About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
There Be Faith On Earth?
I recall my parents'
generation of Evangelicals asking what seems to be an age old question.
What's this world coming to?
If it wasn't that question it was this one.
What's this generation coming to?
The second question was directed to my generation so in my
youthful optimism I'd suggest that things weren't as bad as my parents'
generation thought. Now that
I'm 63 years old I'm asking the same question, although without any
youthful optimism. It's hard
for me to believe that in just one generation the world, especially the
western world, has forsaken any Biblical influence it might have once
To support his position on this matter, my dad would quote from the prophetic passage of Matthew 24. From his prophetic perspective, dad believed that "many will turn away from the faith (Matthew 24:10). Dad just knew that "the love of most will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). He maintained that there'd be a great falling away in the last days, as his King James Bible put it in 2 Thessalonians 2:2. Of course, not everyone views these Scriptures in the same Prophetic Futurist light as dad viewed them. As I've said before, it took me a long time, but I've come around to dad's way of thinking. So, even with all of the good things transpiring in medicine, technology, and other fields, I view our world in a rapid slide away from Biblical faith and godliness.
Dad also quoted the last
part of Luke 18:8 to support his thinking.
"When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on
earth?" Jesus didn't
provide us with the answer, so as usual; we debate what the correct
answer is. Dad's generation
of Evangelicals took the side that there'd be little to no faith on
earth when Jesus returns.
Prior to asking the above
question Jesus told a parable of an unrighteous judge who was constantly
being bugged by a poor widow who demanded justice from him.
Jesus pointed out that even though the judge admitted he was
unjust, he still acted justly towards this widow. Jesus
then asked, "Will not God bring about justice for His chosen
ones?" Jesus didn't
provide the answer to this question either, but there's no debate here.
If an unjust judge can act justly, be assured, God will act
justly towards His chosen ones. There's
just one question to be asked. Who
are the chosen ones? Again,
Bible students are divided over what the correct answer is.
Jesus was speaking to
Jews on this occasion during what we call Old Testament times.
The New Testament era had not yet begun.
Throughout the Old Testament the chosen ones were Jews.
So, those to whom Jesus was speaking would have understood the
chosen ones to be Jews. If
Jesus had another group of chosen ones in mind, I think He would have
clarified that to His Jewish audience.
I conclude that the chosen ones of this passage were Jews.
Jesus then told His
disciples that the chosen ones, like the widow, cry out day and night
for justice. It might be
possible, and I say might be possible, that Jesus had the saints of
Revelation 6:9 to 11 in mind when He said these things.
The saints of Revelation 6 had been executed for their faith.
They were under the altar in Heaven crying out for justice day
and night, just as Jesus said here in Luke 18.
Jesus then told His
disciples in Luke 18:8 that justice would come quickly to the chosen
ones crying out for justice. If
Jesus did have the martyred saints of Revelation 6 in mind, then
justice would come quickly, but not before the last saint was killed for
his faith (Revelation 6:11), which I understand to be near the end of
the seven year tribulation.
Even though justice would
come quickly Jesus asked, "Will the Son of man find faith on earth
when He comes (Luke 18:8)?" At
least at the moment, I agree with dad's generation of Evangelicals.
As Jesus found little to no faith on earth at His first coming,
He will find little to no faith on earth when He comes again.
I say this because prior to His return at the end of the seven
year tribulation, most of the saints will have been executed for their
faith, leaving little to no faith left on earth when He returns.
Those who cave into the anti-Christ's demands will have turned
away from the faith as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:10.
If there is little to no
faith on earth when
Whether I'm on the right
side of this issue or not, I think you'd agree that we're living in a
world, including much of the world we call church, where people are
turning away from Biblical faith and godliness.
As the world around us becomes faithless, those of us with faith
will be pressured into forsaking our faith.
If we refuse to cave into the demand to forsake our faith, we'll
pay the unpleasant consequences.
Christians throughout the
world are now beginning to experience the unpleasant consequences for
their refusal to compromise their faith.
Christians are discovering that those preaching tolerance aren't
so tolerant after all. We
must stand firm on the side of Biblical faith.
We must be found among the faithful, despite the unpleasant
consequences that will come our way.