All of my life as a believer, I have heard things that sound like, “Well, all the signs have been fulfilled – Jesus could come back today!”
I am not answering with scoffing that Peter warned about in chapter 3 of his second letter in the Book – but I am not expecting tomorrow to be interrupted by Jesus parting the sky.
Two major pictures in the Scriptures that make me think we could put off His return for another 1000 years by continuing to be pitiful are the events around the first resurrection (Revelation 20:5) and what He prophesied in Matthew 24 (v14) about “the end” coming – that the good news about His Kingdom would first be preached to every “ethnos.” We would, today I think, translate that idea to mean every “people group.” It means, in terms John heard in the Revelation (7:9) every nation; every tribe; every tongue.
I expect Jesus to return, and that it will be the most wondrous event the world has experienced up to that point. I believe that we need to preach the gospel of the Kingdom to every ethnos first, though, to open the door to His return.
We have counted the “people groups,” and we know how many have not been reached yet. Only, we are just counting the ones we have reached with the gospel of salvation: how to be a member of God’s Family. We have just realized in the last decade that the good news about the Kingdom is not how to be saved from damnation; it’s how to obey the King.
Hold your arms as far apart as you can. Hold your thumb and pointing finger in your right hand about 3 inches apart. All the space between your pinkies is how many believers there are with Spiritual gifts and, therefore, ministries. The space between your thumb and first finger are how many of them are ministries in a local congregation. All the rest are in education; in the marketplace; in industry; in government, etc.
Most of those people have been told that they are “the laity,” and that they don’t have ministries. They are not qualified due to lack of education and degree to presume to represent God.
Go tell them who they are. Preach the Kingdom. Hasten His return.