I have heard a lot about the end-times in the last few months. Teachers are regularly putting out new books and new explanations of the Bible’s end-time prophecies. Many pastors and leaders point to current events as signs of the times, and as evidence that Christ is returning soon.
As I study Scripture, I receive greater and greater motivation to obey the Great Commission and follow through on Christ’s commands to His body and to me personally. Whether the headlines reveal the nearness of Christ’s return or not, and regardless of new books and explanations of current events and phenomena, the Bible is clear as to the reason that Christ has not yet returned. The Apostle Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:3-4 that scoffers will come and say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” In other words, many will mock the Bible’s clear teaching that Christ will return, because it has been over two thousand years since the prophecies of His return. Peter then goes on to tell us why Christ has not yet returned for all these generations in 2 Peter 3:9 (above). It is because God does not wish to judge the world. It is not His desire that anyone perish or die in their sins. He is waiting patiently for the lost and the unbelieving to come to repentance and faith. Jesus has not returned because He is waiting for the harvest to come in.
For the last few weeks, I have been out on the streets of Hamtramck six days per week knocking on doors, telling people about Jesus, praying for people, offering to do Bible studies in people’s homes, and giving out Jesus Films in many languages. I am doing this because I know that Jesus is patiently waiting for His body to reach them. Jesus does not want these people to perish. Jesus longs for these people to come to repentance in faith. Today, Jesus holds back judgement and extends mercy. He patiently waits, giving more time for everyone everywhere to repent.
We are a part of the Lord’s patient will. Each day that He has given, the body of Christ advances the gospel a little further. We proclaim “repentance and forgiveness of sins [ . . .] in His name to all nations” Luke 24:27.
In the last month I’ve seen God perform miracles to reach Muslims, empower new believers to reach the lost, and mobilize new groups and churches to enter the harvest. Laborers I am training in disciplemaking are seeing new Bible studies started among Muslim families, meeting unbelievers who have had encounters with Jesus, and faithfully and daily laboring in the harvest. I am pleased to be a part of what God is doing to reach the world. I am thrilled to be one of the laborers that God has sent into the harvest.
As we look forward to the coming of the Lord we must also look out at the ripe harvest of lostness that Jesus presents to us. We are in a season of harvest, and it is vast. As with any harvest, there is a window of time when harvesting must be done or the crop is lost. It will require many laborers, laboring with love and intensity in order to bring it in before it is lost forever.
This is the reason the Lord is waiting. He wants all to come to repentance. He wants all to hear of His love and mercy. He wants all to repent and believe, receiving the forgiveness of sins. By His grace, we are the laborers in the harvest field, preparing the way of the Lord.
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