“The moment Jesus comes back there will never again be the possibility of any person’s conversion, so we really shouldn’t be that eager for the end to come.” —Craig Blomberg
I want to comment on Blomberg’s aberrant statement.
1. It is unbiblical.
Nowhere in the Bible does it teach Christians not to be “that eager” for the end to come, let alone for the reason to see more converted. Just the contrary. Scripture’s support is copious, but a few references will suffice. “But our citizenship is in heaven—and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 3:20). “So that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Chris.” (1 Cor 1:7). “Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober, and set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Pet 1:13). “Maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life” (Jude 1:21).
2. Salvation is not a “possibility.”
People who will be saved will not be able to say that they were in the right place at the right time when they got saved. Nor will those who will be in hell one day be able to say that they were not in the right place and at the right time to get saved. Salvation is all of God, and none of ourselves.
Salvation is a decree by our sovereign Lord according to his all-wise, free grace. “We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you” (1 Thess 1:4). “But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thess 2:13).
3. Similarly, only when all of God’s elect enter his salvific fold will he come back.
“Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:8–9).
Interestingly, a couple of verses later do we find another objection to Blomberg’s statement not to be “that eager” for the end to come.
“while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God? Because of this day, the heavens will be burned up and dissolve, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze! But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides” (2 Pet 3:12–13).
4. Blomberg implies a false dichotomy.
That is, if you have too much eagerness for our Lord’s return, then you are not that really concerned about the lost being converted. In reality, it is just the opposite. When we fully realize what lies ahead for the fate of the lost, then that should spur us to eagerly proclaim the gospel to the lost in this age! In other words, a lack of eagerness for the age to come, will diminish an eagerness to see the lost converted.
So do not allow your eager-hope to be deflated!
“The one who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20)