According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16, when Jesus returns to the earth, Christians will be caught up in the air to be with Him. From that point on, we who are Christians will be with Him forever. As Christians, we know this, and we are anxiously expecting and looking for His return.
But let me ask you something. When Jesus returns, what will He be looking for? What will He be expecting to find on the earth?
Jesus made an interesting statement in Luke that is often overlooked and untaught. In Luke 18:8 while speaking a parable, Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” What will Jesus be looking for when He returns? He will be looking for faith.
When Jesus returns, He will be coming for His Church. He will expect the Church to be spotless and without blemish. Jesus will not be returning for a puny, beat down Church but He will be looking for a Church that is victorious, powerful, and full of faith.
In order for the Church to have faith when Jesus comes back, we must believe what God says and act on that belief. It will not do any good to believe God unless we put our belief into action. That’s what is called faith. When we have faith, we can overcome the things of the world. Now don’t take me wrong. We won’t eliminate our problems. Satan and his demonic forces will always be trying to destroy us, but we will be able to go through our trials without fear, knowing that God always does what He says.
Faith is a substance and a gift of God (Hebrews 1:11; Ephesians 2:8). We can accept it and develop it, or we can reject it. But remember this. When Jesus returns, and He will, He will be looking for faith on the earth.
Now let me ask you something else. What makes faith so important that Jesus would look for it when He returns? Well, here’s the answer. God places a very high value on belief.
Several years ago, I gave an automobile to a young man who really needed the transportation. I told him that it was his. He didn’t owe me anything. All he had to do was come and get it. Every time I saw him, I reminded him that the car was his. It was paid for. He just needed to come and get it. However, he never showed up.
Finally, after much urging without result, I disposed of the auto by other means. When I asked the young man why he hadn’t picked up the car, he said it was because he didn’t really believe I had given it to him.
Unfortunately, that’s the way many people are with God. He has given good gifts and they have not been accepted. Why? Probably for the same reason the young man didn’t get the car. They don’t really believe God has given these things to them.
You know, it’s interesting to me that most people act like Jesus will be looking for something else when He returns. When He returns, He will not be looking for your church attendance records. He will not be looking for your offering report. It is good to tithe and to attend church, but according to Jesus himself, He will be looking for one thing and that is faith.
Remember what Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”