Second Coming of Christ-Quotes, Devotionals & Illustrations

QUOTES RELATED TO
THE RETURN OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
"KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS"
Revelation 19:16+


ONE IN EVERY 30 NT VERSES REFER TO THE SECOND COMING! - More than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy. Approximately one-third of it has yet to be fulfilled. Both the Old and New Testaments are full of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. Over 1,800 references appear in the Old Testament, and seventeen Old Testament books give prominence to this theme. Of the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are more than 300 references to the Lord’s return – one out of every thirty verses. Twenty-three of the twenty-seven New Testament books refer to this great event. Three of the four other books are single-chapter letters written to individuals concerning a particular subject, and the fourth is Galatians, which does imply Christ’s coming again. For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are eight on Christ’s second coming. George Sweeting


Repeated Promises Of Coming - Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with promises of the Second Coming of Christ. There are 1,845 references to it in the Old Testament, and a total of seventeen Old Testament books give it prominence. Of the 260 chapters in the entire New Testament, there are 318 references to the Second Coming, or one out of 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. The four missing books include three which are single-chapter letters written to individual persons on a particular subject, and the fourth is Galatians which does imply Christ’s coming again. For every prophecy on the First Coming of Christ, there are 8 on Christ’s Second Coming. - Paul Lee Tan

Revelation 1:7+
BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS,
and every eye will see Him,
even those who pierced Him;
and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.
So it is to be. Amen. 

Lo, He comes with clouds descending
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of His train:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
God appears on earth to reign.

Now redemption, long expected,
comes in solemn splendor near;
all the saints this world rejected
thrill the trumpet sound to hear:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
See the day of God appear!

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers;
with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
gaze we on those glorious scars!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory,
claim the kingdom as thine own:
O come quickly! O come quickly! O come quickly!
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone. 
—CHARLES WESLEY

Play Maranatha - Our Lord, Come Quickly!

Revelation 1:7 Commentary
Tony Garland

He is coming
The OT Scriptures predicted a “coming one” (Dt 18:15-18; Ps. 2; 22; 118:26; Isa. 9:6; 48:16; 53; 61:1; Jer. 23:5-8; Dan. 9:25+; Mic. 5:2; Zec. 2:8-11; 6:12-15; etc.). This was the expectation of those among whom Jesus ministered (John 1:21; 1:45; 6:14; 7:40). John the Baptist knew of these predictions and sent his disciples to Jesus inquiring, “ ‘Are You the Coming One (ἐρχόμενος [erchomenos] ), or do we look for another?’ ” [emphasis added] (Mat. 11:3; Luke 7:19). Peter and Stephen explained it was Jesus who fulfilled these predictions (Acts 3:22; 7:37).

Yet this Coming One represented a Scriptural enigma. At times, He was said to be victorious king who would reign forever (Nu 24:17; Isa. 9:6-7). But He was also forsaken, despised, rejected, and crushed (Ps. 22; Isa. 53). How could these seeming contradictions be reconciled? Some chose to apply these passages to two different individuals, a “suffering Messiah” (Messiah ben-Joseph) and a “victorious Messiah” (Messiah ben-David).76 Others held that the fulfillments were mutually exclusive and which would eventuate depended upon the obedience of Israel.77

The key which unlocks this mystery is the resurrection of Messiah (Ps. 16:10; Isa. 53:10). He would come once, die for the sins of the world, be resurrected back to life, and come a second time in judgment. His First Coming, death, and resurrection are now past. All that remains is His reappearance as described to John here and elsewhere in the NT. “It has been estimated that one out of every twenty-five verses in the New Testament refers to the Second Coming.”78

Jesus came the first time in humiliation; He will return in exaltation. He came the first time to be killed; He will return to kill His enemies. He came the first time to serve; He will return to be served. He came the first time as the suffering servant; He will return as the conquering king. The challenge the book of Revelation makes to every person is to be ready for His return.79

He is coming (present tense) and every eye will see Him (future tense). The grammar places the event on the edge between the present and the future—the futuristic present. It is ‘about to occur.’ It is imminent:

The verb form ἔρχεται [erchetai] is an example of the futuristic use of the present tense, the future connotation being provided by the word’s meaning. The idea is that Christ is already on His way, i.e., He is in the process of coming and hence will arrive. This use of the present tense enhances emphasis on the imminence of that coming (cf. ἔρχομαι [erchomai] , John 14:3).80

This same verb is used directly or indirectly eleven more times in this book in reference to the return of Christ (cf. Rev. 1+; Rev 4:8+; Rev 2:5 +,Rev 4:16+; Rev 3:11 +; Rev 4:8+; Rev 16:15+; Rev 22:7+,Rev 22:12+, Rev 22:20+ [twice]), seven coming from the lips of Christ Himself (Rev. 2:5+, Rev 2:16+; Rev 3:11+; Rev 16:15+; Rev 22:7+, Rev 22:12+, Rev 22:20+). The current verse obviously is the theme verse for the whole book.81

See Imminency.

with clouds
Clouds are often associated with the glory of the Lord. Clouds were often one aspect of the visible manifestation of the Lord’s presence (Ex. 16:10; 19:9, 16; 24:15-16; 34:5; 40:34; Dt 5:22). Clouds indicated His presence over the mercy seat where He dwelt between the cherubim (Lev. 16:2). During Solomon’s prayer dedicating the Temple, he recognized God’s habitation as the dark cloud (2Chr. 6:1). In response, the glory of the Lord filled the Temple (2Chr. 7:1), no doubt including a manifestation of clouds. The psalmist understood dark clouds to be God’s canopy (Ps. 18:11; Ps. 97:2).

The manifestation of God by clouds indicates His localized presence on the earth, among men:

the Shechinah Glory is the visible manifestation of the presence of God. It is the majestic presence or manifestation of God in which He descends to dwell among men. Whenever the invisible God becomes visible, and whenever the omnipresence of God is localized, this is the Shechinah Glory. The usual title found in Scriptures for the Shechinah Glory is the glory of Jehovah, or the glory of the Lord. The Hebrew form is Kvod Adonai, which means “the glory of Jehovah” and describes what the Shechinah Glory is. The Greek title, Doxa Kurion, is translated as “the glory of the Lord.” Doxa means “brightness,” “brilliance,” or “splendor,” and it depicts how the Shechinah Glory appears. Other titles give it the sense of “dwelling,” which portrays what the Shechinah Glory does. The Hebrew word Shechinah, from the root shachan, means “to dwell.” The Greek word skeinei, which is similar in sound as the Hebrew Shechinah (Greek has no “sh” sound), means “to tabernacle” . . . In the Old Testament, most of these visible manifestations took the form of light, fire, or cloud, or a combination of these. A new form appears in the New Testament: the Incarnate Word.82

The visible manifestation of God indicating the place where he dwelt has been called the “Shekinah” glory from the Hebrew verb שָׁכַן [šāḵan] meaning “dwell, live among, inhabit, abide, stay, remain, camp, i.e., to live or reside in a place, usually for a relatively long amount of time (Ge 9:27).”83 See The Abiding Presence of God.

The cloud is probably not to be interpreted as a vapor cloud or as a storm cloud, but as a cloud of glory betokening the presence of God. . . . The “cloud,” then, may be the cloud of the Shekinah, which led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the desert, and which overshadowed the Tabernacle and the Temple (Ex. 13:21-22; 40:34; Num. 9:15-16; 2Chr. 7:2-3).84

When Jesus revealed His glory to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, the voice of the Father spoke from within a bright cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Mat. 17:5). Jesus explained His appearance with the clouds to be the sign of His coming (Mat. 24:30) and His mention of “coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mat. 26:64) was understood by the high priest as a blasphemous claim (Mat. 26:64-65). He tore his garments in response, a clear indication of his understanding of what Jesus was claiming (Dan. 7:13+).

John’s mention here of Jesus coming with clouds is an allusion from the book of Daniel which records the presentation of the Son to the Father: “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.” (Dan. 7:13+). This presentation of the Son is to receive His kingdom (Dan. 7:14+) and does not take place until all of His enemies are made His footstool (Ps. 110:1). This includes His future enemy, Daniel’s “little horn” (Dan. 7:8+, Da 7:20-21+). At present, He is seated at the right hand of the Father awaiting that day. The Son began the period of sitting at the right hand and waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool at His ascension (Acts 2:32-35; Heb. 10:11-13). His earthly kingdom did not come at the time of His ascension, but occurs when He rises from His seat beside the Father and descends to take up His Davidic throne on earth (Mat. 25:31; Luke 1:32-33).85

At other times, the Lord is said to ride “on a swift cloud” (Isa. 19:1). It is such a passage which provides the basis for the preterist interpretation which holds that this verse is describing a “cloud coming” in judgment upon a nation. Such a judgment in the OT was not attended by a literally visible manifestation of God. Yet here, we are explicitly told that every eye will see Him. Not just the “clouds of judgment,” but Him! This return of Jesus will be with clouds, bodily, and visible as the angels informed His disciples at the time of His ascension (Acts 1:9-11). His return is the subject of the latter portion of Revelation 19+. If this were a “judgment coming” of Christ in A.D. 70 upon the Jews of Jerusalem as the preterists claim, what relevance would that have to the seven churches of Asia who were hundreds of miles away and virtually unaffected by the event?86

As our discussion regarding the Date the Revelation was written shows, the best evidence supports a late date near the end of Domitian’s reign when John had the vision (A.D. 95-96). That being the case, the “coming” described here cannot refer to the “cloud coming in judgment” to destroy Jerusalem in A.D. 70 as the Preterist Interpretation holds.

every eye will see Him
This phrase would seem to be almost intentionally aimed at undercutting the claims of various cults and aberrations of Christianity which have taught non-visible fulfillments of the coming of Jesus in history past. His future coming will be visible to every eye. This simple fact destroys the claims of preterism that this “cloud coming” occurred spiritually in 70 A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the ending of the Jewish state.87

While mild preterism is not a cult, it shares this aberrant teaching that the coming of Jesus here is not a visible coming. “The crucifiers would see Him coming in judgment—that is, they would understand that His coming would mean wrath on the land.”88Notice the preterist sleight of hand. The verse states that every eye will see Him, whereas DeMar states that it is an understanding of His judgment that is being described. These are not the same thing. DeMar realizes the difference and attempts to overcome this liability: “Equating ‘seeing’ with ‘understanding’ is not Scripture twisting. It is a common biblical metaphor.”89 Yet there are fundamental differences between this passage and those DeMar offers in support of the preterist view. Here, the passage states that every eye will see. If the preterist interpretation is correct and the “seeing” is an “understanding of judgment,” then why didn’t the entire nation of Israel “understand” and turn to Christ at the destruction of Jerusalem? Apparently, the vast majority of Jews had no idea of the correlation between the destruction of Jerusalem and the “coming of Jesus” which the preterists maintain and which John states every eye would see. “Seeing” is describing literal visibility by every eye, not an abstract “understanding” by a few Jews.

even they
A subgroup from among every eye, establishing the global nature of the manifestation of Christ.

Both Jews and Gentiles are responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus (Acts 4:27-28). It was Jewish mouths (Mark 15:13; Luke 23:21; John 19:6, 14-16) together with Gentile hands (John 19:23) which crucified Jesus. Ultimately, it was the sin of all mankind which sent Jesus to the cross (Rom. 4:25). Yet this passage refers to the Jews who have a particular responsibility (Acts 3:12-15) because Jesus is their promised national Messiah (Ro 9:4-5). The Jewish generation which witnessed the crucifixion of Messiah made the fearful mistake of pronouncing a curse upon themselves and their children: “And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood [be] on us and on our children.’ ” (Mt. 27:25). So it is Jews who will specially mourn when they realize their grave error and the historical destruction it has wrought. As Lightner observes: “You don’t put kings on crosses, you put them on thrones!”

even they who pierced Him
“Pierced” is ἐξεκέντησαν [exekentēsan] . John uses this identical Greek word in John 19:37 when quoting Zechariah 12:10. These are the only two places in the entire NT where this particular verb appears—another piece of evidence that the Apostle John was the writer of both books.90

The one who is coming is the one who they pierced—Jesus Christ. Yet Zechariah (Zec. 12:10) tells us that it is God who they pierced (Hebrew דָּקָרוּ [dāqārû] - “drive through, pierce, stab, run through, i.e., make physical impact with a sharp implement”91). “The weapon associated with [Hebrew] daqar is usually the sword, though a spear is the instrument in Num. 25:8.”92 Not only were spikes driven through Jesus’ hands and feet, but He was pierced with a spear (John 19:34). Comparing Zechariah 12:10 with this verse, we see once again that Jesus is identified as God! Isaiah prophesied that He would be “wounded” (“pierced,” NASB), Hebrew הָלַל [hālal] .93 “John is the only one of the Evangelists who records the piercing of Christ’s side. This allusion identifies him as the author of the Apocalypse.”94

Some hold that “every eye” describes all Israel whereas “even they that pierced” describes a subgroup from among the Jews who are more directly responsible for the crucifixion. But Zechariah defines those who pierced Him using terms which are synonymous with all Israel:

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. Zec. 12:10 [emphasis added]

Here, Zechariah identifies “they who pierced” (Revelation 1:7+) as being all Israel-not a subset specifically held responsible for the crucifixion of Messiah from among a larger group of Jews.

The recipients of the spiritual blessing [identical with those who mourn] will be (1) “the house of David,” through whom the promise of the Messianic-Davidic Kingdom was made (2Sa 7:8-16), and through whom it will be realized (Luke 1:31-33); and (2) “the inhabitants of Jerusalem”—the whole saved remnant of Israel, by metonymy, the capital representing the whole nation (cf. 1Ki 20:34, where “Samaria,” the capital, represents the nation).95

The fact that only the inhabitants of Jerusalem are named, and not those of Judah also, is explained correctly by the commentators from the custom of regarding the capital as the representative of the whole nation. And it follows . . . from this, that in v. 8 also the expression “inhabitants of Jerusalem” is simply an individualizing epithet for the whole of the covenant nation. But just as in v. 8 the house of David is mentioned emphatically along with these was the princely family and representative of the ruling class, so is it also in v. 10, for the purpose of expressing the thought that the same salvation is to be enjoyed by the whole nation, in all its ranks, from the first to the last.96

Also, if “they who pierced” is to be understood as a subgroup from among the Jewish nation, how does one establish the precise boundary between all the Jews living at the time of Christ versus those who contributed to His crucifixion? And what does contributing to His crucifixion entail? Direct persuasion, such as manifested by the Jewish religious leaders? Does incitement by the crowd count? What about Jews who were not present at Jerusalem at the crucifixion, but opposed Jesus’ ministry? And how does such a distinction between some Jews and not others square with the generational curse pronounced by and upon the Jews in general (Mt. 27:25)?

all the tribes
In many places, tribes (φυλαι [phylai] ) specifically denotes the Jewish tribes (e.g., Mat. 19:28; Luke 2:36; 22:30; Acts 13:21; Rom. 11:1; Heb. 7:13; Php. 3:5; Jas. 1:1; Rev. 5:5 +; Rev 7:4-9 +;  Rev 21:12+). Elsewhere, especially when appearing in the phrase all the tribes, it has a more global meaning (e.g., Mat 24:30; Rev 1:7+) over against the twelve [Jewish] tribes (Mat. 19:28; Luke 22:30; Acts 26:7; Jas. 1:1; Rev. 21:12+). Φυλαι [Phylai] is differentiated from nation (ἔθνος [ethnos] ), people (λαός [laos] ), and tongue (γλῶσσα [glōssa] ) in Rev. 7:9+; Rev. 11:9+; Rev. 13:7+.

of the earth
The closely-related phrase “all the families of the earth” appears in several places in the OT (Gen. 12:3; 28:14; Amos 3:2; Zec 14:17). In all of these contexts, the phrase clearly refers to the global community (not just the tribes of Israel).97 It is through Abraham’s seed that “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12:3; 28:14) will be blessed.98 God says to Israel, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth.” (Amos 3:2) Whichever “of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King” (Zec 14:17) during the Millennium will not receive rain. These families include “the family of Egypt” (Zec 14:18). In each of these OT passages, the Septuagint renders the phrase using the same Greek term (φυλαι [phylai] ) found here.99 100

There is a close connection between this passage and Zechariah 12. Preterists make the same mistake in both passages of trying to limit the scope to Israel and Jerusalem. But the Zechariah passage is clearly describing a time “when all nations of the earth are gathered against [Jerusalem]” (Zec. 12:3). And the outcome of the battle is entirely different than the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70: “In that Day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. . . I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” (Zec. 12:8-9). But nothing of the kind happened in A.D. 70. In the preterist “fulfillment” of these related passages, a single nation (Rome), unopposed by God, attacked Jerusalem completely destroying both the city and the Temple, resulting in the death of over 1 million Jews.101

[preterists conclude] that “earth” means the land of Israel, as in Zec. 12:12 and that the “tribes” in Rev. 1:7+ must be the literal Israelite tribes, who are being judged in 70 A.D. in fulfillment of the Zechariah 12 prophecy. But there are difficulties with this perspective. First, Zechariah 12 does not prophesy Israel’s judgment but Israel’s redemption. Furthermore, the Zechariah citation is combined with Dan. 7:13+, which also refers to the eschatological deliverance, not judgment of Israel.102

The global context is also evident because John has just said that Jesus is “the ruler over the kings of the earth” [emphasis added] (Rev. 1:5+). The plural kings indicates a wider area than just the land of Israel argued by preterists. There were not multiple kings over the Jews at the time of John’s vision.

The weightiest consideration of all appears to be the worldwide scope of the book. “Those who dwell on the earth” (Rev 3:10 +; Rev 6:10 +; Rev 8:13 +; Rev 11:10 + [twice]; Rev 13:8 +, Rev 13:12+, Rev 13:14 + [twice]; Rev 17:2 +, Rev 17:8 +) are the objects of the wrath that is pictured in its pages, and evidence points to the multi-ethnic nature of this group. The scope of the judgments of the book is also worldwide, not localized (e.g., Rev 14:6+; Rev 15:4+). Besides this, the people on whom these judgments fall do not respond by repenting.103

Further evidence against the preterist attempt to interpret Revelation as concerning the A.D. 70 judgment of Israel is found in a comparison of Ezekiel 3 with Revelation 10+. Both prophets, Ezekiel and John, are given books to eat. Both books are sweet to the taste, but bitter once digested. Both books contain prophecy. However, one significant difference occurs between what Ezekiel and John ingest: Ezekiel eats a message intended for Israel but John eats a message for all nations. Ezekiel is told to prophesy to the “house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech” (Eze. 3:6) whereas John “must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” (Rev. 10:11+). The message of John is about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings. What more could God say to make its global extent clearer? See commentary on Revelation 10:11.104 .

mourn
The word κόψονται [kopsontai] refers to the act of beating one’s breast as an act of mourning.105 Jesus refers to this event when all the tribes of the earth will mourn (κόψονται [kopsontai] , Mat. 24:30). There it is said to be in response to “The sign of the Son of Man” which will “appear in heaven.” This sign appears in heaven—visible worldwide and cannot be restricted to the region of Israel as preterists maintain.

The Jews will mourn because of the awful realization of the truth of the crucifixion of their own Messiah and the subsequent record of history triggered by this most colossal mistake of all history:

Israel must, indeed, be dumb if one asks them today: Tell me, pray: How can it be that the Eternal sent the fathers out of their land into captivity in Babylon for only seventy years, on account of all the abominations and idolatry by which they for centuries defiled the Holy Land:—and now Israel has been dispersed among all peoples for over eighteen hundred years, and Jerusalem, the city of the great King, is trodden down by the nations until this day? What, then, is the great and terrible blood-guiltiness which perpetually prevents you from dwelling in peace in the land of your fathers?—But Israel is not willing to know! And yet it is precisely its sin against its Messiah that is indeed the root of Israel’s misery.106

The Gentiles too will mourn as they realize the truth of Christianity which they have steadfastly rejected, and the inescapable fact of their impending judgment. John records the astonishing hardness of heart of the “earth dwellers” at the time of the end. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence of God’s existence, sovereignty, and power, they will not repent (Rev. 16:9+, Rev. 16:11+, Rev. 16:21+). It is our belief that this is one reason Paul says, “now is the day of salvation” (2Cor. 6:2). For every day, every hour, every minute that a person continues to reject the knowledge of God makes it more likely they will never turn to accept the free offer of salvation.107

Brethren, I do not wonder that worldlings and half-Christians have no love of this doctrine, or that they hate to hear about Christ’s speedy coming. It is the death knell of their gaieties and pleasures—the turning of their confidence to consternation—the conversion of their songs to shrieks of horror and despair. There is a day coming, when “the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of man shall be made low;” [Isa. 2:11, 17]108


John MacArthur Sermons related to the Second Coming


Since the return of the King of kings is so certain, how apropos that we hear and heed the wise words of John Newton...

Thou art coming to a King
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such
None can ever ask too much.


ALWAYS ON MY MIND - The primitive church thought more about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ than about death or about heaven. The early Christians were looking not for a cleft in the ground called a grave but for a cleavage in the sky called Glory. They were watching not for the undertaker but for the uppertaker. -- Alexander Maclaren (1826–1910) 

RELATED RESOURCES:


G Campbell Morgan - "To me the second coming is the perpetual light on the path which makes the present bearable. I never lay my head on the pillow without thinking that perhaps before the morning breaks, the final morning may have dawned. I never begin my work without thinking that He may interrupt my work and begin His own. This is now His word to all believing souls, 'Till I come.' We are not looking for death, we are looking for Him."


