Blog Devotionals

Every Local Church Has a Global Responsibility

July 8, 2024 | Sam Rainer

This week we continue with our series on the mountains of the Bible. I will preach on the significance of the Mount of Olives, a two-and-a-half-mile-long ridge that sits over the eastern side of Jerusalem. It’s covered in olive trees and consists of three summits made of cretaceous limestone with a chalklike layer on top. The central summit is the one specially called the “Mount of Olives,” and it is approximately 3,000 feet above sea level.

The Mount of Olives is where King David fled Absalom in 2 Samuel 15. It is where the prophet Ezekiel saw the cherubim chariot land in Ezekiel 11. Zechariah prophesies this area would split and form a valley in the last days.

The middle summit is where Jesus was shortly before the encounter with the woman caught in adultery, and it is likely where the story of the cursing of the fig tree took place. The Mount of Olives was well-traversed during the time of Christ as a way to avoid Samaria.  

However, one story stands out, with the Mount of Olives as a backdrop: The Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and 25. In these chapters, Jesus prophesies about the destruction of the temple, which would happen in 70 A.D., shortly after he ascends. He also prophesies about His second coming, which we are still anticipating. In this discourse, Jesus warns of false teachers and foretells of persecution that will happen to His followers.

One of the important points of this passage is how following Christ strengthens our ability to endure trials. We will experience low points, attacks, and seasons of confusion. When we’re saved, we don’t get saved from trials but rather through trials. Our passage for this Sunday is Matthew 24:1-14. We’ll cover more of the Olivet Discourse later in
the year in our Matthew series. The main emphasis this Sunday is how every local church has a global mandate. There are 6,700 people groups all over the world who still need to hear the gospel!

Jesus teaches on the Mount of Olives, “This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” West Bradenton is a neighborhood church for the nations. If you care about the end of the story, you will work to complete the story.