3-12-2022 Shall He find Faith?
Jesus had just shared the parable about the woman and the unjust judge. Understand that the judge didn’t believe in God nor did he care about “who” a person was. He just got tired of this woman continually coming back and ‘buggin’ him! So he finally gave her what she asked.
Luke 18:7-8 Shall He Find Faith?
Consider that though God’s elect cry out to Him day and night and He is long suffering towards us, He will avenge us. But, Jesus asks a question “When the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on earth?”
Say what?! Of course He will. Look at all the people who have professed Jesus as savior. Look at all the Christian churches. How could He NOT find faith when He comes back?
Look at what the Pharisee said, when he approached the altar “I thank you God that I’m not like other men, committing sin and violating Your law (Paraphrased). I fast TWICE a week and give tithes of all that all that I have.” Now, where is this man’s self-image? What does he truly think of himself? (Luke 18:10-12)
Now, consider the publican, standing off from the altar, too ashamed to even look towards heaven, striking his chest, who says “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Where is his self-image? Or should I rather say, in respect to God, who does this man consider himself to be? (Luke 18:13)+
One man thinks that he is ‘all that. The other knows he is not worthy of God. One is prideful. The other is humble.
When Jesus comes back, which will He find? Pride – I’m a Christian so I’m all that, heaven is due me! Or humility – “Jesus, I know that You shed your blood for me and all that I am is in You. Thank You for loving me so much!”
Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians urged the brothers, that as we gather together, because we await the return of our Lord Jesus, don’t be troubled. Don’t let our mind be confused, neither by some spirit, a spoken word, not even a letter from another Christian that the day of Christ is already at hand. Don’t let any man deceive you for that day won’t come until first there is a falling away and the son of perdition is revealed. That is he who exalts himself above anything that is God or is worshipped and he desires to sit as God, in the temple (2 Thess. 2:1-4). That is, he desires to be foremost in our lives. Don’t believe anyone who says Christ has returned for Jesus shall return in the clouds and will be evident to all that He has returned (Mark 13:26-27).
The anti-Christ shall come but first, many in the church will fall away. Even as Peter denied Jesus three times – but will there be repentance? Peter repented (Matt. 26:69-75).
Paul addresses the ‘religious’ practices of the Corinthians, but the bottom line is that we judge ourselves so we don’t be judged (by God). Why? Father chastens us to get us back on track so we don’t find ourselves condemned with the world (1 Corinth. 11:31-32). Paul chastises the church for being ‘nitpicky’ when people don’t do things exactly the way ‘we’ think they should. We need to ask Father to show us their heart. Jesus and His disciples didn’t wash their hands when they sat down to eat at the Pharisee’s house. Jesus then explained that it wasn’t what goes into the mouth of a man, rather what comes out of his mouth is what defiles him (Matt. 15:1-11). In short, don’t get wrapped up in what other people see about us or what we want them to think, but know where our heart is – in Jesus Christ. It is so easy to see where others have gotten off track, yet we seldom recognize our own faults. We need to take care of the ‘home front’ first, then we can help others to avoid God’s judgment (Matt. 7:1-5). David messed up and repented and Father forgave him and set him back into right standing. Again, as Paul told the Corinthians, we need to judge ourselves and repent so we don’t have to face God’s judgment.
When Jesus returns, He will separate the sheep from the goats. The goat’s hearts weren’t right as they did not live life as Jesus prescribed and will be cast into everlasting punishment. The sheep love God with all their heart therefore remain obedient to His will, His word, His love and are welcomed into His eternal kingdom (Mat. 25:31-45). Jesus tells us that there will be many who will call Him Lord and will have done many things in His name but will not have loved Him. They didn’t live in His will. Jesus will tell them to depart because they are among those who worked iniquity (Matt. 7:20-23). They never took the time to get to know Jesus.
When our heart is right with the Lord, everything else will fall into its proper place.
We’ve said lit before (in previous blog entries) and it bears repeating again that Jesus desires that we all be one with Him as He is one with the Father, that we can all be ONE together. AS we endeavor to serve Jesus (John 17:20-26). As we grow, we find ourselves doing that which is right in the sight of God – not our own. What did Jesus pray? “Father, not My will but your will be done” (Luke 22:42). For ourselves, we might add “in my life and through my life”. In that, we assure that the cup is washed on the inside as well as on the outside so our whole vessel is clean (Luke 11:39-40)!
We need to ask ourselves “How many times have I heard the church called ‘hypocritical’?” We need to make sure we are not among those who fit this description.
That what which we do, we do by ‘living’ for and in Jesus Christ, our Lord. And just how do we do that? Obviously, we have to invite Jesus into our heart – The sinner’s prayer “Lord, I am a sinner. I confess my sins before you (as Father brings things to mind, we need to speak them out before God). Forgive me my sins (thank You for your loving kindness). Father, I receive that forgiveness and I determine to flee sins in the future. I am weak so be my strength Lord that I can resist the enemy (devil) and should I fall, oh Lord, I know that as I am faithful and true to confess and repent any sin, You are faithful and true to forgive me that sin and that (as with all sin) you put behind your back (Isa. 38:17) casting it into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). You are my strength, my hope, help me to live in your love.”
John tells us, in his first letter, about God’s love. As we abide in that love, we know we have the assurance of eternal fellowship with the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord (1 John 5:13). We should live in God’s selfless, all-giving love. We are fooling, OK we lie, to ourselves and to the world when that is not our goal. As we read that epistle of John, we see that if we truly love God, His love is evident in our lives. But, if we can’t love that which we do see (other people), how can we truly love Father, whom we don’t ‘see’? Of course, ‘experiencing’ the presence of God Almighty might be correlated with ‘seeing’ Him.
I’m not talking about being a doormat, here. I’m talking about caring for others enough to want what is best for them and be willing to reach out and help them. Notice I didn’t say ‘do it for them’ but, rather help them to achieve their goals through Jesus Christ. Yes, ‘they’ have to do something.
Jesus is the epitome of assertiveness. Being assertive is not bragging or boasting on ourselves but knowing who and what we are in Christ Jesus and having confidence in all that we do. We can be assertive when we know who we are in Christ Jesus and are confident that He is always with us (Heb. 13:5). So we ought not to be concerned what man can do to our body but rather be concerned about what He, who determines what happens to our soul, can do (Matt. 10:28).
Yet, we need to be like the five wise virgins – always ready, always watching, prepared to go with our Lord when He does call (Matt. 25:1-13). Let us be living in His love.
The books of Matthew, Thessalonians and Revelation all give us a pretty good picture of what to expect when Jesus does come back for us. Soooo:
Are we living for Him?
Do we know who we are in Christ Jesus?
Are we watching and always ready to go?
When He returns, how will He find us?
Living in faith?
Shall He find faith?