June 2018

7.6 Billion Reasons Why I don’t Want Jesus to Come Yet

By Steve Peden, Project Director

There isn’t a week that goes by that some brother or sister in Christ does not give expression to their belief that Jesus must be coming soon. For many it is the very impetus for sponsoring a PROJECT: Steps to Christ mailing. I don’t have to tell anyone that evil doers are waxing worse and worse. Things seem to be lining up perfectly to usher in the last closing scenes of earth’s history. We’ve wandered more than four-times longer in this wilderness of sin than did ancient Israel in the Sinai desert. Surely the Lord has got to come soon!

But then I think to ponder the fate of the majority of earth’s 7.6 billion* should Jesus come as soon as we’d like Him to. And then I ponder my own heart condition, perhaps, not too far different from many others in the church. Are God’s people ready and poised to give the last message of mercy to this world and usher in the glorious appearing of Jesus?

We all have our particular views on the matter, so I hope you don’t mind me sharing mine. I am less concerned about movements at the Vatican and White House, than I am about movements within my own church, my own household, and the inner workings of my own soul. Of biggest concern to me is what has been my response to the message upon which the destiny of the whole church hangs (See Rev. 3:14-22)? Will the resulting “shaking” it unleashes in the church drive me closer to Christ or farther from Him? If I understand the inspired counsel in regards to all this, the message to the Laodiceans is designed to purify the church, unite us fully to Christ, and prepare us to work with Him in the last and greatest evangelistic effort this world has ever seen. I guess when I see this radical, corporate change taking place, the tokens of which I believe are now appearing, then I will become a believer and join the ranks of the faithful in declaring His coming near, even at the door.

Billions of lost people matter more to God than sparing the saints a few more hard years in this world. When the character of God is perfectly reproduced in His children, when we love lost people as He does, so much so that we would be willing to suffer anything to see them saved in His Kingdom, then, and not until then, will He come to claim us as His own.

When our work as ambassadors for Christ on earth is done, when every soul that will be saved is safely in the fold, then we can safely set our eyes on Heaven and say, “come Lord Jesus.” But until then, let us labor as He did, for the same joy that was set before Him, not counting Heaven a place to be desired while billions are still lost.

"Jesus did not count heaven a place to be desired while we were lost. He left the heavenly courts for a life of reproach and insult, and a death of shame. He who was rich in heaven's priceless treasure, became poor, that through His poverty we might be rich. We are to follow in the path He trod."