The Two Comings

Isaiah

The Two Comings

December 17th, 1972 @ 10:50 AM

Isaiah 9:6-7

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
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THE TWO COMINGS

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Matthew 11:2-19

12-17-72     10:50 a.m.

 

On the radio and on television you are sharing with us the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  And to the several hundreds of thousands of you that are looking at this service and listening to it in five different states, we share with you gladly and happily and prayerfully the wonderful good tidings that the angels brought to the startled shepherds when they announced the birth of the Savior of the world [Luke 2:8-14].  But there is more, there is much more.  And that gives title to the sermon today, The Two Comings, The Two Comings.

Almost unconsciously, and certainly unplannedly, when we think of the coming of our Lord into the world, we merge both of them, the first and the second.  And it is so easy for us to shift, to move from one to the other.  I want to give you an example of that in a very beautiful and famous poem entitled “Once in Royal David’s City.”  And you watch how the poet will speak of the first coming and of the second coming, and they be right together, following one another in the poem.

Once in royal David’s city

Stood a lowly cattle shed,

Where a mother laid her Baby

In a manger for His bed:

Mary was that mother mild,

Christ Jesus, her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,

Who is God and Lord of all,

And His shelter was a stable,

And His cradle was a stall;

With the poor, and mean, and lowly,

Lived on earth our Savior holy.

now look, he’ll just shift; he won’t say he’s going to shift, it just fits—

And our eyes at last shall see Him,

Through His own redeeming love,

For that Child so dear and gentle

Is our Lord in heav’n above,

And He leads His children on

To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,

With the oxen standing by,

We shall see Him; but in heaven,

Set at God’s right hand on high;

When like stars His children crowned

All in white shall gather round.

[“Once in Royal David’s City,” Cecil Francis Alexander]

It’s just all together.  And it fits.  And when I read the poem, which is just typical of all of us, when I read the poem you have no feeling of incongruity when he will speak of one and in the next breath speak of the other.

That is exactly what we find in the Old Testament, in the prophecies.  In the same breath that they spoke of the first coming of our Lord, they will also speak of the second; in the same sentence.  And that is true all through the pages of the Old Covenant.  The first coming and the second coming appeared as one great entity, one marvelous promise, one gloriously revealed truth to all of the prophets of the Old Covenant.

It’s kind of like looking at a star, and to our naked eyes as we look up to the chalice of the sky, it shines as one glorious luminary orb.  But if you get a telescope, in some instances you will find that that one star is not one, it is two.  And they’re separated one behind the other by millions of light years.

It is like looking at a mountain range, and what appears to us as one mountain, when you get there you will find it to be two, one behind the other, and a great valley in between.  So it is in the prophecies of the coming of our Lord in the Old Testament.  To the prophet, it looked as though it were one.  And in the same breath, and in the same sentence, and sometimes with the same syllables, they will speak of the coming as one; though actually it is two.

Now I want you to see that.  And we’re going, for a minute we’re going through the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, and I want you to see that.  First, we’ll take the protevangelium, the gospel before the gospel, the protevangelium.  In Genesis 3:15, “And the Lord God said to the serpent, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed, as of one; it shall crush thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.”  In the same breath are both comings of our Lord.  This is the first coming, “Thou shalt bruise His heel”;—you are going to nail Him to the cross—“but He shall crush thy head,” that is the second coming.  And yet both of them are presented there in the same breath, in the same sentence.

Now again I turn to the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis and the tenth verse; Jacob, Israel, who is a prophet, turns to his fourth son Judah and says to him, “Judah, the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver between his feet, until Shiloh come;  and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” [Genesis 49:10].  There are both of them in one breath.  Judah will be a kingdom, he will be a nation, he will be a tribe, he will be a government until Shiloh come; that’s the first coming of our Lord.  And here’s the second coming, “And unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.”  That’s the second coming.  There’s certainly no gathering of Israel’s people to Jesus now.  They are in the Diaspora.  They’re scattered to the ends of the earth.  But there is coming a time when Judah and the people of Israel will gather around their true Messiah, the Christ Lord.  There both comings are in the same breath: “Shiloh come,” Judah will be a government until that day; that’s the first coming.  “And unto Him shall the great convocation of His people be,” that’s the second coming in the same breath, in the same sentence.

