"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come"
Many in the church today try to determine the nearness of Christ's return by reading the signs of the times. We see such signs in specific; for example, the return of the Jews to Israel. Yet one of the clearest statements Jesus makes about His second coming is contained in the verse above. The end will come only after the gospel has been preached to all the nations as a testimony. The word that Jesus uses for " witness," in this verse is the same Greek word for " testimony." In short, He says the Gospel we preach is effective only if it is backed up by a life that testifies to its reality. ( David Wilkerson)
Do you see what David is saying here? It's not about the Gospel preached, it's about the Gospel lived. The Gospel lived out is a testimony to the power of Jesus to transform men into new creatures. It's not so much the correctness of the doctrine, although doctrine is important, it's about the reality of the witness. The genuine saint living a life empowered by Jesus is a witness to the world. Can we say that Christendom today is a witness to the world? In the average church in America, all the stats of the world on matters of divorce and such are simply the same. The world cannot tell the difference between themselves and Christianity. So, not only is there not a witness for Christ, there is a vehicle for mocking.
This Greek word for testimony or witness is a legal term, it is about evidence. In a criminal case a prosecutor or defender will call forward witnesses and present their testimony as evidence. One way to nullify a witness is to discredit that witness. If I can show you that the witness has a record of lying or has himself a criminal record, then I can discredit the witness and render his testimony ineffectual. One could well argue that Satan has done this with what passes for modern-day Christianity. He has shown by evidence that Christendom as a whole cannot be counted upon to be a witness to the truth because their very lives deny the truth that they claim to stand for.
Yet, our Lord's word still stands. If Jesus says that the Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached and shall be a witness to all the nations of the world then that shall surely come to pass. Now how can the tatters of what passes for Christianity be a witness to all the world when it is so clearly waning and falling away? Here is an interesting thing. This word witness is also used in the context of being a martyr. When the word is used in Acts 1:22, Acts 22:15, Acts 26:16, 1 Pet 5:1, Rev 1:5 and Rev 3:14 it is the same word as martyr. God is calling a remnant out of Christendom to be His martyrs/witnesses to the world and then He will come. The witnesses God is calling are genuine eye-witnesses to His glory and their lives reflect that, give testimony to that. They have knelt before Calvary, they have seen His glory, their lives not only testify to this but they are unashamed of the Gospel of Christ in a perverse and wicked generation. They are not afraid of men because they are lovers of the truth.
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Rev 12:10-11) You see who overcomes the accuser of the brethren? Those who are genuinely covered by the Blood of the Lamb and who are a testimony/witness by their very lives and by their un-ashamedness to stand up speak and share the truth. And of course, a vital part of the equation, they love not their own lives unto death.
As the great tribulation unfolds and the saints suffer persecution and martyrdom as never before, then only those who are genuine eye-witnesses to the power of God in their lives will stand. As the rest fall away, those who were Christian in name only because they are not covered by the Blood nor is their lives a testimony and they love their lives more than they love God whom they have claimed to serve, then only the remnant will remain. And since the great persecution of the last days is world-wide, then the true saints will be revealed in every tongue and every tribe and every nation, they will stand as God's witnesses to His power and glory " and then shall the end come."