When Jesus comes will there be faith on the earth? Yes, no and then yes!

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.

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 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.


14 thoughts on “When Jesus comes will there be faith on the earth? Yes, no and then yes!

  1. Hi Don,
    I’ve often wondered about the events surrounding the rapture. As far as I know the scripture doesn’t describe a situation whereby every eye sees the Saviour at that point. Why should the heathen heed the call on that day? My guess is that they won’t even hear it. Why is it so difficult for some christians to understand that Enoch walked with God and then he was not or that Phillip was supernaturally transported from one area to another?
    If it happens that way where will the evidence of Christ be? The evidence, I believe, will be those that are gone and the proclaimations of faith they made while here. I’ve heard it said that God has no grandchildren so I’ve tried to explain to my own children that someday I may not be here and if that happens here’s where I’ll be, should they not join me.
    Just some thoughts. Hope they don’t make me a hereitc.

  2. Hi Don, when Jesus comes for us, it says that we shall see Him coming in the clouds and we are taken up into the clouds to be with Jesus. It says nothing about Jesus setting His feet on the earth.

    1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
    1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep.
    1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;
    1Th 4:17 then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
    1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  3. You are only talking about the Rapture. In this article I am both talking about the Rapture and the actual second coming of Jesus when His feet do touch the earth.

    Zec 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

  4. Hi Joel,
    What’s your thinking here? I’m not being sarcastic. I’d just like to get other folks thoughts. I can’t really find in your scripture text a point where we actually see Christ. 1 Cor 15: 51 & 52 says “I shew you a mystery (secret)… we shall all be changed. 52: In a moment in the twinkling of an eye.” Basically in the moment it takes a thought to form in your brain. That’s quick. Qiucker for some than others I suppose.
    That tells me that one second your here and in less than a millisecond your in the clouds with Christ. Can you imagine having a conversation with someone when this happens? Someone that’s left here won’t even know what just happened.
    Rev 1:7 seems to indicate that “when he comes with clouds, (each and) every eye shall see him.” Everyone will see him, and they’ll know. The reason I can tell this is the vengeance coming that Don talked about is in the same verse; “and ALL kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” I for one will not wail when I see him, should he come in my lifetime. God help me I hope to rejoice!
    In my opinion John, in the first eight verses of Revelation, actually gives the reader the ending of Revelation. Verse 8 is Christs’ proclamation “I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the ending” The same proclamation he made in Rev 21: 6 after saying “It is done.” Obviously there’s nothing that says Christ can’t make that proclamation twice but it doesn’t seem to fit in this instance.
    Now I’m no theologian, but it seems to me to be two different situations. Any thoughts?

  5. I always find it interesting when the pre-trib rapture is mentioned that the naysayers say that we are predicting that Christ will return twice rather than just the once. The usual answer is that the return is in two stages once in the clouds, and once for all eyes to see when he touches earth. I don’t disagree with any of this, however I am generally interested to know if there is anywhere in the bible which limits Christ to only coming to Earth twice anyway? Christ said he would return.. so did McArthur.. When McArthur returned to the Phillipines he went back and forth several times to his command ship – does the word “return” limit us to thinking once and once only? I personally think not. I would be really interested if anyone has a bible verse which proves categorically that Christ can only come to earth twice.

  6. if God could protect the Israelites during the ten plagues of Egypy, He can do the same for us during the great tribulation. 1 Thes. 4: 16-17 moreover, the tribulation started from the 1st century, and the only rapture will occur at the very end of age, beginning with the two witnesses.
    thaanks a lot.

  7. I think certain scriptures imply that there is only one end time coming of Jesus for the Church and to the world in Revelation and judgment. After He comes back Jesus can come and go from the earth to the Holy City as often as He pleases.

    Lk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
    30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
    2Pe 3:4 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 the creation.
    1Jo 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
    Ac 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
    1Ti 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
    2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
    2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
    Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
    Lu 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
    Mt 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
    Mt 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
    Lu 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
    1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
    Mt 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
    Lu 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
    1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
    1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
    2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
    1Jo 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
    Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
    15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
    2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
    2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
    1Jo 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
    1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
    Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
    16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

  8. It would be much easier to just remove us since we are not vessels of God’s wrath and have no reason to be tried on earth since we are already believers.
    Many of those left behind will be protected in the Great tribulation that is why the Israelite’s are told to flee to the mountains for protection.

    Actually you have it backwards. The great tribulation or the Day of the Lord did not start in the first century it only starts after the two witnesses are killed but the rapture of the dead souls started in the first century and now those that are alive and remain at His coming will be caught up with them to receive heavenly bodies and be with the Lord.

    1 Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
    15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
    18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  9. Wayne, concerning your question about Christ coming more than once to earth (or twice if you like to call the Rapture coming to earth).

    In the 14th chapter of John’s Gospel, the second verse, Jesus tells his disciples “I go to prepare a place for you.” Now the greek words for “I go” (poreuo) and “prepare” (hetoimazo), english transliterations of course, mean, according to Strong’s, to depart from life and make preperations.

    v. 3 “And (kai- indeed) IF (now that’s a big if, but as we already know Jesus did and will do everything he promised) I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again (palin- Thayers Lexicon says the primary meaning seems to be back), and receive (paralambono- to take with one’s self) you unto myself, that where I am, ye may be also.

    I’ve said all that to set up the context for this. Later in this chapter, in fact v 16 Jesus promises them, and by proxy us, The Comforter (parakletos- an other one along side). “And I shall pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide (remain) with you forever.” He goes on to claim that the world can neither see nor know him.

    V 18 is to me amazing. “I will not leave you comfortless: ( depart from you and leave you an orphan) I will come( erchomai- to come from one place to another, and used of both persons arriving and of those returning) to you.”

