What is the timing of the Second Coming? I would like to talk about a specific power that we have today and that is to hasten OR delay the coming of Christ.
Examples of the Power of One
Good – Rahab
Matthew 1:5-7, 16 Rahab is in the lineage of King David (which means Christ as well).
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
Bad – Achan
You have, perhaps an even greater power today as an individual, to affect the timing of the return of Christ. We all want this!
Have you ever thought about why we are to pray in the following manner:
In Matthew 6:10 Jesus admonished all Christians to pray: “Your kingdom come.”
WHY are we to pray this if it is coming at a specific time? The reason is that there is some flexibility depending on events as to when Christ will return…sooner OR perhaps later.
In end-time events there is some give or take as to timing:
Some prophecies are conditional — they are conditioned upon whether man repents like Jonah and Nineveh. Let’s look at another example though in
Prophecy will not “fail,” but this does not prevent God from intervening
Romans 9:28 FOR HE WILL FINISH THE WORK AND CUT IT SHORT IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, BECAUSE THE LORD WILL MAKE A SHORT WORK UPON THE EARTH.”
Which Are We Personally Doing?
If we look at events in our lifetime? It would seem so. Has He sped up or allowed to speed up events in the world more recently? Perhaps…
It seemed as I was growing up that though the world was poised to move forward prophetically it did not. Now it seems like hardly a day goes by that we can see events moving forward.
Here is the thing — some are not within our control, BUT others that are and those are the ones that we need to focus on.
Israel in the Wilderness
The Abernathy brothers near the turn of the 20th century (~1911) crossed the country on horseback not sleeping or eating inside. They covered 2500 miles in 62 days — as young children!
How long do you think it would take for a larger group to go 1/10 the distance…250 mile-ish? Some say it should have only taken 11 days. But instead it they were in the wilderness for 40 years!
Psalms 78:41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.
Rev 10:5-6 … there should be delay no longer,
Since Revelation 10:6 says that there will be no more delay, it shows that there HAD BEEN a delay before.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
2 Peter 3:11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
2 Peter 3:12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
God gives us time to repent and change. He does not strike us down immediately. We are given time to be convicted by our own conscience and the power of God working within us. But He can only wait so long – Christ will have to return. So, how long will we delay our part?
This is one of the reasons that it is kept within the purview of God and why no one can know the day of Christ’s return.
Mark 13:32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
If we are not hastening then I would dare say that we are delaying and God has something to say about that in Matthew 24:48-51
What are we to be doing?
As a whole, we have to ask ourselves if are we hastening or delaying the return of our Lord.
We have been given an initial amount of the holy spirit or spiritual gifts. The adding to our talents represents spiritual growth and overcoming in this life — each according to his own ability. He will reward us for works.
The one who had gained another two accomplished just as much in proportion to his ability. He, too, received an equal reward. This is one reason we do not judge according to appearance.
The last one did not overcome, he did not grow spiritually, he developed no character. The parable of the talents shows that each is judged by what he has to work with and it is incumbent upon us to do something with it. But the one who makes no PROGRESS after his initial conversion is cast as an unprofitable servant into outer darkness
The parable shows we are to be judged by how well we do with what we have. That is, one with the lesser ability will be judged according to motivation, application, diligence, and persistence according to capacity. To whom much – in natural ability, and spiritual gifts – is given, much will be required. The one of lesser ability stands just as good a chance for reward in God’s Kingdom as the one of great ability.
At the end of the day everyone has a responsibility to be doing all that they can!
One person has the power to affect whole nations for Good or for Bad. We have the power to hasten or delay the the most anticipated event of mankind … the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ!
Does God want to return -> you betcha! But what if He is waiting on just you? What if He has to push back His return a year or two or three or…. What if we wake up tomorrow and we are not one day closer to the Kingdom of God — but rather farther away?