The Searching Solemnity Of The Second Coming Of Christ
We are taught in the Scriptures to be looking for Christ. Because we love the Saviour we love His appearing (2 Tim. 4:8). The second advent lays stress upon our holiness of life, for "every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He [the Lord] is pure" (1 John 3:3).
Second Peter 3:11-14 in the vivid translation by Phillips reads: "In view of the fact that all of these things are to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be? Surely men of good and holy character, who live expecting and earnestly longing for the coming of the day of God. True, this day will mean that the heavens will disappear in fire and the elements disintegrate in fearful heat, but our hopes are set not on these but on the new heavens and the new earth which He has promised us, and in which nothing but good shall live. Because, my dear friends, you have a hope like this before you, I urge you to make certain that such a day would find you at peace with God and man, clean and blameless in His sight."
Likewise the Lordís second coming stresses the need of our obedience to the instructions left us by our Lord, especially the Great Commission of preaching the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In view of the uncertainty as to just when our Lord will return we are admonished to be watching as well as waiting. The coming is the "blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ," and we are to live "soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (Tit. 2:12-13). In the light of our Lordís imminent return the Christian is to be detached inwardly from the praise and blame of the world, and should have a sound perspective as to the relative importance or unimportance of position and possessionsÖ.
The late Dr. A. B. Simpson, founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, preached often on the subject of the second coming. Some of his most stirring poetry is on the same topic. For example, he wrote and we should read with deep stirring of heart, his poem, "Sound the Alarm!"
Sound the Alarm!
Sound the alarm through the earth and the heavens!
Summon the slumbering world to attend!
Jesus is coming! The hour is impending!
Sound the alarm to earthís uttermost end!
Sound the alarm in the ears of the sinner!
Haste, ere the time of probation be past!
Now is the day of salvation, improve it;
Mercy long lingers, but doom comes at last.
Sound the alarm to the slumbering Christian!
Are you prepared should the Bridegroom appear,
Oil in your vessels, your lamps trimmed and burning?
Brother, be ready, the Master is near.
Sound the alarm to the millions that wander
Out in the darkness of heathendomís night!
Tell them the King of all kingdoms is coming;
Tell them of Jesus, and send them the light.
Sound the alarm to the scoffers and worldlings!
Long have ye mocked at His grace and His word.
"Look, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish,"
Where shall you hide in the day of the Lord?
A. B. Simpson