Jesus asked this question, “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:8).
Here is the full parable.
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Jesus was saying that God would speedily avenge the elect that call out to God day and night but the parable also gives us the reason for God’s delay in not immediately answering their cries. The answer is that God is longsuffering over the vessels of wrath not willing that any of His vessels of mercy should perish (Ro 9:22, 2 Pe 3:9).
There is another passage in Revelation chapter 6 that sheds further light on this passage.
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
The wording and context of the parable in Luke and the prophecy in Revelation tells me they correlate and say much the same thing. By correlating these two passages with the wheat and tare parable of Mt 13-25-30 we see that the elect in the Revelation prophecy are the same as the widow and the same as the wheat in those parables. The adversary is likewise the satanic people or the tares dwelling on the earth.
We know from the scriptures that after thousands of years of God bearing with the tares on earth that God’s judgment will come on the vessels of wrath. The major mystery that remains in this passage is why does Jesus ask if there will be faith on the earth when He comes? Obviously the widow (the elect) is the one praying to God to be avenged so she cannot be among the faithless.
One then might wonder why Jesus even asked if there would be faith on the earth at His coming? Jesus certainly knows there will be believers on the earth when He comes or there would be little point of His coming for His own at all. You cannot be one of the elect crying out to God if you have no faith.
The answer to the riddle is that Jesus was talking to those left behind after the Rapture in Lk 18:8. The acceptable year of the Lord ended at the Rapture so those that remain are under the day of vengeance (Isa 61:2) until the arrival of the Kingdom age. Those left on earth after the Rapture of the Spirit indwelt Church will have to endure a fiery trial to determine if they will believe God and obtain faith and salvation (Rev 3:10 – 2Th 2: 7-12). During this tribulation period works will be required to demonstrate faith Mt 10:41-42, Rev 14:13. All on earth will have knowledge of God and Jesus Christ before the end comes (Mt 24:14). So all on earth will either accept the truth or they will believe a Satanic lie (2 Th 2:10). Those that accept Jesus Christ and do works fitting of a believer will be saved.
Some also might wonder exactly where the elect will be while this trial is taking place on earth? They will be guests or wards of the heavenly court. While the adversary is being avenged on earth and the righteous Judge of the earth is looking for faith on the earth, the Spirit indwelt elect of the acceptable year of the Lord will have been taken out of harms way and will be adorned and prepared to become the Lamb’s wife.
Now I know that raises certain questions in the minds of those who do not believe in a pre-wrath rapture. They think we are talking about two comings of Jesus but actually we are only saying that the second coming of Jesus is accomplished in two stages. First Jesus comes in the heavens and sends for His faithful elect on earth and they are taken up to the Holy City that will be coming down from the third heaven to orbit the earth over Jerusalem (hardly science fiction). While the elect bride is being prepared for the wedding to the Lamb in Heaven the adversary is being dealt with on earth. After the tribulation of those days every eye will see Jesus coming in great power and glory with all His angels and saints and all living will appear before Jesus to determine if they are found worthy to go into the Kingdom Age.
So the answer to the question will Jesus find faith on earth is yes, no and then yes? When Jesus comes for His elect there will be no others with true faith on the earth left but when Jesus comes in glory there will be many tribulation saints present that obtained faith in Jesus Christ during their tribulation trial.
Don Koenig is the founder of ThePropheticYears website. He has been publishing articles on the Internet on Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and Christian worldviews since 1999. You can find well over a thousand articles and thousands of comments written by Don from the homepage of this website.