(OPINION) I want to share a parable with you from the Gospel of Luke chapter eighteen that involves a widow and an unjust judge. This parable is one of the most powerful demonstrations of how God will answer the prayers of those who persistently seek him in intercession.
However, the thing that is the most troubling to me is the last sentence at the very end of this passage. Let’s take a look at this passage and we will elaborate more.
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.
Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward, he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’
” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:1-8
This last statement that Christ made is very chilling and seems to imply that when he returns again that the condition of the Church will be one that has so little faith that would even have to ask this question. “Will He really find faith on the earth?”.
Now you say, wait a minute. The Church? Yes, because this passage tells us that this parable was pertaining to the persistent prayers of the saints. Look what Christ states here. ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.
And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily”. The elect here are not sinners and it is not referencing the World. These are those in covenant with him.
Being that this event will be in the future, we have to wonder how and what has taken place on the earth that would result in the faith of so many in the Body of Christ being removed.
Another passage that seems to coincide with this is the parable of the ten virgins, which it gives us an illustration of the Bride of Christ awaiting the Groom in the last days. Check it out:
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. – Matthew 25:1-13
I want to point out a couple of things in this passage that really stands out to me in regard to the condition of the Church in the last days. First of all, we see that the long delay of the bridegroom will result in many in the Church going into a state of slumber and falling asleep.
The word “slumbered” here means to “doze off” and “lose attention span”. As a direct result of this condition, many will lose their oil in the last days. Now there has been a long debate on what exactly the “oil” represents in this passage but being they were all virgins and it’s a picture of the Body of Christ, I’m going to say the oil represents the “Fire”, the “anointing”, the zeal or passion for the Lord.
Most people that I have ever met who once had an on-fire and powerful walk with the Lord but are now backslid began with a state of slumber and eventually, they began to lose their “fire” (oil). They no longer had the faith they once had, the zeal, the prayer life, and rarely attended Church anymore.
I believe, as we get closer to the coming of the Lord and the birth pangs o the messiah intensify fulfilling so many events taking place simultaneously, like disasters, demonic oppression, the rise of false prophets, lying signs and wonders, and many other events that will transpire on the Earth that if we don’t actively keep oil in our lamps and our wicks trimmed, we will find ourselves in this very state of slumber and losing faith.
I believe we are given another warning regarding how our faith in the last days will come under attack which is found in the account where Jesus was praying in the garden as he was interceding for humanity.
“Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
When He rose up from prayer and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” – Luke 22:39-46
In the last sentence of this passage, we discover that the disciples of Christ have been found asleep by Jesus when they were supposed to be watching and praying but interestingly, it says that they were sleeping from “sorrow”. The word “sorrow” here means, Pain, hurt, grief, annoyance, affliction, or mourning.
We have to stop and think about what all these disciples have gone through leading up to this point. These men have given up their livelihoods, their families, friends, lifestyles, and many of their wealth and possessions to embrace a life full of unknowns, disasters, persecutions, revile, accusations, conspiracy, and the list goes on.
These men were not just lazy and tired and didn’t want to pray and watch. They had been weighed down with “sorrow”. It is safe to say many of them are dealing with high levels of stress, anxiety, fear, worry, and even depression. Consequently, One of the main symptoms of depression, fear, and worry is sleeping a lot. The Bible warns us that in the last days the enemy will work overtime in an attempt to “wear down the saints”.
The enemy wants to weigh us down with the cares of this life and the events happening around us so we are paralyzed with fear zapping our faith in God making us unproductive for the Kingdom! If you don’t think the enemy targets your faith, look at this passage below:
“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” – Luke 22:31-32
We see in this passage that satan had come before God with the desire to “sift Peter as wheat” but notice the revelation from Christ regarding this. He tells Peter that he is praying for him that his “faith should not fail”.
This is a major revelation that every believer’s faith will come under attack at one time or another in our lifetime and even more so as the soon return of the son of man approaches.
Let’s remain watchful, full of prayer, and keeping oil in our lamps as that soon coming of the Lord is at hand and we don’t want to be caught off guard and this day become a snare! Think about how so many in the Body of Christ have succumbed to offense, deception, falsehood, and the list goes on.
So many no longer attend Church, and no longer serve God. The falling away is picking up speed like never before and we must be aware and warn the Church in this hour!