“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14
The speculation has continued for almost two thousand years now. When will Christ return? No one knows the exact date, of course. (In fact, if you encounter someone who makes such a claim, you will know you are hearing from a false prophet!) But the Bible does give us some guidance. For instance, Matthew tells us that the end will occur after “all nations” have heard the gospel.
What is the gospel? The gospel is the fact that Christ has died for our sins, because our sins have separated us from God. But Christ has also risen from the dead to conquer sin and death, and so shall we, when we come to receive salvation in Christ. That is what the Gospel is about.
Matthew also speaks about “nations.” The Greek word for nations, “ethnos,” does not mean the nations you see on a map. “Ethnos” refers to all the people groups on earth. And since there are all kinds of people groups who have not yet been exposed to the gospel, the mission of the church is not yet complete.
But, in the 21st century, with the internet, radio, TV, PDA’s, and all the other modern means of telecommunications and travel, there is the opportunity to take the gospel to every people group on the face of the earth. And at some point when that mission is accomplished, the end of this age will be over. Christ will return and finally His will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. The way things look, it could be very soon.