REASONS FOR LOVING HIS APPEARING

By ††F. W. FARR, D. D.

 

We should love it because of the large space it occupies in Scripture, and because God loves it.  If frequency of mention is any measure of importance, this truth is of supreme value, for no other is mentioned so frequently or stressed so earnestly.  Baptism is mentioned nineteen times in seven epistles and is not once named in fourteen out of twenty-one epistles.  The Lordís Supper is mentioned less than half a dozen times in the entire New Testament. In twenty out of twenty-one epistles it is not alluded to at all.  The Lordís Second Coming is spoken of 318 times in the New Testament.  One verse out of twenty-five is devoted to it.  We should be concerned with what God says rather than what man thinks, and God must think a great deal of this truth, else He would not have so much to say about it in the Word.

 

BECAUSE OF ITS PURIFYING AND TRANSFORMING POWER

 

We ought to love the Second Coming of Christ because this truth purifies and transforms the life as nothing else does.  "Every one that hath this hope set on him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3: 3, R. V.; Matt. 22: 1-14).  There is scarcely a practical duty in daily life, to which an exhortation may not be found somewhere in Scripture, reinforced by association with the Second Advent. (Isa. 66.; Malachi 3.; Dan. 12.)  "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord" (Jas. 5: 7).  "Let your moderation be known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand" (Phil. 4: 5) "Be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ" (Phil. 1: 10). Many a one who has been a professing Christian and Church member for years has borne witness to the fact that the acceptance of the Advent doctrine and its results in daily life were equal to a second conversion.  The effect upon the life is revolutionary.  Doubtful practices long indulged have been given up; burdensome weights have been laid aside; besetting sins have been overcome, and more fruitful service has been enjoyed.

 

BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT LOVES IT AND PRAYS FOR IT

 

Another cause for loving the Second Coming is found in the fact that the Holy Spirit loves it and prays for it.  "The Spirit and the bride say, Come" (Rev. 22: 17; Psa. 24: 7 and 53: 6).  The commentators tell us that this first call is the united cry of the Holy Spirit and the Church to an absent Christ.  In the latter part of the verse the appeal is made to the unsaved.  The Holy Spirit desires the return of the Saviour, not because He is inadequate to accomplish His appointed work in the present age, but because at the Second Coming He can inaugurate His world-wide work and be poured out upon all flesh (Joel 2: 28).  Every believer should, therefore, repeat and respond "Amen" to every prayer of the Spirit, and especially that with which the canon of Scripture closes: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22: 20).

 

BECAUSE THEN REWARDS AND CROWNS WILL BE GIVEN

Isa. 40: 1-10; Matt. 25.; 1 Cor. 3: 9-16; Rev. 22: 12-21.

 

Another fact that invests the Second Advent with particular interest and awakens the liveliest expectations concerning it, is that when the Lord Jesus comes, rewards of service are given and crowns conferred. (Eph. 2: 8, 9; John 5: 24).  It is one thing to be saved; it is another thing to be crowned.  A crown is a symbol of reward. We are saved by faith through grace.  We are crowned on the basis of service.

 

BECAUSE THE CURSE WILL BE REMOVED

Hosea 6: 1-3; Rev. 22: 3-21.

 

When the Lord Jesus comes, creation is to be delivered from its age-long curse.  When man fell, God said, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; ... thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee" (Gen. 3: 17, 18).  On account of sin, "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Rom. 8: 18-23).  The sounds of nature, the cries of animals, the songs of the birds are all pitched in a minor key.  Earth and sea and sky are full of fierce pursuit and cruel capture, of breathless escape and haunting fear.  The Miserere of nature will become a jubilate. "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree" (Isa. 55: 13).  Even the law of the jungle shall be changed, for "the lion shall eat straw like the ox" (Isa. 11: 7).

 

BECAUSE OUR LORD, THE KING OF KINGS, WILL THEN SHARE HIS THRONE WITH THE OVERCOMERS

Dan. 7: 13-27; Rev. 19: 9-16; 20: 6.

 

The Second Coming of Christ means His coronation upon the earth where He was rejected and crucified.  Before His birth the angel assured His mother that "the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David . . . and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1: 32, 33; Isa. 9: 2, 6, 7; Zech. 14: 4-9).  This promise still awaits fulfilment.

