Is the CHURCH Delaying Christ’s Return?

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Is the CHURCH Delaying Christ’s Return?

Pastor Randall Floyd

Clayton A/G – Church for the REST of Us!

 

 

Let me begin this little piece by stating the following facts: 1) I do have some very strongly felt and held political views; 2) I strongly believe every believer should participate in the political activities of our nation; and 3) I do not advocate a position of passivity where we lay down and allow the world to walk all over us. However, I have been having some very interesting thoughts run through my mind and spirit recently as I watch the American church continue to “share a bed” with certain political parties and movements.

If you were to ask a broad spectrum of American Christians the following questions, you would get the following answers:

 

  1. Do you believe Jesus will one day return for the Church? Yes.

 

  1. Do you believe that time is fast approaching? Yes.

 

  1. Do you desire and pray for it to be soon? Yes.

 

  1. Then why are you doing things, asking for things, and approving of things that might be delaying that return? Huh?

 

Follow me as I present my thoughts. In order to keep this short I will not be quoting large passages of Scripture, but will refer to, and paraphrase several to show you what I mean. First, there is the description of the “last days” given by Jesus in Matthew 24 that lists things like wars, rumors of wars, conflict between nations, natural disasters, etc. To be honest, those things have been a part of human history both before and after Jesus spoke these words. We often fail to complete his quote, for in verse 8 He says, “All these are the beginning of birth pangs.” When we see these things happening, understand that His return is drawing nearer, but is not necessarily imminent. The truth is these things will increase in intensity and frequency as history marches toward the “end of the world events”.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 talks about the event the Church labels “the rapture”, even though the word itself never appears in Scripture. This is what many are saying we should be looking for as current events continue to unfold on a daily basis, seeming to fulfill prophecy moment by moment. Again, we should always be looking for Christ to come for His bride (see Ephesians 5:25-27 and Hebrews 9:28), but we must realize that no matter how far or how close His return may be – the Church has but one task – “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Again, look at what Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (emphasis mine). There are many other signs of the end times that The Word gives us (2 Thessalonians 2; many events in the first chapters of Revelation, etc.), but we are always told to be aware of them, but not to dwell on them. We are to dwell on one thing and one thing only – THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL TO A LOST AND DYING WORLD SO THAT AS MANY AS WILL ACCEPT HIM WILL BE SAVED!

Now, back to the main theme of this piece – how is the Church delaying the return of Christ? These are thoughts that have been passing through my heart, mind, and spirit for a while now. You may not agree with them completely, but I do hope they will make you think.

 

  1. The Church has become too involved in politics. In my lifetime the American church has prostituted herself in the bed of political activity causing the message of the Gospel to be diluted and polluted.

 

  1. The Church has been instrumental in attempting to stop certain social, civil, and political movements that, when looked at through the lens of Scriptural prophecy, MUST take place according to God’s sovereign plan. While I do not feel we are to “roll over and play dead”, we must become keenly aware of God’s agenda for the “end times”, and be driven to a greater urgency of “Gospel-spreading” over political pandering.

 

  1. If we truly believe and desire the soon return of Jesus Christ for the Church, we should be doing those things that the Bible say will hasten His return – and those activities are not political in nature, but spiritual.

 

Am I frustrated, and yes, a little bit fearful of what is happening in our nation right now? Of course. I’m human, too. But I strive daily to look at this world through the lens of a Christian who desires the soon return of Jesus Christ for His Church. And I pray that I’ll behave with the same attitude that Christ has, as expressed in 2 Peter 3:8-13:

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

 

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (emphasis mine).

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