A W Tozer - Hope for the Second Coming - 
So, for many there is no emotional yearning for the return of Jesus. The best hope they know is a kind of intellectual, theological hope. But an intellectual knowledge of what the New Testament teaches about the return of Christ is surely a poor substitute for a love-inflamed desire to look on His face!…
The crux of the whole matter is this: our wonderful, created world will be restored to its rightful Owner. I for one look forward to that day. I want to live here when Jesus Christ owns and rules the world. Until that hour, there will be conflict, distress and war among the nations. We will hear of suffering and terror and fear and failure. But the God who has promised a better world is the God who cannot lie. He will shake loose Satan’s hold on this world and its society and systems. Our heavenly Father will put this world into the hands that were once nailed to a cross for our race of proud and alienated sinners.
It is a fact. Jesus Christ is returning to earth.…
I bow my head and continue to pray with the humble writer of the Revelation: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” -  Mt 24:30–36; Philippians 2:9–11; 1 Thessalonians 5:1–8; Revelation 22:20 Jesus Is Victor!, 30, 31, 35, 36, 37. (Tozer Topical Reader)
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Shortly after the close of the first World War, I heard a great Southern preacher say that he feared the intense interest in prophecy current at that time would result in a dying out of the blessed hope when events had proved the excited interpreters wrong. The man was a prophet, or at least a remarkably shrewd student of human nature, for exactly what he predicted has come to pass. The hope of Christ’s coming is today all but dead among evangelicals.…
The truth touching the second advent, where it is presented today, is for the most part either academic or political. The joyful personal element is altogether missing.…
The longing to see Christ that burned in the breasts of those first Christians seems to have burned itself out. All we have left are the ashes. 1 Cor 15:51–57; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Titus 2:11–14; Revelation 22:20 Born After Midnight, 131, 132.-  (Tozer Topical Reader)
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This is the kind of age and hour when the Lord’s people should be so alert to the hope and promise of His coming that they should get up every morning just like a child on Christmas morning—eager and believing that it should be today! -  1 Corinthians 15:51–57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 Who Put Jesus on the Cross?, 168. (Tozer Topical Reader)
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In summary, I think we must note that there is a vast difference between the doctrine of Christ’s coming and the hope of His coming. It surely is possible to hold the doctrine without feeling a trace of the blessed hope. Indeed, there are multitudes of Christians today who hold the doctrine. What I have tried to center on here is that overwhelming sense of anticipation that lifts the life upward to a new plane and fills the heart with rapturous optimism. This is largely lacking among us now. Acts 1:9–11; Titus 2:11–14; Revelation 22:20 Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts, 146. (Tozer Topical Reader)


A W Tozer - Lack of interest in the Second Coming

It is safe to say that the pleasurable anticipation of the better things to come has almost died out in the church of Christ. It is a great temptation to take the shallow view that we do not need any heaven promised for tomorrow because we are so well situated here and now.
This is the emphasis of our day: “We don’t need to hope—we have it now!”
But the modern emphasis is wretched and it is wrong. When we do talk about the future we talk about eschatology instead of heaven. When I find any Christian who can live and work and serve here and snuggle down into the world like your hand fits into an old and familiar glove, I worry about him. I must wonder if he has ever truly been born again.
Brethren, we are still living in a wicked and adulterous generation and I must confess that the Christians I meet who really amount to something for the Saviour are very much out of key and out of tune with their generation. - Matthew 6:19–21; Hebrews 11:13–16; 1 Peter 1:3–5 I Call It Heresy!, 37. (Tozer Topical Reader)
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Christians are never to be caught unawares. They are never to put on their smoking jacket or the lounging robe while it is dark and the call of the trumpet is expected. The only safety for anyone is the blood. While the call of God may come at any minute to take us out of this Egypt we call the world, you and I cannot afford to be careless.
Instead of letting the cross keep us always on the alert and ready to go, we have painted the cross and reshaped it, and geared it in with the better element of the world. The people of God are asleep doing their little labors, while we wait for the call of the trumpet that will take us out of this world.
Oh, that we might again have that sense of immediacy and urgency that was upon the early church! - Exodus 12:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; 1 Peter 1:6–9, 13 The Tozer Pulpit, Volume 1, Book 1, 128.   (Tozer Topical Reader)
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Again, in these times religion has become jolly good fun right here in this present world, and what’s the hurry about heaven anyway? Christianity, contrary to what some had thought, is another and higher form of entertainment. Christ has done all the suffering. He has shed all the tears and carried all the crosses; we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak in the form of religious pleasures modeled after the world but carried on in the name of Jesus.…
History reveals that times of suffering for the Church have also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God’s people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord. Our present preoccupation with this world may be a warning of bitter days to come. God will wean us from the earth some way—the easy way if possible, the hard way if necessary. It is up to us. -  Romans 8:18–19; Colossians 3:1–4; 1 Peter 1:6–9, 13; 1 Peter 4:12–13; 2 Peter 3:12 Born After Midnight, 134. (Tozer Topical Reader)
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Another reason for the absence of real yearning for Christ’s return is that Christians are so comfortable in this world that they have little desire to leave it. For those leaders who set the pace of religion and determine its content and quality, Christianity has become of late remarkably lucrative. The streets of gold do not have too great an appeal for those who find it so easy to pile up gold and silver in the service of the Lord here on earth. We all want to reserve the hope of heaven as a kind of insurance against the day of death, but as long as we are healthy and comfortable, why change a familiar good for something about which we know very little actually?…
Again, in these times religion has become jolly good fun right here in this present world, and what’s the hurry about heaven anyway? Christianity, contrary to what some had thought, is another and higher form of entertainment. Christ has done all the suffering. He has shed all the tears and carried all the crosses; we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak in the form of religious pleasures modeled after the world but carried on in the name of Jesus. So say the same people who claim to believe in Christ’s second coming. - Matthew 6:19–21; Hebrews 11:13–16; Revelation 21:21 The Price of Neglect, 114, 115. (Tozer Topical Reader)


A W Tozer - Patient Waiting for the Second Coming

When Jesus was on earth 2,000 years ago, He told His hearers that the “day of the Lord” was coming. He said no one except the Father in heaven knew the day or the hour. It is our understanding that God’s patience and His time of grace will endure until the world’s cup of iniquity overflows. According to the Scriptures, patience—the ability to wait—is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The human, natural part of us does not like to wait for anything. But the great God Almighty, who has all of eternity to accomplish His purposes, can afford to wait. In our creature impatience we are prone to cry out, “Oh God, how long? How long?” And God replies, in effect, “Why are you in such a hurry? We have an eternity stretching before us. Why get excited and irritated?” - Matthew 24:36–39; Galatians 5:22–23; Revelation 6:1–8 Jesus Is Victor!, 94. (Tozer Topical Reader)


A W Tozer - Preparation for the Second Coming

“I have read that John Wesley was asked at one time how he would react if he knew that Christ was coming that very night. His instant reply was ‘I don’t think I would change any of my plans.’ “ - Whatever Happened to Worship?, 7. (Tozer Topical Reader)
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The promise to us is this: what Jesus is, we will be. Not in a sense of deity, certainly, but in all the rights and privileges. In standing we will be equal to Jesus and like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.…
Why do we not actually believe that? We do not half believe it! If we did, we would begin to act like it, in preparation for the great day. I cannot understand why we do not begin to act like children of God if we believe that we have a special higher right to be children of God. We have a right to be sick inside when we see children of heaven acting like the sons of earth, acting like children of the world and the flesh, living like Adam and yet saying they believe in a new birth by God’s Spirit. -  John 1:11–13; Titus 2:11–14; 1 John 3:2–3 Faith Beyond Reason, 8. (Tozer Topical Reader)
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It is amazing that segments in the Christian church that deny the possibility of the imminent return of the Lord Jesus accuse those who do believe in His soon coming of sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, looking at the sky and blankly hoping for the best!
Nothing could be further from the truth. We live in the interim between His two appearances, but we do not live in a vacuum. We have much to do and little time in which to get it done!
Stretch your mind and consider some very apparent facts of our day.
Who are the Christians leaving all to staff the missionary posts around the world? Who are the Christians staying at home and sacrificing in order to support the great evangelical thrust of the Christian gospel everywhere? Those who fervently believe that Christ is coming.
What kind of churches are busy praying and teaching and giving, preparing their young people for the ministry and for missionary work? Churches that are responding to Christ’s appeal to “Occupy until I come!” (Luke 19:13, KJV). -  Luke 19:13; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Titus 2:11–14 Who Put Jesus on the Cross?, 155, 156. (Tozer Topical Reader)
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Enoch reminds us that the quality and boldness of our faith will be the measure of our preparation for the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.…
All of us surely have moments when we wonder if we are seriously living in preparation for the coming of our Lord and for the eternity when we will be at home with Him. In our faith and trust, we know that God in His grace owns us and calls us His believing children, His saints. Yet, we do have times of discouragement concerning our shortcomings and failures.
The faith of Enoch continues to be an encouragement to walk with the King of heaven while we live down here. Then we know we will feel comfortable and at home when we get to heaven!…
I think we may draw the certain conclusion that when Enoch arrived in God’s presence—raptured, translated, changed—he was completely at home, completely satisfied. (Genesis 5:24; Matthew 24:36–39; Hebrews 11:5 Jesus, Author of our Faith, 19, 26.) -  (Tozer Topical Reader)
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The devil is smart enough not to waste his attacks on minor and non-vital aspects of Christian truth and teaching.…
But the believing Christian lives in joyful anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ and that is such an important segment of truth that the devil has always been geared up to fight it and ridicule it. One of his big successes is being able to get people to argue and get mad about the second coming—rather than looking and waiting for it.
Suppose a man has been overseas two or three years, away from his family. Suddenly a cable arrives for the family with the message, “My work completed here; I will be home today.”
After some hours he arrives at the front door and finds the members of his family in turmoil. There had been a great argument as to whether he would arrive in the afternoon or evening. There had been arguments about what transportation he would be using. As a result, there were no little noses pushing against the window glass, no one looking to be able to catch the first glimpse of returning Daddy.
You may say, “That is only an illustration.” But what is the situation in the various segments of the Christian community?
They are fighting with one another and glaring at each other. They are debating whether He is coming and how He is coming and they are busy using what they consider to be proof texts about the fall of Rome and the identification of the antichrist.
That is the work of the devil—to make Christian people argue about the details of His coming so they will forget the most important thing. (Matthew 24:36–39; 1 Timothy 6:13–16; Titus 2:11–14 - Who Put Jesus on the Cross?, 162, 163) - Tozer Topical Reader


Spurgeon - "Apart from the second advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into a pandemonium than to rise into a millennium."

See more of Spurgeon's Comments on the Lord's Coming - Charles Haddon Spurgeon on- The LORD's Coming (as an aside if you are interested in Spurgeon's view on the Millennium see Dennis Swanson's paper at The Millennial Position of Spurgeon or at an alternate site which is perhaps more esthetically pleasing Charles H. Spurgeon and Eschatology)


The saintly Presbyterian pastor Robert Murray McCheyne was known to on occasion ask people

Do you believe that Jesus is coming today?” If they replied in the negative, he would say, “Then you had better be ready, for He is coming at an hour when you think not!


During World War II occurred early in the war when the Japanese army stormed the Philippines and forced United States General Douglas MacArthur to leave the islands. Upon leaving the Philippines, General MacArthur declared his famous promise, “I shall return.” And he did, walking ashore a victor at Leyte in the Philippines several years later. In an even more famous quote, the Captain of the hosts, the Lord Jesus Christ declared to His fearful band of disciples “I will come again” (John 14:3)


George Sweeting has this quote on MacArthur's return...

This is the Voice of Freedom, General MacArthur speaking. People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil. . . . The hour of your redemption is here. . . . Rally to me. (DOUGLAS MACARTHUR, On landing at Leyte Island in the Philippines, 20 October 1944)


Martin Luther once said - I hope that the day is near at hand when the advent of the great God will appear, for all things everywhere are boiling, burning, moving, falling, sinking, groaning. (Sounds like he was looking for His return and Luther lived 1483-1546! How much more should we be looking for His return so that we might be living for Him!)


Vance Havner - Some of the saints are SINGING about the Second Coming, but it is one thing just to sing the national anthem during the war and quite another to go into battle. The best evidence that the Lord's return has really gotten hold of us is when we occupy till He come, do business for God, buy up the opportunities, because the days are evil.


Vance Havner - When I studied arithmetic, I remembered that the answers were in the back of the book. No matter how I floundered among my problems, the correct solution was on the last page. I have failed often in working out life's problems, and I dwell in the midst of a people who are hopelessly trying to untangle the riddle of this present age. But I am cheered by one unfailing uncertainty-there is a Book that solves the enigma and the answer is in the back of the Book, "Behold I come quickly." "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."


Vance Havner - A. J. Gordon was a great preacher of the second coming of Christ. His son and biographer writes, "Advocacy of this doctrine cost him much. It seems to awaken suspicion and lead to estrangement-this great doctrine of hope."


Vance Havner - The early believers were not looking for something to happen, they were looking for Someone to come. Looking for the train to arrive is one thing, but looking for someone we love to come on that train is another matter...With regard to our Lord's return, we emphasize preparation without expectation. Of course, all too generally nothing is said of His return at all. Bringing in the Kingdom is preached, but not bringing back the King....I'm not looking for signs. We've had plenty of them. I'm listening for a sound. Every time you see a scoffer who says there are no signs of His coming, you've just seen another sign. I'm listening for a shout.


Vance Havner - The Christian who prepares for the coming of the Lord may be scorned by all who say, "Peace and safety!" He will be eyed as a curiosity by those who, like people of Noah's day, know not until the flood comes. But when God splits the skies and the stars fall and men cry for the rocks and mountains, that will be his day!


Oswald Chambers - The only way to wait for the Second Coming is to watch that you do what you should do, so that when he comes is a matter of indifference. It is the attitude of a child, certain that God knows what he is about. When the Lord does come, it will be as natural as breathing. God never does anything hysterical, and he never produces hysterics.


Oswald Chambers - We are apt to make the mistake of looking for God to put things ostensibly right immediately. If we dwell much on the Second Coming without having a right spiritual relationship to God, it will make us ignore the need for spiritual tenacity.


C S Lewis - The doctrine of the Second Coming teaches us that we do not and cannot know when the world drama will end. The curtain may be rung down at any moment. . . . This seems to some people intolerably frustrating. . . . We do not know the play. . . . The Author knows. The audience, if there is an audience (if angels and archangels and all the company of heaven fill the pit and the stalls) may have an inkling. . . . When it is over, we may be told. We are led to expect that the Author will have something to say to each of us on the part that each of us has played. The playing it well is what matters infinitely.


George Sweeting - The truth of the catching away of the church was important to my father. I remember him calling it to our attention as children. On one occasion after reading 1 Thessalonians chapter four, he quietly and methodically faced each of his six children with the question, "If Jesus returned tonight, would you be ready?" It was moving to hear each child answer, "Yes, I'm ready." Father then led us in singing the hymn "Will the Circle Be Unbroken When He Comes?" That is a question each individual must answer.


George Sweeting - Pastor Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) lived in the glow of Christ's coming. As he would conclude his day's ministry, he would draw the curtains of his window and utter as he looked upward, "Perhaps tonight, Lord!" In the morning, as he awoke and looked out on the dawn of a new day, he would pray, looking up into the sky, "Perhaps today, Lord!"


John Piper - The center of Christianity is the coming of the Son of God into the world as a real man to destroy the works of the devil and create a new people for His own glory. The very heart of our faith is that He did this by obeying the law of God, dying for the sins of His people, rising victorious over death, ascending to God’s right hand with all His enemies under his feet. The second coming of Christ is the completion of His saving work. If you take it away, the whole fabric of His saving work unravels.


C S Lewis - The doctrine of the second coming has failed, so far as we are concerned, if it does not make us realize that at every moment of every year in our lives Donne's question, "What if this present were the world's last night?" is equally relevant.


R Kent Hughes recounts the following stories related to the Second Coming...

Tonight? - The celebrated Scottish preacher of the last century, Robert Murray McCheyne of Dundee, who exercised so much influence during his brief twenty-nine years, used to ask groups of pastors the question, “Do you think the Lord is coming tonight?” The preachers would quietly respond, “No.” Then McCheyne would counter with a quote from our text, “The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” It was a trick question and a bit unfair because to say that this day, out of the three-quarters of a million since the Resurrection, is the day is quite bold. On the other hand, we live 750,000 days closer to the return, and indeed Christ’s return will always be on a statistically improbable day, when the world doesn’t expect him. There is a sense in which humbly saying, “I don’t think he will come back tonight” increases the likelihood that it will be tonight, though of course no one knows when he will return. (From Luke: that you may know the truth)

Money Clip Eschatology - When you or I are touched by war, it is so easy to think apocalyptically—“Surely the end of the world is here!” This is how the Russians felt in the Napoleonic wars, and how many believers felt in Germany in 1945. This is all very natural, but sometimes our thinking becomes absurd, like one man who told me that the return of the Lord must be imminent because our national debt is out of hand. This is narcissistic, self-centered, money-clip eschatology!


Robert Shannon in 1000 Windows has four illustrations/quotes on the Second Coming...

Have you ever wondered why the right-hand door mirror on your car says "Objects are closer than they appear"? The reason is that the mirror is convex, allowing a much wider angle of vision. We may borrow the words, though, and say that the second coming may be much closer that it appears! (Amen!)

In 1988, Edgar Whisenant wrote a booklet proving that the world would come to an end in 1988, probably on September 12. When that failed to happen, Whisenant re-checked his mathematical calculations and found his error. The end was then predicted to be September 1, 1989. Like so many date-setters before him, Whisenant was wrong. Our Lord said no one would be able to predict the time of the second coming. We must always be ready.

In 1241, the Tatars invaded Poland's old city of Kracow. It was the custom there for the hours to be marked, not by a bell, but by a trumpeter. An arrow cut short his song right in the middle. To this day, you can still hear the trumpeter, his song never finished, ending in the middle. At noon each day, the same haunting call is broadcast on Polish radio. The end of the world will come with the sound of Gabriel's trumpet. No one will stop him. He will finish his song.

In the region of Zollfield, in Austria's province of Karnten, the Race of the Four Mountains is held each year. It is probably a remnant of an ancient fertility rite that has been Christianized. On the second Sunday after Easter, runners attend mass on the top of Magdalensberg mountain. Then they go over the mountains to Saint Lorenze. The race takes twenty-four hours and a priest waits to bless them at the end. It probably reflects a Celtic sun rite because the runners carry burning torches and must complete the race in twenty- four hours. There are sections where the runners dare not look back. Some people in Zollfield believe that to stop this ritual pilgrimage, would be a sign of the end of the world.


Quotes from J C Ryle on Second Coming

I can only say, that I am more and more convinced, as I grow older — that to keep our eyes steadily fixed on the second coming of Christ is one great secret of Christian peace. - Coming Events and Present Duties Being Plain Papers on Prophecy, 1879

Looking Ahead To Christ’s Return - A true Christian has a good hope when he looks ahead: the worldly man has none. A true Christian sees light in the distance: the worldly man sees nothing but darkness. And what is the hope of a true Christian? It is just this, – that Jesus Christ is coming again, coming without sin, – coming with all His people, – coming to wipe away every tear, – coming to raise His sleeping saints from the grave, – coming to gather together all His family, that they may be for ever with Him. Why is a believer patient? Because he looks for the coming of the Lord. He can bear hard things without murmuring. He knows the time is short. He waits quietly for the King. Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots, “Christ is All”, [Moscow, ID: Charles Nolan Publishing, 2001], 382.

Looking Forward to Christ’s Return - Let me entreat all right-hearted readers to look onward and forward to the day of Christ’s second coming. A time draws near when Satan shall be bound, and Christ’s saints shall be changed –when sin shall no more vex us, and the sight of sinners shall no more sadden our minds–when believers shall at length attend on God without distraction, and love Him with a perfect heart. For that day let us wait, and watch, and pray. It cannot be very far off. The night is far spent. The day is at hand. Surely if our hearts are right, we ought often to cry, “Come quickly–come Lord Jesus! - Old Paths, “The Heart”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1999], 357.

The Coming Judgement of Christ - There is a day coming when the Lord Jesus Christ shall judge His people, and give to every one according to his works. The course of this world shall not always go on as it does now. Disorder, confusion, false profession, and unpunished sin, shall not always cover the face of the earth. The great white throne shall be set up. The Judge of all shall sit upon it. The dead shall be raised from their graves. The living shall all be summoned to the bar. The books shall be opened. High and low, rich and poor, gentle and simple, all shall at length give account to God, and shall all receive an eternal sentence. - Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke volume 2 , [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1998], 300.

