“And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end shall come.” (Matt 24:14)
According to statistics published today, the Queen‘s funeral is predicted to have drawn in some 4 billion people from around the world. Every nation, apart from Russia, had sent either the head of site or an emissary to the event. As we watched the Queen’s coffin and funeral possession make its reverent way out of Westminster abbey towards her final resting place at Windsor Castle, we were not just watching the slow turning of a page of history and the end of an era, although both were true. I believe we may have been witnessing the most important shift in the spiritual realm and the most significant date on Heaven’s calendar since the crucifixion.
The Queen was a Christian: almost certainly the best known and best loved Christian in the world. She has alluded on a number of occasions to her faith in public speeches over the many years of her reign, but she never had a complete freedom politically to preach the full message of the gospel. For that she waited until her death. Although the funeral was itself a state orchestrated occasion, the prayerful Queen wrote the script; she chose the Bible passages, the Psalms and the hymns. The Scriptures that were proclaimed to nearly half of the world’s population today declared uncompromisingly that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father but by Him. Every nation apart from Russia stood under the Gospel today: even North Korea and Iran were represented.
Matthew 24:14 says: “And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end shall come.“ I don’t know about you, but I have always imagined that this would be a gradual process, accelerating in the last days. But I believe that this morning we may have seen that scripture fulfilled before our eyes. God has prepared the nations for the reign of Queen Elizabeth over the centuries, and throughout her reign she has been a faithful witness to Him in her example of loving servant leadership. But like Samson, she achieved far more in her death than throughout the 70 years of her reign: she preached the gospel of the kingdom to the representatives of every nation and to the inhabitants of half the world in a single hour.
If this isn’t the actual fulfilment in history of Matthew 24:14, it is a profound prophetic sign of what is to come. Many millions who loved her and who heard the message will now be considering the claims of Christ on their lives. The enemy will have hated it, and we can expect a backlash to traverse the world like a tidal wave. The shaking that the world is already beginning to experience will accelerate, and the separation of light from darkness will become more and more apparent, defining the new creation just as it began the old.
A trumpet sounded in Westminster Abbey today. God put His rainbow in the sky above Buckingham Palace as a sign for all to see. It is time for the church to lay to rest the dead body of lifeless religion, tune our ears to the voice of the King of Kings and rise up to reap the end time harvest He has prepared. We may not have a lot of time.