why does God delay the return of Yeshua?
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. - 2 Peter 3:9
Even so, all the evil, corruption, and wickedness that God saw in the days of Noah, are things that fill the world of mankind today. That’s why we believers are asking the question, ‘God, you did it back then, what are you waiting for now? There is so much pain and suffering in the world, we need your kingdom!'
Almost two thousand years have gone by since Yeshua promised He would return in power and glory. Many generations of Christians have hoped that He would return in their lifetimes, but their hopes have been left unfulfilled. Why is the second coming of Yeshua being delayed? The clock keeps ticking, and we're all wondering, how much longer Lord?
Conditions in the world today seem to meet all the descriptive criteria prophetically portraying the 'End of Days' period of time during which He is said to return. Criteria that could never have been marshalled and mobilized at any other time in human history. We are living in truly historic times, and it seems the time is right for the apocalyptic event
Consider a previous apocalyptic event - the flood of Noah's day. Genesis chapter 6 indicates that God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and the intents of his heart was only evil all the time. God was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and was so grieved that He determined, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."
As God looked over the world of mankind, all He saw was corruption and violence, and so He called on Noah, whom He saw as the only righteous man in the world worth saving. He informed Noah, "behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die." And so came the flood, but afterwards, God had some regrets about what He had done, and said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done."
The next apocalyptic event will apparently be different. More selective. Today, corrupt, foolish, and evil men have at their command, weapons capable of destroying all life on earth. Destructive power they never had before. Lets pray for Divine intervention before anyone makes an error in judgment, setting off a chain of events, including a sequence of retaliatory strikes, that could wipe us all out. Thankfully Yeshua said of these days;
"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." - Matthew 24:21,22
described in Biblical prophecy. All the signs we were told to watch for have occurred, or are occurring right now. Scant little of the prophetic signs remain yet unaccomplished. The table is set for the war of Gog and Magog, which will precipitate His return.
A BRIEF STUDY
“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." - Matthew 13:47-50
A great many 'End Times' signs were prophetically given for us to watch for. It has taken two thousand years for history to unfold to the point that these signs can be fulfilled on a worldwide scale. We're there now. Most Christians are familiar with these signs, but there are always new Christian students coming on board that may not be quite as familiar with these prophetic elements of the faith, so we will run through a few for the sake of those less familiar them.
Beginning with what is known as the 'Olivet Discourse', where Yeshua was speaking to the apostles. Different versions of this can be found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
It should be noted here that much of the End Times prophecy is 'Israel-centric', and yet has world wide application as will be clearly noted in other prophetic statements. Israel is at the center of the storm, so to speak, and serves as sort of the canary in the mineshaft, but the apocalypse will engulf all mankind. Note the verse in the following quote where the Lord says 'before the end will come, the good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to the nations.' This has taken two thousand years, the invention of the movable type printing press, electronic mass communication, radio, television, the internet, intercontinental travel. The fulfillment of the Lord's words has taken time, that such a witness to the nations should be recognized, and that none should be left out. Yeshua answered their question;
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" - Matthew 24:3
And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. - Matthew 24:4-20
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is." - Mark 13:32,33
knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." 2 Peter 3:3,4
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! - 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Christians today should not let the frustrations of waiting overcome their patience, and weaken their faith. We should never let it lead us to question God's plan. Rather we should all understand that everything is going exactly as planned and according to God's timetable. If the signs are any indication, then the coming Kingdom is just over the horizon, and we shouldn't have to wait much longer. Every day we have to wait is another day He has given us to take from it all the joys, blessings, and challenges it has to offer. A chance to draw ever closer to Yahweh Almighty, and His Messiah, Yeshua, with praise and thanksgiving. Even though these are tough times, we are told to persevere.
As prophecy watchers today have almost universally noted, one of the greatest of Biblical prophetic fulfillments occurred in 1948, when the modern nation of Israel was made a nation state once again, after the destruction of the Roman Legions in 70 CE. Prior to that destruction, Yeshua warned His Apostles of the coming crushing of Jerusalem;
"They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." - Luke 21:24
This statement suggests that the time of the Gentiles ended on May 14, 1948, when the modern state of Israel was established. It not only fulfilled the words of Yeshua, but also the prophecy of Ezekiel 37, the Valley of Dry Bones. Yes, we are getting very close to the miraculous apocalyptic intervention of God and the salvation prepared for us by Yeshua. Persevere with patience!
Many of the inspired parables of Yeshua were related to the End Times (see parables), for instance;
to come, but they refused to come. “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” - Matthew 21:2-14
"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them
Another possible reason for delay could be related to the fact that God has determined that this apocalyptic event will be one that is more 'selective'. He has determined that never again will He destroy every living thing as He had done in the flood. The process of selection is understandably a time consuming task. It might even involve moving chosen ones around to places of safety, like pieces on a chess board, or finding other ways of shielding them from the coming wrath.
Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord's anger. - Zephaniah 2:3
Another vision of Ezekiel clearly describes a selective separating work being done by angels of God;
Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man (angel) clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it." To the others (angels) He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple. - Ezekiel 9:3-6
And again, another parable of Yeshua drives home the point of a selective separating work, a work that is not being rushed, and that is something we should appreciate.
The world is a big place, and there's a lot of fish to look over, and separate those meant for salvation. Not just among the Jews or the Christians either, but among all the Gentiles of the nations as brought out in the following words;
(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. - Romans 2:13-16
Lord there is so much pain and suffering in the world, where is your promised kingdom? Our cup runneth over with corruption, wars, violence, and lawlessness. How much longer Lord?
It is said that good things come to those that wait. Really? Most would probably agree that the waiting is as painful as any other aspect of life in these difficult times. Nonetheless, we should use what time we have, counting it as a blessing, a gift, a season to reach out to others, strengthening them if their patience is waning, and to strengthen ourselves. Yahweh is orchestrating these times according to His plan, and His timetable, We can trust it's under control. We need to continue praying for Yeshua to come, and establish the kingdom of heaven on earth, in order to bring about the promised great restoration. A new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17). Brothers and sisters, use these days to pursue your studies, and build upon your relationship with Yahweh Almighty. God is never early, and He's never late, He's always right on time and we can count on it.
There are many, many more prophecies related to the End of Days, and we encourage all Bible students to make a study of this topic. Here are a few to help you get started;
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." - Matthew 10:16
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.