The Blessedness of Christ’s Return - True Christians shall alone be found ready at the second advent. Washed in the blood of atonement, clothed in Christ’s righteousness, renewed by the Spirit, they shall meet their Lord with boldness, and sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb, to go out no more. They shall be with their Lord–with Him who loved them and gave Himself for them–with Him who bore with them, and carried them through their earthly pilgrimage–with Him, whom they loved truly and followed faithfully on earth, though with much weakness, and many a tear. Surely this also is a blessed prospect. --Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986], 334. {Matthew 25:1-13}

The following, then, are the chief articles of my prophetic creed:
1. I believe that the world will never be completely converted to Christianity by any existing agency, before the end comes. In spite of all that can be done by ministers, churches, schools, and missions — the wheat and the tares will grow together until the harvest; and when the end comes, it will find the earth in much the same state that it was when the flood came in the days of Noah. (Matthew 13:24-30; 24:37-39.)
2. I believe that the wide-spread unbelief, indifference, formalism, and wickedness, which are to be seen throughout Christendom — are only what we are taught to expect in God's Word. Troublous times, departures from the faith, evil men waxing worse and worse, love waxing cold — are things distinctly predicted. So far from making me doubt the truth of Christianity, they help to confirm my faith. Melancholy and sorrowful as the sight is, if I did not see it — I would think the Bible was not true. (Matthew 24:12; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:1, 4, 13.)
3. I believe that the grand purpose of the present dispensation is to gather out of the world an elect people — and not to convert all mankind. It does not surprise me at all to hear that the heathen are not all converted when missionaries preach, and that believers are but a little flock in any congregation in my own land. It is precisely the state of things which I expect to find. The Gospel is to be preached "as a witness," and then shall the end come. This is the dispensation of election, and not of universal conversion. (Acts 15:14; Matthew 24. 14.)
4. I believe that the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the great event which will wind up the present dispensation, and for which we ought daily to long and pray. "May Your kingdom come!" "Come, Lord Jesus!" should be our daily prayer. We look backward, if we have faith, to Christ dying on the cross; and we ought to look forward no less, if we have hope, to Christ coming again. (John 14:3; 2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Peter 3:12.)
5. I believe that the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ will be a real, literal, personal, bodily coming; and that as He went away in the clouds of Heaven with His body, before the eyes of men — so in like manner He will return. (Acts 1:11.)
6. I believe that after our Lord Jesus Christ comes again, the earth shall be renewed, and the curse removed; the devil shall be bound, the godly shall be rewarded, the wicked shall be punished; and that before He comes, there shall be neither resurrection, judgment, nor millennium, and that not until after He comes, shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. (Acts 3:21; Isaiah 25:6-9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Revelation 20:1, etc.)
7. I believe that the Jews shall ultimately be gathered again as a separate nation, restored to their own land, and converted to the faith of Christ, after going through great tribulation. (Jeremiah 30:10, 11; 31:10; Romans 11:25, 26; Daniel 12:1; Zech. 13. 8, 9.)
8. I believe that the literal sense of Old Testament prophecies has been far too much neglected by the Churches, and is far too much neglected at the present day, and that under the mistaken system of spiritualizing and accommodating Bible language, Christians have too often completely missed its meaning. (Luke 24:25, 26.)
9. I do not believe that the preterist scheme of interpreting the Apocalypse, which regards the book as almost entirely fulfilled; or the futurist scheme, which regards it as almost entirely unfulfilled — are either of them to be implicitly followed. The truth, I expect, will be found to lie between the two.
10. I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the great predicted apostasy from the faith, and is Babylon and Antichrist; although I think it highly probable that a more complete development of Antichrist will yet be exhibited to the world. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-11; 1 Timothy4:1-3.)
11. Finally, I believe that it is for the safety, happiness, and comfort of all true Christians, to expect as little as possible from Churches or Governments under the present dispensation — to hold themselves ready for tremendous convulsions and changes of all things established — and to expect their good things only from Christ's second advent. Coming Events and Present Duties Being Plain Papers on Prophecy, 1879

Reader, the suddenness of the Lord's second advent is a truth that should lead every professing Christian to great searchings of heart. It should lead him to serious thought, both about himself and about the world. Think for a moment, how little the world is prepared for such an event - Coming Events and Present Duties Being Plain Papers on Prophecy, 1879

For myself, I can only give my own individual testimony; but the little I know experimentally of the doctrine of Christ's second coming, makes me regard it as most practical and precious, and makes me long to see it more generally received.
I find Christ's second coming to be a powerful spring and stimulus to holy living — a motive for patience, for moderation, for spiritual-mindedness — a test for the employment of time, and a gauge for all my actions: "Would I like my Lord to find me in this place? Would I like Him to find me so doing?"
I find Christ's second coming to be the strongest argument for missionary work. The time is short. The Lord is at hand. The gathering out from all nations will soon be accomplished. The heralds and forerunners of the King will soon have proclaimed the Gospel in every nation. The night is far spent. The King will soon be here!
I find Christ's second coming to be the best answer to the infidel. He sneers at our churches and chapels, at our sermons and services, at our tracts and our schools. He points to the millions who care nothing for Christianity, after 1800 years of preaching. He asks me how I can account for it — if Christianity be true? I answer: It was never said that all the world would believe, and serve Christ under the present dispensation. I tell him the state of things he ridicules was actually foreseen, and the number of true Christians, it was predicted, would be few. But I tell him that Christ's kingdom is yet to come; and that though we see not yet all things put under Him, they will be so one day.
I find Christ's second coming to be the best argument with the Jew. If I do not take all the prophecy of Isaiah literally, I know not how I can persuade him that the fifty-third chapter is literally fulfilled. But if I do, I have a resting-place for my lever, which I know he cannot shake. How men can expect the Jews to see a Messiah coming to suffer in Old Testament prophecies, if they do not themselves see in them a Messiah coming to reign — is past my understanding. - Coming Events and Present Duties Being Plain Papers on Prophecy, 1879

Are you ready for the Second Coming of Christ? He will come again to this world one day. As surely as He came the first time, 1800 years ago, so surely will He come the second time. He will come to reward all His saints, who have believed in Him and confessed Him upon earth. He will come to punish all His enemies,-the careless, the ungodly, the impenitent, and the unbelieving. He will come very suddenly, at an hour when no man thinketh: as a thief in the night. He will come in terrible majesty, in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels. A flaming fire shall go before Him. The dead shall be raised,-the judgment shall be set,-the books shall be opened! Some shall be exalted into heaven: many, very many, shall be cast down to hell. The time for repentance shall be past. Many shall cry, "Lord, Lord, open to us!" but find the door of mercy closed forever. After this there will be no change. Reader, if Christ should come the second time this year, are you ready?


Robert Neighbour - "And every one that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (I John 3:3).
There is no doctrine that holds a stronger incentive to purity of living, than does the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ. It was the evil servant who said, "My Lord delayeth His coming," and who began to eat and to drink with the drunken.


Illustration: Dr. A. J. Gordon of Boston used to tell how, once, when he was about to make a preaching tour his two little girls asked him the day of his return, desiring to meet him at the train. He told them that he would return the next week, on a certain train, on either Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. When the stated Tuesday arrived the children dressed in their best Sunday white and went down to meet their father. But Dr. Gordon did not arrive. Wednesday and Thursday was just as disappointing to the children. Friday came, and, as the girls, clothed with the same white dresses, knew that papa must come, their hearts were filled with joy. After the happy greeting was over, Dr. Gordon said his wife remarked: "The next time you leave the city, tell the children that you will come home Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday — it was never so easy to keep the children's dresses white." And what manner of persons ought we to be, seeing that we are looking for Christ's return? Certainly we should give ourselves over to holy behavior and to Godliness


Truth Vital to Our Nation - There is an inscription in the dome of our Capitol in Washington which few people know about. It says: "One far-off divine event toward which the whole creation moves." A visitor saw this inscription and asked the guide what it meant. He said: "I think it refers to the second coming of Christ." When the dome of our Capitol was erected, some God-fearing official ordered that inscription to be etched in the dome of our seat of government, believing that its truth was vital to the concern of our nation. (Jeff Carroll 6,000 Plus Illustrations for Communicating Biblical Truths)


While We Wait -  Melvin Worthington

SCRIPTURE:   Luke 19:13; John 14:1–3; Acts 1; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13–18; Hebrews 9:24–28; 1 John 3.

INTRODUCTION:  The Second Coming of Christ is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible. It is a comforting hope, a cleansing hope, a compelling hope, and a certain hope.

1. The Promised Advent. We read the Almighty’s promise in John 14, the angelic promise in Acts 1, and the apostolic promise in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 John 3.

2. The Prevalent Attitudes. Scoffers have doubted it, skeptics have denied it, sensationalists have distorted it, saints have depended on it, and the Scriptures have disclosed it (2 Pet. 3).

3. The Practical Application. While we wait for the Second Coming of Christ we should walk circumspectly (Eph. 5:15), work consistently (1 Cor. 15:57, 58), wait contentedly (James 5:7), watch carefully (Mark 13:32–37), witness compassionately (2 Cor. 5:10–21), warn convincingly (Acts 20:17–38), and worship congregationally (Heb. 10:25).

CONCLUSION:  Are you living in light of Christ’s Second Coming?


Anticipation

SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:21–30

INTRODUCTION:Recall how eagerly you anticipated Christmas as a child? Simeon was like that, for it had been revealed to him he wouldn’t die before seeing the Christ. Perhaps God gave us this story to teach us to eagerly anticipate His return.

1.  We Should Study the Second Coming Passages. Be students of Matthew 24–25, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and the Book of Revelation.

2.  We Should Visualize His Return. When you see the sun rising in the east or setting in the west, picture the Lord’s Coming in clouds of glory.

3.  We Should Pray for His Return. The last prayer in the Bible is “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

4.  We Should Work Until He Comes. When we stand around waiting for someone to arrive, time drags by. As we remain busy, they appear before we know it. Jesus told us to stay occupied until He returns (Luke 19:13).

CONCLUSION: As we celebrate Christmas this year, keep a Simeon-like lookout for His return. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 


A Wonderful Practical Tie - What a wonderful practical tie there is between this truth of the coming of the Lord and our appearing before Him, and the living of our daily life! "Every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure." Let me illustrate that by the life of Martha Snell Nicholson who, for more than thirty-five years, was so transcendentally triumphant through those many weary years that she wrote some of the finest Christian poetry which has ever been written. A number of years before she died she wrote about her hope of the coming of the Lord. This is what she says: The best part is the blessed hope of his soon coming. How I ever lived before I grasped that wonderful truth, I do not know. How anyone lives without it these trying days I cannot imagine. Each morning I think, with a leap of the heart, "He may come today." And each evening, "When I awake I may be in glory." Each day must be lived as though it were to be my last, and there is so much to be done to purify myself and to set my house in order. I am on tiptoe with expectancy. There are no more grey days—for they're all touched with color; no more dark days—for the radiance of His coming is on the horizon; no more dull days, with glory just around the corner; and no more lonely days, with His footsteps coming ever nearer, and the thought that soon, soon, I shall see His blessed face and be forever through with pain and tears.

God Is Coming
God is coming! God is coming!
All the element we swim in, this existence,
Echoes ahead the advent.
God is coming! Can't you feel it?


A Rabbi's Question - Chicago's Rabbi Eckstein says that all of this climatic ferment epicentered in the middle east, seems to him to be Messianic times. And if this is it, if the Messiah appears, rabbi Eckstein says that he can't wait to ask Him one question: Is this your second visit or your first? (Woe!!!) (Ibid)


I Am Konfused - I heard about a student who was befuddled when his professor spoke about the pre-millennial view, and the pre-trib rapture, and the mid- trib, and the post-trib; and finally he was in despair.

He folded his arms, sat down, and said, "I.A.K.".

And the professor said, "What does that mean?"

The student said, "That means I am confused."

The professor said, "Confused doesn't start with a 'K'".

The student replied, "You don't know how confused I am." (Ibid)


'Dinner - In order to raise money for charity, in April a West German hotelier at Marienheide near Cologne prepared a table some 2,606 feet long. An estimated 20,000 guests came to the party and lined up for a long, sumptuous meal at what its promoter billed as the longest buffet table ever set. According to the Bible God has arranged and announced a great supper. The invitation has gone out, "Come; for all things are now ready" (Luke 14:17). There is room at this banquet for all people of the world. God loves the world—that's why He welcomes the world to His supper table. (See Rev 19:9) (Ibid)


SECOND COMING 

One day, while visiting a home for mentally handicapped children operated by a Christian friend, Joseph Stowell, president of Moody Bible Institute, noticed the tiny handprints of children covering the window. Stowell remarked about them to his friend.
“Oh, those,” he replied. “The children here love Jesus, and they are so eager for Him to return that they lean against the windows as they look up to the sky.”

The war was over and the boys began to return. Excitement ran high in many families. One little girl was anxious to see her brother who had been gone for over three years. Everyday she wondered if today was the day he would arrive.
“You may wear your new white dress and stockings, but please do be careful. Bob will be home today.” It seemed like a long wait to little Mary. She began to feel hungry and decided to have a little lunch. As she was eating cookies and a cup of chocolate, she accidentally upset the cup and spilled the contents over her beautiful dress. She quickly ran upstairs and then into the clothes closet. At just this moment the big brother arrived. He soon called out, “Mary, Mary. Where are you?” Finally they found her, hiding in the closet, where she was crying and sobbing. “What are you doing here?” they asked her. “Oh, Bob, I’m so ashamed. My dress is all dirty, and I wanted to be clean when you came home.”

At the height of World War II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned for taking a stand against Hitler. Yet he continued to urge fellow believers to resist Nazi tyranny. A group of Christians, believing that Hitler was the Antichrist, asked Bonhoeffer, “Why do you expose yourself to all this danger? Jesus will return any day, and all your work and suffering will be for nothing.” Bonhoeffer replied, “If Jesus returns tomorrow, then tomorrow I’ll rest from my labor. But today I have work to do. I must continue the struggle until it’s finished.”

The early believers were not looking for something to happen, they were looking for Someone to come. Looking for the train to arrive is one thing, but looking for someone we love to come on that train is another matter. —The Vance Havner Quote Book


Exobiology - A brand-new science called “Exobiology” came into being in the 1960’s. This science is dedicated specifically to the study of extraterrestrial life. In laboratories, at giant radio observatories and at esoteric symposiums, some of the world’s keenest intellects are focusing on this new discipline. Someone, however has sardonically called exobiology a science “that has yet to demonstrate that its subject matter exists.”
It will be demonstrated at the sudden coming of Christ. - Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations


Ladbrokes, a London bookmaker, has lowered the odds against a visit from outer space to 33-to-1—they had been 100-to-1—because of a rash of bets from all over the United States. The firm said it now stands to lose nearly $500,000 if somebody does drop in. —Milwaukee Journal


When Light Bulb Falls - The Rev. Earl Kelly, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Holly Springs, Mississippi, was preaching on the second coming of Christ. He had just quoted Matthew 24:27, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” At this point, a large light bulb fell from its socket in the ceiling and shattered on the floor in front of the pulpit. As reported by Baptist Press, Kelly was equal to the occasion. He told the startled worshippers, “His coming will be just as sudden, and unexpected, and devastating to the dreams that are not Christ-centered.” —Christianity Today


My Boy In America Coming - When I left Australia years ago, I said to my mother, “Mother, if God spares me, I will come back to see you.” For years she waited. Had anyone said to her, “Mrs. Talbot, what are you waiting for?” she would have said, “My boy in America is coming back.”
And suppose this person said to her, “Coming back? What do you mean? Surely you don’t expect a personal, visible, actual coming!” “Yes,” she would have replied, “that’s the way he is coming.” Possibly her friend might have said, “Did you ever get letters from him? Do you ever receive gifts? Well, that is what he meant—he is coming in all these things.” My mother would have answered, “Why, that isn’t what he meant, for he said that he would come back!” Some years afterward, I did cross the ocean, walked down the gangplank from the steamer, and said, “Mother, here I am.”—L. T. Talbot


A Fault In Olivet - There was an earthquake on July 11, 1927, which shook Palestine from the Sea of Galilee to the border of Egypt and, after the tremors, geologists discovered a fault in Olivet, running from east to west. Prof. Bailey Willis, of Stanford University, said that the land could expect to suffer from seismological disturbances and that the area around Jerusalem was a region of potential danger, a fault line, along which slippage might occur, passing directly under the Mount of Olives. It is evident, therefore, that what Zechariah described is precisely what geologists would expect to occur.—F. A. Tatford


Misplaced Trust Of Aztecs - The Aztecs, a Mexican Indian tribe, held the tradition that “Quetzal-coatl the white,” a kind and gracious god, who had come to earth to teach the people the domestic arts, would return after many centuries, and lead them to a land that was the abode of the gods, a place of eternal and highest happiness. And this was the reason for the awe inspired by the Spanish conquerors. Being white of skin and bearded, they were thought to be the descendants of the White God.


What Can We Know About the Second Coming? - RBC Booklet by Herb Vander Lugt - "Where do we stand after 2000 years of false alarms and the current "future fatigue"? Should we join those who have thrown in the towel on prophetic study in favor of "more practical, life-related issues"? Or, if we are convinced that nothing is more practical than to look for our Lord's return, how should we do that? Should we be expecting an any-moment return? Or should we be more concerned about preparing for the coming years of unparalleled trouble that the prophets predict" 


Prayer for Confidence at the Second Coming - O God, who makes us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ,   grant that as we joyfully receive Him for our Redeemer,   so we may with sure confidence behold Him when He shall come to be our Judge,   who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.   Amen. BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER 1892


Theologian Dale Bruner writes: David Peterson, former pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Spokane, Washington, told about a time when he was preparing his sermon. His little daughter came in and said, “Daddy, can we play?”
He answered, “I’m awfully sorry, sweetheart, but I’m right in the middle of preparing this sermon. In about an hour I can play.”
She said, “Okay, when you’re finished, Daddy, I am going to give you a great big hug.”
He said, “Thank you very much.” She went to the door and (these are his words) “then she did a U-turn and came back and gave me a chiropractic, bone-breaking hug.” David said to her, “Darling, you said you were going to give me a hug after I finished.”
She answered, “Daddy, I just wanted you to know what you have to look forward to!”
One meaning of Christmas is that God wants us to know, through this First Coming, how much we have to look forward to in the great Second Coming.


Signs In The Sky - In Bombay, India, 100 girls from a missionary home were holding a Christian service on the street one evening when they all saw in the sky an immense semicircle of letters of fire, which read: “JESUS IS COMING SOON.”
Then, in Sweden, 300 people were returning from an all-night prayer meeting. Suddenly they saw a hand pointing to words which were written in large letters in the heavens: “SEE, I COME QUICK LY.”
In York, Pennsylvania, Dr. H. E. Kline called out on a case at 2 AM., noticed an abnormally brilliant star. Some distance from it he saw a distinct cross with a silvery sheen on one side and a crimson glow on the other. Above was a diadem, a crown of stars. Dr. Kline called his family and they watched this amazing sight until it disappeared at 4 AM.—Charles E. Taylor in Jesus is Coming


Mount Of Olives To Split - Holiday Inns had planned to erect a hotel on the Mount of Olives. They sent a group of engineers to prepare for the erection. After some investigation they said it could not be done. There is a geological fault under the Mount which is causing it to split (Zech. 14:4).—Christian Victory


Second Coming Type - Did you know that the type most newspapers use for astounding events is called "second coming" type? These are large, heavy, black letters reserved for only the most stupendous, amazing, front page news—such as the return of Jesus Christ. Many will remember seeing this banner headline used to announce the surrenders of Germany and Japan, marking the end of World War II. It also told the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the shooting of President Reagan. This bold heading style has proclaimed successful flights into space, presidential election winners, and other dramatic events of universal importance. One day mankind will witness the great event for which the "second coming" type was named for—the return of Jesus Christ. Yes, the Savior will literally come back to this planet He left so long ago. He will fulfill the promise He gave to His disciples before He ascended to heaven. And when He does, it will command the attention of all earth's inhabitants. The whole world will know that the Lord Jesus is alive. Truly it will be a "headline event!" (Ibid)


Descriptions Of Second Coming

(1) Personally—1 Thess. 4:16.
(2) Literally and visibly—Acts 1:11; 1 Jn. 3:2; Rev. 1:7.
(3) In Glory—Matt. 16:27; 24:30; 25:31.
(4) In Power—Matt. 24:30.
(5) With Angels—Matt. 25:31; Rev. 5:11.
(6) Come Quickly—Rev. 22:7, 12, 20; Matt. 28:7, 8.
(7) Unexpectedly—Matt. 24:50; Lk. 21:34, 35.


