There is a programme of world-winning
repeatedly outlined in this old Book of God. That programme has not always been clearly understood. Indeed, it may be said that for the most part it has been misunderstood, and still is by many. And, as a result, many churchmen have lost their bearings, and strayed far from the Master's plan for their own lives and service. It helps greatly to get the programme clear in mind, so we can steer a straight course, and not get confused nor lost.
The first item of that programme is world-wide evangelization. That is the great service and privilege committed to the Church, and to every Christian, for this present time. Every other service is second to this. This does not mean world-wide conversion. That comes later. It does mean a full, winsome telling of the story of Jesus' Gospel, to all nations and to all men.
It means the doing of it by all sorts of helpful, sensible means; the hospital and medical dispensary, the school and college, the printed page, and the practical helping of men in every way that they can be helped. Above all, it means the warm, sympathetic, brotherly touch. Not simply by preaching; that surely, but in addition to that the practical preaching of the Gospel by all of these means..
When that has been accomplished the Kingdom will come. The King will come, and with Him the Kingdom. There will be radical changes in all the moral conditions of the earth. It will be a time of greatly increased evangelization, and of conversions of people in immense numbers. It will seem as if all were giving glad allegiance to Jesus the King. The world will then seem to be indeed a won world.
But there will be many who have simply been swung into line outwardly by the general movement among the mass of peoples, just as it always is. And our King wants whole-hearted love and service.
And so, at the end of the kingdom period, there will come another crisis. It is spoken of by John in his Revelation vision as a loosing of Satan, and a renewal of his activity among men. That used to puzzle me a good bit. I wondered why, when that foul fiend had once been securely fastened up, he should be loosed again. But I'm satisfied that the reason is that at the end of the Kingdom time there is to be full opportunity for those who are not at heart loyal to Jesus, and who simply bow to Him because the crowd is doing so, to be perfectly free to do and go as they choose.
Jesus wants a heart allegiance, and only that. The great thing is that every man shall freely choose as he really prefers. This it is that both makes and reveals character. And so there will be a final crisis. All who at heart prefer to do so may swing away from Jesus.
That crisis ends with the final and overwhelming defeat of Satan and all the forces of evil. He goes to his own place, the place he has chosen and made for himself; and all who prefer to leave God out will go by the moral gravitation of their own choice to that place with him.
Then follows the full vision of a won world, which John pictures in such glowing colors in these last two chapters of Revelation, as a city come down from God out of heaven.