"Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18
Jesus: Looking for Faith in All the Wrong Places
So, right after the “importunate widow” finally gets justice, Jesus assures the faithful that they will be avenged speedily. No delays. Justice will happen quickly for his own.
But then he asks this question:
“Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18
And the grammar, Greekishly-speaking, expects a negative response. That is, Jesus is saying that the Son of Man may not find any faith anywhere when he returns. In fact, the form of the interrogative is actually a prediction: I’m not going to find any faith!
Now fast forward a couple millennia. We’ve got thousands of different forms of Christianities. In some forms, God knows all and predestines all. In others he knows all, but doesn’t predestine it. And in yet others, he actually doesn’t really know everything. He’s sort of self-lobotomized.
And that’s just one aspect of one doctrine. After all those doctrinal issues are debated, there’s the lifestyle questions. Do I have to live like a good person? And to what extent? What does it mean to be good? Like: Can I get divorced? Does God monitor my sexuality? Should we push our government to monitor everyone else’s sexual practices? Do I have to give a damn about the poor?
Not so wonderful works
What about Jesus’ teachings? What about some of the wild claims he made:
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”. Matthew 7
So, we have people doing lots of wonderful things as followers of Christ, but they weren’t paying attention to what he had just said in the three chapters preceding this statement. Or if they did pay attention, they still decided not to live that way: the Sermon on the Mount WAY.
But to make up for not living the way Jesus teaches, they decide that they can make up for it by prophesying and preaching a lot. And by causing spiritual renewal, casting out the demonic forces and being a missionary. Lots of wonderful salvation ministry.
Missionaries for Christ
Except they don’t live the Jesus’ Way. Just not interested. Much more exciting to travel land and sea:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Matthew 23
And that’s a hell of thing, to travel land and sea to convert others…while not living the Jesus way of justice and peace.
Too often, the desire to bemission others is a sad effort to obviate one’s own boredom. It’s an attempt to overcome my own ennui.
Apostasy is literally “from-standing.” It’s staying away from the vital message of how Jesus teaches us to live, while focusing instead on side issues. When the time comes to give an account, how will we answer? What will we hear spoken to us?