Luke 18:8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Read: Luke 18:1-8
extended answer to the Pharisees’ question, “he was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come.”
Pharisees (and Twelve) looking for future kingdom, Jesus responded, “the kingdom of God is among you”; then declares He will come but first… (17:25, 18:7)
Timeline: Incarnation => kingdom begins => suffering and rejection => delay (“he bears long”) => Son of Man comes
Person(s) being questioned:
same as previous question – teaching the Twelve
because we’re still here, has relevance for us… and all generations between Twelve and The End
Question behind the question:
what condition will the church be in – how large, how much vitality, how faithful to truth?
what does that mean for the future of the church now?
what will world around the church look like as end approaches?
and what does that mean for your view of end times?
of course! …maybe …we hope so …at least in our neighborhood / town / country
from the really zealous ones: of course, never in doubt
probably not a rhetorical question with obvious “yes” answer – asked in order to provoke thought, watchfulness
Jesus certainly knew the answer – strong implication: will be hard to find, comparative to previous examples
Jesus gave 2 examples, Noah and Lot – described the culture that resulted in destruction by God, applies to time when he will return: “just as it was… so it will be”
est. population @ Flood – 750 mil. to 4 bil.; ones found righteous only a miniscule percentage of total, same true at Sodom – small enough a visitor “from away” would be unlikely to stumble on the righteous
objective (righteous) outsider would affirm God’s justice in sending Flood, fire and brimstone – same conditions / same evaluation at the end
that Jesus would ask that kind of question (esp. given the context) tells a lot about what to expect for overall trends in culture and church
“Triumph of the spiritual kingdom of God in the midst of the rise of evil in opposition to Christ and His kingdom” – will achieve triumph in that all the elect will be saved in spite of Satan’s opposition
picture Jesus gives is one in which righteousness declines in proportion to evil advancing; at the same time, church has advanced to blanket the globe to fulfill Rev. 5:9
need for prayer and watchfulness is evident – need to keep focused on the right things: God, his character, his word / promises
conventional wisdom says Jesus was a failure – only 120 after 3 years, deserted by “closest” friend, died as a criminal – not hard to reach similar conclusion about the church esp. if consider true church (far smaller than professed church)
So which view of the end?
leaves amillennial view or a variant of it as the most consistent with Jesus’ teaching, further elaborated by NT