Faith on Earth?

Luke 18:8b – “… When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Some commentators say that in this verse, Jesus was referring to the unbelief of the Jews at His Second Coming… will they finally see Christ as their Messiah? That makes sense, and is a proper interpretation. The religious leaders of that time were looking for a revolutionary Messiah, one who would overthrow their Roman oppressors and establish Israel as the ones to usher in peace and righteousness to the entire world.

Many religious leaders didn’t understand the “suffering Messiah.” However, the disciples were Jewish, and so they were able to understand how this would play out, since they received first-hand teaching from their Rabbi Jesus. Then the Christian church began, breaking from Jewish Old Testament practices. And eventually, after many died for their faith in Christ, the Roman empire converted to Christianity several hundred years later which changed the world.

In this verse, Jesus was speaking of His Second Coming. Would the Jews, who still did not believe Christ was the Messiah, believe when He returns?

I see a nuanced meaning in this verse. Could it extend to Christians at the time of His next appearing? Will Jesus find much faith on earth within His Church, the Bride? Yes but perhaps not as many as is possible.

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,” (Matt. 24:12).

I think you’d agree with me that today there is a definite increase in wickedness. And there is a definite coldness growing towards loving God, or for that matter, even believing He exists.

“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,” (2 Thess. 2:1-3).

The falling away. What does that look like?

Statistics show that three out of four Christian teens walk away from the church after they leave home.1 That’s 75%, folks. That’s bad. Really bad.

Is this just the way things are? I mean, didn’t Paul indicate this would happen, and it’s all part of God’s plan? After all, God’s got it, right? 

Yeah, but…

Didn’t God also say we were to wash other people’s feet? (John 13:14.) That means Christians are called to serve others, and in doing so, this helps people with faith. We are not called to sit down and wait on God to do it all. He’s called us to partner with Him, bringing the Kingdom (a spiritual kingdom) on Earth as it is in heaven. We are, as some have likened, Christ’s hands and feet. That means we are not to stop sharing the Gospel with others. 

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19.)

God has entrusted us to the message of reconciliation. That’s huge. That’s a lot of trust towards us to get the job done!

So, why are these young people leaving the faith once they leave home? Many state it’s because they’ re influenced by a massive bias of secularization in media, academia and the workplace. They get challenged on all fronts by skeptics who say things like: “You really believe in an ancient book of fairy tales?” “The Bible has been corrupted and changed so much we can’t even know what Jesus really said.” “I’m supposed to believe in some dead guy coming back to life?” “Science has disproved the Bible.” And on and on and on.

There are good answers to these claims. Really good answers. But do young people know those answers? Statistics show not. Many youth groups, for example, focus primarily on relationships and programs. They don’t teach the kids why Christianity is true. 

But is it the Youth Pastor’s job to be the primary teacher for your kids faith? No. The Bible tells us it’s YOU, the parent. 

“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6.)

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4.)

“You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 11:19.)

These verses, among dozens more in the Bible, refer to fathers primarily because in ancient times, they were the primary teachers. Today, we can include mothers in these verses, too.  Matter of fact, mothers sometimes are the best ones to teach their children

And what do we teach them? Apologetics, of course! There are a ton of resources available today to get started. I have a list of resources I recommend, and there are literally hundreds of others: podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs, articles and books are all accessible through a simple Google search. 

Squeeze in time wherever you can (in the car listening to audio books and podcasts, reading short, information based-blogs on apologetics, watching YouTube videos, etc.) to learn the reasons why Christianity is true to prepare your child(ren) for the doubts that will be raised once they “leave the nest.” Prepare them to fly into a faith-filled future based on confident truth that what they believe has good evidence backing it up. The truth is not “out there,” but in the person of Jesus Christ.

  1.  70-75% of Christian youth leave the church after high school (see research from the Pew Research Center and USA Today).


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