 

BECAUSE IT IS THE TIME OF RESURRECTION AND REUNION

Job. 19: 25-27; Psa. 16: 9; 50: 3-5; Isa. 26:19; 27: 13; Daniel 12: 1-3.

 

Resurrection is the antidote of death.  "Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15: 54).  We believe in the resurrection of the body because the body is all that goes into the grave. The spirit returns to God who gave it (1 Thess. 4: 13-18; 5: 1-13).  Death is not a friend, but an enemy, "the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Cor. 15: 26).  This hope brings comfort to the mourner and makes the separation which death brings endurable.  A glad reunion is close at hand beyond which we shall never say good-bye (Phil. 3.).  "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection" (Rev. 20: 5, 6). Matt. 7: 20-27; Psa. 126:1; John 14: 6; 10: 1, 9, 27-30.

 

BECAUSE IT IS A SAFEGUARD AGAINST ERROR

Eph. 6: 10-18; Isa. 52: 6-12; Matt. 7: 13-15; Luke 13 : 23-28; Rom. 1: 16-32; Isa. 66; 1-5.

 

Another reason for loving the Advent is found in the fact that the doctrine provides a potent safeguard against error in all its forms. Many deadly and God-dishonouring errors are being taught on every hand.  The people who cherish the hope of the Lordís return, however, are not often deceived or easily ensnared, because they are constantly reading and studying their bibles.  They verify what they hear by the Word, rejecting what does not conform to its teaching. (Isa. 7: 19, 20; John 5: 39; Matt. 22: 29.)  Any preacher or teacher, who holds or testifies to the doctrine of the Lordís Coming, is usually sound on all other doctrines of historic orthodoxy.  It is equally significant that no liberalist, destructive critic, or adherent of the new theology accepts it. All these deride as a mark of hopeless obscurantism. (Ezek. 20: 49; 2 Pet. 3: 3, 4.)

 

BECAUSE IT IS AN UNPOPULAR DOCTRINE

 Isa. 5: 19; Jer. 14: 13-19; Ps. 2: 1-3.

 

The unpopularity of the doctrine furnishes another reason why it should be held in high esteem.  Matthew 21: 33-44; Luke 19: 10-27. Our Saviour was condemned and crucified upon His Advent testimony.  "The high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.  Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witness?" (Matt. 26: 63-65).  Satan hates this truth especially because he knows that when the Lord Jesus comes, the pit opens for him.  He, therefore, does all he can to discredit it and bring it into disrepute.

 

BECAUSE IT BRINGS THE TRANSLATION AND CONSUMMATION OF REDEMPTION

Matt. 25: 1-13; John 18: 36; 14: 1-3; Luke 17: 20-36; John 17: 24.

 

Man is a compound being, composed of spirit, soul, and body. Sin has affected all. (Matt. 18: 1-7, 11; John 3: 3-5, 16, 36; 1: 12, 33; 14: 15-26; Acts 2: 38, 39; Isa. 53: 1-12 52: 1-3; Zeph. 1: 7, 8; Isa. 59: 6; 30: 18; Titus 2: 11-15; Acts 15: 14-18; Rev. 7: 1-7.Redemption is Godís reconstruction process. (Isa. 61: 10; Ps. 16: 5-11.)  The spirit is purified, the mind is clarified, the body glorified.*  This is full salvation. (Isa. 45: 21-25; Jer. 32: 5, 6; Rom. 8: 21-23.)  However far our spiritual life may progress upon this earth, we are lacking an essential element of our salvation until we are clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.  The sky, not the grave, is our goal (Ps. 15. and 84; Isa. 52: 15; 2 Cor. 5.).

 

[* Why has the author made no mention of the soul?  The spirit in man and his soul are not one; we consist of three elements - spirit, soul and body; the animating spirit being mentioned first in Scripture, (Jas. 2: 26).]

 

This is "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus", for which we are to live and work and pray.

 

-------

 

Galations 6: 7-9

 

All our toil for the Master will not be in vain,

We will meet all our labour in heaven again.

That is, If our service is His.

If we toil for the lucre that man holds as dear,

If we labour for honour that comes to us here.

Ah then, Not again

Shall we have His reward in the joy of His reign?

In the Lord we must labour if praise we would win,

Let us then, at this moment, true service begin

Tis thus,His blessings Heíll grant unto us.

If we do and we dare in the things He commands,

If we go and we come whensoever He demands,

Tis then, That again,

We shall have His rewards for a work genuine.