Summary: A reflection on Christ's question asking ourselves, “What would Jesus find if He returned to Earth for His bride today?”
What would Jesus find if He returned to Earth today? Luke 18:1-8
Jesus Christ instructed His disciples in the school of prayer. He taught that a believer must have a persistent enduring faith we he or she prays. He gave the example of a widow’s persistent faith in coming before an unjust judge until she finds justice. How much more should we persevere before the Righteous Judge of the universe. He concludes this portion of the lesson on prayer with a question. Will the Son of man find on earth a persistence in faith answering to the widow's? In reflecting on that question I began ask, “What would Jesus find if He returned to Earth for His bride today?”
I. Christians wearing soiled garments – no holiness
A. Christ’s purpose for the church is seen in Ephesians 4:25b – 27, “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
B. Holiness is no longer a popular thing to teach or preach. Many feel that the grace of God covers everything, no matter what we do. Holiness is seen as old-fashioned and a turn-off.
C. 2 Timothy 3:1-6 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
D. The Body of Christ has become so identified with the world that it is nearly impossible to identify the church from the world. You cannot tell the difference between the tares and the wheat. There was a time when that meant that you could not tell the difference between a religious or moral person and a true Christian in that many unsaved act like saved individuals. Today, unfortunately, the reverse is true the church has started acting so much like the world that you can’t tell the difference.
E. Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
F. Conformed = copying the behavior and customs of this world
G. Too many Christians have compromised themselves with the world. Someone has said that compromise is simply changing the question to fit the answer.
H. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
I. James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
J. Part of the problem is that according to a Barna poll; just half of all Protestant Senior Pastors (51%) meet the criteria for having a biblical worldview. The criteria are believing that God is the all-knowing and all-powerful creator of the universe who still rules it today; that Jesus Christ never sinned; that Satan is real; that salvation is received through faith in Christ, not by good deeds; that every follower of Christ has a responsibility to share their faith with non-believers; that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; that absolute moral truth exists; and that absolute moral truth is described in the Bible. - The Barna Group of Ventura, California, www.barna.org
K. The modern church is quickly becoming a church that proclaims "a God without wrath, who brings men without sin, into a kingdom without judgment, through a Christ without a cross.” – Brian D Vos, The Church in the Midst of the World: Called Back to Christ
L. Realize that there is no forgiveness without repentance, no discipleship without obedience, no salvation without surrender, or true confession without consecration.
M. Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age”
II. Christians that have silent tongues – no evangelism
A. Acts 1:8 “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.”
B. Matthew 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”