Now I turn again to 2 Samuel chapter 7.  This is Nathan the prophet speaking to David: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee” [2 Samuel 7:12].  That’s the first coming.  Now the second coming, “And I will establish His throne forever; thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee, thy throne shall be established forever” [2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16].  That’s the second coming.  I don’t see any throne of David now anywhere in this earth, nor do I see his kingdom.  But there is coming a millennial reign of our Lord, when He dispenses judgment and justice to the ends of the earth on the throne of His father David.  That is the second coming.  Yet both of them are here in the same breath [2 Samuel 7:12-13].

I turn again to the ninth chapter of the Book of Isaiah, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given” [Isaiah 9:6].  That is the first coming.  Now the second coming, “And the government shall be upon His shoulder. . . of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever” [Isaiah 9:6-7].  That is the second coming.  And they are right there side by side.

All right, I turn the page.  And here it is again in the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, the one you just read.  “There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots; and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him” [Isaiah 11:1-2].  That is the first coming.  Now the second coming:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. . .and the lion shall eat straw like an ox. . .

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

[Isaiah 11:6, 7, 9]

 

That is the second coming!  That’s certainly not now.  If the lamb dwells with the wolf now, he’s on the inside of the wolf.  “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all God’s creation” [Isaiah 11:9].  My, they are stacking up atomic bombs, and hell bombs, and H-bombs, and improving our bombers day and night in order for the final conflagration.  But they are right together in the same breath.  “There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, a Branch growing out of his roots” [Isaiah 11:1]; the thing is cut down but it grew back, and that is Jesus in His first coming.  And then the final millennial reign, which is the second coming [Isaiah 11:6, 7, 9].

All right, I turn again to Isaiah 53.  “Who hath believed our report?”  I am going to tell you something so marvelous you won’t believe it.  “He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:  He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. . .He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” [Isaiah 53:2-4].  That is the first coming.  Now look at the second coming, the fifty-second chapter:

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for from henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised—

the unclean, the unjust, the vile, the wicked—

Shake thyself from the dust; arise O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

[Isaiah 52:1-2]

That’s the second coming.  All of them right there in the same breath [Isaiah 53:1-4, 52:1-2].  We could just go on and on.  Let’s take one other, maybe two others.

Let’s take one other, here in Zechariah, “Rejoice greatly,” ninth chapter of Zechariah, “O rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:  behold, look, thy King cometh unto thee:   He is just, and having salvation; lowly, riding upon an ass, upon a colt the foal of an ass” [Zechariah 9:9].  That is the first coming.  Now in the same breath, “And His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River even to the ends of the earth” [Zechariah 9:10]; for the Lord shall be King over all the earth. That is the second coming.

All right, let’s just take one other, then we’ll quit going through this Old Testament.  It’s all this way.  Here’s the first coming, “Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me”—that is John the Baptist and the first coming—“and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple” [Malachi 3:1].  That’s the first coming.  Now the second coming:

But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth?  for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap, like a laundryman’s soap:

And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver:  He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

[Malachi 3:2-3]

That is the second coming.  The two are always together, side by side, in the Old Covenant.  They never saw the distance between.

Now, that was the quandary that faced all of the disciples and all of the personalities in the New Covenant, in the New Testament.  For example, in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Matthew, that was the quandary of John the Baptist.  How is it that those two comings which are presented in the Old Testament as one, how is it that both of those things could happen at the same time that He came lowly and meek [Matthew 11:29], and despised, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief [Isaiah 53:3]; and at the same time be the Lord God sitting on the throne of David and presiding over a kingdom and dominion forever [2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16], how is that both?

