Summary: On this Intrernational Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, when Jesus comes, will He find faith on the earth?
When the Son of Man Comes,
Will He Find Faith on the Earth?
Rev. Brian Bill
Today is Veteran’s Day. Could I ask those of you who have served our country to please stand? Some of you have a son or daughter or spouse or parent in the service right now. Could you please stand as well so we can express our gratitude? I came across a very sad statistic this week. Did you know that one in four homeless people in the U.S. are vets, even though they make up only 11% of the population? By the way, one way to increase your awareness is by visiting the War Museum here in Pontiac.
Information like this is unsettling, and we’ve certainly been unsettled by some of things that the Savior has said in the Gospels during this series called, “What Jesus Wants to Know: Questions Christ Asked.” Here’s where we’ve been so far:
* Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
* How many loaves do you have?
* Has it not been written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer?’
* Do you want to get well?
And today the question we’re going to ponder is a bit perplexing and certainly unsettling. Turn in your Bibles to Luke 18:8: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
When Jesus looks at the church in America, what does He see right now? Have you ever wondered about the state of the church in our country today?
[Play “State of Church” video]
I read a study this week from SermonCentral.com in which this question was asked: “Do you think the church in America is appropriately reflecting the character of God?” Only 13% of the respondents said “yes.”
“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Three truths stand out to me from this question.
1. Christ is coming. Note that it doesn’t say “if” He comes, but “when” He comes. The Bible indicates that He will come “like a thief in the night,” when we least expect Him. If we back up a bit to Luke 17:26-28, while people are partying and thinking only of themselves, just like in the days of Noah, the Son of Man will come. It’s way too easy to play and not pray.
Friends, while we don’t know when Jesus is coming, we know He can come at any time. Having said that, Matthew 24:14 indicates that His return is somehow contingent on our obedience to the Great Commission: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
2. The faithful will be few. The question Jesus asks expects a negative answer. When Jesus returns will he find faith on the earth? He will find more people faltering than faithful. This reminds me of Psalm 12:1: “Help, Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men.”
3. Persecution will be prevalent. We know from other passages that persecution will become prevalent the closer we get to Christ’s coming. Some of us have bought into the belief that once we have Jesus in our life, everything will go great. Maybe we’ve even thought that we should be successful and financially well off. Actually, the Bible says that the exact opposite will happen for those who honor and obey Christ. Listen to Acts 14:22: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Jesus never taught the “prosperity gospel,” but He did preach the “persecution gospel.” Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”