The concept of our Redeemer needing closure may seem ridiculous to some. For that purpose, in this blog entry we will attempt to explain why we say Jesus needs closure. First, though, what is closure? Here’s what I found in looking up the word: end, conclusion, finish, closing, shutting, finality, resolution, and conclusiveness.
Looking at that, how on earth can the all-powerful Creator possibly need US to bring closure to HIM? After all, He is the One Who is in charge of the universe, right? Yes, that’s true. But, as we noted in our very first blog entry welcoming the world to consider this concept, He is, in a very real sense, limited by our lack of cooperation. And it is His love that limits Him. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
We want to share what we have found in the Bible as the things for which our Lord needs closure. There are four main categories: delay, grief, disappointment, and exile. In this blog, we will focus on the concept of delay.
In conversation with an acquaintance once, I illustrated it this way: Say you’re getting ready to take a trip and you’ve told your children, “Ok, we’re leaving at 8 AM sharp. Everybody has to be packed and ready by 7:30 so we can load the car and be off on time.” Well, 7:15 comes and it is becoming obvious there is a problem…Mary is still not packed. Johnny pulls the covers over his head. The toddler just pulled all the house plants over onto the living room floor. It’s not looking very much like plans are coming together very well! Yet you love your children, and want to take them with you! So, you wait….you deal with their problems and are delayed in your departure. That’s what we mean. Let’s look at this concept Biblically and see if we can begin to understand God’s predicament.
Delay means “to prolong the time of acting, or proceeding; to put off; to defer; to retard or stop; to move slowly or stop for a time; procrastination.”
Let’s look at some Bible passages:
James 5:7-9 “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the Husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until He receives the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest you be condemned: behold, the Judge stands before the door.”
This passage makes it plain that Jesus is waiting for fruit to mature in His people before He returns. The following passage makes it plain that just as soon as the fruit or harvest is ripe, Jesus will “thrust in His sickle…”
Revelation 14:14-16 “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [One] sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Your sickle, and reap: for the time is come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”
Mark 4:29 with Galatians 5:22-25“But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately He puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, 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. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
This passage makes it clear what the “fruit” is that Jesus is waiting for before He comes to claim His people as His Own. It is a character just like His seen in His children! Note also that this passage says He will IMMEDIATELY harvest WHEN the harvest is ripe…
Hosea 5:15-6:3 “I will go [and] return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early. Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, [if] we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter [and] former rain unto the earth.”
This passage and the one below reveal what it is that is causing God’s people NOT to have fruit. It is transgression. Sin is delaying the second coming of Jesus. We will cover more in future blogs regarding this, but we have available, for a donation of $3 (US funds) to cover shipping fees, a book entitled, The Great Controversy, by E.G. White, which covers this in detail. Please feel free to contact us for your copy.
Isaiah 59:1, 2, 20 “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [His] face from you, that He will not hear… And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, says the LORD.”
Sin separates! We can surely see this in families, between “friends”, etc. And we see it between our Creator and His children–us! We will address, in future posts, just how God plans to deal with this problem. Here, though, we are simply identifying the problem.
(Please see also: Malachi 3:7; Revelation 19:7 w/Matthew 22:2-14; Haggai 1; Psalm 132:1-5)
SO, in conclusion, the reality of the delay is established. If the fruit were present, Jesus would come. This leads us to face the obvious next step. Who is responsible? We are….every “we” who professes to know Jesus, yet in whose life sin is allowed to reign instead of grace (see Romans 5:21). And the result? Every war, every starving baby, every natural disaster….and bigger than this, the continual pain in the heart of our Redeemer is perpetuated because of it. He wants us to be with Him where He is, John 17:24. But, since God is, to sin, a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), if He should return while those He loves are living in sin, it would instantly consume them! Therefore, God waits! (See also Isaiah 30:18; 2 Peter 3).
We will carefully investigate the pain in the heart of Jesus in a later post. In this study, we have endeavored to clarify what we mean when we say Jesus needs closure. He needs an end to the the delay in His coming. He needs us to cooperate! Grant it, Lord! Come quickly! Amen!
Consider these powerful passages penned by E.G. White:
“In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through cooperation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end.” Education, page 264
“Brethren, we want to do something to set things in operation for God.” 1888 Materials, October 23, pg 150
“Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed.” Testimonies to Ministers, page 116