Hastening the Second Coming of Christ

Hastening the Second Coming of Christ

 

Come quickly, Lord!
Come quickly, Lord!

The statement that we as humans can “hasten the Lord’s second coming” may understandably be construed by some as arrogant. But is it really?  In this brief study we wish to show why we believe that, not only is it not an arrogant belief, but it is strongly Biblical.  Before we begin to consider the concept of hastening, let’s take a look at why we believe the Lord’s return can be hastened.  We believe, as has been stated in earlier articles on this web page, that the Lord’s coming has actually been delayed.  He could have come long ago had His people cooperated.

Consider with me the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness wandering.  The Lord had planned to take them straight from Egypt to the promised land, Canaan.  It is a distance of about 250 miles, and would have been easily covered, even by a large caravan, in about a month’s time (see map).  But we know that that is not what happened.  Read about it in the book of Exodus from chapter 12 and on.  The children wandered for 40 long years because of unbelief, but as we mentioned, God’s plan never included this long delay.  Consider Psalm 78:40-41: “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”

From Egypt to Canaan
From Egypt to Canaan

It is an awesome thought to consider!  Unbelief and murmuring actually limited the God of the Universe!  Why?  Was it because He was too weak to force them?  Too limited in foreknowledge to have known it would be this way?  No, indeed!  It was because faith and love cannot be forced.  It was because God is long-suffering and, as it says in 2 Peter 3:9, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Now, with that backdrop let’s move down through time and consider this passage from the pen of inspiration: “The history of ancient Israel is a striking illustration of the past experience of the Adventists body.  God led His people in the Advent Movement, even as He led the children of Israel from Egypt.  In the great disappointment their faith was tested as was that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea.  Had they still trusted to the guiding hand that had been with them in their past experience, they would have seen of the salvation of God.  If all who had labored unitedly in the work in 1844 had received the third angel’s message and proclaimed it in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts.  A flood of light would have been shed upon the world.  Years ago the inhabitants of the earth would have been warned, the closing work completed, and Christ would have come for the redemption of His people.” —G.C. 457, 458.

This is a very powerful statement plainly showing that Christ COULD HAVE COME, had His people cooperated with Him.  Now I would like to take a few Bible passages and expound a bit more on the concept of hastening the second coming of Jesus.

2 Peter 3:12 “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

This passage clearly states that we as His people actually have the responsibility, not only to look for the second coming, but to hasten that day!  Here is where it might begin to sound a bit arrogant.  “Do you mean to say that we, as puny human beings, have the power to bring God down here?”, some may ask.  No, I didn’t say that.  God did.  And it is not merely a casual statement, it is a divine mandate.  A ‘thus saith the Lord.’

Consider that, “for forty years,,,unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan.”  And that, “The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan.  In neither case were the promises of God at fault.  It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.” {1SM 68-9}  So long as we choose to live unsurrendered and unconsecrated lives, we delay His second coming.

“Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving to the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God.”–Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 450. {ChS 86.4} We must be fitted by repentance and the infilling of the Holy Spirit to give this message.  Otherwise, our words are just….words.

James 5:7-9 “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.”

What is this fruit that the Lord is waiting for in His people?  Galatians 5:22-24 clearly states it: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”  The Lord is waiting!  When He looks and sees His Own reflection, His character, in His children, as Mark 4:29 says, He will “thrust in His sickle.”  He will come.

“When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.”  Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church.  When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.
“It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” {COL 69}

“I know that if the people of God had preserved a living connection with Him, if they had obeyed His Word, they would today be in the heavenly Canaan.” –General Conference Bulletin, March 30, 1903. {Ev 694.4}

The last scripture I would like to discuss is this:  Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

Here the Lord plainly says that when we have done our part, it will open the way so that He can do His.  Hence, we CAN, by cooperating, by doing our part, actually enable Him to return.

“Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.” {DA 633.3}

“Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability.  When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory.  “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. {AA 111}

Friends, there is great danger in the mindset of just waiting for God to make up His mind to come.  There is a delay.  It is not the Lord’s fault.  Let us be careful to take our individual responsibility and plead with God for the deeper work to be done in our hearts so that He can fill us with His Spirit and we can be His witnesses to “preach this gospel of the kingdom to all the world.”  Truly, “then shall the end come.”  I know because God said so.

“We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel; but for Christ’s sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action.–Letter 184, 1901. {Ev 696.3}

0 thoughts on “Hastening the Second Coming of Christ

  1. You have made it very clear. By giving our hearts fully to Jesus, letting the Holy Spirit come in do the heart cleansing and putting away of sin so He can use us to take the gospel to the whole world, we can hasten Jesus’ coming. The Law and Testimony shows us this truth. We can show the world Jesus’ true character in our lives, then He can come and take us home. He is waiting for this to happen. Let us cause this delay no longer! Jesus I am sorry for delaying Your coming and not doing my part so You could have come sooner. I want to do all I can to hasten it now!

  2. !844 the judgment began, if we take the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8. EGW makes a statement that Christ would have come earlier. What did she mean by earlier………that statement alone stands by it’s self. I would point out that Matt speaks “ as it were in the day of Noah”. Matt 24 speaks of signs and wonders that would proceed the 2nd coming. In Ellen’s day, the prophecies were not fulfilled. That is, it was not as the Days of Noah, nor were there troubling signs on earth or the heavens above as they are today. I have considered what she say’s and what the Bible points out as the issues of the day, that point of Christ’s Return, as follows:

    1.) Wars and Rumors of Wars since 1812 – Spanish American, 1858 – Civil war locally, 1918 – Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, WWI -19I8, WWII – 1938 -Hitler coming to power,1950 – Korean War, 1956 – French in Vietnam with Americans getting involved, the Samoan war in south America in the mid 1950’s. Summary : A.) Local wars changing to Larger conflicts to WW. Today, we are involved with Gulf wars in the Middle East, to the present. B.) Wars are closer and closer events, since 1812, this was not so in EGW’s time.

