futurism". The Bible defined the "last days" in both the Old & New Testaments as the last days of the tribes of Israel (Gen. 9) of which Judah was the last when the lawgiver would pass to Christ, & the last days in the NT when Christ appeared on earth (1 Pet. 1:20,; Heb. 1:1-3). They were the Last days of the Mosaic Law. There is no last day of the end of the entire world. That is false teaching.
    – Gina
    Commented Jan 20 at 15:07
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This is speaking of two different gospels. Viewing this through a dispensational lens, Romans is referring to our gospel, the gospel of grace. At the second coming, our gospel of grace comes to an end. The gospel referenced In Matthew 24 is the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ:

Revelation 14:6

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” and

Revelation 18:4

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Keeping in mind that the gospel means good news. Our gospel is Christ Jesus crucified for our sins, providing our salvation.

The everlasting gospel is the gospel for the tribulation saints. Their good news is that Christ Jesus has returned to Jerusalem, unseated the Antichrist from his capitol and is fixing to destroy the entire kingdom of the Antichrist (hence the warning to the tribulation saints that had been told to flee Jerusalem, that now is the time to return), and set up his kingdom, the everlasting kingdom mentioned in:

Dan 2:44

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. The “these kings” in this scripture is a reference to: Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.)

The expression Last Days refers to the last kingdom before Christ returns. (Egypt, Assyria, not mentioned in Daniel) Babylon, Medo Persia, Greece, Rome, Antichrist, Christ.

Church age ends after the 7th seal/rapture, Age of Grace ends after the 7th Trumpet/ second coming of Christ , and Last Days/ Antichrist empire ends at Armageddon/ 7th vial with the defeat of Satan and his followers. Although each end at slightly different times, they run in parallel and we are currently living in all three.

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