These in the New Testament did not understand and that was the quandary of––now we’re going to look at the New Testament and we’re going to see that quandary again, and again, and again––let’s take it first in John the Baptist.  In the eleventh chapter of the Book of Matthew it says, “Now when John had heard in his prison the works of Christ,” now you’ve got to look at the Bible carefully.  These are not words that are just adventitiously used.  Every word is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God [2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16].  “Now when John had heard in his prison the works of the Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto Him, Art Thou the Coming One—erchomai—or do we look for yet another?”  [Matthew 11:2-3].

Now, you get out all of your commentaries and all of your Sunday school literature, and there will be the Sunday school teacher, and he’ll stand up before his class, and he’ll say, “I’ve read the literature, and I’ve read the commentaries, and I prepared the message, and this is John the Baptist in prison.  Because he is incarcerated, he is beginning to waiver and to doubt, and he has lost his faith in the Messiah that he has presented.  So he is trying to find out whether Jesus is the true Messiah or not.  John is overwhelmed with doubt!”

That’s what you read, universally.  And the Lord Himself said in the same chapter of Matthew, just a few verses down, “What do you think that man John the Baptist is like?  Is he like a reed, blown in the wind?  Is he soft and effeminate like a man dressed in the clothing of those who are filled with ennui in a king’s palace? [Matthew 11:7-8]. No,” said Jesus, “John the Baptist is made out of solid iron!”  Yet these commentators say, “Because he is in prison, John has melted down.  He has lost his courage and his faith.”  Jesus says just the opposite!   There never was a man made out of steel, blue steel, like John the Baptist.  Then we turn around and say, “Because he was placed in prison, he has lost his faith, and he has fallen into doubt.”  No!

What was the matter with John the Baptist was what was the matter with all of those who looked upon Christ; they were in a quandary.  How is it that He comes to be meek, and lowly [Matthew 11:29], and our Savior [Luke 2:11], and at the same time He is to be the Lord God over all the earth? [1 Timothy 6:15].  “So John the Baptist sent to the Christ.”  Why don’t we read the Book?  “John sent to Christ” [Matthew 11:2-3].

Why, if he was doubting the Lord Jesus, He would have been the last one in the world he would have asked about Him.  If he didn’t have any faith in Him,   if he had lost faith in Him, he would not ask Him!  He had faith in the Lord because He was the Lord Christ!  “So John the Baptist sent to the Lord Christ and said to Him, I do not understand, are You that ultimate and final Coming One, or is there yet another Christ who is coming?  Are there two of them instead of one?” [Matthew 11:2-3]. That’s what John wanted to know.

See, John preached both of them.  John preached both comings.  John preached the first coming of the Lord when he said, “Look, there is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world [John 1:29].  There is the meek and lowly suffering Lamb brought to the slaughter, who is to carry our sins away.”  That’s the first coming.  But John the Baptist also preached the second coming.

He stood up there and he said to those Pharisees, and Sadducees, and all the rest of those rulers, and elders, and scribes, he said to them, “The axe is laid at the foot of the tree; and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, He is going cut it down and cast it into the fire!” [Matthew 3:10]. John the Baptist looked at them again, and he said, he said, “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He is going to separate the wheat from the chaff; and the wheat He is going to gather into the garner, but the chaff, He is going to burn with unquenchable fire!” [Matthew 3:12].  That is the second coming of the Lord.  He is not doing that now.  That is when He comes back again.  John the Baptist preached both comings.  And what he did in that prison, seeing the Lord Jesus the humble Servant, the suffering Servant, he couldn’t understand.  So he asked Jesus about it.  That is because he had faith in the Lord.  He asked the Lord about it.  He asked the Christ about it.  “What is this, I do not understand?” [Matthew 11:2-3].