    2.) Marriage Issues:
    A.) Lack of partner’s respecting one another and caring for their families ( N Children) ending in Divorce ( 2nd to disagreement’s vs working through issues, as my grandparents.)
    B.) Lovers of themselves, same sex Marriages.
    C.) Children Disobedient to Parents: Children today are Killing their parents and visa versa, Taking Drugs and Disrespect of authority and everything.
    D.) See citizens of the Middle East over throwing their own Governments, disrespect of Authority.

    3.) Mother Nature Revolting. Is God Speaking to Mankind

    This does not cover the issues of the environment; Changing weather patterns globally, melting polar caps with increased flooding of the earth, Increased Earthquakes, increased Volcanic Action, Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Famine in many lands. Last, but not least is the volcanic action of the Economy; as it collapses, World Gov. will be set in place, No man will be able to buy or sell who receives the mark of the Beast- That is the world power Government
    I could go on, the point is made, world conditions are in place today, greater than EGW’s day. Man’s disrespect for life and property and more. Signs today, were not in place during EGW’s day, as Prophecy has pointed out. Those signs are rapidly increasing devastation and frequency reveling Gods anger of sinful man for His Word, His Honor, His Name, His Position and His Sabbath. See the Ten Commandments.

    The first commandment; God, Himself states, I am a jealous God; Jealous of His Position as Creator, His name as creator, and His Sabbath. God’s 2nd Coming is sooner than we think. Everything is being put in Place, for that Man of Sin knows his hour is about to close.

    BE Ready, No one knows the hour or day, He will return. He will come when most people are not expecting.
    Matt. “Wide is the path of destruction, narrow is the way to heaven, few that find it”.

    BE READY! Today we have, tomorrow we know not of. Be Ready, He is returning sooner than we expect. Is your house in Order! Pray without Ceasing. Jesus is coming, be ready. Make your appointment today, to be ready. I want to meet you at the feet of Jesus on that wonderful day. I am keeping my appointment, I pray you will too.

    Conrad

    1. “The sins that called for vengeance upon the antediluvian world exist today. The fear of God is banished from the hearts of men, and His law is treated with indifference and contempt. The intense worldliness of that generation is equaled by that of the generation now living. Said Christ, “As in the days that were before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:38, 39. God did not condemn the antediluvians for eating and drinking; He had given them the fruits of the earth in great abundance to supply their physical wants. Their sin consisted in taking these gifts without gratitude to the Giver, and debasing themselves by indulging appetite without restraint. It was lawful for them to marry. Marriage was in God’s order; it was one of the first institutions which He established. He gave special directions concerning this ordinance, clothing it with sanctity and beauty; but these directions were forgotten, and marriage was perverted and made to minister to passion. {PP 101.2}
      “A similar condition of things exists now. That which is lawful in itself is carried to excess. Appetite is indulged without restraint. Professed followers of Christ are today eating and drinking with the drunken, while their names stand in honored church records. Intemperance benumbs the moral and spiritual powers and prepares the way for indulgence of the lower passions. Multitudes feel under no moral obligation to curb their sensual desires, and they become the slaves of lust. Men are living for the pleasures of sense; for this world and this life alone. Extravagance pervades all circles of society. Integrity is sacrificed for luxury and display. They that make haste to be rich pervert justice and oppress the poor, and “slaves and souls of men” are still bought and sold. Fraud and bribery and theft stalk unrebuked in high places and in low. The issues of the press teem with records of murder–crimes so cold-blooded and causeless that it seems as though every instinct of humanity were blotted out. And these atrocities have become of so common occurrence that they hardly elicit a comment or awaken surprise. The spirit of anarchy is permeating all nations, and the outbreaks that from time to time excite the horror of the world are but indications of the pent-up fires of passion and lawlessness that, having once escaped control, will fill the earth with woe and desolation. The picture which Inspiration has given of the antediluvian world represents too truly the condition to which modern society is fast hastening. Even now, in the present century, and in professedly Christian lands, there are crimes daily perpetrated as black and terrible as those for which the old-world sinners were destroyed. {PP 101.3}

      Christ tells us when that day shall be ushered in. He does not say that all the world will be converted, but that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return. We are not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the day of God. 2 Peter 3:12, margin. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory. {DA 633.3}

      Please note, in this last passage, which was written by Sister White, that,had God’s professed people done as He said, He WOULD HAVE COME. In other words, before the time of her writing of this passage. Yes, the second coming IS near. It has been for decades. It’s just as near as the love in the hearts of His children. Or, perhaps more correctly, just as far off as the lack thereof.

    2. Greetings Brother Conrad,

      Thank you for visiting our web page and for your comments. Yes, I do respond to comments, and I did respond to yours. Mostly I replied with another comment on the web page, but just wanted to let you know that is where my initial reply is. Others may reply as well, I don’t know. I will copy this to the web comment section as well.
      I am not 100% sure exactly what you are saying, but I believe the jest is that Jesus could NOT have come in Sister White’s day b/c of the events you cite. However, I have to disagree. Had we as a people then, as well as now, done our work, these things you mention, I believe, would have been catalyzed. In other words, just as when Jesus gave His message it polarized people, it would happen now. At any rate, I believe the evidence is abundant that HE is waiting for US to cooperate with Him. There are conditions to His promise. And yes, I do believe relationship is important. But we must remember that even
      Judas and the rich young ruler had relationships with Jesus. But they did not have saving relationships wherein there was a loving adherence to principle.
      The Lord bless you.
      Seeking Closure for Jesus
      Danna Gesellchen

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