What Is Jesus Waiting For?

Image result for free images Second Coming

What Is Jesus Waiting For?

 James R. Aist

“Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were since the beginning of the creation.” – 2 Peter 3:4

Jesus promised that, one day, He would return, do away with evil deeds, punish evildoers forever, and establish His righteous and everlasting Kingdom on earth (Revelation 21:1-8). But, it’s been more than 2,000 years since He ascended into heaven, and still, He hasn’t come again as He promised. So, you may ask, as many others have (e.g., 2 Peter 3:3-4), “What in the world is He waiting for?” In this article I will try to shed some light on the answer to that question. As you read further, please bear in mind that the Bible mentions many things that will happen before the Second Coming, but most of these things do not relate directly to the purpose, or the “end game,” of His waiting. So, please bear in mind that here, I am focusing specifically on what it is that God is accomplishing by having Jesus wait.

To do that, I want to begin at the beginning. The evil that we witness or experience today has its origins in the original sin of Adam, which is commonly referred to as The Fall of Man (Genesis 3). As a result of The Fall, mankind has been separated from God, born with a sinful nature and living in a cursed creation ever since. At some level, all of the evil in the present world can be traced back, directly or indirectly, to this entry of sin into the world. This means that mankind, not God, is the root cause of evil in this fallen world, so, let’s be careful to not blame God for it. God will eradicate evil and restore righteousness to the earth some day.

But that begs the question, doesn’t it? Why does God continue to allow evil to continue when He has been planning to end it all along? My response to that question would be that He will end it when the time comes. So now we have arrived at the topic of this article: What is Jesus waiting for, anyway? I believe the Bible provides an answer, and I will try to explain it, but I can’t promise that it will satisfy you.

About the Second Coming, Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness. But He is patient with us, because He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). In context (2 Peter 1 and 3), “any”, “all” and “us”, refer specifically to born-again believers (2 Peter 1:1), the elect of God (2 Peter 1:10), so that a fuller exposition of the meaning of 2 Peter 3:9 would be, “…He does not want any (of His elect) to perish, but all (of His elect) to come to repentance.” Peter is saying that Jesus will not come again until all of His elect have repented and have been saved.

And Paul struck a similar note when he wrote, “For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, lest you be wise in your own estimation, for a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, and so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:25-26a). The phrase “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” is rendered a little differently in the various English translations, but I believe that the New Living Translation captures most clearly the full intent and meaning of the phrase thusly: …”until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ.” Thus, when the full number of Gentiles has been saved, then the partial hardening of Israel will be lifted, all Israel will be saved and end times events can proceed to completion, including the Second Coming.

Taken together, then, these two verses tell us that what Jesus is waiting for is the salvation of all God’s Gentile elect. And, from God’s perspective, this is, indeed, a very good reason for Jesus to wait, don’t you think?

There are a couple of related and supporting verses that also  should be noted here. One is Matthew 24:14, where Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” How does this relate to the topic at hand? Here’s how: It is the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world that will result in the salvation of all God’s Gentile elect, so that end times events can proceed to completion, including the Second Coming. The other verse is Romans 8:19-21, where Paul wrote, “The eager expectation of the creation waits for the appearance of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” The “appearance of the sons of God” will not be completed until the salvation of all God’s elect is accomplished, because these are “the sons of God”. Thus, the creation also is eagerly waiting for the same thing that Jesus is waiting for. Following that, there will be “a new heaven and a new earth”, and “the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption.”

(To read more of my articles with a biblical theme, click HERE)


Waiting and Watching… Willfully

English: Butcher shop in Finley, New South WalesWaiting and Watching… Willfully

 by Angie Brown, Guest Author

One November morning, I was waiting just outside a butcher shop in a friendly neighborhood in Olean.  My husband, Henry, was supposed to come by in a few minutes to drive me home with my purchases.  But, because he was delayed, I had a lengthy wait ahead of me.  Nevertheless, I didn’t mind, because I had entertainment while I waited. Directly across the street was a good-sized field, about the size of a city block.  Local residents preferred to use the unpaved foot-trail that crossed through the empty lot, instead of the paved sidewalk, because it was a shortcut.

As I stood there waiting, two roughly tousled boys appeared, about 10 or 11 years of age.  They walked through the ankle-deep snow carrying a child’s bed frame, a crib as it were.  I was intrigued and hoped my husband would be delayed even more.  I wanted to see what these boys were up to!

The youngsters carried the bed frame through the field, across 8th Street, and started up the steep slope on Sullivan Street.  I couldn’t believe they would attempt to climb that hill. Persisting, however, they finally reached the top, where they tarried for a moment to catch their breath.  Then they slowly ascended about seven steps to the side door of a large house.  I saw them groping for a better hold and easing the bed frame through the doorway, where they disappeared. Shortly, they came out without the bed frame and proceeded to take the same route back.  Then, here they came again.  This time, they were carrying the mattress and proceeded to the same destination.  Leaving the mattress, the boys retraced their steps again. Next, I saw them carrying what appeared to be a large, empty drawer.  I could hear the younger one complaining and the older one reassuring him. It was all they could manage, to carry those heavy pieces of furniture, one right after the other, all that way through the snow and up that steep hill.

After the boys had made two more laborious trips with empty drawers, I began hoping that my husband had stopped for lunch somewhere, because I couldn’t leave now; I had to see what was coming next!  Sure enough, the chest of drawers, minus the drawers, was being carted, the same way to the same place. My husband had still not returned for me, and I breathed a sigh of relief; at least I got to see the baby’s room furnished!

Apparently, the family was in the process of moving, and all hands — big and small — had to be available to help.  The short-cut proved to be a great convenience for the two boys.  It was quite an effort for them, to be sure, but they probably felt a sense of pride in being able to do something meaningful that helped with the family move.

I can just picture them in my mind now, rehashing the episode to their children in the future: “You know what we had to do when we were your age?” And I can imagine how the furniture got bigger, the snow deeper, the trek farther and the hill steeper each time the story was re-told!

(For more articles by Angie Brown, click HERE)