The end is near.
Such a cliche, and yet the phrase never grows old.
Since the 1800s, people have believed that the end is near. Remember the thousand of Millerites who sold all their possessions because they thought that it was the end of the world? They all stared at the midnight sky in the year 1844 waiting for the end to come until they realized it wasn't going to happen as another sunrise came signifying a new day has arrived.
Apocalypse and the "rapture hooplas" were believed in as well and the latter, have in fact wasted millions of dollars on billboards just so people will be informed, Relevant Magazine stated.
Many believe in the statement, "The end is near," because many desire it to be so. Many would finally want the pain in this world to end. Many would want to finally escape the hardships and difficulties this life has been bestowing non-stop. Many would want to finally see and have Jesus come back so that suffering can end and the world redeem to be a holy, safe haven for all humanity where there are no more tears and heartbreaks.
Relevant Magazine emphasized, "Though Jesus is quite clear that no one can know when he will return to annihilate sin and death, many still seek his return. And they seek because they are tired. They are tired of experiencing war, pain and abuse. They are tired of their struggle against sin. They are tired of losing loved ones to disease, and they desire God to end the present age in a health-making, soul-benefiting, Spirit-directed way."
But why, until now, the end is only near and not now? Why hasn't Jesus come yet?
Jesus Is Coming: The Certainty
Before being able to answer the question, "Why hasn't Jesus come back yet?" properly, one has to establish first the certainty of Jesus ' coming. Christians know that He is definitely coming back because He said so Himself, and the Word never changes.
Jesus reassured the world in Matthew 24:30, saying "You will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory."
In a vision given to apostle John, which he wrote in Revelation 19:11-16, he said, "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. ... His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. ... on His robe and on His thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords."
Jesus is certainly coming back.
However, another question is posed - When is Jesus coming back?
Jesus is certain He is coming back. He even knows how He would come back, but He was never specific as to when because He does not know either during the time He spent on the earth.
Matthew 24:36 proclaimed, "About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
Jesus also commanded the world, "Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:42).
Jesus Is Still Waiting
In an article by the Crosswalk, author Roger Dr. Roger Barrier shared a letter he has received from a girl named Sarah.
Why hasn't Jesus come back yet? I see so much sorrow and suffering in our world. I see so many people rejecting Him. And when I compare that with all the Scriptures where Jesus promises to return, I just don't understand why He is waiting so long. Can you help me?
Dr. Barrier, a retired senior Pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona, and a sought-after conference speaker and teacher, answered the woman's question by presenting 3 points.
1. Jesus is waiting for the world to receive His gifts of redemption, salvation, and a new life with Him
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:8-9)
There is a delay in the coming of Jesus because He is being patient with the world, waiting, working, reaching out, and creating miracles for everyone to repent and turn back to Him.
There is a delay because Jesus would not allow for many to spend their forever in hell. He only wants to spend forever with His believers.
2. Jesus is waiting until there are not enough Christians left to fight the evil in the world.
"Speaking to his followers, Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste, it is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men." (Matthew 5:13)
According to Dr. Barrier, Jesus is using an analogy here. Unfortunately, there will be a time in the future when the salt of the earth, referring to His disciples, would lose its saltiness and will become good for nothing, meant to just be thrown away.
"When the number of well-salted Christians declines to the point where the world is no longer impacted by their presence, Jesus says, 'Throw it out!' Jesus will then return," he noted.
3. Jesus is waiting for a rebellion to occur and the "man of lawlessness" is revealed
"Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [the second coming] will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed... And now you know what is holding him back, so that the man of lawlessness may be revealed at the proper time." (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 6)
Above are the whys of Jesus' delay in coming back to earth, but as important as the whys are the hows. Instead of focusing on why Jesus hasn't come back yet, it would be for the world's best to rather focus on how one is going to spend his/her life and day in this world.
When Jesus finally arrives, will He be pleased with the "hows" of the world as it waited?
Jesus is waiting for the "man of lawlessness" to be released and revealed. Once he comes, Jesus will come back to fight for us and bring us to the new heaven and the new earth where everything is perfect.
In 2 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul refers to the Antichrist when he used the term "man of lawlessness," which is also compatible with the vision of John in the Book of Revelation.
The unveiling of the Antichrist will precede Jesus' second coming.