63. Speeding Or Slowing the Return of Jesus

In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

Memorise This Verse: 2 Peter 3:12 ‘You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming’

Afterwards Talk About This:  Are we waiting for Jesus or is he waiting for us.

Something To Do Before Next Time:  Pray for your church leadership so that your church might play it’s part in speeding the return of Jesus.

Written Diploma Work:  Write one side on what we must do to speed the return of Jesus.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse:  2 Timothy 4:8

In no less than 9 separate places the bible refers to the fact that a Christian should be looking forward to, and working towards, the second return of Jesus to the earth these scriptures have been listed in a previous section. In particular, out of this abundance of scriptures, one of them provides a very significant insight about the second return of Jesus.

2 Peter 3:12 ‘You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming’

It would appear then that the body of Christ, and in fact each individual Christian can actually affect the timing of the return of Jesus to the earth. Since the above scripture shows that we can hasten and speed the return of Jesus to the earth, then the converse is also true – we can hinder and delay it. The divine plan of God is consequently bound up with the church and it’s activities in the earth and is limited to the extent that the church chooses to co-operate with this plan.

Since the bible portrays this solemn truth that the body of Christ can help or hinder the return of Jesus, how can we identify if we as individual Christians are playing our part? Since it has been argued that the Great Commission must be completed before Jesus returns, and we each have our part to play in the completion of the Great Commission, it can lead to only one logical conclusion.

Those who are faithfully dispatching their part in the Great Commission are facilitating, enabling and speeding the return of Jesus to the earth those who aren’t are hindering and preventing their Lord from returning.

As a specific example let us consider those who are called to serve as senders and invest their money in supporting missionaries preach the word of God. Through failing to give and withholding the money that God has ordained be released to support missionaries, their entrance onto the mission field is delayed.

Moreover, the delay in the dispatch of missionaries to the mission field will lead to a delay in un-reached people groups receiving the gospel, which in itself will lead to a delay in the return of Jesus to the earth. If you know that you are called to serve as a sender, dare you withhold your money and hinder the return of Jesus.

Is God asking too much when he asks you for your money, when he asks you to share with him what he has given you, in order that those in heathen darkness may hear the Gospel? Is a gift of money to be compared with a gift of life? If the martyrs gave their all, can we not give at least something, and thus do our part to evangelise the world? Oswald J Smith – A Passion for Souls.

It can be further argued that there are other ways that those who are called to serve as senders can hinder the return of Jesus other than just refusing to give their money. Perhaps the biggest way that this happens is when money that should be given specifically to the foreign mission field is given instead to a ministry at home.

The call of Christ is to take the gospel to those who have never heard it why then invest your money in taking the gospel to your locality when it already has it, when there are millions of those who have never heard it and need missionaries to be sent to them?

‘If world evangelism comes first, then we should concentrate on giving to missions and let others who do not have the vision, contribute to other things. There will always be plenty for the home work, for there are always those who put the home work first. The many worthwhile objects here at home will be cared for, since only the minority will be interested in the supreme task of the church…….

Let those who do not have the vision, those who do not know God’s programme, let them give to the many worthy causes here at home but let those of us who have heard God’s call, let us concentrate on pioneer work in the Regions Beyond. Let us put our money into one thing and one thing only, that of reaching the remaining thousand unevangelised tribes with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There are those without a vision, who are moved by appeals and give a little here and a little there, and have but little to show for it, whereas they could put all they give back of the most important work of the hour and see a whole new country evangelised. There are men who could have the untold joy of supporting fifty or a hundred missionaries in pioneer territory, who are today giving to a hundred and one nearby enterprises’ Oswald J Smith – A Passion for Souls.

Perhaps you have faithfully given to work in your locality for years and doubtless you have used your money to see souls saved in your local areas – but what have you done for those outside your local area who have never heard the gospel?

In the short time that is left why not be specific and target part of your giving away from those who already have the gospel, and invest it in the greatest task at the present time of reaching the un-reached.

A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations

Pray for Lebanon

3,281,787 people, 31% Christian

Base for church to reach the Middle East, church weakened by emigration.

This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.

The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.

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