Then He spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1 (NKJ)
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8
Today we end on conversation on “Redeeming the Time” by examining God expectation for believers and His Church. The definition I use for redeem means to exchange or convert. What do we exchange our time for? How does our use of time convert into something of value—specifically of eternal value to God and for kingdom building?
We have examined to date “redeeming the time” from the perspective of witnessing and the importance of making every moment count for eternity as we “number our days”. Last week we were reminded by the Psalmist to rejoice in each day “the Lord has made” and not to squander it. For our close, I’d like to share another viewpoint on redeeming the time from Luke’s account of the parable of the “Unjust Judge and the Persistent Widow” (Luke 18:1-18).
Found in Luke 14:25-18:34, Jesus is seen teaching to diverse multitudes through guided lessons and parables. Jesus uses these moments to also target the Pharisees, who mistakenly believe they are living righteously and above reproach. As believers we must continually examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5) to avoid “secret sins”—hypocrisy, self-righteousness, arrogance and “toxic behaviors”—anger, malice, envy, critical and judgmental attitudes—that cause us to ruin our testimony of faith (Titus 3:3-6). When the Son of Man returns (The Second Coming) will He find faith?
In the opening verse of our text, Jesus shares the key to faith and what He expects believers and His Church to be engaged in. Faith is not only a matter of specific activities but also one of attitude.
Men ought always to pray. Why? Because the world will be so absorbed in the things of this life, they will be utterly unprepared for the certain judgment that awaits them when Jesus returns. Like the time of Lot and Noah, people will be engaged in lawlessness, moral decay, and social mayhem (Luke 17:20-37). Does that sound like the 21st century we live in? Checkout the “news-of-the-day” and you will see the erosion of institutions and truths that once guided this nation and this world. Believers and the Church ought ALWAYS to pray—not just one day in May. Without prayer, will the Son of Man find faith?
And not lose heart. Jesus used the parable of the Persistent Widow to illustrate the characteristics He desires of His Church as He prepares to return. Though the widow dealt with a person she knew was unjust and indifferent, she remained tenacious, unflinching, and determined. As believers, we live in a world where we will experience persecution and ridicule. We will be challenged daily because of our faith in Christ and our adherence to God’s Word. Jesus’ words to His disciples in the 1st century are still true for His disciples in the 21st century: “In this world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Let us daily renew our heart and follow the example which Jesus has given us (Heb. 12:3; 2 Cor. 4:16). If we lose heart, will the Son of Man find faith?
Jesus is on His way back to judge the world (Rev. 19: 15, 20, 21) and to retrieve His Church (John 14:1-4). He is coming sooner than later! It is God’s will that none would be lost and that all will come to the saving knowledge of Christ (John 3:17). Will the world be ready for Jesus’ return? And will the Son of Man find faith? Do your part by redeeming the time to make an “eternal” difference!