what’s taking so long?

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
(1 Corinthians 15:52)

Winnipeg roads and bridges, especially in the summer months, seem to be riddled with lane closures and orange barricades. Sometimes it seems like almost every major thoroughfare is undergoing some kind of construction and repair work. Not only that, but it seems to take forever! What in the world is taking so long? We are tempted to ask, surely there is a way to speed this up! Despite our frustration and complaints, deep down we understand that the men working on our roads know much more about this than we do. Some things just take time. When we look at the state of our world, the utter foolishness and wickedness present in the highest levels of government, we sometimes feel like John the Baptist, who was growing perplexed and frustrated at the Lord’s apparent disinclination to overthrow evil government systems and usher in the Kingdom of God with power. “Art thou he that should come,” asked John “or do we look for another? (Matthew 11:3). In other words, “What is taking so long? Will you please get on with it?” God is deliberately and intentionally allowing this world to limp along as it does, groaning and travailing together in pain (Romans 8:22). Why? The apostle Peter understood our perplexity and frustration. In last chapter the great apostle ever wrote, he explained that our “Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God has ordained that humanity come as a “package deal,” that is, God has decreed that successive generations of people, saved and unsaved, be causally connected to their ancestors. The longer our Lord tarries, the more of His fallen image-bearers will receive Christ for salvation. This is what God desires (1 Timothy 2:4). When we review our attitudes, speech, and conduct in the light of God’s promise to conform us to the image of His dear Son (Romans 8:29), we may again wonder why it is taking so long. Once again, God has determined to govern man in the way that seemed best to Him. In the present dispensation, He has ordained that members of His church work together to move one another to the lofty goal of being more like Jesus (Ephesians 4:11-13). Admittedly, the process seems painfully slow sometimes. At other times we wonder if we are progressing at all. Despite our feelings on that matter, the Bible assures us that progress is being made; the apostle’s inspired prayer for us is being answered (Hebrews 13:20-21). As today’s verse passage reminds us, one day our progress will be “fast-tracked” in a major way. Suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, we will at long last be like the Lord who loved us first (1 John 3:2). Maranatha! Our Lord, come!

God bless you,

Pastor John