All right, let’s take Simon Peter.  In the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord, right after He said, “Simon Peter, you are a petros, and on this petra—on this great confession of faith that I am the Christ, the Son of God—I am going to build My ekklēsia[Matthew 16:16-18].  Then Simon Peter said, when the Lord announced that He is going to be crucified and going to die, Simon Peter said, “Lord, that be far from Thee.  Why, You are the King of Israel and the Lord of the earth!  You are going to die?  Well it’s impossible to think of it.”  The Lord turned to Simon Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan.”  Satan had him, “Get behind Me, Satan, for thou savorest not the things of God, but of men” [Matthew 16:21-23].   You see, Simon Peter couldn’t understand how He could die; the first coming.

All right, let’s take the people.  In the twelfth chapter of the Book of John, when the Greeks came to see Him and reminded the Lord of the great kingdom of the gospel in the church, well He said, “And I, [if] I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me,”  “this spake He, signifying by what death, by crucifixion, He should die” [John 12:32-33]. But the people said, now look at the next sentence.  “But the people said, we have heard, we have read”—and they did it, and I just read some of those things to you out of the Old Testament—“We have heard, we have read that the Christ abideth forever, He is a King forever;  how do You say that the Son of Man must be lifted up?” [John 12:34].  They didn’t understand.  They didn’t understand.

All right, let’s take one other.  In the first chapter of the Book of Acts, the disciples are watching Jesus ascend into heaven [Acts 1:9-10].  But before He left, the disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, what of the kingdom?  What of Your kingship, Lord?  Will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” [Acts 1:6].  There’s that same quandary.  Where is the kingdom, and where is the King?  And what of its establishment in the earth?  We don’t understand.  And here You are going back to heaven and leaving us here, and there is no kingdom and there is no throne of David.  We don’t understand.

Well, what is this?  In the third chapter of the Book of Ephesians, that whole chapter there is a resolution of that quandary.  That’s what the third chapter of Ephesians is about [Ephesians 3:1-21].  For the apostle Paul says that there’s a great mustērion.  We translated it mystery [Ephesians 3:3-4].  It is mustērion.  It’s a Greek word we’ve taken and put in the English language.  But we’ve changed the meaning of it.

A mystery to us is a riddle hid in an enigma wrapped up in the inexplicable.  But there’s nothing of the meaning of that in the original Greek word.  A mustērion is a secret hid in the heart of God that God kept to Himself.  And He never revealed it until, the apostle says, He revealed it unto His apostles [Ephesians 3:4-5].  There was a great musterion, a great secret in the heart of God that He never revealed to the prophets, until the days of the apostles.  And especially to Paul did Christ reveal it; which is, that between the first coming and the second coming, there is a great hiatus.  There’s a great interlude.  There’s a great intervention.  It is the day of grace.  It is the day of the Holy Spirit.  It is the day of the preaching of the gospel of the Son of God.  It is the day of the creation of a new body, the ekklēsia, the church of Jesus Christ.  And the marvel, Paul says that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same faith, and of the same household, and partakers of the same blessings as the chosen family of God [Ephesians 3:5-12].  God never revealed that to the prophets.  They never saw it! [Ephesians 3:5].

I just read in the beginning of the sermon that when the prophets looked forward to the coming of the Christ, always the two were together.  They never saw that intervention, that interlude in between [Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25].  And when somebody takes the Old Testament and finds prophecies there concerning the church, he’s eisegeting, he’s reading it into it!  It is not there!  For the Scriptures themselves say that the prophets never saw the church, never! [Ephesians 3:5]. They never saw that interlude in there.  It was a mustērion that was “kept secret in the heart of God, until the time that He revealed it to His holy apostles” [Ephesians 3:5].

So what God did was, He sent His Son first—the first coming—to be born lowly, humble, in a cattle stall.  And because they were poor, they never had any little dresses for the little Baby, so they wrapped Him in rags.  You have it in the Bible called swaddling clothes [Luke 2:7].  They wrapped Him in rags and put Him on the hay.  He was so poor.  And He grew up like a root out of a dry ground [Isaiah 53:2].

