Can we pray for shortening of days of the Return of Jesus?

Dialogue on the Second Coming of Jesus and eternity.

Can we pray for shortening of days of the Return of Jesus?

Postby learner » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:29 am

As Christians, at least some of us are looking forward to the return of Jesus (call it Rapture, Second Coming or any other way and regardless the different interpretations of the intermediate events)

Now usually, we pray the Lord for good things that we would like in our lives because Jesus has taught us to ASK for good things we want in many passages (Luke 18, 1:8, John 14:13-14, Matthew 21:22, John 16:24, and many others)

It is reasonable to think that asking is an important step in the relationship between men and God.
And what to ask? In the Lord prayer, there are are many (if not all) passages that will be fulfilled completely only on the Second Coming:

"your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven."


- The kingdom of the Lord has not completely come, and His will is not completely done on earth, and it will not until His return, and the separation of sheeps and goats.

"And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’"


- Same here: the only way in which we will be COMPLETELY freed and delivered from temptation and the evil one, will be on the Last day, by entering his King separated from the goats.

Then curiously, in Matthew 24:22 we find
"for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened"
.

Now I have 2 QUESTIONS:

1) As Christian, would you really be happy if the Second Coming would happen in a month? Or in a week? Or today? Or would you prefer to first do some mundane things and you'd rather prefer Him to come later? (Matthew 22: 1-14, Luke 19:14)


2) Provided that we usually ask for many things never mentioned in the Gospel, and we hope them to be fulfilled, would it be so wrong to ask for such thing as the Return of the Lord? At least there is some probability that is a correct prayer. If it's not, it wouldn't have hurt to try, but if it is right, it will means enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and be delivered from evil immediately, not only for us but for everyone living now.


3) What if the Lord is waiting for people, at least His elects, really DESIRING and ASKING for His return, to shorten the days?

----------------------------------------------------------
NOTE
To a possible objection like "if the day will be shortened, some people will not have time to repent" there are at least 2 answers:
- Every day new people born in this world full of temptations (Luke 4:6), and there are more people at risk of losing the way, than people who repent.
- If someone has the seed of repentance in his earth, it's not to exclude that he will be saved in the last day even if he didn't publicly confess to being Christian because they haven't met Christ yet.
If it wouldn't be like this, then every population who did not hear of Christ in the past and now would be condemned, and this is not the case, because those who pursued good and searched for the Truth would have listened to the Lord and convert if had the occasion (Romans 2:15) (think about peopl,e like Socrates), so they will likely be saved anyway.
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Re: Can we pray for shortening of days of the Return of Jesu

Postby JasonPratt » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:18 am

Sorry for the posting delay. We've been hit by an ironically humorous wave of spam recently boasting about how they have software to crack any code to get spamposts onto boards -- when this forum doesn't use that method. All new member posts automatically go to the spamcatcher for live checking by ad/mods. :lol:

A lod of ad/mods are on vacation this week (in America at least), so for example I usually check the spamcatcher every morning except on weekends when my check is a little more random. But with Thanksgiving holiday up, I haven't checked in a few days and meanwhile the spammers ran your legitimate post off the bottom of the list to check. (I'm not where I can delete and ban their accounts, but fortunately I saw the potential problem and checked a different way, finding your post.)

Anyway, don't worry if your posts take a few days to show up. We'll get them eventually, and after several of your posts have been approved the forum engine will tick over to letting you through automatically.
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Re: Can we pray for shortening of days of the Return of Jesu

Postby JasonPratt » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:46 am

To your topical post: I'm actually working on a video lecture that includes the verse you mentioned about the days being shortened for the sake of the elect (and that the world won't be destroyed in the coming tribulation for the sake of the elect). While I don't disagree with standard Arm and Calv interpretations of the elect to mean those who are loyal to God (although each side has a somewhat different idea of election beyond that), the OT reference, especially Matthew's quote from the OT, indicate that the "elect" are God's punished rebel people whom He has promised to save and restore after their punishment. They don't even necessarily have to repent first (although that's a key goal to their punishment): in some cases they repent and return to loyalty after God saves them anyway.

That isn't much to your topic perhaps, but it's topically relevant to Christian universalism so I thought I'd mention it in passing. 8-) :geek:


To a possible objection like "if the day will be shortened, some people will not have time to repent" there are at least 2 answers:


Considering this is an evangelical Christian universalist forum, we'll probably agree there are more than 2 answers.

(And some of us, though not myself, are full preterists who think the second coming has already happened.)


1) As Christian, would you really be happy if the Second Coming would happen in...


While I would emotionally prefer for it to happen immediately, logically I choose instead to prefer it to happen when God sees best for it. I'm not in a position to evaluate when that will be.

