Many in the Church believe that we are in the Last Days before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. What should be the role of the Church to hasten His coming?
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Of course believers should live holy and godly lives. But there is a priority which is mostly neglected by the Church during these Last Days.
Matthew 24:14 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.
Currently in the world there are billions of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and idol-worshipers who have not heard the gospel even once. The end will not come until the gospel has been preached to them. Since there are multitudes who have not yet heard—yet the time is short—there must and will be an acceleration in missions during these Last Days.
This will require the Church to focus on missions as she once did in Acts.
At present, the great majority of churches focus and spend their resources almost exclusively on their own local needs: expenses for maintenance (or expansion) of their facility, salaries, programs for members, and local outreach. A relatively small percentage of resources are spent on overseas foreign missions reaching those who never heard—almost as an afterthought.
In this regard, believers in the West have an overabundance of spiritual resources available to them, whether at church services, at Christian bookstores, through 24-hour radio and TV broadcasts, or online. In extreme contrast, billions in impoverished regions of the Third World have never heard the life-giving gospel even once.
The primary work of the Holy Spirit is not simply for us to edify and build ourselves up through His gifts ad infinitum, but rather ultimately to empower us to be witnesses of Jesus Christ “to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
What should we now do to hasten the return of our Lord Jesus Christ?