Probably by now you have come to learn that God does not come at our own timings or biddings. In fact, it is not for us ‘to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority’ (Acts 1:7). God’s perfect timing and appearing seems what we would term as the last minute. Jesus says, ‘I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day’ (John 6:39). The last day . . . the day God shows up to quicken the dead. When all seems bleak and whatever can go wrong has gone wrong, God then appears. When Mary and Martha sent for Jesus because their brother Lazarus fell ill, Jesus came after he had died, and even buried. All hopes of life were buried, so that when Jesus finally showed up, Martha and Mary tell Him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died’ (11:v21, v32). They reasoned that if Jesus had come according to their time schedule, then their brother would not have died. Now it was the last day, and nothing much could be been done. Weeping and mourning was all they could do. Even when Jesus tells Martha that ‘Your brother will rise again’ (v23), Martha responds, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day’ (v24). Martha could only look forward to the last day, not knowing that the First and Last Day stood right in front of her, for Jesus responds, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die’ (v25-26).
Many a times, people ignorantly ask, ‘where is God?’, ‘If God really cared, then the world would not be like this or like that’, or ‘the end of the world never seems to come’. They desire God to intervene at their own timing, not knowing that God already gave a solution to the world’s problems. Since many people have rejected it, God in patience withholds the end of all things in the world, because if He were to appear before the last day, no one will stand a chance for the better life we seek. We will instead go from a bad world to a worse eternity. That is why Malachi writes, ‘But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap’ (Malachi 3:2). When God appears on earth a second time, there will not be any conversations, cajoling, comfort, or correction, only judgment and recompense. ‘Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light’ (Amos 5:18). Woe to the wicked who say, ‘Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so that we may see it’ (Isaiah 5:19). Those who blame God for all the world’s misfortunes because they have refused to take up God’s solution will see for themselves on that last day. ‘It will be as though a man fled from a lion, only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him’ (Amos 5:19).
‘Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendour, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save’ (Isaiah 63:1). At the last day, Jesus will not appear as the meek and lowly person robed in white. He will be different because He will not come to save the world from sin and disaster, but to bring judgement upon it. He will come in all His glory, splendour, and might. Many will ask, ‘Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?’ (v2). The answer is that Jesus will pursue all those who remained in unbelief until His sword has ‘drunk its fill in the heaven’ (34:v5), until ‘The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood’ (v6). Until the earth is purged of sin and wickedness, and righteousness remain. The last day. That is why Jesus says, ‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you’ (John 12:35). Being overtaken in this present dark world by refusing to walk in Christ’s light will have no remedy on the last day, the day of wrath and recompense.
The last day is also not about God being indecisive or delaying. It is about God’s mercy and patience. Peter notes, ‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’ (2 Peter 3:9). As the world grows increasingly wicked so that impostors are going ‘from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived’ (2 Timothy 3:13), and people ‘being hated and hating one another’ (Titus 3:3), it seems like God has forsaken us. In reality, God is working to draw men unto Himself, away from the corrupted and polluted world. Jesus says, ‘For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day’ (John 6:40). But until this last day, God is patient because He says, ‘I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also’ (10:v16). After the full number of Believers have come to the knowledge of Jesus, then He will appear again. ‘He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. . . Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations . . . He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty’ (Revelation 19:13,15). His sword will judge those in unbelief at the last day, because ‘that very word which I spoke will judge him at the last day’ (John 12:48).
‘As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance’ ~ Daniel 12:13