Who would ever thought that out of Nazareth, and out of Galilee, and out of a carpenter’s shop should come the Savior of the world?  And He was full of grief and sorrow for the hurt of humanity.  He carried our sicknesses, and He shared all of our illnesses [Isaiah 53:3-4].  And He died for our sins [1 Corinthians 15:3].  That is the first coming!

But the story is not done.  The same glorious Scriptures that promised in detail the features and the outline of the coming of the Lord the first time, those same Scriptures outline in detail the glorious coming of our Lord the second time.  And if God was faithful in bringing His Son into the world the first time, according to the prophecies, He will be faithful also in keeping those promises when Christ comes into the world the second time.  You look how long it was before the first prophecy [Genesis 3:15], the first coming was fulfilled.

When were Adam and Eve created?  If you have a certain kind of a Bible, you look up there at the top and they’ve got Bishop Ussher’s dates.  I don’t have anything against Bishop Ussher.  He was a great man of God, even though he was an Anglican; he was a great scholar.  So they take Bishop Ussher’s dates and up there you’ll read 4000 BC, 4000 BC.

Then you read about the creation of Adam and Eve [Genesis 1:26-28, 2:21-25].  I tell you, you talk about plunging the kid into all kinds of trouble when he goes to school, that’ll sure do it.  Oh, that’ll wind him up.  That’ll turn him upside down.  He won’t know what.  Well, what because the teacher at school has thrown him a curve?  No, no.  It comes from putting that in the Bible; 4000 BC, God created Adam and Eve.  Why, it’s funny.  To me it’s a joke.  Why, we’ve got civilizations that are older than 4000 BC.  What happened in the genealogical tables is this.  There were thousands and thousands for all we know of generations that were left out, because the Bible’s not interested in naming every one of those men on down.  What the Scriptures are doing is following a line of promise.  You have it as that in the first chapter of Matthew in the first verse, “Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham!” [Matthew 1:1].  It’s not particularly interested in naming every one of them, it’s just going down the line.

We don’t know when Adam was created.  Uncounted, maybe, thousands of years ago Adam was created.  We don’t know.  It is immaterial.  What I’m pointing out to you in the message right now is that in the day that Adam and Eve fell [Genesis 3:1-6], in that day, God promised that there should be born of a woman, the Seed of a woman, there should be born Him who would crush Satan’s head, who would deliver us from the power of the serpent [Genesis 3:15].  Now you think how long that was in fulfillment.

Last Sunday morning, remember, I preached on Galatians 4:4, “In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.”  All of the ages of history conspired to prepare for the coming of the Savior into the world.  And it took centuries, and millennia, and other centuries, and other millennia.  It took thousands of years, but finally He came [Matthew 1:23], just in the same way that the prophets had said in the Bible.

Now my brethren and my sisters in Jesus, the same Lord God has promised that He is coming again [Acts 1:11; Hebrews 9:28].  I can see the first coming.  Why do I sometimes stagger before the promises of God at His second coming?  The same Lord God that faithfully kept His word and His promises of the first coming, the same Lord God will keep His promises and His word regarding the second coming.  It’ll be the same blessed Jesus that we’re looking for.

You know, I don’t suppose there’s a liberal in the earth that believes in the return of the Lord, not a one of them.  They don’t believe in the virgin birth [Matthew 1:23].  Neither do they believe in the return of the Lord [Acts 1:10-11].  So they look at those promises about the coming of Jesus, and this is what they say:  they say the coming of the Lord was fulfilled in 70 AD in the destruction of Jerusalem.  Or the coming of the Lord was fulfilled in the modern advancements of science.  Or the coming of the Lord is fulfilled in the great humanitarian, philanthropic movements in the earth.  Or the coming of the Lord is fulfilled in the worldwide propagation of the gospel.  Or the coming of the Lord was fulfilled in the writing of the Constitution of the United States or some other thing like that, and there are a thousand things that they mention.

