…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

LUKE 18:8

In our day you can find plenty of men and women in all walks of life who live like the devil while insisting that they are “sensitive” to religion!

If an evangelist sweeps through and the excitement gets big enough, they will go to the meeting and swell the crowd and contribute to the offering—and it will look big.

But here’s the catch: after it is all over, the moral standards of the community are right where they were before. I contend that whatever does not raise the moral standard and consciousness of the church or community has not been a revival from God.

The “god” that men believe in now, and to whom they are “sensitive,” is a kind of divine Pan with a pipe who plays lovely music while they dance, but he is not a God that makes any moral demands on them.

I still say that any revival that will come to a nation and leave people as much in love with money as they were before and as engrossed in human pleasures is a snare and a delusion!

True faith in God—not in any god, not in religion, but faith in the sovereign God who made heaven and earth and who will require men’s deeds—that is the God we must believe in, my friends. Believing in Him, we will seek to crucify our flesh and put on the new man which is renewed in holiness.

That kind of faith in God is all but gone. When the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?[1]

The Inquisition

However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? (18:8b)

Jesus concluded this section by asking this pensive question. When He returns, will He find anyone faithfully praying in eagerness for the second coming? Any who have loved His appearing? Who cry out, “Maranatha” (“come Lord”) (1 Cor. 16:22)?

Some think that eschatology, the doctrine of the last things, is mere sensationalistic speculation with little practical value. But as the Lord’s teaching in this passage indicates, nothing could be further from the truth. Paul’s dealings with the infant church at Thessalonica further emphasizes the importance and practical value of teaching on the end times. The apostle’s two epistles to them reveal that in the brief time he spent with them (cf. Acts 17:1–2), he taught them an amazingly comprehensive eschatology (2 Thess. 2:5).

In the salutation to his first epistle Paul praised the Thessalonians for their “steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:3), which is “to wait for His Son from heaven” (v. 10). In 2:12 he exhorted them to “walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory,” while in verse 19 he referred to “the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming.” Paul prayed that God would “establish [their] hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints” (3:13). In chapter 4 Paul gave them a detailed description of the rapture (vv. 13–18), while in chapter 5 the apostle reminded them of what he had taught them regarding the Day of the Lord and the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 1–11, 23).

In his second epistle to that Thessalonian congregation, Paul continued his detailed instruction regarding eschatology. In chapter 1 he described God’s judgment and the coming of the kingdom (vv. 5–10), and the eternal punishment of the wicked (v. 9). In the second chapter he gave them detailed teaching on the rise of Antichrist, the return of Christ, and the coming of the Day of the Lord.

The extensive eschatological teaching Paul gave this young church reveals that such doctrine is critical, foundational, and highly useful to living a godly life (2 Peter 3:11, 14; 1 John 3:1–3). Knowing the end of the story encourages Christians to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that [their] toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).

True Christians live in hope, waiting expectantly for the promise of Christ’s return to be fulfilled. To that end they pray for His glory and honor to be revealed. Such prayer is life changing.[2]

18:8 But the day is coming when His spirit will no longer strive with men, and then He will punish those who persecute His followers. The Lord Jesus closed the parable with the question, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” This probably means the kind of faith that the poor widow had. But it may also indicate that when the Lord returns, there will only be a remnant who are true to Him. In the meantime, each of us should be stimulated to the kind of faith that cries to God night and day.[3]

[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] MacArthur, J. (2014). Luke 18–24 (pp. 9–10). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1438). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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