Does Christ Seem Slow in His Return?

Larry settled into his seat and prepared for takeoff. The intercom crackled. “We’re waiting on passengers whose planes just landed. We’ll depart when they arrive,” the pilot said,

What about my connecting flight? Larry thought.

A few minutes later a young mother struggled down the aisle, diaper bag on one arm, baby in the other. A second child held her hand. Larry winced remembering his selfish thoughts.

Once in the air, the pilot said, “We’ll make up the time. You’ll arrive on time for your connecting flights.” The stragglers hadn’t made them late.

Larry thought of that as we discussed 2 Peter 3. Christ’s return feels slow to us, but it will come right on time. Compassion, not apathy, motivates the delay.

Christ’s return feels slow to us, but it will come right on time. Compassion, not apathy, motivates the delay. #hope, #RefreshingFaith Click To Tweet

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV).

Working While We Wait for Christ’s Return

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples wanted to know when He’d set up His kingdom. Like them, I want to know His timetable too.

He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 1:7-8 NIV).

His words remind me of Deuteronomy 29:29. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (NIV). God reveals what we need to know to do His will. If He hasn’t told us when—then we don’t need to know.

God reveals what we need to know to do His will. If He hasn’t told us when—then we don’t need to know. #Faith, #trust Click To Tweet

In Acts, Jesus’s words sound like a statement of fact. In Matthew 28:18-22 they are given as a command. He commands us to be His witnesses, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to be His witnesses.

The Greek word for witness is martys. We get our English word martyr from it. Eleven of the twelve disciples became martyrs in their witness for Christ. Men, who hid after Jesus’s crucifixion, willingly laid down their lives after spending forty days with the risen Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit.

The Bible calls the last seven years before Christ’s return the Great Tribulation. More believers will suffer martyrdom during that time than any time in history.

I believe the church will meet Jesus in the air before the worst comes upon the earth. But I don’t know how bad it will get before the rapture of believers. This leads me to two takeaways.

Takeaways

  1. The Holy Spirit empowers us to be faithful witnesses. The Spirit uses the Word of God to guide and protect us ( Ephes. 6:14-17, Heb. 4:12-12). For the strength to stand and be true to the end, we must continually read God’s word and walk in His Spirit.
    .
  2. Like the pilot who waited for stragglers, Christ’s delay allows others to be saved. Those who don’t come to Him before the rapture of the church will be left behind to endure the worst persecution in history. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Matt. 24:22 NIV).

No matter what book of the Bible I’m reading, end times verses continue to pop up. Many of us feel we’ve entered a pivotal time in history. May we wake up and be faithful to Christ’s command. It’s time to invite as many as possible to board the plane before takeoff.

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (Jn. 9:4 NIV).

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Blessings,

Opportunities

Join us on Saturday September 18th for a time of encouragement and equipping.

Thursday Evening Fall Bible Study for Women

Our daughter Ginny Wilson will be leading a Zoom study this fall. The group will go through Henry Cloud’s book Never Go Back. He looks at the top 10 awakenings we need to be successful and walks us through the key areas that hold people back from enjoying the freedom and abundant life Jesus died to give us.

The group starts September 16th. It runs 14 weeks and meets on Zoom Thursdays at 7 p.m. EST. Let us know if you are in so I can add you to the group.

Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory  #Recharge Wednesday, #Grace&Truth,

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. J.D. Wininger

    As soon as I read the title, the words of 2 Peter 3:9 came to mind. Thank you Mr. Larry for confirming my “right thinking” and to you both for adding other promises from God’s word I hadn’t even considered in this context. Always love your posts!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, J.D.! That is the verse that spurred this blog. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

  2. Ann J Musico

    Oh Debbie this is so good and such a perfect word for today. I honestly needed to read this today. He is so loving and compassionate – it’s not just about me and what I want to see happen NOW. It is about the fulfillment of His perfect will for all. Thank you.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Ann. I needed the reminder too! Thank you!

  3. Nancy E. Head

    I keep thinking of the time coming when no one can work.

    Another verse that comes to mind is that people will say, “Where is the promise of His coming?”

    I believe these times will converge. We are on the cusp.

    Frightening. Exhilarating.

    Great post.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Nancy, both frightening and exhilarating!

  4. Kelly Jenkins

    I really needed this. I really thought Jesus would come back during the feast of trumpets this year. All the prophecies have been fulfilled and all the signs of the the end times are there. But He will come back in the Father’s perfect timing and not a moment too soon or a moment too late. I just need to do His will in the waiting and be ready for that glorious day when the Father says go get them Jesus. I can’t wait!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me either!! Thanks, Kelly.

  5. Barbara Latta

    “If He hasn’t told us when–we don’t need to know.” So true. I never understand why people try to put a date on Jesus’ return. We can know the signs but the date is up to God. Thanks for this “get out attention” post, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I think it is like children asking every day how many more days until Christmas. We want to know we are getting closer and it’s really going to happen! 🙂 Thanks, Barbara.

  6. Brian Thomas

    Excellent and very relevant post! These are exciting times that we are living in for followers of Christ. We patiently and eagerly await HIs return which will be in His perfect timing!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, His timing is perfect, though sometimes it feels slow. 🙂 Thanks, Brian!

  7. Katherine Pasour

    We are blessed that God grants us time to prepare–but that also means we need to prepare! I pray that we can learn to love one another and encourage others to Christ as we wait.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Well said, Katherine!

  8. Joanna Eccles

    Thanks for the reminder that if God hasn’t told us something, it is because we don’t need to know it. He doesn’t keep us in the dark for what we need to know to obey His word.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Joanna, that scripture in Deut. has helped on many occasions!

  9. Tammy Kennington

    Debbie,

    This speaks to the heartbeat of what I’ve been feeling. It’s a place in which I feel an urgency to share His love and need for salvation.

    I’ll be sharing this tomorrow (as long as I can figure out how) on the linkup.

    Peace and grace,
    Tammy

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you for sharing, Tammy. Yes, I feel that too.

  10. Rebecca Jones

    Hi Debbie, His return is on the minds of a lot of people these days as we watch and wait, I too, believe He returns before the Tribulation, I have been writing hoping to clarify that as some may not even understand it.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Rebecca, I hope it occurs sooner than later! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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