Is that what I am to look for?  In looking for the Son of God I am to look for the destruction of a great city, or I am to look for some advancement in science, or I’m to look for some political document, or I’m to look for some great international achievement!  Is that what we’re to look for?

What were they looking for the first time?  They were looking for the blessed Savior from heaven.  What do we look for the second time?  We’re to look for that same blessed Lord from heaven [Titus 2:13].  Oh, how the Lord emphasizes that in the Bible!  In the fourth chapter of the first Thessalonian letter, Paul will write, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God,” for the Lord Himself, the same Lord, it is He who is coming [1 Thessalonians 4:16].  It is He for whom we are waiting.  It is Jesus the Christ.

Or take the first chapter of Acts.  There those disciples are, looking up into heaven, watching Jesus as He goes up into heaven, and they are just staring up there into the sky [Acts 1:9-10].  They have lost every hope.  They have lost every dream.  They have lost every promise.  They are alone!  And they stand there forlorn, watching Jesus separated from them, going up into heaven.  And an angel comes and taps them on the shoulder and says, “What you doing?  What you doing staring up, gazing up into heaven?  What you doing?”  Then the angel says, “This same Jesus, this same Jesus,” it is Jesus we are looking for [Titus 2:13].  We are not waiting for tribulations, or woes, or trumpets, or destruction of cities, or political instruments, or achievements of some, looking for Him.  “This same Jesus shall so come in like manner, with clouds descending, as ye have seen Him go” [Acts 1:10-11].  That is the second coming.  And the same God that brought to pass His promises in the first, the same Lord God is going to keep His promises in the second.

It is not for a sign we are watching. . .

For wonders above and below

The pouring of vials of judgment,

The sounding of trumpets of woe;

It is not for a Day we are looking

Not even a time yet to be

When the earth shall be filled with God’s glory

As the waters cover the sea;

As great as that is,

It is not for a King we are longing

To make the world kingdoms His own;

It is not for a Judge who shall summon

The nations of earth to His throne.

. . .

As great as that is,

We wait for our Lord, our Beloved,

Our Comforter, Master, and Friend,

The substance of all that we hope for,

Beginning of faith and its end;

We watch for our Savior and Bridegroom,

Who loved us and made us His own;

For Him we are looking and longing;

For Jesus, and Jesus alone.

[“The Lord Himself,” Annie Johnson Flint]

He is coming.  He is coming [Acts 1:10-11].  And as He came the first time [Matthew 1:22-23], in keeping with all of the promises of God [Luke 24:27], He will come the second time, just like God says in His Book [Acts 1:10-11].  He may delay.  It may be a long, long time.  It may be hundreds of years yet.  I don’t know.  God in His purpose saw fit best that we don’t know.  But He is coming, and it will be the same Lord Jesus!

Ah, just think, what a day that will be, when the heavens are rolled back like a scroll [Revelation 6:14], accompanied by all of the angelic hosts and the redeemed [Revelation 1:7], and on clouds, on the shekinah glory of God, He descends [Matthew 16:27].  Oh, can I actually believe that these dull stolid eyes will see that?  That my heart shall leap in expectancy of that?  It’s too good to be true.

The first one was too good to be true, that God was made flesh and dwelt among us [John 1:14], and that He died to carry our sins away [1 Corinthians 15:3].  The second one is too good to be true also, but God said it.  We believe it and are rejoicing in it.  That’s why we’re singing songs, clapping our hands, praising the Lord, preaching the gospel, teaching the Word, bowing in prayer and adoration.  Our hearts are full to overflowing.  Jesus has come [Hebrews 9:28], and the same Lord Jesus is coming again [Acts 1:10-11].

Well, let’s sing us a song of appeal and invitation!  And somebody you to give himself to Jesus; a family you to put your life in the circle of our sweet fellowship, as God’s Holy Spirit shall press the appeal to your heart, make it now.  Come now.  Down one of these stairways, into the aisle and here to the front, on the first note of the first stanza, come.  Make it now, do it now, while we stand and while we sing.