“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world (οἰκουμένῃ) as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” ~ Matthew 24:14
The difference between οἰκουμένῃ and κόσμος in The Greek is very important. When English translations give us the words “Earth” and “World” it’s very important to know if that English word is referring to all the region that Rome was able to census which would be oikoumenē (οἰκουμένῃ) or the world, universe, all the inhabitants of the world which would be Kosmos (κόσμος).
In the scripture above which was in the context of Christ speaking to his disciples after harshly rebuking the “religious leaders” of their day. After calling the teachers of the law “a broad of vipers” and telling them that all the blood of the innocent prophets would be upon their own heads within THAT generation he sat down with his disciples and started telling them that not one stone of their worship place would be left upon another (in reference to the temple’s destruction). All of this was to come to pass within 40 years (one biblical generation) of him saying it with the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. by the roman armies. The armies surrounding Jerusalem was “the abomination of desolation” spoke of in Daniel 9:27 as well as 11:31.
In the Scripture above the words “Whole World” (English) was translated from the Greek word oikoumenē. It’s very important to understand that Jesus was telling his disciples that “This gospel of The Kingdom” would be preached to all the Asian providence or region that Rome could census before this great destruction would come upon their temple and heads… He then began to give them sound instruction (that was passed on to the first century Christians) on what to do when they were to see the armies surround Jerusalem (the abomination of desolation.) He told them to pray that this destruction would not take place in the winter and to be ready to flee to the Mountains of Judea.
Thank God these instructions were to The Christians of that day and not to you or me because quite honestly from where I am I just don’t think my sneakers could make it.
On the 9th of Av. The most horrible, almost unimaginable seize from Rome came down on Jerusalem. Some 1.1 million Jews were slaughtered over a period of 11 months in some of the most barbaric and horrific ways. There were reports of starvation so bad that a women was found eating her own child. Sorry for being so graphic but this is only one of the horrific things that took place in this amazingly little talked about event in history.
Nothing short of amazing is that Josephus a historian had written that it was legend that not one single Christian perished those day’s in the seize because they had all taken flight to the mountains.
You see, a proper translation and understanding of this Chapter in the bible (Matthew 24) and being able to safely put this event behind us as Christians we can now freely get along with The Great Commission that Christ has given us to advance His Kingdom into all the world (Kosmos) as in Matthew 5 :14.
Isn’t this awesome! “You are the light of the world.” Be Free Church! Our future is bright in Christ! We have some work to do! Be empowered by His Love and Let’s keep Going!
In His Love, Pastor Scott