May the Temple be Speedily Rebuilt - "May it be Thy will that the Temple be speedily rebuilt in our days." That plea to God, recited three times a day in Jewish prayers, expresses a yearning that makes Jerusalem's Temple Mount potentially the most volatile 35 acres on earth. Two Talmudic schools located near the Western (Wailing) Wall are teaching nearly 200 students the elaborate details of Temple service. Other groups are researching the family lines of Jewish priests who alone may conduct sacrifices. Next year an organizing convention will be held for those who believe themselves to be of priestly descent. Former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who heads another Temple Mount organization, believes his research has fixed the location of the ancient Holy of Holies so that Jews can enter the Mount without sacrilege. He insists, "I cannot leave this world without assuring that Jews will once again pray on the Mount." (Ibid)


He's Known Simply as 309 - He's known simply as 309, which hardly seems to do this skilled flier justice. The most amazing thing about 309 is his ability to find his way home. Within his 15-ounce body is a navigational system superior in many ways to anything aboard sophisticated military jets. You may have guessed by now that 309 is a trained homing pigeon, creatures which can home accurately from 600 miles away. Little 309 is called a racing homer. God's creative touch and years of breeding have given him an unerring sense of direction, heroic stamina, and a homing instinct. He always races home from any drop-off point. How 309 and his pals do it is one of creation's best kept secrets—but his return is as certain as anything can be under the sun. When it comes to the return of God's promised Messiah, we have the absolute certainty of His Word. In these closing verses of the Bible's final great prophecy, Jesus promised no less than three times that He would return—and soon. (See: Matthew 19:28; 24:30-35, 37; Mark 13:31; 2 Peter 3:10) (Ibid)


A Piece of Rope - A tourist driving through West Texas stopped at a gas station and observed a piece of rope dangling from a sign labeled "Weather Forecaster." "How can you possibly tell the weather with a piece of rope?" the tourist wanted to know. "It's simple, sonny," was the droll answer. "When the rope swings back and forth, it's windy, when it gets wet, it's raining, when it's frozen stiff, it's snowing, and when it's gone... tornado!" Jesus told us his return was imminent. Certainly all the signs clearly point to his soon return. (Ibid)


Conscience of His Return - The great preacher F. B. Meyer once asked D. L. Moody, "What is the secret of your success?" Moody replied, "For many years I have never given an address without the consciousness that the Lord may come before I have finished." This may well explain the intensity of his service and the zeal of his ministry for Christ. (Ibid)


Wait and Watch - Our absent Lord has given special commendation to those who not only WAIT for His return, but also earnestly WATCH for Him. The difference between these terms is illustrated by the story of a fishing vessel returning home after many days at sea. As they neared the shore, the sailors gazed eagerly toward the dock where a group of their loved ones had gathered. The skipper looked through his binoculars and identified some of them: "I see Bill's Mary, and there is Tom's Margaret and David's Anne." One man became concerned because his wife was not there. Later, he left the boat with a heavy heart and hurried up the hill to his cottage. As he opened the door, she ran to meet him saying, "I have been waiting for you!" He replied with a gentle rebuke, "Yes, but the other men's wives were watching for them!"  (Ibid)


Be on the Alert - When Dwight David Eisenhower (his mother named him Dwight after D. L. Moody) was President of the United States he visited family in Denver over a weekend. His wife, Mamie, was from there. He went to a Presbyterian church on Sunday morning, and then set off on a special errand. He had been told about a little guy by the name of Paul Hanley, Jr. who was dying of cancer. Imagine the scene as President Eisenhower in his limousine arrived unannounced on a Sunday afternoon at the modest little home of the Haleys. When Paul Haley, Sr. answered the knock at the door, imagine his surprise at finding President and Mrs. Eisenhower standing there. He had not shaved that morning, nor combed his hair. He was wearing an faded, old pair of blue jeans, and a dirty T-shirt. Eisenhower, pretending to ignore his appearance, said kindly, "I heard that little Paul is sick. I stopped by to see him. Is it all right if I come in. I have a little something for him." At the end of his visit, the President took little Paul into his arms and carried him out to the limousine so that he could sit in it for a moment. Then he took him back to the house, returned to his car and left. The whole visit only twenty minutes. But in that short time a crowd had gathered. When Eisenhower was gone, everybody in the neighborhood was talking about how exciting it was to have the President of the United States drop by. Everybody, that is, except Paul Hanley, Sr. All he could say was, "Think of it. The President of the United States—and here I am without my hair combed, unshaved, wearing a grubby T-shirt, and this pair of old, faded jeans." Therefore, be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord (the President of this universe) is coming. (Ibid)


More War, More Dead - Wars and battles, skirmishes and ambushes—fighting rages day and night through cease-fires and truce talks around the world. It happens on Belfast's streets, along Iran's and Iraq's 1,000-mile front, in Central America's mountainous jungles. And it won't stop just because Pope John Paul II declared today "World Peace Day" and called on everyone with a weapon to put it down. "It's going to get worse before it gets better," said Richard Staar, international studies director at the Hoover Institution of War, Revolution and Peace in Pal Alto, Calif. "There are more wars with more people killed all over the world than 10 years ago." True, it's been 41 years since the world's major powers last bombed and shelled each other, but on any day soldiers are firing in 30 to 40 nations. Wars of liberation. Territorial disputes. Religious principles "One man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist," the saying goes, but the common denominator is death. The Center for Defense Information estimates the number killed since the early 1970's at anywhere from a "conservative" 4.5 million to a more realistic 7.1 million. "Body counts" vary, but most participants agree peace is unlikely. The bottom line: 1.56 billion—one in three of the world's 4.84 billion people—live in lands enduring armed conflict. Ahead? Staar says: "Regional conflict will increase." (Recommended resource - 6,000 Plus Illustrations for Communicating Biblical Truths)


Some Spurgeon quotes related to the Second Coming...

Some think that this descent of the Lord will be postmillennial—that is, after the thou-sand years of his reign. I cannot think so. I conceive that the advent will be pre-millennial that he will come first, and then will come the millennium as the result of his personal reign upon earth.

One reason why I think the world's present state will not wind up for the present is, be-cause all the prophets say it will, and they have always been a lying generation. I mean the prophets who make the business profitable, who only use Scripture as the gypsy uses the cards, who shuffle texts to foretell fortunes for nations and men. We shall go on many a day yet. We may have to wait for another century, yes, another twenty centuries, perhaps. We cannot tell.

To my great sorrow, I had sent to me this last week two or three copies of a tract purporting to have been written by myself, prophesying the coming of the Lord in the year 1866. Now, you may expect to hear of me being in Bedlam whenever, by my tongue or my pen, I give countenance to such rubbish. The Lord may come in 1866, and I shall be glad to see Him, but I do not believe He will. And one reason why I don't believe He will is because all these false prophets say that He will. If they said He would not, I should begin to think He would. But inasmuch as they are all crying as one man that He will come in 1866 or1867, I am inclined to think He will not come at any such time. It seems to me that there are a very great many prophecies which must be fulfilled before the Coming of Christ, which will not be fulfilled in the next twelve months.

QUOTATIONS RELATED
TO THE SECOND COMING

  • The Second Coming of Christ is our hope of glory and the glory of our hope. - Anon.
  • Blessed are the homesick, for they shall be called home. - Anon.
  • Plan as though Christ were not coming for ten years. Live as though He were coming in ten seconds. - Anon.
  • Believers should not worry about when Christ is coming, but should encourage one another because they are certain He is coming. - Anon.
  • The return of Christ represents not only the ultimate sense of accountability but the ultimate sense of hope as well.
  • He that rose from the clods we expect from the clouds. - Thomas Adams
  • When it comes to belief in the Lord's return there are two kinds of Christians—gazers and goers.
  • He who loves the coming of the Lord is not he who affirms it is far off, nor is it he who says it is near. It is he who, whether it be far or near, awaits it with sincere faith, stead-fast hope and fervent love. - Augustine
  • That day lies hid that every day we be on the watch. - Augustine
  • William Barclay relates this anecdote in his discussion of 1 Thessalonians 5:11. An old Scotsman was nearing the end. Someone offered to comfort him. He replied, “Ah theekit (thatched) ma hoose when the weather was warm.” Have you? Are you helping others to do the same?
  • The certainty of the Second Coming of Christ should touch and tincture every part of our daily behavior. - John Blanchard
  • Bless God that there is in us resurrection life, and that there awaits us a resurrection morn! J. J. Bonar
  • Hope can see heaven through the thickest clouds. Thomas Brooks
  • We must hunger after Christ until the dawning of that great day when our Lord will fully manifest the glory of His kingdom.—John Calvin
  • I do not know how I am going to stay up “in the air” with the Lord; but that is no business of mine. - Oswald Chambers
  • In the first advent God veiled his divinity to prove the faithful; in the second advent he will manifest his glory to reward their faith. -Chrysostom
  • The only remedy for all this mass of misery is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why do we not plead for it every time we hear the clock strike? - Anthony Ashley Cooper
  • Advent signifies the act of approaching, or of coming. The members of Christ’s mystic body, the church, however they may differ in external and nonessential points, yet are they all firmly united in this faith: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and, consequently, very God, of very God; that He came to visit us, in great humility; that He will come again, in the last day, to judge both the quick and the dead; and that life immortal is obtained for us, and shall be enjoyed by us, through Him only. - Augustine
  •    The best way to prepare for the coming of Christ is never to forget the presence of Christ.—William Barclay 
  • May we, in commemorating the First Advent of the Redeemer, anticipate His Second, and so be prepared to welcome Him as King—to share His triumph and enter into His joy! - William de Burgh
  • There are two advents of Christ: that which has been, and that which is to be. And the two are not for the same purpose; the first came to pass not that He might search into our actions, but that He might pardon; the object of the second will be not to pardon, but to judge. - John Chrysostom
  • Sometimes those of us who hold that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again are spoken of as pessimists. I think it can be truly said that we are really the only ones who have any right to be optimistic. - William Culbertson
  • But let us wait and look for the Lord’s coming upon the clouds from heaven. Then shall angelic trumpets sound.” - St. Cyril (Fourth Century)
  • Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come. - Didache, an early document in church history
  • Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if I expected it would not be above an hour before I should hear the last trump. - Jonathan Edwards
  • This world is a dark place without Christ, and therefore is dark till he comes, and until his kingdom of glory is set up.  - Jonathan Edwards
  • Their eschatology saved them from utter despair.—W. R. Estep, about the Anabaptists during intense persecution
  • Francis of Assisi, hoeing in his garden, was asked, “What would you do if you knew Christ were coming back today?” He answered, “I would keep right on hoeing.”
  • As Christians, we should not be exitists, looking for our going, but adventists, looking for his coming. - William Freel
  • Gaebelein referred to his longing for Jesus’ second coming as “the homesickness of the new life.”
  • The Lord’s Supper is a link between the Lord’s First Coming and His Second Coming. —Frederic Godet
  • The subject of the second coming of Christ has never been popular to any but the true believer. - Billy Graham
  • We see the storm clouds gathering and events taking place that herald the second coming of Jesus Christ.  - Billy Graham
  • Christ’s second coming reminds us that ultimately our hope is not in this world and its attempts to solve its problems, but in Christ’s promise to establish His perfect rule over all the earth. - Billy Graham
  • Death has two stages, first the separation of the body from the spirit . . .for a purely spiritual existence, and second, reunion with the body and a glorious resurrection at the Second Coming of Christ.- Billy Graham
  • Many times when I go to bed at night I think to myself that before I awaken Christ may come.—Billy Graham
  • Bible teaching about the Second Coming of Christ was thought of as “doomsday” preaching. But not anymore. It is the only ray of hope that shines as an ever brightening beam in a darkening world.—Billy Graham
  • We are to wait for the coming of Christ with patience. We are to watch with anticipation. We are to work with Zeal. We are to prepare with urgency. Scripture says Christ is coming when you’re least expecting him. Coming as a thief. He said, ‘Be prepared. Get Ready. Prepare to meet thy God. Are you prepared?’ —Billy Graham
  • Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, ‘If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.’ —Billy Graham
  • When Christ comes again — as he repeatedly promised to do — he will come through the heavens with glory and power, accompanied by a host of angels. All the earth will see His coming, and even His enemies will realize they have been opposing the Son of God. The Bible says, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him…. So shall it be! (Revelation 1:7). —Billy Graham
  • The Bible does indicate that as the time for Christ’s return approaches, evil and social chaos may well intensify. The Bible says that “evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). —Billy Graham
  • Death has two stages, first the separation of the body from the spirit . . .for a purely spiritual existence, and second, reunion with the body
    and a glorious resurrection at the Second Coming of Christ.  —Billy Graham
  • The Bible tells us that as the time for Christ’s return approaches, Satan will unleash one final burst of opposition against God and His plans for the world. One of the ways he will do this is through a person of great power and evil, known as the Antichrist.”
  • Now the will of man runs riot in the earth. Then the will of the Lord will alone be done. Until that time, we are under orders from the King of kings to proclaim His message. —Billy Graham
  • Our world is filled with fear, hate, lust, greed, war, and utter despair. Surely the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the only hope of replacing these depressing features with trust, love, universal peace, and prosperity. —Billy Graham
  • Christ hath told us he will come, but not when, that we might never put off our clothes, or put out the candle. - William Gurnall
  • Oh, the joy to see thee reigning, Thee, my own beloved Lord! Every tongue thy name confessing, Worship, honour, glory, blessing, Brought to thee with glad accord—Thee, my Master and my Friend, Vindicated and enthroned, Unto earth's remotest end Glorified, adored and owned! - Frances Ridley Havergal
  • We are not just looking for something to happen, we are looking for Someone to come! And when these things begin to come to pass, we are not to drop our heads in discouragement or shake our heads in despair, but rather lift up our heads in delight.—Vance Havner
  • Christ will come when he pleases, to show his sovereignty, and will not let us know when, to teach us our duty. - Matthew Henry
  • Hoping is disciplined waiting. Ernst Hoffmann
  • It is the return of the Lord which is thus put before us to influence our daily lives. It is one thing to hold the doctrine of the Lord's return, but quite another to be held by that blessed hope. (Ed: Paraphrased - Hold to the Word of Truth, so that it may hold you firm when the winds of adversity blow unexpectedly into your life.) - H A Ironside
  • Has not our Lord Jesus carried up our flesh into heaven and shall He not return? We know that He shall return.—John Knox
  • Jesus is now the Lord; He is enthroned at the right hand of God; He is reigning in His kingdom. But this is a Lordship and a kingly reign which is known only to believers. It must be confessed by faith. His Second Coming will mean nothing less than the Lordship which is His now will be visible to all the world. When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” this is what we are praying for: the effectual and universal rule of Christ in all the world, not only over believers. - George Eldon Ladd
  • Nowhere is salvation conceived of as a flight from history as in Greek thought; it is always the coming of God to man in history. Man does not ascend to God; God descends to man. - George Eldon Ladd
  • The idea which shuts out the Second Coming from our minds, the idea of the world slowly ripening to perfection, is a myth, not a generalization from experience. - C. S. Lewis
  • If this (Second Coming) is not an integral part of the faith once given to the saints, I do not know what is. - C. S. Lewis
  • Precisely because we cannot predict the moment, we must be ready at all moments. - C. S. Lewis
  • There is no greater cure for hypocrisy than to live in the light of the second coming of Christ. - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The primitive church thought a great deal more about the coming of Christ than about death, and thought a great deal more about his coming than about heaven. - Alexander Maclaren
  • I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another. - D. L. Moody
  • I am walking toward a bright light and the nearer I get the brighter it is. D. L. Moody
  • Christ is coming to the earth, in such form at least as shall fulfil his purposes of mercy to his friends and justice to his foes. - Thomas V. Moore
  • Morgan in the Evening - I never lay my head upon the pillow without thinking that maybe before the morning breaks, the final morning may have dawned. - G. Campbell Morgan
  • Morgan in the Morning - I never begin my work in the morning without thinking that perhaps he may interrupt my work and begin his own. I am not looking for death, I am looking for him. - G. Campbell Morgan
  • To me the second coming is the perpetual light on the path which makes the present bearable. I never lay my head on my pillow without thinking that maybe before morning breaks, the final morning may have dawned! I never begin my work without thinking that perhaps He may interrupt my work and begin His own. This is now His word to all believing souls, till He comes.  - G. Campbell Morgan
  • There is such a danger of our being so occupied with the things that are to come more than with him who is to come. - Andrew Murray
  • The first time [Christ] came to slay sin in men. The second time He will come to slay men in sin. - A W Pink
  • Millions of graves are dug every year, but it is inspiring to think that one generation of Christians will cheat the undertaker. - J. C. Pollock
  • Do you know why the dead must rise first? Because they have farther to go.—W. R. Riley
  • The first and last promise in both of the Testaments, Old Testament and New Testament, deals with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. - Adrian Rogers  (Ed: I am not sure to which promises Dr Rogers refers but certainly there are promises at the end of the Old and New Testaments - Malachi 4:2, Rev 22:20. At the beginning of the Old we have the promise of Ge 3:15 [but this refers primarily to the first coming, but to be sure when Jesus returns He will bruise Satan on his head - Rev 19:11-16, 20:1-4 ] and in the New the promise in Mt 1:21 for both His first and second comings "save His people from their sins.")
  • Oh, that Christ would make long strides! Oh, that he would fold up the heavens as a cloak, and shovel time and days out of the way! - Samuel Rutherford
  • There shall be no time for parting words or a change of mind when the Lord appears. -J. C. Ryle
  • 1Cor 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death (First) until He comes (Second).
  • Before Christ comes it is useless to expect to see a perfect Church. J. C. Ryle
  • Uncertainty about the date of the Lord's return is calculated to keep believers in an attitude of constant expectation and to preserve them from despondency. - J. C. Ryle
  • The Christian's duty is to live at all times the way he would want his Saviour to find him living at the rapture. Jesus Christ asked the question, ... when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?. (Luke 18:8) To live a holy life we must have the right perspective. The faithful Christian is living and watching for the return of his Saviour. - Glen Spencer
  • If I knew that our Lord would come this evening, I should preach just as I mean to preach; and if I knew he would come during this sermon, I would go on preaching until he did. - C. H. Spurgeon
  • When the world had revolted against its Maker, and the Creator had been defied by His own creatures, a great gulf was opened between God and man. The first coming of Christ was like a bridge which crossed the chasm, and made a way of access from God to man, and then from man to God. Our Lord’s second advent will make that bridge far broader, until heaven shall come down to earth; and, ultimately, earth shall go up to Heaven.- C. H. Spurgeon
  • Oh, that the Lord would come! He is coming! He is on the road and travelling quickly. The sound of his approach should be as music to our hearts! - C. H. Spurgeon
  • The fact that Jesus Christ is to come again is not a reason for star-gazing, but for working in the power of the Holy Ghost. - C. H. Spurgeon
  • He who came in humility and shame will return in spectacular magnificence. - John R. W. Stott
  • The word hope in Scripture is a term of certainty. To say that we hope for the return of the Lord is not to say that we are uncertain about His coming. His coming for His own is certain. - George Sweeting
  • Since he may come any day, it is well to be ready every day. - J. Hudson Taylor
  •    If the Lord is coming soon, is this not a very practical motive for greater missionary effort? I know of no other motive that has been so stimulating to myself.—J. Hudson Taylor
  • The imminent return of our Lord is the great Bible argument for a pure, unselfish, devoted, unworldly, active life of service. - R. A. Torrey
  • It should be noted that there is a vast difference between the doctrine of Christ’s coming and the hope of His coming. The first we may hold without feeling a trace of the second. Indeed there are multitudes of Christians today who hold the doctrine of the second coming. What I have talked about here is that overwhelming sense of anticipation that lifts the life onto a new plane and fills the heart with rapturous optimism. This is what we today lack. - A W Tozer (Play "The Second Coming of Christ"
  • I cannot think of even one lonely passage in the New Testament which speaks of Christ’s revelation, manifestation, appearing or coming that is not directly linked with moral conduct, faith and spiritual holiness. - A W Tozer
  • History reveals that times of suffering for the Church have also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God’s people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord. - A W Tozer (Why We are Lukewarm about Christ's Return)
  • It is very easy in our day to discern a glaring inconsistency among many well-groomed and overfed evangelical Christians, who profess that they are looking for Christ’s second coming and yet vigorously reject any suggestion that Christian faith and witness should be costing them something. - A W Tozer
  •  If you press people, they will admit that they believe in the second coming of Christ, but they are not looking for it expectantly.  - A W Tozer
  • This is pinned as a badge to the sleeve of every true believer—that he looks for and longs for Christ's coming to judgement. - John Trapp
  • The Christian hope is not a matter for tickling our minds, but for changing our minds and influencing society. - Stephen Travis
  • The return of Christ represents not only the ultimate sense of accountability but the ultimate sense of hope as well. - Herb Vander Lugt in  What Can We Know About the Second Coming? - RBC Booklet 
  • Temporal goals lose some of their importance when we realize that we might not have as much time as we thought to accomplish things of eternal value. - Herb Vander Lugt
  • The Spirit in the heart of the true believer says with earnest desire, Come, Lord Jesus.—John Wesley
  • The coming again of Jesus Christ and the end of the age occupies some 1,845 Scriptural verses.—John Wesley White
  • I am daily waiting for the coming of the Son of God. - George Whitefield
  • The brightness of Christ's advent will reveal the true character of those things which were previously hidden by darkness. - Geoffrey B. Wilson
  • Someone asked John Wesley what he would do if he knew his Lord would return at that time the next day. He said in effect, “I would go to bed and go to sleep; wake up in the morning, and go on with my work, for I would want Him to find me doing what He had appointed.”
  • The Second Coming should comfort our hearts, cleanse our habits, and compel holiness. - Melvin Worthington

Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ – an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second! Author Unknown


Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ's first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ's second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ--an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ's first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second! - Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 27.


READINESS FOR THE SECOND COMING - Many evangelical believers have only heard preaching about the second coming of Christ that used fear as the motivation for readiness. As a result many people live with a certain resentment toward God and the idea of the second coming. But the dominant pattern of New Testament teaching is that Christ’s return will be a time of great joy for those who are prepared to meet Him. For those who are ready, that day will be a day of celebration and joy as Jesus’ followers enter His presence for unbroken fellowship with Him. Such a joyful possibility should also be a major motivation to be ready for that day.


    And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    even so, it is well with my soul.
(It is Well With My Soul - Horatio G. Spafford)


During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy often closed his speeches with the story of Colonel Davenport, the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives: On May 19th, 1780 the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand. Quelling a clamor for immediate adjournment, Davenport rose and said, "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought." Rather than fearing what is to come, we are to be faithful till Christ returns. Instead of fearing the dark, we're to be lights as we watch and wait. - Harry Heintz.


    Christ is coming! let creation
     From her groans and travail cease;
    Let the glorious proclamation
     Hope restore and faith increase.
    Christ is coming! Christ is coming!
     Come Thou blessed Prince of Peace.
    Long Thine exiles have been pining,
     Far from rest, and home, and Thee:
    But in heav’nly vestures shining,
     They their loving Lord shall see:
    Christ is coming! Christ is coming!
     Haste the joyous jubilee.
                  Joachim Neander, 1680


When Queen Elizabeth was crowned by the archbishop of Canterbury, he laid the crown on her head with the sure pronouncement, "I give thee, O Sovereign Lady, this crown to wear until He who reserves the right to wear it shall return."


