Shall He Find Faith?

Volume 7, No. 5
"Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)

Latter Day Believers

There are a number of Bible prophecies that speak about conditions in the last days. There is also abundant revelation on the attitude of the servants of God during this "time of trouble", just before the Lord Jesus returns to this earth to set up his Kingdom. The words of the Master (in the box at the top) are one of those prophetic indicators, questioning if there will be any faith when the "son of man cometh."

Shall he find faith on the earth?

These words are at the conclusion of a parable by the Messiah in Luke, chapter 18. The purpose of the parable is found in the first verse of this chapter. "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." The parable centers on a poor widow who does not faint, she continually cries out to an unjust judge for him to avenge her. Her faith in the power of the unjust judge is rewarded.

The question is whether our Master will find this kind of perseverance among his elect servants. Will they have faith enough in the power of God to avenge them speedily? Will they be crying day and night, looking for the redemption and blessings that will be associated with the return of Christ?

By grace, through faith

We all understand that faith is such an important part of the salvation process. How strong is our faith? When the Master has questioned whether he will find this real faith when he comes, should we not want to take a closer look at how much faith we have?

It is lack of faith that leads to sin and, ironically, it is faith that is needed before we are eligible for forgiveness. The bottom line is that we need to do all that we can to increase our faith in these final days, not assuming that the mercy of God will cover all of our weaknesses.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10:17)

( 2 Tim 3:1)

There are several prophecies that speak specifically about things that will happen in the very last days, just before the return of Christ to this earth. The words quoted above are from 2 Timothy 3:1-4, where we read:

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."

These words are very descriptive concerning the conditions that will exist in the last days. We can not help but notice that these words can be easily applied to our own time. The conclusion should be obvious to us all; these are the last days.

In all of the words of this prophecy of the last days, there is none more revealing than the expression "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." These words speak not only of the ungodly and the sinners. They point also to many servants of God who have been overcome by worldly pleasures. Are we loving the things of this life more than God? We all need to ask the question- "Is this prophecy speaking about me?"

(2 Pet. 3:4)

2nd Peter 3 speaks prophetically about the last days. Peter's concern is that just before the long awaited return of Jesus to this earth, there would be individuals who would no longer believe in his coming.

It is true that the majority of the people in this world have never really believed in Jesus and that his second coming is nothing more than a proverbial expression that refers to things that never actually happen.

Peter is not talking about the world in general; he is referring to individuals who were believers that have lost their faith. Peter's prophecy provides many clues that reveal the identity of these scoffers. Consider the language of 2 Peter 3, verse 4: "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."

Fathers Fell Asleep?

This expression is very revealing. The use of the term fathers implies that these words were spoken by individuals who were familiar with the "hope of the promises made unto the fathers." (See Acts 26:6. ) This hope is the "hope of Israel", a hope that was based on certain promises that were made to the fathers- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The other clue in this expression is the words that were used to describe the current state of these fathers. They are said to be asleep. Sleep is the only accurate definition that can be used to describe those such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who died in covenant, having the hope of the resurrection.

Jesus said concerning the resurrection that the God of Abraham is not a God of the dead but of the living. Abraham's body has decayed and turned into the dust of the ground, but to God, he is only sleeping and he will surely be raised again. (See Genesis 3:19 and Luke 20: 37-38.)

The Flood

Peter also referred to the flood in his prophecy. (2 Peter 3:5-6) He reminds these scoffers that they knew about the story of Noah and the great judgment of that day, but they chose not to heed the lesson. His hope was that they would wake up. If God destroyed that world by water, He certainly will judge the world again, and this time by fire.

The scoffers had known and understood all of the lessons from God's word. They were once strong believers in the coming of the Lord to establish his Kingdom on this earth, but something happened to their faith.

Peter said that these scoffers were "walking after their own lusts." They had been overcome by the desires of the flesh and it had choked out their faith in the word of God. They found temporary comfort in ridiculing those who still believed. Unfortunately they are wrong. Christ will surely come, and they may find themselves without excuse, for turning away from the hope of the promises in the final hours before his coming.

"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." (Luke 17:26)

The Days of Noah

Jesus foretold that his return would be in days that would be like the days of Noah and Lot.

He also provided clues about the attitude of the people in those days. We read of this in Luke 17: 26-30.

"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."

Normal activities of life?

As we look through the activities that characterized the days of Noah and Lot, instead of the corruption and wickedness that was happening, the Master concentrated on activities such as eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting and building. What was wrong with these things? They were using all of their time and energy on personal needs, without thought or respect for the one true God who has allowed these blessings.

We know that the immorality of today's world runs parallel to the days of Noah and Lot and that these things are certainly wrong. We may not be wicked, but may still be excessively engaged in these everyday activities of life. When we are too busy, too deeply involved in the cares and pleasures of this life, we tend to put the things of God and the Kingdom aside.

Just like the people in the days of Noah and Lot, we may be too busy to notice the signs of impending judgment. We may be caught unaware and unprepared for the second coming of our Master, even as he warned in Luke 21: 34-36.