    So in a sense the answer to your question is yes. Moreover, I think it could be argued, quite rightly if your a Trinitarian like me, that because of the promise of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ never really left the world. That is to say the world in a christian sense, not world in a worldly sense. I think it to be clear from the text that the next time the “world” sees Christ will be at his physical return. For in v 19 he says ” Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more…,”

    “…but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.”
    v 20 ” At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”

    However, for the purposes of this particular discussion I think the answer to your question is no. For it is clear that on the day of Pentecost Peter preached;
    Acts 2; 32 “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses.”
    33. “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
    34. “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
    35. Until I make thy foes thy footstool.”

    I think not that Jesus will leave the right hand of God until he comes for his bride and then his kingdom.

  10. me be very clear because i really like most of your bold comments in your blog. you see, the issue of the rapture cannot happen twice. i used to think so when i was learning about the rapture, it is a very complicated issue and you should not be very solid on your view. we are all humans and as such can make mistakes. the tribulation, like i said started in the first century and has ever been increasing since then, no where in the scriptures especially revelation speaks of two different rapture. Jesus Christ said the first will become last and the last will be first. after the opening of the sixth seal, some faithful souls who were matyred cried to god to avenge their blood on the wicked kingdom of satan, and God told them to relax till the number of the faithful matyres are complete. the death of the two witnesses completes the number of all whom will be killed in the faith. they will be the first to be raptured as clearly stated in revelations -their dead bodies will rise up and join the Lord in the heavens, then all others who died in christ will follow, finally the survivals of the great tribulation will be raptured as well. (1 thes 4 :16-17). although many are prophecied to be killed during the great tribulation, the scriptures -the olivet prophecy and the book of revelation- clearly reveals that some will survive. dont stick to your imagined and unscripotural idea of a post repture tribulation because it sounds good to the ears.

    please dont reply this post, i dont want to loose you, just think of it. and open your eyes well and see the tribulation already taking place, if God could protect His chosen Isrealites during the ten plagues of Egypt He can equally protect His own anytime any day till the end of the age. we will all witness the Day of the Lord which is actually the last year of the Great tribulation, but He has a place prepared in this earth for His elect, and we will all be protected from the terror and dread. not quite some good news but we must endure till the very end. thanks

  11. Donald you comment on my blog and then tell me not to reply to your comment? If you want the right to be posted on my Blog I have the right to answer what you said.

    Who is talking about the rapture of the Church happening twice here? The raising of the two witnesses is not the mystery and the translation of those that died and those that are alive that Paul was talking about. If you want to count every place in scripture where people are taken alive to heaven or resurrected there are at least seven of them.

    # The translation of Enoch before the flood
    # The taking of Elijah in a whirlwind in the early times of Israel
    # The resurrection and ascension of Jesus
    # The rapture of the true Church
    # The resurrection and ascension of the two witnesses
    # The resurrection of the saints at the end of the great tribulation
    # The final resurrection and judgment after the thousand year reign

    Tribulation has always been on the earth for believers but the tribulation we are talking about in Bible prophecy is the time of Jacob’s trouble and the time that Daniel talked about and also Jesus talked about.in Matthew 24.

    21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

    How can the tribulation that Jesus is talking about here have happened in the first century? Obviously Jesus is talking about a future Day of the Lord that He calls a time of Great tribulation.

    Those slain for the word of God cry out at the fifth seal not after the opening of the sixth seal like you said.

    The death of the two witnesses starts the great tribulation or the day of the Day of the Lord that Jesus was talking about in the passage that I quoted above so how can the number of martyrs be completed at the fifth seal at the time the two witnesses are killed? The two witnesses are killed some time later in the sixth trumpet judgment and second woe.

    I don’t believe in a post tribulation rapture of the Church so why bring it up? You seem to have no consistency in your statements.

    If you are that thin skinned that I cannot reply to what you said then why even comment here at all?

    Who says the Day of the Lord is the last year of the tribulation? I think Jesus makes it quite clear that it occurs over at least 3 1/2 years.

    Those enduring to the end are tribulation saints enduring to the end of the tribulation. As I said prior, some on earth will go through the tribulation but the true Church will not because like Enoch the Church is walking with God and will be taken to heaven before God’s Judgment on the whole earth begins.

  12. Hi, Jesus Says why do you worry about clothes,What you eat and wear..Lately I realised that Faith is not as simple word as I thought it to be…It represents a stand which requires your years of unrelenting, patient belief in what God has promised no matter how many years go by…No wonder God called Abraham his friend…25 years is a lot of work …right…that kind of absolute trust is probably what Christ is wondering whether it will exist in this modern world…where you will be laughed at if you believe similarly and ACT..totally trusting in him for your family,provision of Food and Clothes etc…

  13. Sushil,

    Yeah sure, years of faith like the thief on the Cross that believed for hours at most. The Bible says “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Ro 10:17).

    I suggest that you adjust your theology accordingly.

  14. I would remind Sushil that scripture indicates we are to work to help provide for our provision and shelter. The scripture you are referring to was a message given to the disciples when our Lord sent them out, which has little to do with our present circumstances. We are believers living in a different age, in a foreign country, amid the Beast, awaiting our King’s return at the Father’s appointed time.

    Concerning the 25 years vs the thief on the cross, you are speaking of overcoming and maintaining our faith until the end. Thankfully loving our Father and longing for his Son’s return is something once experienced, I can’t imagine laying aside.

    My concern is that almost all, even the elect if were possible, will believe the lie. The last few years of my life has been involved in investigating what this lie or lies are, and having my mind adjust accordingly.

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