Adrian Rogers - I tell you, the more I look at the Bible, the more I'm convicted that we are not preaching enough of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I believe that things ought to be preached to the same proportion that God writes them in the Word of God. And, it's an interesting thing. You find, in the Bible, for example, the new birth as important as that is mentioned nine times. Baptism, as important as that is mentioned 20 times. Repentance, as important as that is mentioned 70 times. But, I want to say, the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned specifically in the Bible at least 380 times. The Bible keeps telling us over and over again. Some Bible scholar has pointed out that 1 out of every 25 verses in the Bible, in some way, points with eager fingers to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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In the Bible, the second coming of Jesus Christ is not incidental; it is fundamental. It is a major theme in the Word of God. I love it, because God the Father loves it. I love it, because the early church loved it. These early Christians, my dear friend, spoke often one to another about Jesus Christ and his second coming. I love it, because the devil hates it. If there's any doctrine that the devil would like to see removed from our churches, it is this: that Jesus Christ may come at any moment. And, no wonder the devil doesn't like the doctrine of second coming of Jesus Christ, because, when Christ comes, he's going to be cast into the pit. He's not there yet, but he will be put there, my dear friend; he'll get the longest prison sentence on record—and I hope it is with hard labor. My dear friend, I love it, because Satan hates it. I love the second coming of Jesus, because one day, and soon and very soon, I will lay these very eyes upon the Lamb of God who died for me. And, what a day that will be when Jesus comes! And so, I believe that we, ladies and gentlemen, are on a collision course with destiny, and we cannot afford to be ignorant. - excerpt from "Getting Ready for the Rapture by Adrian Rogers

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There's a man named Steven Covey. He's written some best-selling books; many of you've read them. I certainly don't agree with all of his theology, but, in those writings, he has an incredible story, and I want you to listen to it.
Listen very carefully. He said that a professor came into his classroom, and the professor had a big wide-mouth jar. And, in that jar, he put some big rocks, and those rocks filled the jar up to the top. And then, he asked his students, "Now, is the jar full?" Some of the students said, "Yes, the jar is full." Well, he said, "No, the jar is not full." And, he took some gravel and poured gravel in, and it began to fill the crevices around those rocks; and, he shook it down and smoothed it off on the top, and he said to the students, "Now, is the jar full?" They said, "Oh, yes. Now, the jar is full." "No," he said, "The jar is not full." And, he took some fine sand, and he put the sand in, on top of the gravel, and shook it; and, the sand began to fill those little places, those little crevices, and smooth the sand off the top. He said, "Now, is the jar full?" By now, they were afraid to answer. Someone said, "Well, maybe the jar is full; we think so." He said, "No, it is not full." And then, he took some water and poured the water on top of the sand, until the water then was absorbed by the sand and filled even the remaining minuscule places. The water came up to the top. And then, he said, "Now, is the jar full?" They said, "Professor, you tell us." He said, "Yes, yes. The jar is full."
He said, "Now, what is the lesson?" And so, some of the students said, "Well, your life can get so full that you can't put anything else in." He said, "No, that is not the lesson. Here is the lesson: If I had not put the big rocks in first, I could never had put them in last." Question: Is your life so full that you've left out the Rock of Ages? I mean, are you so busy with things—I'm talking about things that seem good, maybe gravel, maybe sand, maybe water—but have you left out those things that really, really, really matter? Precious friend, if you have, I'm going to tell you: It'll be a sad day for you, when the trumpet sounds and Jesus Christ is coming, if I know anything about this Bible—"in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:52).
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Adrian Rogers illustrates the Rapture - When I was a boy, we had, near our house, about three or four blocks from our house, a great scrap yard. And, scrap was accumulated there; it was needed, actually, in the war effort. We boys used to play in the scrap yard, and one of the things that always amazed me was a giant magnet that would pick up huge pieces of metal. Sometimes the whole chassis of an automobile would be picked up by this magnet, and it had great force to pick up metal. I want you to imagine one of those great electromagnets, and here, on the ground, are all bits of metal. There's some zinc; there's some aluminum; there's some silver; there's some lead and other pieces of metal; but then, there's some steel and some iron. Some of that metal may be beneath the surface of the ground, and some of it lying on top of the ground. When that great magnet passes over there, there are certain pieces of metal that are going to rise and certain pieces of metal are going to stay on the ground. Even gold and silver, as precious as they are, would stay on the ground. What part will rise? That part that has in it iron—the same nature as the magnet. And, what part is going to rise again, of all the world's population? You see, in this congregation, there are some who have an affinity for Jesus Christ, and there are some who don't. And, if you are Heaven-born, you'll be Heaven-bound. That which has the nature of the magnet is that which is going to be raised, when Jesus comes again.

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Now, we're thinking about living on the edge of eternity, the soon coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It's not only the Church that is interested in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ; the FBI is interested in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, because they think that many who believe in the Second Coming of Jesus, as we believe in the Second Coming of Jesus, are dangerous. They think that we're part of the little thick fringe, and they've said to the FBI, "Keep your eye on those kind of people. They're nuts." Well, I may be a nut, but I'm fastened to a good bolt. His name is Jesus. - from "In the Twinkling of an Eye" by Adrian Rogers

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Adrian Rogers gives the following illustration that relates to the Second Coming - I was a little boy when World War II started. I remember that day, December 7. It was on a Sunday morning. I was not in Sunday School. I wasn't a Christian. My dad wasn't a Christian. I remember that day—coming home and learning, "Son, we're at war. Listen to the radio, Son." I remember learning about the terrible things that were happening, as I saw my older friends and neighbors as they marched off to war—some of them not to come back again.
But then, I began to get interested in history, and to see what was happening. And, as I got older, as that war progressed, I remembered two big days. One was D-Day and the other was V-Day. Do you remember those days? D-Day was when the back of the enemy was broken. Oh, there was some more fighting, some more casualties, but, basically, that's when the enemy's back was broken. And, V-Day, that's when the victory was pronounced, and won, and received.
Now, I want to tell you, dear friend, D-Day is when Jesus died on the cross. V-Day is when He's coming again, in power and great glory. And, I'm looking forward to that day. Let me tell you... Oh, do you remember? How many of you were around when the Japanese surrendered, and the war was over, and you remember? Let me see your hands. Now, you kids don't know anything about rejoicing.
Do ya'll remember that? Boy, folks, I'll tell you, I can remember it. I didn't know. My mom and dad called me, and said, "Son, the war is over; the war is over." Well, that meant that we could have bubble gum again; that meant that we could turn on the lights again. Where I was, you couldn't even turn on the lights. We were there on the seacoast. They'd arrest you if you turned on the lights, because you would silhouette our ships, and they'd be torpedoed there, going up and down the coast of Florida. We had even to paint out the headlights on the automobiles. They'd just blacken them out, so you just couldn't go along at night. No neon signs, no outside lights—you had to turn off the lights at night. It was a dark world, a gloomy world, a fearful world, a world without things. And, they said, "The victory has been won." The lights went on all over the city.
People went out and turned on neon lights. I could even remember what they looked like: They were blue, and green, and red, and yellow. And, people poured down downtown in West Palm Beach. The people were thick as hair on a dog's back. They were down there—they were milling; they were laughing; they were crying; they brought their guns out and shot them in the air.
Do you remember that? And, people fished out firecrackers and things that they'd been hoarding away, and they exploded; and, everybody got kissed. I mean, there was dancing in the streets, and people were kissing one another; and, they were shouting, and weeping, and praising, and leaping, and dancing. I don't know how it was in your town, but that's the way it was in our town. The war was over, and we had won.
Listen friend, you isn't seen nothing; you isn't seen nothing. You wait. You wait until the skies burst open, and the King of kings, the Lord of lords, comes in His splendor and His glory, and He sets up His Kingdom. And, we're in it, folks—we're in it. We're going to rule and reign with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 


Kent Hughes commenting on James 5:8 - The layers of application in this passage are many, but the primary one for us who live in the affluent West at the end of the twentieth century is this: we must believe and embrace the truth that “the Lord’s coming is near” (v. 8). Dr. John Piper described his further realization of this great truth in these words:

    I was flying at night from Chicago to Minneapolis, almost alone on the plane. The pilot announced that there was a thunderstorm over Lake Michigan and into Wisconsin. He would skirt to the west to avoid turbulence. As I sat there staring out into the total blackness, suddenly the whole sky was brilliant with light and a cavern of white clouds fell away four miles beneath the plane and then vanished. A second later, a mammoth white tunnel of light exploded from north to south across the horizon, and again vanished into blackness. Soon the lightning was almost constant and volcanoes of light burst up out of cloud ravines and from behind distant white mountains. I sat there shaking my head almost in unbelief. “O Lord, if these are but the sparks from the sharpening of your swords, what will be the day of your appearing!” And I remembered the word of Christ,

    “As the lightning comes from the east,
     and shines as far as the west,
     so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

    Even now as I recollect that sight, the word glory is full of feeling for me.


David Cooper - excerpt from sermon "When Christ" (1 Thes 4:14-5:11)

The belief in the return of Christ should affect us in three ways: 
1. Resilient faith. Jesus asked, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). Each person has to make their own decision about Christ and put their faith in Him. We also need to persevere in our faith and not give up in tough times. 

 2. Radiant hope. We are looking for "the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). Without the promise of His return, there is no hope for the world. 

a. Bertrand Russell, the unbelieving British philosopher, wrote Why I Am Not a Christian, and said, "The best that we can hope for is unyielding despair." 

b. Jesus described the world of the last days as a world of fear (see Luke 21:26). Professor Harold Ure, a Nobel Prize winner, wrote in his book, Man Afraid, "I write this to frighten you. I am a frightened man. All the scientists I know are frightened—frightened for their lives and frightened for your life." 

c. We live in a world of despair. The threat of nuclear war hovers over our heads. Scientists tell us that if one hydrogen bomb encased in cobalt was detonated over the North Pole, it would kill every living creature in the whole Northern Hemisphere of this planet—3 billion people plus! Yet, in the midst of this world we have hope, and we can give hope (Titus 2:13). 

3. Responsive love. His promise strengthens our love for Him, our Savior, and our love and concern for the world. "Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love" (Ephesians 6:24). We, then, should have a greater love and concern for the world that all might be saved "For the love of Christ compels us," Paul said (2 Corinthians 5:14, NKJV). 

Like Jesus, we need to be "moved with compassion" when we see the lost multitudes of our generation (Matthew 14:14). 

In 1996 George Tulloch led an exploration of the ruins of the sunken Titanic. He and his crew recovered numerous finds including eyeglasses, jewelry, fine china and various artifacts. In his search he realized that a large piece of the hull had broken off from the ship. He saw the opportunity to salvage a part of the famous ship. While the team attempted to raise the 22-ton piece of iron onto the boat, a storm blew in and kept them from gaining their treasure. Although the attempt failed, he resolved to return. But before he left, he descended two and one-half miles to the wreckage and, using the robotic arm of his submarine, attached a metal strip to the hull. On it, he had written: "I will come back, George Tulloch." Two years later, he returned and rescued the piece of iron.

Closing: Jesus left us with this promise: "I will come back...." (John 14:1-3).

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The Response of Faith -  We need to pause and ask, What did the early church believe about the return of Christ? In response, while early Christians did not have an elaborately developed theology of the last days, they held firmly to the truth of the imminent return of Christ. That means they believed that Jesus could return at any time. For them, the Day of the Lord was always at hand. As John Walvoord points out: "The early church lived in constant expectation of the coming of the Lord for His church." 


The Effect of a Glorious Earthly Hope - The royal parents of Princess Victoria felt that she should be told early in life that someday she might become the queen of England. So they instructed her governess, who was a countess, to make this known to her. She in turn inserted in the girl’s history textbook a listing of the Hanoverian kings. At the end of the column she had written the name “Victoria.” The governess watched closely as the princess studied her lesson. When Victoria read down the page and came to her own name, she looked up and said, “Can it really be that I may become the queen of England?” The countess replied, “Yes, in all possibility you will.” After a pause, the princess said thoughtfully, “Then I will be good.” From then on she began to apply herself with all her ability, realizing that someday she would sit on the throne. Beloved, how much more should we the blood bought, heaven bound children of God be "good" now in light of our glorious "coronation day" for Scripture says we shall reign with Christ (Rev 5:10).


A man was visiting a certain school and made a promise to the pupils that he would give a prize to the one whose desk was found in the very best order when he returned. He gave no indication, however, when he might come back. Shortly after he left, a little girl, noted for her disorderly habits, announced that she meant to win the prize. Her schoolmates jeered and laughed at her, saying, “Why, Mary, your desk is always out of order. It’s never cleaned up.” “Oh,” she replied, “but starting right now, I’m going to clean it up the first of every week.” Someone questioned, “Just supposing he comes at the end of the week?” “Well then,” Mary answered, “I’ll clean it up every morning.” “What if he comes at the end of the day?” another asked. At that suggestion, Mary was silent for a moment. Then, with her face lighting up, she said, “I know what I’ll do, I’ll just keep it clean all the time!” - The Speaker's Quote Book


Patience in Palestine - In Palestine the early rains come in October and November soon after the seed is planted, and the latter rains come in April and May as the grain is nearing maturity. The farmer waits patiently for both. Perhaps there is some allusion to the first and second coming of Christ in this illustration. The prophets who waited patiently for the coming of Messiah may be a reference to the first coming of Christ (5:10), while our own patient waiting is a reference to His second coming.


Frederic Farrar was a personal friend of Queen Victoria of England. On one occasion he told of a conversation he had with her Majesty after she had heard one of her chaplains preach on Christ’s second coming. She said, “Oh, Dean Farrar, how I wish that the Lord would come during my lifetime!” When he asked why she desired this, her countenance brightened, and with deep emotion she replied, “Because I would love to lay my crown at His blessed feet in reverent adoration.” - The Speaker's Quote Book


Flying on One Wing  - Dr. Andrew Bonar told a story of a plain man in one of the Scottish Presbyterian country churches who had learned the precious doctrine of Christ’s promised return for His own. He had spent a Sunday in Edinburgh to play the part of a sermon taster. When he returned to his village, the people asked him how he liked the Edinburgh preachers. His reply was, “They all fly on one wing. They all preach the first coming of Christ, but they do not preach His second coming.”


C. H. Spurgeon

  Blessed Savior,
  when we think of the sufferings of your creatures,
  both men and beasts,
  we pray you to hasten your second advent,
  and begin your gentle reign!


  We ask you, O Lord,
  that watching for your light,
  and ever thirsting for you,
  we may, by your bounty, be fulfilled with good works. JEROME 


Charles Wesley

  Light of those whose dreary dwelling
    Borders on the shades of death,
  Come, and by your love’s revealing
    Dissipate the clouds beneath:
  The new heaven and earth’s Creator,
    In our deepest darkness rise,
  Scattering all the night of nature,
    Pouring eyesight on our eyes.


Charles Wesley

  All glory to God in the sky,
    and peace upon earth be restored!
  O Jesus, exalted on high,
    appear, our omnipotent Lord!
  Who, meanly in Bethlehem born,
    did stoop to redeem a lost race,
  Once more to your creatures return,
    and reign in your kingdom of grace.


Hachi, a Japanese dog, would accompany his master to the railroad station every morning. And every evening Hachi would be back to greet his friend, tail wagging, as his master arrived home from work.
One night, however, the dog’s master did not return. He had traveled to another city that day and while there, he died. Hachi, unable to comprehend the situation, continued to go to the railroad station every evening, and faithfully and patiently waited for at least an hour for his master’s return. He then turned and sadly trotted home. This he did every evening—for over ten years.
Hachi’s faithfulness so impressed the Japanese people that the government erected a statue of the dog on the spot where he had so patiently waited—and then sent statuettes to all the schools in what was then the Japanese Empire. - The Speaker's Quote Book


Henry Alford
  O God, who through your blessed Son has given to us the hope of everlasting life:
  We praise you that you have assured the same to us by the prophecies and promises of your word.
    Even when our first parents fell, you promised the Seed of the woman, who should bruise the serpent’s head.
    To our father Abraham you declared that in his Seed would all families on earth be blessed.
    You revealed in your law wonderful types and figures of your Christ who was to come.
    You spoke to your servant David of One who would spring from him, and sit upon his throne forever.
    You foretold abundantly by your prophets the sufferings of our Redeemer, and the glory that would follow.
    You marvelously prepared His way among the kingdoms of the earth, before in your own time you sent Him to be born as man.
  And as we praise you for your past promises, which you have graciously fulfilled, so may we be ever looking for the fulfillment of those that yet remain. O hope of the sons of men, accomplish the number of your elect, and hasten the day of your appearing! Come in the clouds of heaven, and gather your saints unto yourself forever.
  Amen; even so, come, Lord Jesus.


At the beginning of World War II, when 200,000 Japanese troops forced General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the U.S. forces, to withdraw from the Philippine Islands, he promised the discouraged Filipinos and Americans, “I shall return.”
In February 1945, troops under MacArthur’s command did return to Bataan. They forced the Japanese to surrender and freed the surviving Americans and Filipinos. MacArthur kept his promise to return. - The Speaker's Quote Book


It seems to me impossible to retain in any recognizable form our belief in the divinity to Christ and the truth of the Christian revelation while abandoning, or even persistently neglecting, the promised and threatened return of Christ. —C. S. Lewis


Mrs. Dave Bartlett, TEAM missionary in Japan, taught missionary children in the third grade. One day she was teaching about Jesus’ return, and the same day another class had a drama of a Bible event for which a man was dressed in Bible clothes. A third-grader walked out of class, saw the man dressed in Bible attire, and ran back into the classroom and yelled to the class, “Here he is now!”


A shoeshine man named Sam worked in a building that put him in contact with many students of theology. Sam loved the Lord and listened intently as the young men would discuss and debate their positions. Two men especially interested Sam. These men had different opinions on the book of Revelation. Day after day, Sam listened to eloquent and often passionate discussions in defense of the various views. One day, in the middle of a debate between the two men, one jokingly looked at Sam and said, “Sam, what do you think all these things in the book of Revelation mean?” With a smile on his face, Sam looked up and said simply, “Jesus is gonna win.” - The Speaker's Quote Book


The Sultan Mohammed Ibn Daud ruled Iran during that nation’s so-called “Golden Age.” He extended the frontiers of his country through conquest and expansion, accumulating great wealth in the process. Following Daud’s death it was believed that he would rise from his tomb, mount his horse, and lead his subjects to new conquests and glory. This belief is so strong that in the centuries since his death a thoroughbred charger has been kept in readiness before his tomb in the Mosque of Kuchan. Followers still wait for the day when the dead leader will arise and resume his reign. —Today in the Word - The Speaker's Quote Book


The sailors on a Scottish fishing vessel were returning home after many days at sea. As they neared the shore, they gazed eagerly toward the dock where a group of their loved ones had gathered. The skipper looked through his binoculars and identified some of them: “I see Bill’s Mary, and there is Tom’s Margaret, and David’s Anne.” One man became concerned because his wife was not there. Later, he left the boat with a heavy heart and hurried up the hill to his cottage. As he opened the door, she ran to meet him saying, “I have been waiting for you!” He replied with a gentle rebuke, “Yes, but the other men’s wives were watching for them.” - The Speaker's Quote Book


One day a traveler in Switzerland discovered a beautiful but secluded estate on the shores of a tranquil lake. Knocking at the garden gate, he was met by an aged caretaker who cordially asked him to come in. The guardian seemed glad to see another person and eagerly showed him around the garden. “How long have you been here?” the tourist asked. “A very long time,” he replied. “And how often has your master returned?” “Four times.” “When was he here last?” “Many years ago. I am almost always alone—it’s very seldom that even a stranger visits me.” “Yet you have the garden in such perfect order,” said the traveler, “and everything is flourishing as if you were expecting your master tomorrow.” “No, sir,” exclaimed the caretaker, “I have it fixed as if he were coming today!” - The Speaker's Quote Book


Dr. John Gill was asked to speak in a series of meetings in the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas. Entering the pastor’s study, he said to Dr. William Anderson, “Do you love His appearing?” “Well, I’ve had no time for it because I’ve been studying His first coming.” “Well, I just wondered if you love His appearing,” Dr. Gill said and walked out. That got Dr. Anderson to thinking and actually revolutionized his life and preaching.- The Speaker's Quote Book


Robert Murray McCheyne of Scotland was hosting a ministers’ meeting in his home. In a lull in the conversation he asked the ministers individually, “Do you think Jesus will come tonight?” All said, “No, I think not.” After going the rounds and receiving the same answer, McCheyne solemnly repeated, “Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44).—Leslie B. Flynn - The Speaker's Quote Book


A Christian doctor was suddenly taken home to be with the Lord. His wife, who was frail and sickly, was heartbroken over her loss. But then as she turned to the Lord for comfort, she was strengthened and felt a sense of peace. To express her new confidence in the Lord and the fact that she knew she would see her husband again, she posted in her living room door a sign her husband always displayed when he left his office for a while. It read, “Gone out—Back soon.” - The Speaker's Quote Book


A man in Louisiana called to the attention of his non-Christian friend the word “Maranatha” on a bumper sticker. “What’s that mean?” “The Lord is coming.” “Ah, I don’t believe that!” “Well, He’s not coming for you.”  - The Speaker's Quote Book


Ready for the Rapture -

After church, where she had been taught about the Second Coming, a little girl was quizzing her mother.

"Mommy, do you believe Jesus will come back?"

"Yes."

"Could he come this week?"

"Yes."

"Today?"

"Yes."

"Could he come in the next hour?"

"Yes."

"In a few minutes?"

"Yes, dear."

"Mommy, would you comb my hair?"

—Don Hussong, East Wenatchee, Washington. Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 3.


R W De Haan

During the American Civil War, General William T. Sherman drove his troops on his decisive march to the sea. In a fort on Kennesaw Mountain, he left behind a small contingent of men to guard the rations. General John Bell Hood of the Confederate Army attacked the fort, and a fierce battle followed. One-third of Sherman's men were killed or wounded and J. M. Corse, the general in command, was severely injured. Just as he was about to hoist the white flag and surrender, a message came through the signal corps set up on a chain of mountains. General Sherman was within fifteen miles of the fort and sent the message: "Hold fast. We are coming." Those few words so encouraged the defenders that they held on and kept the fort from falling into the hands of their attackers.

Our heavenly Commander has also sent us the assurance that He is coming. The Lord Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3). The fact that our Savior is coming again gives us hope. It makes us want to stand our ground. It encourages us to continue fighting the good fight of faith. It assures us of victory. Fierce as the battle may rage and difficult as the conflict may be as we serve Him, we dare not give up. Christ is coming again—perhaps today.

When faithfulness is most difficult,
it is most rewarding.


