is coming with clouds and with great
glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and
to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honor those who have
loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten
them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our
dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when "the dead
shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Cor. 15:52. A little
longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty. A little longer, and He will wipe all
tears from our eyes. A little longer, and He will present us "faultless before the
presence of His glory with exceeding joy." Jude 24. Wherefore, when He gave the signs
of His coming He said, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and
lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
- As It Was In
- But the day and the hour of His coming
Christ has not revealed. He stated plainly to His disciples that He Himself could not make
known the day or the hour of His second appearing. Had He been at liberty to reveal this,
why need He have exhorted them to maintain an attitude of constant expectancy? There are
those who claim to know the very day and hour of our Lords appearing. Very earnest
are they in mapping out the future. But the Lord has warned them off the ground they
occupy. The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is Gods mystery.
Christ continues, pointing out the condition of the world at His coming: "As the days
of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were
before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the
day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the Flood came, and took them all
away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Christ does not here bring to
view a temporal millennium, a thousand years in which all are to prepare for eternity. He
tells us that as it was in Noahs day, so will it be when the Son of man comes again.
How was it in Noahs
day? "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every
imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Gen. 6:5. The
inhabitants of the antediluvian world turned from Jehovah, refusing to do His holy will.
They followed their own unholy imagination and perverted ideas. It was because of their
wickedness that they were destroyed; and today the world is following the same way. It
presents no flattering signs of millennial glory. The transgressors of Gods law are
filling the earth with wickedness. Their betting, their horse racing, their gambling,
their dissipation, their lustful practices, their untamable passions, are fast filling the
world with violence.
- Iniquity Shall
- In the prophecy of Jerusalems
destruction Christ said, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax
cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of
the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then
shall the end come." This prophecy will again be fulfilled. The abounding iniquity of
that day finds its counterpart in this generation. So with the prediction in regard to the
preaching of the gospel. Before the fall of Jerusalem, Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit,
declared that the gospel was preached to "every creature which is under heaven."
Col. 1:23. So now, before the coming of the Son of man, the everlasting gospel is to be
preached "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." Rev. 14:6, 14.
God "hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world." Acts 17:31.
Christ tells us when that day shall be ushered in. He does not say that all the world will
be converted, but that "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world
for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." By giving the gospel to
the world it is in our power to hasten our Lords return. We are not only to look for
but to hasten the coming of the day of God. 2 Peter 3:12, margin. Had
the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the
whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus
would have come to our earth in power and great glory.
- Those Who Heed The
Warning Will Be Saved
- After He had given the signs of His coming,
Christ said, "When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God
is nigh at hand." "Take ye heed, watch and pray." God has always given men
warning of coming judgments. Those who had faith in His message for their time, and who
acted out their faith, in obedience to His commandments, escaped the judgments that fell
upon the disobedient and unbelieving. The word came to Noah, "Come thou and all thy
house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me." Noah obeyed and was
saved. The message came to Lot, "Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will
destroy this city." Gen. 7:1; 19:14. Lot placed himself under the guardianship of the
heavenly messengers, and was saved. So Christs disciples were given warning of the
destruction of Jerusalem. Those who watched for the sign of the coming ruin, and fled from
the city, escaped the destruction. So now we are given warning of Christs second
coming and of the destruction to fall upon the world. Those who heed the warning will be
Because we know not the exact
time of His coming, we are commanded to watch. "Blessed are those servants, whom the
Lord when He cometh shall find watching." Luke 12:37. Those who watch for the
Lords coming are not waiting in idle expectancy. The expectation of Christs
coming is to make men fear the Lord, and fear His judgments upon transgression. It is to
awaken them to the great sin of rejecting His offers of mercy. Those who are watching for
the Lord are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they
combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is
quickened to cooperate with the divine intelligence's in working for the salvation of
souls. These are the faithful and wise servants who give to the Lords household
"their portion of meat in due season." Luke 12:42. They are declaring the truth
that is now especially applicable. As Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses each declared the
truth for his time, so will Christs servants now give the special warning for their
But Christ brings to view
another class: "If that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his
coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the
drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him."
The evil servant says in his heart, "My lord delayeth his coming." He does not
say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in
his heart and by his actions and words he declares that the Lords coming is delayed.
He banishes from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His
influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. They are confirmed in their
worldliness and stupor. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind.
The evil servant eats and drinks with the drunken, unites with the world in pleasure
seeking. He smites his fellow servants, accusing and condemning those who are faithful to
their Master. He mingles with the world. Like grows with like in transgression. It is a
fearful assimilation. With the world he is taken in the snare. "The lord of that
servant shall come . . . in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder,
and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites."
- I Will Come On Thee As A
- "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I
will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon
thee." Rev. 3:3. The advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers. They are
saying, "Peace and safety." Like the priests and teachers before the fall of
Jerusalem, they look for the church to enjoy earthly prosperity and glory. The signs of
the times they interpret as foreshadowing this. But what saith the word of Inspiration?
"Sudden destruction cometh upon them." 1 Thess. 5:3. Upon all who dwell on the
face of the whole earth, upon all who make this world their home, the day of God will come
as a snare. It comes to them as a prowling thief.
The world, full of rioting,
full of godless pleasure, is asleep, asleep in carnal security. Men are putting afar off
the coming of the Lord. They laugh at warnings. The proud boast is made, "All things
continue as they were from the beginning." "Tomorrow shall be as this day, and
much more abundant." 2 Peter 3:4; Isa. 56:12. We will go deeper into pleasure loving.
But Christ says, "Behold, I come as a thief." Rev. 16:15. At the very time when
the world is asking in scorn, "Where is the promise of His coming?" the signs
are fulfilling. While they cry, "Peace and safety," sudden destruction is
coming. When the scorner, the rejecter of truth, has become presumptuous; when the routine
of work in the various money-making lines is carried on without regard to principle; when
the student is eagerly seeking knowledge of everything but his Bible, Christ comes as a
Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the times are ominous. Coming events
cast their shadows before. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth, and calamity
follows calamity by sea and by land. There are tempests, earthquakes, fires, floods,
murders of every grade. Who can read the future? Where is security? There is assurance in
nothing that is human or earthly. Rapidly are men ranging themselves under the banner they
have chosen. Restlessly are they waiting and watching the movements of their leaders.
There are those who are waiting and watching and working for our Lords appearing.
Another class are falling into line under the generalship of the first great apostate. Few
believe with heart and soul that we have a hell to shun and a heaven to win.
The crisis is stealing
gradually upon us. The sun shines in the heavens, passing over its usual round, and the
heavens still declare the glory of God. Men are still eating and drinking, planting and
building, marrying, and giving in marriage. Merchants are still buying and selling. Men
are jostling one against another, contending for the highest place. Pleasure lovers are
still crowding to theaters, horse races, gambling hells. The highest excitement prevails,
yet probations hour is fast closing, and every case is about to be eternally
decided. Satan sees that his time is short. He has set all his agencies at work that men
may be deceived, deluded, occupied and entranced, until the day of probation shall be
ended, and the door of mercy be forever shut.
- Watch Ye Therefore, And
- Solemnly there come to us down through the
centuries the warning words of our Lord from the Mount of Olives: "Take heed to
yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness,
and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." "Watch ye
therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things
that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
The Desire of Ages Pp.
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