Praying for the Lord's Return, including that it will be hastened (although I'm not sure it's possible to hasten the return by praying for it), is actually a rather standard prayer throughout Christian history. You're certainly not the first person to notice that the Lord's Prayer amounts to praying for the future coming (as well as present spread) of God's kingdom on earth. My impression is that the older catholic groups (RCs, EOx, etc.) especially have a tradition of praying for it.


3) What if the Lord is waiting for people, at least His elects, really DESIRING and ASKING for His return, to shorten the days?


Then He has chosen to delay His own return by waiting for this, and has chosen not to clearly instruct His people on the surety and importance of this topic thus also delaying His own return. That isn't impossible, of course, but that's the consequential implication.

I would also guess that, relative to these modern days, there was much larger percentage of His elect praying for His return in earlier and ancient times, so the situation has been getting steadily worse while prior experience demonstrates that returning to previous levels of praying for this is no guarantee the coming will hasten or trigger.

So, what if the Lord isn't waiting for people, at least His elects, really DESIRING and ASKING for His return, to shorten the days? The evidence, so far as it goes, seems to point that way instead although not decisively.


This is aside from the standard evangelical interpretation since at least the 19th century, that the verse in question refers to the time of the coming tribulation, which hasn't started yet, and consequently if praying to hasten His return was a factor it might only count in that period. But if it did count before then, praying to hasten His return also means praying to hasten the worst and most extensive set of tragedies in all of human history before His return.

This is also aside from the full preterist optional answer that His elect already did successfully pray for His coming, and it already happened in 70 with the fall of Jerusalem (although the days didn't hasten exactly as a result of the prayers of the elect, since that event occurred at a fairly set time. There may have been some minor hastening past the worst points of the event which was of importance for particular servants of God, but would have been irrelevant for the overall timing.)
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Re: Can we pray for shortening of days of the Return of Jesu

Postby learner » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:18 pm

JasonPratt,
may I first say that I’m amazed by the way you reason? You make hypotheses, in a very intellectually honest manner, it’s been a pleasure reading this answer.

Thanks for the theories about that verse in Matthew, very interesting. However, as you have noticed, I didn’t want to focus much on that.
I would say that the main Scriptural passages I’m using are (Matthew 6:13, Peter 3:12, Revelation 22:20) plus the uncountable verses about the importance of Asking, to Receive.

“While I would emotionally prefer for it to happen immediately, logically I choose instead to prefer it to happen when God sees best for it. I'm not in a position to evaluate when that will be.”


I agree with you, we will get listened only if it’s in God’s Will too to accept our prayers. If He has compelling reasons to delay His return, He will, but if He haven't reasons for that and, as for many other prayers, He wants our will to align to His Will before giving us His gifts, then, in that case, our prayer will be incredibly useful!

I would also guess that, relative to these modern days, there was much larger percentage of His elect praying for His return in earlier and ancient times, so the situation has been getting steadily worse while prior experience demonstrates that returning to previous levels of praying for this is no guarantee the coming will hasten or trigger.


I haven’t found much documentation about this, while I’ve found tons of documents about just passively waiting. But I’ll be glad to read them if you have. And moreover….WHY we got rid of such beautiful intention, if it was practiced by our ancestors? So sad about that. Maybe it's time to repristinate something so good. Even though I'm not a pastor, so I have no idea about how to do that, and I hope that some pastor will do tha

So, what if the Lord isn't waiting for people, at least His elects, really DESIRING and ASKING for His return, to shorten the days? The evidence, so far as it goes, seems to point that way instead although not decisively.


In this case, we would lose nothing anyway. So it’s a win-win: if it’s useful, how happy we will be..if it’s not, not a big deal, it would have still been useful to pray this, at least to increase our desire to see the Lord in all His fullness.


This is aside from the standard evangelical interpretation  […] This is also aside from the full preterist optional answer that His elect already did successfully pray for His coming.


I repeat it, I appreciate your open mind!
I am not interested too in whether someone has a pre/post/past/multi tribulation/rapture view, though I admit that some views are less compatible with this intention.
But a good number of positions, seem compatible with this intention, and that's enough.

Thanks for your many points.
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Re: Can we pray for shortening of days of the Return of Jesu

Postby JasonPratt » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:55 pm

I certainly don't think there's any harm in praying for the Day of the Lord to hasten: no good intentioned prayer can be useless, regardless of whether God grants it or not. :) Besides, it's good for positive discipline.

(Also, this reply will bump the thread up in the active list a bit, so that more people will see it for commenting. :geek: )
Cry of Justice -- 2008 Novel of the Year (CSPA retailer poll).
Sword To The Heart -- metaphysical argument to orthodox trinitarianism (and thence to universalism)
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