With a Shout (Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

The Bible tells us that when Jesus comes He will do so with a shout. In that moment we who are saved shall hear the voice of that same One who, way back in the beginning, spoke the creating word, and this world, surrounded by the stars and the constellations, sprang into being out of nothingness. Yes, we will hear Him call who, as He was tossed about in that little ship on the troubled Sea of Galilee, said, "Peace, be still," and the raging wind and the angry waves lay down in complete submission at the feet of their Master. It will be the same One who, while hanging upon the cross for our sins, declared in the darkness of that dread hour, "It is finished!" The same loving, all powerful Jesus who stood at the tomb of his friend and cried out, "Lazarus, come forth," will also summon us to resurrection life! Yes, the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, and when He does, not just one tomb will be opened, but all "the dead in Christ shall rise!" What a sight that will be when thousands upon thousands of graves will burst open as Jesus the mighty Conqueror of death calls forth His own with that triumphant shout of victory!

Friend, it could be today that the Lord will come to summon the dead in Christ and all living believers to be with Him! Caught up in a moment, together with them whom we have "loved long since and lost awhile," we shall know the full blessing of Heavenly joy, and experience the unhindered fellowship of being with God!

World conditions may wax worse and worse, and the outlook grow increasingly ominous; but we who know Christ have the blessed hope that as the darkness of this midnight age becomes more black, the coming of Christ, as the Bright and Morning Star shines even brighter!

The Lord is coming! And with eager eyes
We watch to see the Morning Star arise!
The Lord is coming! Let our hearts rejoice,
We soon shall hear the accents of His voice!
—Anon.

In regard to Christ's second coming, I've stopped looking for SIGNS, I've started listening for SOUNDS! —W. P. Loveless


Be Ready - The Lord wants us to live all the time as if today would be our last. I believe it was John Wesley who was asked at one time, “What would you do if you knew that tonight you would die?” That great preacher of years gone by said, “I would do exactly what I have scheduled to do.” Could you say that?


A Rich Poor Man

One windy afternoon I went with a friend into a country almshouse. There was sitting before a feeble fire a very aged man, who was deaf, and so shaken with the palsy that one wooden shoe constantly pattered on the brick floor. But deaf, sick, and helpless, it turned out that he was happy.

"What are you doing, Wisby?" said my friend.

"Waiting, sir."

"And for what?"

"For the appearing of my Lord."

"And what makes you wish for his appearing?"

"Because, sir, I expect great things then. He has promised a crown of righteousness to all that love his appearing."

And to see whether it was a right foundation on which he rested that glorious hope, we asked old Wisby what it was. By degrees he got on his spectacles, and opening the great Bible beside him, pointed to the text, "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."

Though you possess untold wealth, if you have not old Wisby's faith, you are a poor man; if you have that faith, and are "rich toward God," count it all joy if you are as poor as Lazarus or Wisby in worldly goods. Your inheritance is as sure as God's promise, and as glorious as a throne and a crown can make it. Better have Wisby's hope than Victoria's scepter, Lazarus' rags than Dives' purple. Better is poverty with piety than riches with perdition.—Bishop Heber.


Longing for His Appearance

  At one time the recording engineer of the author’s radio broadcasts, a very dear saint of God, was almost completely blind. Whenever I visited him and prayed with him, he always wanted to hold my hand as I prayed. He told me that did something to him. Physical contact meant special inspiration and comfort to him. I thought he would not hold my hand when I prayed with him after the restoration of his eyesight, but he still continued to do so. I think this is a perfect illustration of the earnest desire of Christians for the physical appearance of the Lord Jesus. - AMG Illustrations


Looking for Jesus

A little girl had been listening while her mother’s friends were speaking about the imminent return of the Lord. After some time she was missed, so her mother went in search of her. She found her looking out a window at the top of the house. Asked what she was doing she said, “Oh, Mother, I heard you say Jesus might come today, and I wanted to be the first to see Him. See, I washed myself and put on a clean dress.”- AMG Illustrations


The Promise of the Second Coming

Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with promises of the second coming of Christ. Someone has reported that there are 1,845 references in the Old Testament alone and a total of 17 books that give it prominence. Of the 260 chapters in the entire New Testament, there are 318 references to Christ’s second coming. That averages one out of every 30 verses. Furthermore, 23 of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. That leaves only four books that do not refer directly to the Second Coming. Interestingly, three of these four books are single-chapter letters which were written to specific persons on a particular subject.- AMG Illustrations


The Return of Christ

Years ago, a great crowd was waiting on the streets of Edinburgh to greet Gladstone, who was going to speak at the Exchange. In the crowd was a man, upon whose heart the Holy Spirit had been working tenderness and interest in Divine things. Suddenly, as with a flash of penetrating light, the thought flashed into his soul, “One of these days they will be gathering to meet the coming Christ. Will you be ready?” The thought would not let him rest. He went home, and found the Son of God as his Savior.- AMG Illustrations


Steven Cole has an intriguing illustration regarding the practical impact that the imminency of Christ's appearing should have in our lives - If your focus is set on the hope of Christ’s return, you will purify your life from every known sin (1Jn 3:2-note, 1Jn 3:3-note). During his time in the White House, President Carter did something that no other President (that I know of) has done: on several occasions, he stayed in the homes of common Americans. I don’t know how he picked them, but he wanted to convey that he was in tune with the needs of average Americans. If you got a call this week from the White House, announcing that the President would like to stay in your home sometime next month (meaning that your living room and kitchen would be on national television), I predict that you would do some housecleaning! Your home would sparkle because you knew that the President was coming. Someone far greater than the President is coming! Paul calls Him, “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” (How Grace Works)


“What You Saw Is the Second Coming”
Jimmy Modha, who was raised in a devout Hindu home in Leicester, England, enraged his family by coming to Christ and converting to Christianity. He told them his sins had been forgiven because he had found God.
“Which god?” shouted his father.
“It’s Jesus Christ,” replied Jimmy. “Actually He came and found me. He died on the cross for my sins; I am a Christian.”
His mother fainted, his father threw him out of the house, and his brother Jay prayed for the gods to kill him. “We would mourn his death,” said Jay, “but at least our family would not be dishonored.”
Jay, a brilliant student working on his Ph.D. in parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine disowned his brother and refused to talk to him. In parting, Jimmy said, “Jay, if you are ever desperate and no one is there to help you, remember Jesus loves you, and His hand is on your life. Call to Him and He will save you.”
Jay was furious, but Jimmy began praying earnestly for him.
Shortly Jay began having disturbing dreams. “It was as if I was awake in my bed at three in the morning when suddenly a blinding light broke through the roof and ceiling of my bedroom. In that light I could see a cloud descending from heaven, bearing three awesome, fiery men-like creatures. The first blew a trumpet so loud that I was sure the whole world could hear its thunderous sound. I knew whatever was coming was universal in consequence. The second creature cried out, ‘Prepare ye, for the Lord is coming to reap the harvest!’ Then the third swung a scythe over the earth and cried, ‘Now is the earth ready for harvest!’
“I tried to wake up from the dream because I felt I was going to have a heart attack from sheer fright. But I could not. Then, in the middle of the cloud, I noticed a Person who looked completely different. The brilliant light was coming from Him. His face shone so radiantly that no features were clear except for eyes that looked like blazing flames of fire. A robe went from His neck to His feet, which were like white-hot metal. He was dreadful in His beauty and terrible in His splendor.
“As He descended, He looked at me. I was completely undone, absolutely terrified. I could not bear to look at Him any longer, so I turned my head. To my amazement, there beside me was my brother Jimmy, who was not scared at all. In fact, his face was joyous, and he was reaching out as if to embrace the figure.
“When I gained the courage to look at Him again, He addressed me saying, ‘Jay, what are you going to do when this happens?’ Then everything vanished, and I woke up.”
It took Jay an hour to calm down, and he prayed for understanding.
A few days later, Jimmy called and, hearing of Jay’s dream, said, “Jay, what you saw is the Second Coming of Christ. Can I send you a Bible so you can read about it?” Jay hung up. But more dreams disturbed his sleep, and one night he awoke horrified to realize that he had been dreaming of praying to Jesus. In time, Jay received his doctorate and was awarded a prestigious research fellowship in Japan. But in Japan, his mental state deteriorated and one night, standing on his balcony, he nearly leaped to his death. But at the last minute, he pushed himself away from the railing, vowing to find out if Jesus was, in fact, the living and true God. For two years, God pursued him and every waking moment Jay felt the wrath of God hovering over him. At length, he dug from a cupboard a dust-covered old Bible and began to read in the Gospels. When he got to the Lord’s words from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they do,” Jay realized that he was a sinner for whom Christ had died. He prayed for forgiveness and the burden of his guilt lifted.
Jay grew quickly and, moving to Glasgow, joined a church and in time began teaching and preaching. Concluding that God was calling him into the ministry, he enrolled in Reformed Theological Seminary to prepare to preach the Gospel he had once so fervently resisted. - Robert Morgan


"Oh thrilling thought, that I shall be 
With Him who shed His blood for me, 
Where nothing from Him can sever! 
Where I, with sainted hosts above, 
Overshadowed by the Holy Dove, 
Shall banquet on His boundless love, 
And know that word- 'forever'. 

"Oh thrilling thought, to see Him shine, 
For evermore to call Him mine! 
With Heaven-all Heaven-before me; 
To stand where angel myriads gaze, 
Amid the illimitable blaze, 
While He the Godhead full displays 
To all the sons of glory."


The Great Disappointment - Jesus said, “No one knows the day or hour [of my Second Coming]. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know … So be on your guard. You don’t know when your Lord will come” (Mt 24:36, 42). Those words seem clear enough, but the disregarding of them led to one of the most highly anticipated—and most disappointing—days in history.
The churches of northeastern America grew rapidly in the early 1800s, fueled by one revival after another. The new Christians had little theological education, yet many of them began to discuss details of biblical prophecy with great vigor. Speculation boiled over the exact day and year when Christ would return, and among the speculators was William Miller of New York.
Miller, when newly converted, had torn into the prophecies of Daniel, concluding in 1818 that Christ would return in 1843 or 1844. When he later began preaching, this became a keynote of his messages, and his listeners, finding him earnest, eloquent, and sincere, multiplied. He finally announced that Christ would return to earth on October 22, 1844.
The financial panic of 1839 contributed to the belief that the end of the world was approaching. Enthusiasm for Christ’s return became so great that prophetic charts were added alongside stock market listings and current events in the newspapers. Miller’s teachings swept through New England, and large numbers espoused Millerism.
As the morning of October 22, 1844, dawned, a sense of fear and foreboding fell over New England. People gathered on mountaintops and in churches. Normal activities ceased as everyone awaited the sudden rending of the skies and the end of the world. When the day passed uneventfully, many Christians grew disillusioned. The unsaved became cynical. The following years saw a decline in conversions, and the period of revivals came to an abrupt end. The event became known as “The Great Disappointment.”  - Robert Morgan


A B Simpson - The Missionary Cry

The Master’s coming draweth near.
The Son of Man will soon appear,
His Kingdom is at hand.
But ere that glorious day can be,
The Gospel of the Kingdom, we
Must preach in every land.

Oh, let us then His coming haste,
Oh, let us end this awful waste
Of souls that never die.
A thousand millions still are lost;
A Savior’s blood has paid the cost,
Oh, hear their dying cry,
Oh, hear their dying cry.


Blow, blow up the trumpet,
For our solemn feast,
Gird thine armor, Christian;
Wear thy vesture, priest!
Go ye to the altar;
Pray, with fervor, pray,
For Jesus’ second coming,
And the latter day.
Carol, carol.


Hearts to Heaven and Voices Raise

Christ is risen, Christ, the first fruits
Of the holy harvest field,
Which will all its full abundance
At His second coming yield:
Then the golden ears of harvest
Will their heads before Him wave,
Ripened by His glorious sunshine
From the furrows of the grave.
-Christopher Wordsworth


Waiting - Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. --Php 3:20-note

In the 1940s, Samuel Beckett wrote a play called Waiting for Godot which is now regarded as a classic. Two men stand on an empty stage, hands in their pockets, staring at each other. All they do is stand and stare. There is no action, no plot, they just stand there waiting for Godot to come.

But who is Godot? Is he a person? Does he represent God? Christian ethicist Lewis Smedes suggests, Godot "stands for the pipe dreams that a lot of people hang on to as an escape." As the play ends, those men are still standing on the stage doing nothing, just waiting.

When the 50th anniversary of that play was celebrated, someone asked Beckett, "Now will you tell us who Godot is?" He answered, "How should I know?"

Waiting for Godot is a parable of many people's lives--empty and meaningless, a pointless matter of waiting. And if there's no God of love, grace, and wisdom, then life really is a hopeless waiting for empty time to pass.

How totally different, though, is Christian hope! We're waiting and "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). That hope sustains us--a hope that beyond this world lies a life of indescribable blessing. —Vernon C Grounds (Our Daily Bread)

We're waiting for You, Lord, to come
And take us home to be with You;
Your promise to return for us
Gives hope because we know it's true. --Sper

The greatest joy on earth is
to the sure hope of heaven


Jonathan Edwards, a man used greatly by God, lived in the light of reality of the Second Coming and even before age 20 wrote a series of profound resolutions some of which are noted below...

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him, by His grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will.’

1 - Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure... To do whatever I think to be my duty... for the good and advantage of mankind in general. "

4 - Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body less or more, but what tends to the glory of God...’

5 - Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

6 - Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.

7 - Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

28 - Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

43 - Resolved, Never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s.

46 - Resolved, Never to allow the least measure of any fretting or uneasiness at my father or mother.

70 - Resolved, (That) there be something of benevolence in all I speak. - (Edwards resolved to read these resolutions over once a week!).


What’s Ahead? - American theologian Carl Henry gave a thought-provoking lecture with these three major points:

1. The barbarians have come. Evil forces have entered the gates and are tearing down the values Christians embrace as true and good. Many thoughtful people believe that we are witnessing the moral collapse of Western civilization, and they are afraid.

2. Jesus is coming. Christians have lived for 20 centuries with the hope that they will witness the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. The darker the night, the brighter shines that hope. The barbarians may have won a battle, but they will not win the war.

3. The church doesn’t know whether it is coming or going. Many of those who claim to know God deny Him by their words and actions. A great number of Christians believe that the hands on the clock of history are nearing the midnight hour, but they don’t know just how close. Whether our Lord comes today or in a thousand years, Christians must say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present evil age (Titus 2:12).

Let’s get our eyes off the barbarians, keep looking for the coming of our Lord, and live for Him today.

Faithful and true would He find us here
If He should come today?
Watching in gladness and not in fear,
If He should come today?
—Morris

What we believe about the world (One) to come
shapes how we live in the world today.


Looking for the return of our Lord Jesus brings great joy and hope to our hearts. It also leads to a numbering of our days to that we might present to Him a heart of wisdom as illustrated by the following story:

A tourist who visited an exquisite garden on a lovely estate in Italy spoke to the caretaker:

“How long have you been here?” he asked.

“Twenty-five years.”

“And how often has the owner been to see the estate?”

“Four times.”

“When did he come last?”

“Twelve years ago.”

“Who comes then to look after things?”

“I am left pretty much alone.”

“Yet you keep the garden so spic-and-span that one would think you were expecting the owner tomorrow.”

“Today, sir, today! replied the caretaker. ”Perhaps today!"

Perhaps today! Then, much-tried saint,
Look up, nor let thy spirit faint;
The stretching road thine eyes may see
May never be traversed by thee—
One moment's space, and then above,
To find thyself in cloudless love!

Perhaps today, afflicted life,
Thou shalt be taken from the strife;
From all that hatred to thy word
Which comes as thou dost please thy Lord!
And then, ah then, how small the pain
Compared with all thou then shalt gain.
—J. Danson Smith


Our Only Hope - An unknown author wrote, “When I was first converted, and for some years afterward, the second coming of Christ was a thrilling idea, a blessed hope, a glorious promise, the theme of some of the most inspiring songs of the church. Later it became an accepted tenet of faith, a cardinal doctrine, a kind of invisible trademark of my ministry. It was the favorite arena of my theological discussions, in the pulpit and in print. Now suddenly the second coming means something more to me. Paul called it ‘the blessed hope.’ But today it appears as the only hope of the world.

From the human standpoint, there is no solution for the problems of the world. Leaders seem to be completely frustrated in trying to deal with the unrest and increasing violence in society. The only complete and permanent solution is found in the return of Christ. When He comes, He will set up His kingdom. He will rule the nations in righteousness, and “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14).

As we await our Savior’s return, let us keep on praying, working, and watching, while “looking for the blessed hope”—our only hope for this world.— by Richard De Haan

And for the hope of His return,
Dear Lord, Your name we praise;
With longing hearts we watch and wait
For that great day of days!
—Sherwood

As this world grows darker,
the promised return of the Son grows brighter.


The King is Coming!
by Ira Sankey

Rejoice! Rejoice! our King is coming!
And the time will not be long,
Until we hail the radiant dawning,
And lift up the glad new song.

Refrain
Oh, wondrous day! oh, glorious morning,
When the Son of Man shall come!
May we with lamps all trimmed and burning
Gladly welcome His return!
Rejoice! Rejoice! our King is coming!
And the time will not be long,
Until we hail the radiant dawning,
And lift up the glad new song.


With joy we wait our King’s returning
From His heavenly mansions fair;
And with ten thousand saints appearing
We shall meet Him in the air.
Refrain

Oh, may we never weary, watching,
Never lay our armor down
Until He come, and with rejoicing
Give to each the promised crown.
Refrain

Sankey's story behind this hymn - During one of my trips to Great Britain, on The City of Rome, a storm raged on the sea. The wind was howling through the rigging, and waves like mountains of foam were breaking over the bow of the vessel. A great fear had fallen upon the passengers. When the storm was at its worst we all thought that we might soon go to the bottom of the sea. The conviction came to me that the Lord would be with us in the trying hour, and, sitting down in the reading room, I composed this hymn. Before reaching England the tune had formed itself in my mind, and on arriving in London I wrote it out and had it published in “Sacred Songs and Solos.” It has been much employed in England in connection with sermons on the second coming of Christ, and was frequently used by Mr. Moody.


THE FINISHED PRODUCT - Another day. Another strip of wallpaper goes up. Another wall gets painted. That's the way it's been around our house for the past year or so as we've tackled a remodeling project with a real do-it-yourself flavor. Living in an unfinished house where you have to push paint cans and ladders out of the way to get to the kitchen can be frustrating.

But once in a while, when we peer through the drywall dust, we can visualize the finished result. We have hope; we know that one day we will complete the job. Then we'll be able to live in our house the way people are supposed to—with carpet on the floors and the tools put away.

Hope. Completion. Those two words are even more meaningful to Christians. Our lives always seem to be in a state of remodeling. We are often frustrated by our inability to be complete in our likeness to Christ. We sin. We fail. We forget to honor the Lord in everything.

But just as our family keeps painting and papering because we know the finished product will be worth it, so also we as believers can keep going because we have the sure hope that someday we will be like the Lord Jesus (1Jn 3:2-note). That is every Christian's hope of completion. —J D Branon (Our Daily Bread)


MOTIVATION TO OBEY - A SCHOOL janitor posted a sign in front of the school that read: Keep Off the Grass. But the children still trampled the turf.

Then a fourth-grade class had an idea. That fall they gave each child a crocus bulb to plant along the edge of the sidewalk. As winter drew to a close and the snow receded from the sidewalk, the children watched for signs of spring. Instead of running across the lawn, they huddled over it looking for the first crocus. What a power those hidden bulbs had. Before they had even poked their heads out, they kept dozens of little feet on the right path.

Prohibitions against bad behavior rarely motivate anyone to do good. Some even stir up the desire to disobey. Tell kids not to do something and that's the one thing they'll want to do.

The strongest motivators of good conduct are those in which we have a personal investment.

We too need positive motivation to keep us on the right path. The Second Coming of Christ ought to motivate us to not do anything that would hinder the work He is doing in preparation for that day. –D J De Haan  (Our Daily Bread)


I’ve Been Waiting for You
In a little fishing village in Scotland, the people gathered to welcome home a fishing vessel that had been away at sea for days. As the boat neared the shore, the men gazed eagerly toward the dock where a group of their loved ones were waiting. The skipper, looking through his telescope, identified some of the women standing on the shore, saying, “I see Bill’s wife. I see Tom’s wife. There’s David’s wife.” One man was very anxious because his wife was not there. The boat docked, and he left the boat with a heavy heart and took off toward home, climbing the hill and going up the steps to his house. There was a light in the window. As his opened the door, his wife ran to meet him, saying, “Oh, John, I have been waiting for you.” “Yes,” he said, “but the other men’s wives were watching for them.”


Christians of every generation have longed for Christ to return. The Didache, an early document in church history, says: “Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come.” St. Cyril wrote in the fourth century: “But let us wait and look for the Lord’s coming upon the clouds from heaven. Then shall angelic trumpets sound.” Augustine felt the Lord would return somewhere around the year A.D. 1000. In the 1300s, John Wycliffe, studied the signs of the times and concluded that the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ should be expected immediately. In the sixteenth century, John Calvin preached: “We must hunger after Christ until the dawning of that great day when our Lord will fully manifest the glory of His kingdom.” Today His return seems closer than ever.


As Charles Simeon, the great nineteenth century English preacher, lay mortally ill in his Cambridge home, he realized that his time on earth was fast slipping away. He turned to those at his bedside and asked,

"Do you know what comforts me just now? I find infinite consolation in the fact that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

His friends asked how that thought could give solace as he faced death. He answered with the confidence of one about to meet the Lord,

"Why, if God can bring all the wonder of the worlds out of nothing, He may still make something out of me!"

To think of the glory that awaits God's children—to have a spirit perfectly pure and a resurrected body that will enable us to enjoy eternity to its fullest—staggers the imagination. The great changes we will experience in glory are beyond our understanding.

