What if Jesus Tarries? :: By Sean Gooding


1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to […]

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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

Most of us find great comfort in these words. The world is getting worse and worse, but Jesus is coming soon. We just need to hold on a bit longer. But the reality is that we do not know when the Lord will return. I have a friend that I went to seminary with who commented as he (and I, for that matter) got closer to the 65-year-old retirement age that he had not really planned ahead for retirement, as he had expected the Lord to return already. But here we both are, getting older, the world getting more and more evil, and yet, Jesus has not come to get us. We do not know when He will come, and all who claim to know are liars.

I saw an interview with a Muslim man yesterday that was done here in Canada. The young reporter asked what they thought about the homosexual movement and the growth of it. The man commented that under Sharia Law, these persons involved in homosexuality would be executed. The young man asked if he thought that Canada should do the same. The Muslim man responded that by 2060 or so, there will be enough Muslims in Canada to take over the government and the laws, so they just have to wait a bit. They, the Muslims, keep having lots of children, and the Canadian families are no longer having lots and lots of babies. He estimated by 2060, just 36 years, they would be running the country.

These kinds of shifts are happening in many Western countries in Europe, and even in the USA, but there is a very large Christian population in the USA, so it would take longer.

I immediately thought of my daughters and my granddaughters; what would happen to them? Both of my daughters are saved; one would be about 60 if this transition took place, and the other in her late 40s. They could wake up to a land where they have no freedoms, and being a Christian is not just frowned upon; it would be illegal. The punishment would be loss of life. My granddaughters would have to stay home, have no chance to drive, get an education, attend church freely, and on and on.

Make no mistake; this man is voicing the thoughts of millions of Muslims here in North America. They knew, and they planned to play the long game. Right now, it seems like a long way away, but 36 years is not that long.

What if Jesus tarries?

This is from our perspective; I understand that Jesus is never late. But what if He tarries? Am I, as a pastor, preparing our youth to stand for Jesus in the midst of serious bodily harm? How do we do that?

We have to teach them to love Jesus more than life itself and to make Him the absolute Lord.

For many of us, 36 years from now, we will not be here. Our kids and grandkids will have to bear the pain and suffering. I have friends in Pakistan who are Christian, and they tell me often that they have no rights. Just recently, some of the Christians had their homes raided, and they were beaten and had their homes ransacked. There was no recourse for them. That could happen here.

What if true Bible Christianity became an underground religion like it was in Europe and many parts of the world for centuries? What if our folks are hunted and killed for the cause of Jesus? Are they ready? Have they been prepared to lose jobs, lose freedoms, and lose lives for Jesus?

I dare say that most of us, even today, are not ready to do so. Our churches keep compromising the Gospel, changing the truth about Jesus, and most of them have no clue that they are the ones to be killed first.

We in North America, with our freedoms, have exported the Gospel to the ends of the world. The association that I am with, the American Baptist Association, had their annual meeting this week, and we have missionaries from 27 countries represented, 85 missionaries all together, if memory serves me right.

Just this morning, I learned that my brother will be venturing to Columbia to help house churches there for 2 weeks in the near future. The little churches I pastor help a missionary in Bangladesh and a local mission outreach to single moms, as well as missionaries in Ukraine and Pakistan. For now, our freedoms are being used by many godly churches to export the Gospel of Jesus. Praise God!!! Other than financial sacrifices, a lot of our people are not being called to sacrifice much in the way of self and family.

But if Jesus tarries, the day will come, and what then? Will we have prepared them for this change? Will we have demonstrated our love for the Lord so vividly and cultivated such real relationships with the Lord that they are able to endure, yes, and even thrive in those hard times?

I pray that Jesus comes for us soon. I want to fly; I don’t want to go the way of the grave. We should hope but not let our hope blind our reality. Satan is coming for God’s people, and we are letting in the very people he is going to use against us. We are feeding the hand that will bite us.

Now, the good news is that many Muslims have seen the light and have found Jesus as Savior. They are fervent in their evangelism of the Muslim masses, and many are turning to Jesus. God is good! Over the next 36 years or so, may the Lord reap a harvest amongst the Muslims to turn them to Jesus, and may we be a part of that in honest prayer for their souls.

But as that man being interviewed said, the goal is to rule us here in Canada. Imagine what happens to our economy if the US imposes sanctions or closes the borders because of Islamic rhetoric. The fallout will be catastrophic.

No one wants to be a fearmonger, but as I read through the Old Testament prophets (I am no prophet), it is clear that God uses other people to punish those who rebel against Him. He uses pagan forces to humble those who once called Him Lord but turned their backs on Him.

Canada has turned its back on the Lord God. He has blessed us with fertile land, food resources beyond measure, and the ability to have all varieties of minerals, oil, gold, fresh water, and open air. God has every right to make life hard on us. He would be justified in His judgments of us.

Oh Lord, please don’t tarry… but what if He does?

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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