The Holy Spirit and a
By Mark A. Finley
Have you ever wondered how the gospel will be preached to the entire world in preparation for the coming of Jesus? The challenge is huge. With billions of people populating Planet Earth, how will they ever be reached with the message of Jesus and Bible truth?
From a human standpoint this appears impossible. Even with radio, television, the printed page, and the Internet, our human resources are just too limited to reach humanity’s masses. But God has a plan. His message of love and truth will be preached to the ends of the earth. In this lesson we’ll study God’s plan for finishing His work.
1. In Jesus’ memorable sermon about last-day events in Matthew 24, He lists various signs of His return. What final sign does Jesus give His disciples that the end is near?
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14).
The_____________of the_________________will be preached in all the______________.
2. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission and made a great promise. What was His Great Commission? What was His great promise?
“‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” (Matt. 28:19, 20).
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The Great Commission:___________disciples of all the___________, ____________them … ,
_____________________________them to observe all things.
The great promise: You shall receive_______________when the ____________ _____________
has come upon you; and you shall be ______________________________________to Me.
Jesus’ commission to preach the gospel to the end of the earth is accompanied by His promise of power. Everything God asks us to do, He supplies us with the power to do. His grace is always sufficient for the task. His Holy Spirit always empowers those who step out in faith to share His love with others.
3. How will God’s work on earth be finished? What promises does God Himself give us about the finishing of His work?
“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6).
“For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth” (Rom. 9:28).
God will finish His work by ___________________________ __________________________.
And it will be cut __________________________________________________in righteousness.
4. If God is going to finish His work through the mighty outpouring of His Holy Spirit, what role will His people play?
“Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain” (Zech. 10:1).
“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12).
God invites us to ask Him for the _________________________ _______________________.
In Palestine the early rain fell first to bring the seed to harvest. The latter rain fell to ripen the harvest and bring it to fruition. Without the latter rain the harvest would languish in the field. The latter rain was essential for an abundant harvest. Both Old and New Testament writers use the symbolism of rain to represent the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:23-29; James 5:7, 8). The early rain was poured out upon the early church at Pentecost to launch the Christian church. The latter rain will be poured out upon God’s remnant at the end time to complete God’s mission on earth.
5. The apostle John saw God’s message of last-day truth speedily proclaimed to the ends of the earth. Describe each group to whom the message is preached. How complete is this final proclamation?
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).
God’s message will go to every__________________, _______________, _______________,
and _________________. In other words, to ____________________________________.
6. What amazing promise does God make about the final display of His glory?
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14).
“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory” (Rev. 18:1).
The earth will be_____________with the ___________of the_______________of the Lord.
What an amazing prediction! The earth will be filled with the glory of God. His people, filled by His Holy Spirit, will both live and proclaim His message of grace and truth. They will reveal His love in their lives and their words. The entire world will see living demonstrations of God’s grace in the lives of His people. They will hear the message of truth proclaimed from lips that are aflame with His love, and hearts that are filled with His grace. This is the time to seek Him with all our hearts, so that we, too, can be part of this last-day revelation of His character to the world.
Our next Bible study will examine Spirit-filled living.