"Do return, O Lord, how long will it be?"
"Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless..."
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
The day of the Lord will not come unless:
* * * * * *
1. Has the gospel of the kingdom been preached to the ends of the earth? Is it not rather the the gospel of salvation and the gospel of grace that have gone out?
"Never offer a man a thimbleful of Gospel... Many of the current gospels are addressed only to a part of man's nature... And men slip back again from such religion because it never really held them."
"Nowadays the great passion is for souls... But it is the passion for Christ that the gospel of the kingdom teaches. Whenever the passion for souls obscures the passion for Christ, Satan has come in as an angel of light."
Is it not clear? It is not the gospel of salvation that must be preached before Jesus can return, it is the gospel of the kingdom. Salvation is a gift of His grace but the kingdom is not!
Salvation is open and waiting for those who receive Him but the kingdom is a mystery that we must seek and find, a mystery hidden in parables and in the person of Jesus Christ. Can I ever understand and articulate that mystery so that God might commission me to take it to the ends of the earth? There has to be someone or "someones" before Jesus can come again!
2. Jesus is waiting for the restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times.
I will revive My work in the midst of the years...
"And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins, you will raise up the age old foundations, you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the paths in which to dwell."
Isaiah 58:11, 12
"They will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will build up the former devastations, the desolations of many generations... But you will be called the priests of the Lord..."
Isaiah 61:4, 6
"But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant to give us a peg in His holy place, that God may enlighten our eyes... Our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins... Arise, this matter is our responsibility... be courageous and act."
Ezra 9:8, 9; 10:4
3. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God until God makes His enemies a footstool for His feet. And at this moment I have only Psalm 110 to give me any insight as to how this will come to pass.
"The Lord says to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.' The Lord will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, saying, 'Rule in the midst of Thine enemies.'
Thy people will be willing in the day of Thy power..."
(Is God announcing in The Revelation that He is working or about to work on this now?)
"God is aroused and risen from His holy habitation, He is moving among us. The Lord will go forth as a warrior. He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout. Yes, He will raise a war cry. The Lord arises to contend and stands to judge His people. He has kept silent for a long time. He has kept silent and restrained Himself." (Handbook 2, Article 23)
4. It will not come unless the apostasy (or falling away from the faith) comes first...
"Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of worthlessness... who say, 'Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it; and let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come to pass that we may know it.'"
Isaiah 5:18, 19