Even now God's transforming power is at work in us. At conversion we became children of God and were made "alive together with Christ" (Eph 2:5). But that is not all. Paul said that in the future God will "show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:7). No wonder the apostle John exclaimed with astonishment, "It has not yet been revealed what we shall be."

Glorious prospects await those who have trusted Christ for salva­tion. God is not done with us yet. The best is yet to be. —P. R. Van Gorder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

While you prepare a place for us, Lord, prepare us for that place.


GOOD MUSIC TAKES TIME - When a man visited a piano manufacturing plant, the guide took him first to a large workroom where employees were cutting and shaping wood and steel. Nothing there bore any resemblance to a piano. Next they visited a department where parts were being fitted into frames, but still there were no strings or keys. In a third room, more pieces were being assembled—but still no music.

Finally the guide took the guest to the showroom. There a musician was playing classical music on a beautiful piano. The visitor, aware for the first time of all the steps involved in the development of this marvelous musical instrument, could now appreciate its beauty more fully.

The apostle John said, "It has not yet been revealed what we shall be" (1John 3:2-note). God has saved us and is now changing us into the image of Christ "from glory to glory" (2Corinthians 3:18). One day that work will be completed because we were "predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29). But for now, we are in process.

Spiritual progress often seems slow. But good work takes time, and God has allowed plenty of time in His production schedule to make sure His work on us is of the highest quality.—Paul Van Gorder 


"Look up! when all around is bright, 
And sunshine gilds each day; 
When every earthly, sweet delight, 
Is strewed along the way.

"Look up! and bless the God above, 
Let gratitude arise; 
Forget not Him, who in His love 
Your every need supplies.

"Look up! when all is darkness round, 
Your heart with grief oppressed; 
When sorrow's darkest shadows drown 
The joys within your breast.

"Look up! in earnest, faithful prayer 
All is in mercy given; 
Your every grief, your every care, 
Is meted out in Heaven.

"Look up to Jesus! who has shed 
His precious blood for thee; 
Oh, raise your weary, drooping head, 
And His salvation see!

"Look up! for strength and heavenly might 
Upon your Savior wait; 
And He shall make your Shadows Bright, 
And crooked places straight.

"Look up! when death is hastening on 
When life is almost over; 
The victory then will soon be won, 
And joys for evermore!

"Look up! by steadfast faith and see 
The land of holy rest, 
Where saints through all eternity 
Shall be with Jesus blest.

"Look up! and hail your Coming Lord 
He comes to call for you; 
To burst your chain-to break your cord, 
And set His prisoner free!"

"Until the Day breaks, and the shadows flee away, I will get to the Mountain of Myrrh, and to the Hill of Frankincense."


Waiting - Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Php 3:20) In the 1940s, Samuel Beckett wrote a play called Waiting for Godot which is now regarded as a classic. Two men stand on an empty stage, hands in their pockets, staring at each other. All they do is stand and stare. There is no action, no plot, they just stand there waiting for Godot to come. But who is Godot? Is he a person? Does he represent God? Christian ethicist Lewis Smedes suggests, Godot "stands for the pipe dreams that a lot of people hang on to as an escape." As the play ends, those men are still standing on the stage doing nothing, just waiting. When the 50th anniversary of that play was celebrated, someone asked Beckett, "Now will you tell us who Godot is?" He answered, "How should I know?"

Waiting for Godot is a parable of many people's lives--empty and meaningless, a pointless matter of waiting. And if there's no God of love, grace, and wisdom, then life really is a hopeless waiting for empty time to pass.

How totally different, though, is Christian hope! We're waiting and "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13-note). That hope sustains us--a hope that beyond this world lies a life of indescribable blessing. —Vernon C Grounds

We're waiting for You, Lord, to come
And take us home to be with You;
Your promise to return for us
Gives hope because we know it's true.
-Sper

The greatest joy on earth is
to the sure hope of heaven


Is Your Vision Hampered by the Fog? - In 1950 Florence Chadwick crossed the English Channel in world record time and then in 1951 crossed the Channel again swimming in the other direction to become the first woman accomplish this feat. In 1952, Florence Chadwick attempted to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and California, but after 15 hours a thick fog set in causing Florence began to doubt her ability to finish her course. After telling her mother she didn’t think she could make it, she swam for an hour and still unable to see the coastline due to the fog, stopped swimming. It wasn't until she got onto that boat that she discovered that the shore was less than half a mile away. At the news conference the next day, this is what she said:

'All I could see was the fog, I think if I could have seen the shore I would have made it'.

Two months later, Chadwick tried again, but this time when the thick fog set in, but she kept swimming because she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam. Beloved even through there may be a dense fog in our life for a variety of reasons, making it difficult to see Jesus, may God's Spirit grant us the power to continually fix our eyes on Jesus, redeeming every moment of the time alotted to us, by living with a "Maranatha Mindset!" And toward that end we pray...

Lord God, by Thy sweet Spirit and for the glory of the Lamb
"lift the fog" from the eyes of the heart

for every believer reading these words
that we might have a revived expectation of meeting our Lord in the air.
Amen


Are You Looking Up? - Are you so eager for Christ's return that you hope it will take place today? I wouldn't be honest if I answered an unqualified yes to this question. You see, I'm enjoying life right now. I love what I'm doing. My wife and I are having fun watching our grandsons grow toward manhood. There are still people and places we would like to visit during our retirement years.

Does this mean that I'm not "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing" of Jesus Christ? (Titus 2:13-note). No, it doesn't. I believe that His return is indeed "the blessed hope." Earthly pleasures are only temporary and cannot compare with the joys of heaven. Besides, I am troubled by the sin, sorrow, and suffering all around me.

All Christians are thankful for Jesus' promise, "I will come again and receive you to Myself" (Jn. 14:3). But our own circumstances affect how eagerly we anticipate His return. Whether life for us today is a joy or a struggle, we are to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts" and to "live soberly, righteously, and godly" (Titus 2:12-note).

God wants us to enjoy life. But He also wants us to live each day as if it may be the one in which He will return. Are you looking up? — Herbert Vander Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Take the world but give me Jesus--
In His cross my trust shall be;
Till, with clearer, brighter vision,
Face to face my Lord I see.
-Fanny Crosby

Enjoy life, but anticipate heaven


Today in the Word - Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the Second Coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s Second Coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ—an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second!


It's Late! - A young boy was playing in his grandmother's house near a large grandfather clock. Noontime was approaching, and when both hands of the old timepiece reached 12, the chimes began to ring.

As he always liked to do, the boy counted each gong as it sounded. This time, however, something went wrong with the clock's inner mechanism. Instead of stopping at 12, it kept right on chiming--13, 14, 15, 16 times.

The boy couldn't believe his ears! He jumped to his feet and ran into the kitchen, shouting, "Grandma! Grandma! It's later than it's ever been before!" In his excitement, the youngster expressed a truth we all would do well to consider.

It is later than it's ever been before--in the history of the world, in the days allotted to man, and on God's calendar of events. With each passing hour, the words of James 5:8 take on added significance: "The coming of the Lord is at hand."

This fact is both comforting and sobering. It is reassuring to know that the day our Savior will come for us may be near. But at the same time, we must honestly ask ourselves, "Am I living in a way that will bring His commendation?" Think about it!

Remember, "It's later than it's ever been before!" — Richard De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

May I live so that I will be ready
With joy my Savior to meet,
And feel no alarm at His coming
But hasten His heralds to greet.
-Anonymous

Be ready for the last moment
by being ready at every moment.


The Hope of the Coming of the Lord
By Daniel Whittle

A lamp in the night, a song in time of sorrow;
A great glad hope which faith can ever borrow
To gild the passing day, with the glory of the morrow,
Is the hope of the coming of the Lord.

Refrain
Blessèd hope, blessèd hope,
Blessèd hope of the coming of the Lord;
How the aching heart it cheers,
How it glistens through our tears,
Blessèd hope of the coming of the Lord.


A star in the sky, a beacon bright to guide us;
An anchor sure to hold when storms betide us;
A refuge for the soul, where in quiet we may hide us,
Is the hope of the coming of the Lord.
Refrain

A call of command, like trumpet clearly sounding,
To make us bold when evil is surrounding;
To stir the sluggish heart and to keep in good abounding,
Is the hope of the coming of the Lord.
Refrain

A word from the One to all our hearts the dearest,
A parting word to make Him aye the nearest;
Of all His precious words, the sweetest, brightest, clearest,
Is the hope of the coming of the Lord.
Refrain


Donald Campbell told the story of "Two men left the factory where they worked and approached a car belonging to one of them. 'What does that mean?" asked one man, pointing to a bumper sticker that read, "Maranatha!" The owner of the car, a Christian, replied, "It means 'The Lord is coming!" "I don't believe that!" his companion snapped. "Well," said the Christian, "I've got news for you. He's not coming for you!" That blunt reply awakened the man to a sense of responsibility and concern regarding the future and his preparation for it. (Daniel- God's Man in a Secular Society- Donald K. Campbell-Excellent Commentary!)


After World War II there was a sign on the shore of New York harbor facing all incoming troop ships, which read:

WELCOME HOME.
WELL DONE.

When the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the air, He is going to “WELCOME HOME” every saint, for at that time He shall come to take us home to heaven. Our entrance into heaven is solely on the basis of our faith in His shed blood and death on the cross, and every believer shall receive the same “WELCOME HOME.” But, how many of us will receive His “WELL DONE,” and the “crown of righteousness”? (2Ti 4:8-note, Mt 25:21, 23, Lk 19:17)


THE EARLY EDITION - THERE was a show I used to watch a couple of years ago called Early Edition. The host of the show would get the next day's newspaper, read it, and then do a show about the upcoming news. He'd read a newspaper about the morrow and related it to his viewers today. Because he had tomorrow's newspaper today, he had information nobody else did. Most of our coworkers don't have the information. Most of our neighbors don't have the information. But as Christians, we've got an Early Edition. God has given us the Early Edition. We can function today in light of what we know about God's plan for the future. (Tony Evans' Book of Illustrations)


O Son of God, We Wait for Thee
Philipp Hiller (1699-1769)

O Son of God, we wait for Thee,
In love for Thine appearing;
We know Thou sittest on the throne,
And we Thy Name are bearing,
Who trusts in Thee, may joyful be,
And see Thee, Lord, descending,
To bring us bliss unending.

We wait for Thee ’mid toil and pain,
In weariness and sighing;
But glad that Thou our guilt hast borne,
And canceled it by dying;
Hence cheerfully may we with Thee
Take up our cross and bear it,
Till we relief inherit.

We wait for Thee; sure Thou wilt come;
The time is swiftly nearing;
In this we also now rejoice,
And long for Thine appearing.
Oh, bliss ’twill be when Thee we see,
Homeward Thy people bringing,
With transport and with singing!


The Son Will Shine Again - This hope we have as an anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19).

A newsboy, thinly clad and drenched by the soaking rain, stood shivering in a doorway one cold day in November. To get a little warmth, he would hold one bare foot against his leg for a moment and then the other. Every few minutes he would cry out,

"Morning paper! Morning paper!"

A man who was well protected by his coat and umbrella stopped to buy the early edition. Noting the boy's discomfort, he said,

"This kind of weather is pretty hard on you, isn't it?"

Looking up with a smile, the youngster replied,

"I don't mind too much, Mister. The sun will shine again."

Chilling winds of adversity and gray skies of a sinful environment easily discourage us. But we can count on better days because we know God is working in our lives. This hope is called an "anchor of the soul," and the Bible says that it abides (1 Cor 13:13) and does not disappoint (Ro 5:5). It promises righteousness (Gal. 5:5), eternal life (Titus 1:2), and the return of Jesus (Titus 2:13). It is a "living hope," founded on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Pet. 1:3).

When circumstances get out of control and pressures threaten to overwhelm us, we know that Jesus died for us, is working in us, and will never leave us. We can hold fast to God's promises and patiently endure. The "anchor of hope" will hold us firm. —D. J De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

It is always darkest just before dawn.


Hold Fast. He's Coming - "Behold, I come quickly! Hold fast what you have" (Revelation 3:11).

During the American Civil War, General William T. Sherman drove his troops on his decisive march to the sea. In a fort on Kennesaw Mountain, he left behind a small contingent of men to guard the rations. General John Bell Hood of the Confederate Army attacked the fort, and a fierce battle followed. One-third of Sherman's men were killed or wounded and J. M. Corse, the general in command, was severely injured. Just as he was about to hoist the white flag and surrender, a message came through the signal corps set up on a chain of mountains. General Sherman was within fifteen miles of the fort and sent the message:

"Hold fast. We are coming."

Those few words so encouraged the defenders that they held on and kept the fort from falling into the hands of their attackers.

Our heavenly Commander has also sent us the assurance that He is coming. The Lord Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3). The fact that our Savior is coming again gives us hope. It makes us want to stand our ground. It encourages us to continue fighting the good fight of faith. It assures us of victory. Fierce as the battle may rage and difficult as the conflict may be as we serve Him, we dare not give up. Christ is coming again—perhaps today. —R. W. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When faithfulness is most difficult, it is most rewarding.


Let in A Ray of Hope

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (Romans 15:13).

The English poet Alexander Pope said,

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast, man never is but always to be blessed."

As Christians, we know there is only one sure and abiding source of hope, and that is God. If hope originated in ourselves, we would be cast into the depths of despair because life's complex problems have a way of squeezing every last ounce of it from our hearts. But when we trust God, hope abounds by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In his book Live With Your Emotions, Hazen G. Werner quotes part of a letter from a woman who had run out of hope. She wrote,

"A vile and ugly sin had dogged my way for years. My soul had been eclipsed in darkness. I began to feel I would never be emancipated from its grasp. Then one evening in the midst of my despair, I felt the impulse to say, `Thank you, God, anyway,' and for a moment it was light. I said to myself, `That must be the way.' I began to thank Him still more, and the light continued and grew, and for a whole evening I was relieved of my burden."

What that woman seemingly stumbled onto by accident, the psalmist knew from experience. The power of gratitude can lift the weight of the most pressing trial. Turning the gaze of his soul heavenward, he saw God as an inexhaustible source of hope.

When we get discouraged, we can talk to ourselves as David did:

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? Hope in God" (Psalm 42:5).

No matter how dark the path, thank God for Himself. It will open a window to heaven and let in a ray of hope. —D. J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Hope, like an anchor, is fixed on the unseen.


Is There Any Hope? - "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope" (1 Timothy 1:1)

On December 17, 1927, a submarine sank off Provincetown, Massachusetts, and forty crewmen died. In the failed rescue attempt, one diver heard a trapped sailor tap out a pathetic question in Morse code:

"Is there any hope?"

The disciples must have been asking the same question at their last meal with Jesus. The One they loved the most was going away to a place where they could not immediately follow.

Although packing His bags to leave, He promised to return for them. When they least expected it, He would walk up the front path, climb the porch steps, and knock boldly on the door. Jesus told His disciples to feed on that hope because He was the hope for years to come.

This hope became a major theme of the New Testament. In essence, Paul pictured Christians skydiving in reverse, free falling upward through the clouds, reaching out their hands to His, and floating into eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Peter proclaimed a sure hope because of Christ's resurrection (1 Peter 1:3) and challenged everyone to be ready to give a reason for that hope (3:15).

Until Jesus returns we have a message for those sleepwalking on trails that lead to a hopeless end. We on the other road—the one of endless hope—must awaken them with our shouts of joy,

"He is the Christ. He is coming again. He is our hope!"


Already enjoying the pleasures of a future event - [We] rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2).

The glories that await the Christian defy our comprehension. What little we understand about them, however, fills us with anticipation. We look longingly to that day when we shall enjoy heaven in all its fullness.

In Dare to Believe, Dan Baumann told a story that illustrates the unique experience of knowing something is ours yet longing to enjoy it more fully. Every year at Christmastime, he would do a lot of snooping, trying to find the gift-wrapped presents and figure out what was in them. One year he discovered a package with his name on it that was easy to identify. His mother couldn't disguise the golf clubs inside. Baumann wrote:

"When Mom wasn't around, I would go and feel the package, shake it, and pretend that I was on the golf course. The point is, I was already enjoying the pleasures of a future event; namely, the unveiling. It had my name on it. I knew what it was. But only Christmas would reveal it in its fullness."

That's the way it is for believers as we await what God has for us in heaven. Wrote Baumann, "We shall be glorified, but we are beginning to taste glorification now… This quality of life begins the moment an individual places faith in Christ and thereby shares His life. We have eternal life—here and now—but it is only a foretaste of its fullness. God has whetted our appetites for the main course, which has to come later!"

Christians have good reason to rejoice in hope! —R. W. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Future prospects bring present joys.


Don't Lose the Upward Look - He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly" (Revelation 22:20).

The great preacher F. B. Meyer once asked D. L. Moody,

"What is the secret of your success?"

Moody replied,

"For many years I have never given an address without the consciousness that the Lord may come before I have finished."

This may well explain the intensity of his service and the zeal of his ministry for Christ.

One of the most encouraging teachings in the Bible is that of the Lord's return to earth. Three times Revelation 22 repeats this promise. As God was about to close the pages of divine revelation, He called attention to this grand theme, announcing in the words of Christ Himself, "Surely I am coming quickly." The last words of our Lord before leaving this earth twenty centuries ago remind us that He is coming back for us. With such a forceful assurance closing the canon of Scripture, we can have this hope continually in our hearts. The expectation of seeing our Savior, being like Him, and being with Him for eternity should prompt us, as it did Moody, to serve the Lord.

In this sinful world it's easy to lose our upward look. Yet we must keep the hope of Christ's return burning in our hearts. The apostle Paul talked about this when he said…

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20)

The hope of Jesus' last words "Surely I am coming quickly" should motivate us all to lives of sacrificial service. -- PRV (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The hope of glorification keeps before us the need of purification.


Vance Havner - The New Testament Christians were not only ready, they were expectant, hilariously anticipating the Lord's return.

And we are bidden not only to prepare but to look for our Lord.

"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord";

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

"Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

It is one thing to be ready for someone to come; it is another thing eagerly to expect and await the coming of someone.

Let us visualize a small‑town railroad station at train time. Inside the little ticket office is the station agent. He is an authority on the train schedule, he has read up on that, he knows when the train is due. Out in the station yard is a young bride‑to‑be who is looking for her lover to come on the next train. She does not know a great deal about the train schedules and the only reason why she is interested in this schedule is because of him who is coming. The station agent may be an authority and yet he may be very dull today, because he is not eagerly expecting anyone on the train. The girl in the station yard may not be an authority on the schedule but she is so happy that she can hardly live. If I had to choose between them, I'd rather be the girl in the yard. But I don't have to choose between them, for the old station master also may have dear ones coming in on the train, loved ones whose advent turns the time‑table from prose into poetry. And yet it is possible, in this matter of our Lord's coming, to study the time‑table and miss the Visitor!

Prophetic truth calls us not only to preparation and expectation but also to purification: "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:3).


W. H. G. Thomas eloquently described the interrelationship of the great Christian triumphurate of faith, hope and love...

Faith rests on the past, love works in the present, and hope presses toward the future; or, faith looks backward and upward, love looks outward, and hope looks forward. These three constitute the true, complete Christian life and not one of them should be omitted or slighted.

We are only too apt to emphasize faith and love and forget hope but, inasmuch as hope is invariably connected with the coming of the Lord, that blessed hope (Titus 2:13), it is a vital part of our Christian life.

Faith accepts, hope expects; faith appropriates, hope anticipates; faith receives, hope realizes; faith is always and only concerned with the past and present, hope is always and only concerned with the future. We know that faith comes by hearing; we shall find that hope comes by experience. Faith is concerned with a person who promises, hope with the thing promised; and faith is the root of which hope is a fruit.

The Second Coming of Christ
William Nicholson, 1862

See also Second Coming Comfort by William Nicholson

"Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people. And he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him!" Hebrews 9:28

The expectation of any important event generally produces interest and excitement. This was the case with the Jews when they were slaves in Egypt or when captives in Babylon.

The first advent of Jesus as announced immediately after the fall of man, was an object of special interest to angels and to men. "Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad." "Kings and prophets desired to see what you see!" "And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says: Let all God's angels worship him." Hebrews 1:6

The second appearance of Christ will be a most important event, and pregnant with the most interesting and solemn results to saints and sinners. It is ever so represented by the sacred writers; an event earnestly desired by the righteous — an event terrible to the ungodly, who have, during their career of iniquity, a "fearful expectation of God's judgment, and the raging fire that will consume his enemies!" Hebrews 10:27

The subject of the text is, The Second Coming of Christ. "He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him!"

1. This is a fact established,

(1.) By reason and conscience. God is the moral Governor of this world; all creatures are responsible to him. He therefore, who made us and governs us, has a perfect right to summon us to give an account of our actions done on the platform of human existence, and at a period, and in that manner, which his infinite wisdom may devise.

The justice of God is not clearly displayed in the dispensation of things in the present state. The righteous, who are the excellent of the earth, are afflicted — while wicked men generally prosper.

The consciences of all men point to a future state of retribution; witness the consternation and dread of Belshazzar and Felix.

(2.) By the uniform testimony of Scripture.

Enoch predicted it, Jude 5:14, 15. 
Abraham reasoned about it, Genesis 18:25. 
Job exulted in the expectancy of it, Job 19:25-27. 
The Psalmist sublimely describes it, Psalm 50:1, etc. 
It is also asserted by Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3:17; 12:14.

With the assurance of his second appearance for glorious purposes, Christ comforted the hearts of his disciples, John 14:2, 3. And when he ascended, angels declared, Acts 1:11.

Besides, the day is appointed, "God has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:31. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad!" 2 Corinthians 5:10 
 

2. The Second Advent of Christ shall be very different from his first appearance. "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people. And he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him!"

