Derek Prince - An Essential Part In Our Preparation For Jesus' Return
All right, we’re coming to the next, this is number three. This is worse still! Do you know what it is? It’s waiting. The importance of waiting is almost totally overlooked in the contemporary church, at least by the kind of people I mix with. And yet it’s a central part of our preparation for the return of the Lord. Hebrews 9:28: So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time apart from sin for salvation. To whom will He appear? To those who eagerly wait for Him.
Now, some translations don’t put in the eagerly but it’s a double preposition in the Greek. And I think eagerly accurately represents the real meaning of it. It’s not just waiting for Him but it’s eagerly waiting for Him. I have a friend who’s known to a few of us here, but I won’t mention his name, who is a preacher. He and I have worked together in the past. He has a rather droll way of expressing himself and he says when the Lord returns, he’ll expect to hear something more from us than: Nice to have you back. If we’re eagerly waiting for Him we’ll have more to say than that!
Then in 1 Thessalonians, a very remarkable passage, chapter 1, verses 9 and 10, which is speaking about the testimony of the unbelievers to the experience of the Thessalonian Christians. 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10: For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turn to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. So these people turn to God as a result of the ministry of Paul to do two things. And there’s no suggestion that one is more important than the other. To serve the living God and to wait for His Son from heaven.
You see, as Christians we are called to serve but we are also called to wait. And I’ve spoken to Christian ministers and workers in many places, I sometimes ask this question: Which takes more faith? To work or to wait? And never had anybody answered it takes more faith to work than to wait. The real test of faith is waiting. And, it’s a test to which we will all be subjected because we are called to turn from idols to serve God, to wait for His Son. Give me back my NIV for a moment. I'm sorry, your NIV. This is a verse in Isaiah 64 verse 4, which is so vivid in this that I like to quote it from the NIV. Chapter 64, verse 4. This describes one unique aspect of the true God. It says: Since ancient times, no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any god besides you who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
What’s the one unique, distinguishing characteristic of the true God? He acts on behalf of those who do what? Wait for Him. Thank you. All right. Turn to John chapter 9, verse 4. A verse that... Ken quoted, recently while praying with us. I don't know whether he remembers John 9:4 Jesus says: We... (That’s a better translation or better version than I). We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day. The night is coming when no one can work.
Do you understand that? There is coming over the earth a night of darkness when work will be over, and we’ll only do one thing; which is: wait. But we’ll wait content, if we’ve done our job. But it will be intensely frustrating when the night descends and you say: But I should have done this, I should have done that, I should be there. Because it’ll be too late. The night is coming when no one can work. The only thing we can do is to wait, and we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait.