Jesus gathered the men who would spread the gospel to the world, then he left, ascended to heaven. Why did he leave the spreading of the good news to fallible men? Why couldn’t Jesus stay after his resurrection to convince all the world he was the Lord, he offers forgiveness? God cannot make us do anything, yet by doing, he transforms us to be more like himself. We can only rely on God to accomplish this worldwide mission in spreading the good news to all the world. God is not only concerned with himself, why should he be? He is concerned with us, his greatest creation. By giving his fallible creatures a mission to spread the good news of Christ crucified, those missionaries are transformed while helping to transform others by offering the good news to them. The way one learns or changes paths or decides to do something different is through convincing, guidance, asking for help to change. God wants us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling because if we had no movement, we probably would never take the free gift of salvation from him. Salvation is a free gift that requires faith in Jesus Christ, but there is work involved—not works righteousness. But an obedience to follow Christ, which takes faith and action in putting one foot in front of the other. Bowing down to pray. Lifting up our hands to help a neighbor. Walking to and talking to the one who is lost. It is us moving, but it is Christ who gives us the volition, he ignites our wills from listening to obeying to doing.
This Christian life is not solely one of contemplation, but it is also of moving, speaking, acting because we are in time and space. We have work to do that originates from the Father. Christ did all the Father told him to. We listen to the Father through the Holy Spirit who leads us to understand the Son’s (Jesus’) mission which came from the Father. We learn to obey Christ’s mission of spreading the gospel, the good news—Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming and what it all means.
If God did all the work in making us believe, no one would change, no one would be transformed to be more like Christ. After all, the Father sent his only beloved Son to die for us, therefore wiping away our sins, Christ the perfect atoning sacrifice—once and for all. God conquered death by death. Jesus asks us to follow him. Christ paved the way, now we must follow. Christ accomplished all the work of salvation. But we still have to choose and act. It is Christ who provides the wisdom, the strength, the volition, the idea, but we respond and walk with him.
Christ will come again on the Last Day. The day of the culmination of all things will spark fear into all. Some falling to their knees in thanksgiving. Others in fear and trembling and in shame for never believing. This is the return of Christ, the day God returns blatantly to this world where wrath is poured out. We don't know why he hasn't arrived yet or blatantly reveals himself to everyone now, but when the director comes on stage the play is over.