One Saturday evening, I walked down to Times Square as it bustled with tourists and others doing holiday shopping. It is estimated that at rush hour, nearly a quarter of a million people pass through that area. As I stood there, I prayed while watching the masses of people.
At one point, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “David, take a look at these throngs. Multiply them several times, and that’s how many of my people died in the wilderness. Out of all those masses, only two entered into my rest, Joshua and Caleb. Everyone else died before their time, in despair and unbelief.”
The thought was overwhelming to me. As I watched the crowds, I realized they all had the gospel message available to them at any time, through television, radio, literature, even free Bibles in their hotel rooms. If only they wanted to know, they would be told that the same God who performed miracles for ancient Israel does the same for all who love Him today. Yet these don’t want to know Him. If they see someone handing out a gospel tract, they race by and wave him away. They have no gods but pleasure, money and possessions.
Suddenly, I began to see the value of a single believer in God’s eyes. And I hear Jesus asking the same question today: “When I return, will I find faith in the earth?” (see Luke 18:8). I see Christ, the searcher of men’s hearts, scouring all these venues, and finding few who truly love Him. I see Him searching college campuses, asking, “Who here will believe Me?” I see Him searching Washington, D.C., for those who would accept Him, and finding few. I see Him searching entire nations, and finding only a remnant.
Finally, He searches His church, looking for servants with a true faith. Yet, what He sees breaks His heart, grieving Him deeply. I hear Him cry as He did over Israel, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37).
As a minister of the Lord, I bear my Shepherd’s burden. And I feel His grief. Right now, I hear Him saying, “Even in My house, I find so few who have faith. Many of My own children, including My shepherds, faint in their times of trial. They don’t trust Me for their families, their jobs, their futures. Indeed, many have made their choice.”
So, what about you? The Lord comes to all of us, asking, “Will you believe Me? Do you trust Me? When I come, will I find faith in you?” How will you respond?