THE COMING CRISIS

 

 

By KENNETH DE COURCY

 

 

It is exceedingly impressive that the Editor of one of the best informed magazines in the world - The Review of World Affairs - sees vividly the imminent crashing crisis of our Lordís return - ED., DAWN.

 

 

We should be in a poor way in building up our evidence for Christianity if we did not call upon the Old Testament prophets, because they exactly foretold, with minute detail, the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of our blessed Lord. We have a mighty confidence that the evidences for Christianity are overwhelming and decisive. We should no more dream of casting those evidences aside or belittling or disbelieving those prophets than, we should of attempting to eat to-morrowís breakfast in the moon. But the same prophets had a great deal to say about other subjects, too. They did not only deal with the first advent of the Messiah. They portrayed a whole design of events, to which the human race was to conform. They had a great deal to say about what would happen far beyond the first advent of Christ. They drew brilliant and vivid pictures of the course that human affairs would take right down the centuries, not only to the second coming of Christ, but, beyond it, into the time of blessedness.

 

 

The whole world is asking great questions about the future. What is going to happen? Towards what climax is the human world now rushing? If we are silent on this subject, then I think we shall be, of all men, most ineffective. If there is one thing for which the world is looking, it is an answer to this great question.

 

 

Is the world heading towards physical disintegration as a result of an atomic war? If the Church is going to remain silent on this subject, then we shall fail. The human family is at its most critical hour of need. The prophets, upon whom we so greatly rely in the case of the first Advent, have a vast amount to say about the drama of the human story. We should be unwise no doubt to play about too much with dates and times, though the prophet Daniel tells us that there will be clearer understanding of the details of the things he had to say at the time of the end, and, therefore, towards the time of Christís second coming. We thus have scriptural authority for thinking that we shall know more clearly the meaning of the prophets in this connection.

 

 

I think the time has come when, without becoming fanatics or sensationalists, lay people should, after a period of prayerful thought and humility, search the Scriptures afresh for instruction as to the future crises of the human story and that we should not be afraid boldly to proclaim the one thing which all the prophets foretold and of which the creeds speak in a sense, and of which the whole Communion Service constantly reminds us, namely, that Christ, who came the first time in humility, is to return again in glory. I greatly dislike beating about the bush.I do not see what object is served. The men in white apparel, of whom we read in the first chapter of Acts, clearly said that the same Lord Jesus, whom the disciples saw go up to Heaven at his glorious Ascension, was to come in like manner. Like manner means like manner, and I do not know why the Church does not boldly and triumphantly proclaim it, especially at a time like this.

 

 

I am constantly irritated by theologians telling me that St. Paul and others believed that Christís second coming was going to be in their day. A more remarkable thesis I have seldom heard. St. Paul went out of his way to tell his correspondents and to correct the impression which was already prevalent then, that he had no such opinion. All he did was to proclaim the fact that one day the blessed Lord would return as he had promised. He never said that he thought it would be in his time, though it was always the blessed hope, and rightly so, and we were enjoined to regard it as the blessed hope, but St. Paul particularly corrected the impression that foolish men still say he created.

 

 

But there is great evidence to suggest that we are now fast approaching the time when, unless the days are shortened, no flesh should live. No one can deny this. That being the case, I think that we should with prayer and humility search the Scriptures and proclaim the truths which they reveal to a perplexed and troubled world. What a grand and blessed hope it is that the human race will not in fact end bedrenched by atomic attacks, but whatever fearful ordeals we have to go through first, the whole story will in fact end with the breaking of the everlasting dawn, and a period of supreme blessedness and mighty dominion for our God and His Christ upon this planet and for this human race.

 

 

‑ The Record.