From the time Jesus ascended to the right hand of the throne of God until the day He comes again to judge the living and the dead, that time, that space is filled with a divine “must”.  The Gospel “must” be preached to the whole world, Jesus said and then the end will come.  Spend some time thinking about Paul’s time in prison and his letter to Timothy where he “adjures” the young Pastor to proclaim the Word in season and out.  That is a big word that has the connotations of arm twisting and nagging and earnestly begging.  It is a witness and a testimony to Timothy of the essential must of the Gospel proclamation.  Paul in in the same situation as the church.  He is the bearer of God’s good news to the world, in collision with the world and doomed by it because he is the bearer of that good news; his view of the end times is a missionary view of the end times.  Once again Martin Franzmann from an article called, “Christ the Hope of Glory”.

“I charge thee… before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom, preach the Word” (2Tim.4:1,2). And what holds of the Church’s preaching, holds (and that is more often forgotten) of the considered substance of that preaching, of theology. The Christian hope, with its sober recognition of the evilness of this world’s last days (2 Tim. 3: 1), makes the Church’s theology a practical theology (2 Tim. 2: 14 f.); makes it a theology impatient of theological chatter and religious persiflage (2 Tim. 2: 16, 23); makes it, in short, a responsible theology of vigor and decision; in view of the coming of his Lord, it behooves the theologian to cut a straight and rigorous course in his handling of the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2: 15 ).”

 

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