(1.) He shall not then come in a state of humiliation. At his first coming, he took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. He passed through all the circumstances of humble birth, though he was God manifest in the flesh. He was subject to poverty, hunger, thirst, fatigue, reproach, and persecution. Then he "made himself of no reputation," etc.

He will not come to be mocked and buffeted, and scourged, and spit upon, and crowned with thorns!

(2.) He shall not come to expiate sin. "He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvationto those who are waiting for him!" At his first appearance the guilt of men was charged upon him as upon a surety who had undertaken their cause. "God laid help upon one that was mighty;" and therefore he "bore the sins of many." "He who knew no sin, was made sin (a sin-offering) for us." "He bore our sins in his own body on the tree." The sacrifice once offered for the sins of many, will forever perfect those who are sanctified, and "there remains no more sacrifice for sin."

The ends of justice are fully answered; and having died for sin once, he dies no more. Gethsemane's agony and bloody sweat; the ignominy, the shame, the bodily and mental pangs of Calvary's cross — he will endure no more. "It is finished" once and for all!

3. The Second Coming of Christ will be magnificent and glorious.

More glorious than the return of the mightiest conqueror from the field of triumph, more glorious than the proclamation and coronation of kings and emperors. These occurrences are but faint emblems of "the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ."

It will be magnificent and glorious as to:

(1.) Christ's person. That will be so glorious as to be admired: "When He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed!" 2 Thessalonians 1:10.

He will not appear then as the subject of poverty and weakness, and contempt, as he did at his first coming, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not!" Isaiah 53:2-3. "There were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man, and his form marred beyond human likeness!" Isaiah 52:14

But he shall come the second time very differently, "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory!" Matthew 24:30.

He will come with a personal glory and majesty exceeding that described in Isaiah 6:1-4, or that by Daniel 7:9, or that by John, Revelation 1:13, etc.

Compared with Christ's power, the power of all earthly kings is but the power of the moth. And compared with his glory, the splendor of regal pomp is but the glimmering of the glowworm!

He shall come with the power of Omnipotence. That power by which he made the universe, he shall bring with him to punish his foes. He shall come with all the glory of his perfections shining brighter than ten thousands suns! He shall come with the glory of his spotless and exalted humanity, and with all the glorious majesty of his divinity!

(2.) Christ's attendants. He will appear as a King, with a retinue of "mighty angels," Matthew 25:31. If when the law was given at Sinai by the ministration of angels, the fire and smoke so filled the people with awe and dread — what will be the manifestation of the Son of God when he shall come in the glory of his Father, and of all the holy angels?

The angels are called his reapers. Matthew 13:39. "This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!" Matthew 13:49-50

(3.) Christ's office. He will be the Judge of all. There is a solemnity and a majesty connected with this office which is overwhelming. He will judge immortals — upon his judgment will be suspended the salvation and perdition of the myriads congregated before his bar.

Great must be the excitement of the man who stands before the bar of an earthly judge, to be tried for his life and eternal state by the all-knowing Son of God — how solemn will this be!

4. The Second Coming Christ will be gracious. "To bring salvation to those who are waiting for him!"

The design of his appearance will be to complete the salvation of his people, and this will divest judgment of all its terrors for them. The salvation of the Church is not yet completed — the bodies of those who are in glory are yet in the grave — part of the Church are in heaven — part on earth, etc. etc. "He will come to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him!"

(1.) To redeem their bodies from the grave. The resurrection of the body is so abundantly attested and confirmed by the resurrection of Christ, that the reunion of the component parts of our nature is rendered a matter of absolute and infallible certainty, 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Philippians 3:21. Until this period arrives, a part of the temple of the Holy Spirit lies in ruins, a part of the curse denounced on man remains uncancelled.

Until the resurrection, the enemies of Christ will not be completely vanquished; but that event will destroy death, and him that had the power of it, even Satan.

Then shall the saints be rescued from the iron barriers of the tomb, and rise into immortal health and beauty — and they shall be subject to sin, and death, and corruption, no more.

(2.) Having raised the bodies of the righteous, they shall be gathered to his right hand as the sheep of his fold, as the "blessed" of the Lord. "And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other!" Matthew 24:31.

They were dear to God . . .
when he chose them from the foundation of the world,
when Christ died upon the cross,
when he appeared before the heavenly throne as their intercessor,
and they shall be dear to him when he appears to judge the world!

They are his lambs — and not one of them shall be lost!

They are his children — and not one of them shall perish!

They are his jewels — and they shall be all fixed upon his mediatorial diadem, to shine to his glory forever and ever!

(3.) They shall be acknowledged and acquitted by Christ before assembled myriads! "He who overcomes will be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. Revelation 3:5. "They will be mine, says the LORD Almighty, in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him!" Malachi 3:17

However despised on earth they may have been, the Judge will not then be ashamed to call them his brethren.

Many charges have been brought against them by Satan, by man, by conscience, and by the law as a broken covenant of works. But there will be no charge heard to their harm at the last day — nor any condemnation. They shall be pronounced and publicly declared righteous — as righteous as if they had never sinned. The righteous Judge will pronounce them righteous through the perfect obedience of Christ, even unto death.

(4.) He will admit them to an eternal Heaven. This shall be the last intended item of salvation carried into execution. God has prepared for them a city, an eternal inheritance, an ever increasing felicity, of which it is said, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined — what God has prepared for those who love him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9

No earthly pencil can fully delineate that Heaven, of which this world is but the antechamber — the brief and shadowy outline. No tortuous snake rolls under the flowers of Paradise, nor funeral mound disturbs the surface of that field — all is holiness, all is life. God made it for his redeemed people, and adapted it with elements of eternity for an everlasting joy. Hence this Heaven prepared by God himself exceeds the eloquent descriptions of man or angel. Its materials, we cannot explain or duly illustrate — deathless harps, golden pavement, walls of crystal, emerald, ruby, amethyst. Towers and domes fused in a burning sky; like a pageant of clouds in their red repose. The presence of Christ, the society of saints and elect angels, the vision of God, the well-remembered way, the seven-fold thundering Hallelujah, "We shall be forever with the Lord!"

5. The coming of Christ is to be desired and expected. "To bring salvation to those who are waiting for him!"

Christians "love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:8. This implies:

(1.) A firm belief that he will come the second time.

(2.) Faith in Christ the Mediator, to constitute us "the blessed" at that period.

(3.) Earnest desire and expectation of it. It is the coming of him who is to finish our salvation.

(4.) Frequent application for Divine aid (Ed: the Spirit energizing us) to prepare us.

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right: Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world!" Matthew 25:31-34 

The Second Coming of Jesus
James Smith, 1860

The presence of Christ with his people is their glory and joy. He is ever with them to watch over them, protect, and preserve them. But he sometimes manifests himself to them, filling them with joy and peace. Once he came in power, to ransom them from hell — this was the theme of the Old Testament. Soon he will come again — to redeem them from death, this is the object of hope presented in the New Testament. The advent of the Son of God to our world, is the greatest event that can take place in it. He once came as a servant — to fulfill, obey, and suffer; he will come a second time, as a sovereign — to collect, reward, and govern.

His humiliation, laid the foundation of his glorification; 
his first coming, was introductory to his second.

How sublime, how majestic is the language of the prophet, "Behold, the Sovereign Lord comes with strong hand, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him!" Isaiah 40:10

The Sovereign Lord here intended, is the Lord Jesus, as is evident from the preceding verses. He is divine, Jehovah, the self-existent, eternal, and unchangeable God. He is the Sovereign Lord — man's Creator, Preserver, and Savior. He came in flesh, and tabernacled among men. He brought grace and truth into our world. He came as man, and yet was in the highest sense of the word, God. Thus he was the great mystery of godliness — God manifest in the flesh. He became man — that he may come under the law, and so meet and discharge all its demands — and meet and endure all its penalty. He will come again, not as a servant — but a Son; not to obey and suffer — but to be obeyed and reign

"He will come with strong hand," being clothed with power, as the Omnipotent and rightful ruler of the world. Clad with zeal as his cloak, he will . . .
fulfill the purposes of his Father, perform the promises of his Word, and accomplish the deliverance of his people.

The prophet represents it as done, and therefore writes, "He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes." The margin of the texts reads, "He will come against the strong." He atoned for sin and conquered death when he came before; now he will come against Satan, the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air — stripping him of his authority, driving him out of his kingdom, and binding him in immortal fetters. He will swallow up death in victory. His strong hand will find out, seize, and punish every one of his enemies, and all the enemies of his beloved people.

"His arm shall rule for him." By his own strong arm he will arrest, subdue, and destroy, all that would disturb his government, or oppose his reign. He will bring salvation, or perfect and everlasting deliverance to his people, and will cast death and hades into the bottomless pit. By his own unaided power, he will accomplish his work, his strange work, and perform all the good pleasure of his will.

"Behold, his reward is with him." His reward is his people, who were given to him, and identified with him; these he will bring with him. As it is written, "The Lord my God will come, and all the saints with you." They are his seed, the travail of his soul, and his bride — which is as his own soul. They are now being collected from all lands, they will be all gathered unto him; and at his appearing, they will appear with him in glory. Their salvation and glorification with himself is his reward — the joy that was set before him, for which he endured the cross, despising the shame.

"His recompense accompanies him." He will set up his glorious kingdom, rewarding his saints, every one according to his works. He will punish his foes, binding kings in chains, and their nobles in fetters of iron. He will glorify his Father's name, emancipate creation from the bondage of corruption, and introduce the glory promised.

Then all the grand and glowing predictions of Holy Scripture will be fulfilled, the groans of creation will be forever silenced, and the highest and best desires of his people, will be forever satisfied. All the plans and purposes of Satan will be completely and eternally frustrated, and his kingdom and works destroyed.

This is the recompense of the Redeemer's pains. This is the result of his deep humiliation. This is the glory promised him by his Father. All things will be put under him. Every creature will be made subject unto him. As God's Son, and God's king — he will reign on his holy hill of Zion. He will come with strong hand, having the day of vengeance in his heart, his arm will rule for him, bringing to pass all the purposes of his will; his reward — his beloved church and people, will be with him; and his work to raise our world, to more than paradisaic beauty and glory, before him. Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Reader, do you want a mighty Savior? One that can save by his own unaided power? One that can save from all evil, and raise to the possession and enjoyment of all that is really good? Jesus is such a Savior. He can save you, if he has not. He will save you if you wish it, and apply to him to do so. His blood will cleanse any sinner, and make the foulest as pure as an angel of light. His righteousness will justify any sinner, and make the greatest criminal righteous in the sight of God. He saves to the uttermost, he saves forever — all who come unto God by him.

Do you wish to be prepared to meet him at his coming, to share in the grace that he will bring, and the glory that he will impart? If so, acquaint now yourself with him and be at peace, and so shall such good come unto you. If you know Jesus — if you trust in Jesus — if you love Jesus now, when he comes, it will be to be glorified in you, and admired by you. He will appear to your joy, and all your enemies will be ashamed.

If you go to Jesus for grace now — he will bring you glory then. Make sure of a saving interest in Christ now, live in communion with Christ now — and then you will not be ashamed at the proclamation,

"Behold he comes with clouds, and every eye shall see him!"

Nor will you be of those who in bitter anguish will exclaim,

"The great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand!"

But you will be of those of whom it is written,

"Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection, on such the second death has no power —
but they shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with him!"

Looking for Jesus
James Smith, 1842

"We look for the Savior — the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:20

The first Christians kept the second coming of Christ continually in view; they constantly expected it, and are spoken of as "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, even our Savior Jesus Christ," Titus 2:13; Philippians 3:20; as waiting "for God's Son from Heaven, even Jesus, who has delivered us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 1:7.

The scriptures always represent the second coming of Christ as sudden and unexpected; "The day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them." 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3. "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments." Revelation 16:15. "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." 2 Peter 3:10. "Watch, therefore, for you know not what hour your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:42.

The Lord informs us He will come quickly — "Behold, I come quickly!" Revelation 22:7, 12, 20. "The Lord is at hand." Philippians 4:5.

He will come gloriously — "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven, with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." 2 Thessalonians 1:7-11; Dan. 7:9-11. "Behold, the Judge stands before the door." James 5:9; Acts 17:31.

He will come in wrath — hence, the day of His coming is called "the day of wrath," Romans 2:5; "the great day of His wrath." Revelation 6:17.

He will come for salvation — "To those who look for Him, shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:28. "It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Romans 13:11. "Who are kept by the power of God through faith until salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:5-8.

We are warned that in the last days there shall come scoffers, saying, "Where is the promise of His coming?" 2 Peter 3:4. These give heed "to seducing spirits," 1 Tim. 4:1; "being lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness — but denying the power thereof." 2 Tim. 3:4, 5.

But of the coming of Jesus — Enoch prophesied, Jude 14; Christ Himself preached it, Matthew 16:27; and the church expected it! 1 Thessalonians 3:13.

Believer, are you looking, waiting, and preparing for the coming of Christ? You profess to expect Him — to believe that He will come, both to punish the wicked and reward His servants? "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat!" 2 Peter 3:11-12

The scriptures, which you profess to reverence, exhort you to watch, because you know not the day nor hour wherein the Son of Man comes, Matthew 25:13-30; to be sober, lest that day overtake you as a thief, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-9; to be patient, waiting for Christ, 2 Thessalonians 3:5; to strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draws near, James 5:7-11; to be diligent, that you may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless, 2 Peter 3:14; to "abide in Him, that when He shall appear you may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." 1 John 2:28.

Do you believe that you must then stand before His judgment-seat? 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11; that judgment must first begin at the house of God? 1 Peter 4:17; that you must give an account of yourself? Romans 14:10-13; that you must be judged and rewarded according to your works? Matt 16:27; 10:41, 42, Romans 2:6; 1 Corinthians 3:8; Ephesians 6:8; 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 2:23; 22:12-15. Consider these scriptures, and may the Lord give you understanding.

And you who are careless and indifferent in reference to the second coming of Jesus, I have a word for you. You must witness it — you are deeply interested in it; for, "Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him," Revelation 1:7, and shall cry, "Hide us from the face of Him who sits upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb!" Revelation 6:16. All the tribes of the earth shall mourn when "they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30.

O sinner! what a state, what a situation will you be in! And yet you are secure, though you have nothing to assure you that you shall not be brought into this situation this day, or this night. Christ will come — He will come as a thief, in a day you think not, and in an hour you are not aware of; for of that day and of that hour knows no man. Matthew 24:36:51; and if that day should find you without Christ, under the law, and living in pleasure — it will fix your doom forever; for then it shall be said, "He who is unjust — let him be unjust still; and he who is filthy — let him be filthy still." Revelation 22:11.

But you who believe your Savior's word, long for His coming, wait His approach, and are preparing to meet your God — happy are you; rejoice, and be exceeding glad. "Now you are the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what you shall be; but we know, that when He shall appear, you shall be like Him; for you shall see Him as He is!" 1 John 3:2. "When Christ, who is your life, shall appear — then shall you also appear with Him in glory." Colossians 3:4.

Now, you are called to suffer with Him; "then, you shall be glorified together." His glory shall be revealed in you, at the manifestation of the sons of God; then shall you be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God; then shall you enjoy the adoption, even the redemption of the body. If, then, you hope for such things, see that with patience you wait for them; for "He who shall come will come, and will not tarry." Romans 8:17-26; Hebrews 10:35-38. "Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21. 36

To conclude —

  • Are you living as a part of the Bride of Christ?
  • As not your own — but His?
  • Are you aiming to glorify Him in all things?
  • Are you joining the Church in her cry, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly"? Revelation 22:20.

If so, "at that day you shall say, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us; this is Jehovah; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isaiah 25:9. Then shall you take your place "before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple, and He who sits on the throne shall dwell among you. You shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on you, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed you, and shall lead you unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from your eyes." Revelation 7:15-17. "He who overcomes shall sit down with Jesus on his throne." Revelation 3:21. "They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads, and they shall reign forever and ever!" Revelation 22:4, 5.

THE SECOND COMING
John MacDuff

  • "This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—
  • "For in just a very little while, 'He who is coming will come and will not delay.'" Hebrews 10:37
  • "Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him." Revelation 16:15

The Redeemer's Advent! a scriptural assurance full of rest and peace, but which can be felt and realized only by those who are conscious of sitting now under His shadow as the true Heavenly Palm. In other words—the elevating prospect of the Savior's second coming in glory can be enjoyed only by those who know, in their individual experience, the blessedness connected with a genuine and unswerving reliance on the first coming in humiliation. When the latter truth is fully appropriated and exulted in, no theme can prove more tranquillizing or refreshing. "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning" (Ps. 130:5, 6).

The reference in the second of these motto-verses may be the simple and ordinary one, of a man, unmindful of all danger, lying down to sleep with his garments carelessly cast aside; the thief suddenly enters his chamber, takes forcible possession of his clothing, and leaves him naked and defenseless. Or more likely, according to the commentator Lightfoot, the allusion may be to a Jewish custom in the service of the Temple of Jerusalem. Twenty-four wards, or companies, were appointed night by night to guard the various entrances to the sacred courts. One individual was appointed as captain or 'marshal' over the others, called the "Man of the Mountain of the House of God." His duty was to go round the various gates during the night to see that his subordinates were faithful at their posts. Preceded himself by men bearing torches, it was expected that each wakeful sentinel should hail his appearance with the password, "You man of the mountain of the house, peace be unto you!" If through unwatchfulness and slumber this were neglected, the offender was beaten, and his garments were burned—he was branded with shame for failure of duty.

It was in contrast with these slumbering Levites, that the Lord of the Temple may be supposed to pronounce a blessing on His true people, who keep their garments, and are saved from reproach. Their attitude is that of wakeful sentinels, ever standing on their watchtower, pacing their rounds; having on the whole armor of God, "the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left," so that "being clothed, they may not be found naked" or "ashamed before Him at His coming."

We repeat, that Second Advent of Christ ought, at least in the case of all His true people, to be regarded by its apostolic name as "The Blessed Hope," the polar star in the sky of the future. It is true, indeed, that in one sense, to the believer, death is equivalent to the coming of his Lord, as being the hour which will usher him into His immediate presence. But death is never spoken of in Scripture as a 'blessed hope.' Even the Christian holds his breath as the King of terrors passes by. He may be ready to 'depart' whenever his Lord gives the word; he may be ready to enter the dark valley, and under the guidance and grace of the Shepherd-Leader, he may fear no evil; but it is a dark valley notwithstanding. The gloomy cypress, not the verdant palm—the tear and the sable mourning, have ever formed the associations and accompaniments of the final hour and scene. It is altogether different, however, with Christ's Advent. That is a joyous anticipation. The believer can long for it—can pray for it. "Make no tarrying, O my God." "Make haste, my Beloved," is his cry underneath this gracious palm-shadow—"be like a gazelle, or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains!"

Nor let us suppose that this watching is some fantastic, transcendental frame of mind, which divorces the Christian from daily work and duty. These vigils may be best kept, not in confined seclusion. He watches most nobly and truly, who does so, not by removing himself from life's rough drudgery and needful calls; but who, in the midst of the ordinary vocations of the world, among the fever and turmoil of busy existence, can catch up the joyous chimes wafted to the ear of faith from the bells of glory.

Let these inspired utterances be ever ringing their varying magnificent melodies in our ears—"In just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay." "I will come back, and take you to be with Me." "A little while, and you shall not see Me, and again a little while and you shall see Me." "The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." If we expected a long absent brother or friend from a distant land, how careful should we be in our preparations to give him welcome! How house and hall would be cleaned and adorned! How would creativity be taxed to decorate his room with every tribute which fond affection could devise! How careful to erase every association or memory of sadness, and prevent the occurrence of one note of discord or disharmony that would mar the joy of that glad return! How should it be with us in the prospect of welcoming the Brother of brothers! How should the home of every heart be "swept and garnished," decorated in best holiday attire, to give the long-absent Lord love's most loyal welcome!

Every day is bringing that Advent nearer, lessening the span of that rainbow of promise. "The little while and you shall not see Me" is widening; the "little while and you shall see Me" is diminishing. The Church is like the shipmen in the Adriatic Sea, who "sensed they were approaching land." The historian of Columbus speaks thus of the great discoverer's approach to the shores of the unknown New World—"The admiral gave orders that the sails should be close-reefed and the lead kept going, and that they should sail slowly, being afraid of shoals and breakers; feeling certain that the first gleam of daybreak would discover land under their bows." Is this true in a nobler sense of "the Better Country"? Are we thus on the outlook to "see the King in His beauty, and the land that is very far off"?

Let each new month, new week, new day, each recurring providential dispensation add new power to the summons—"Awake, awake! put on your beautiful garments!"—"Prepare to meet your God, O Israel." So that when the hour of the Second Advent shall strike, when "the Lord shall come, and all His saints with Him," we may be able to exclaim with rejoicing—"Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him and He saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation." "Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, WHEN HE COMES, shall find watching."

"It may be in the evening,
When the work of the day is done,
And you have time to sit in the twilight
And watch the sinking sun,
While the long bright day dies slowly
O'er the sea,
And the hour grows quiet and holy
With thoughts of ME!

"It may be when the midnight
Is heavy upon the land,
And the black waves lying dumbly
Along the sand;
It may be at the cock-crow;
When the valley-mists are shading
The river's chill,
When the morning star is fading,
Fading over the hill.
Let the door be on the latch
In your home;
In the chill before the dawning,
Between the night and morning,
I may come!

"It may be in the morning
When the sun is bright and strong,
And the dew is gleaming beauteous,
The meadow slopes among,
When the waves are laughing loudly
By the shore;
And the birds are singing sweetly
By your door.
It may be in the morning I will come!

"A gentle shadow fell across
The window of my room;
While working my appointed task,
I calmly turned me round to ask,
'Is He come?'
An angel whispered sweetly
In my ear:
'Lift up your head rejoicing—
HE IS HERE!'"

"Even so! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!"