Looking For Christ’s Appearing
The next great event on the program of this world is the return of our Lord. He who came once is to come again. The first reason why He must be expected is because of His own words: "I will come again" (John 14:3). The second reason is that it is the declaration of angels: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). Third, it was the glorious theme of apostles and prophets: "The Lord Himself shall descend" (1 Thes. 4:16); "Looking for that blessed hope" (Titus 2:13); "Behold, He cometh with clouds" (Rev. 1:7).
One reason why some will not have faith when the Lord returns will be because of the lack of patience to "wait" and "watch" for Him. The Bible indicates that His coming may be delayed though none the less certain. In parabolic form it is declared that while the Lord of the vineyard tarried, the servants began to lose heart and faith, and to interest themselves in the enjoyment of temporal affairs (Matt. 24:45-51).
The first essential thing in watching and waiting is that we are not to be engrossed with earthly things. Those who would be found watching and ready when He comes, are not to be living the fleshly, selfish life that asks, "What shall I eat and drink, and wherewithal shall I be merry?" Alas! this is the central thought everywhere in Christendom today. The present tendency is to the sensual and the present rather than to the spiritual and the eternal. Consequently, Christianity has become largely a matter of form.
Among the ancient Romans it was the custom in certain places to keep watches. A Roman soldier perhaps would stand on guard for three hours, and then another would come and take his place for a further three hours, and so on. The true church of today is in the succession of a long line of watchmen. God has changed the watchers, but the watch remains.
Shall those who stand upon the walls of Zion today be less faithful than their heroic predecessors? Shall their vision become dimmed with the mists of vice and the blighting allurements of this world? Shall their ears fail to hear the advances of the enemy because of the sound of revelry and unholy mirth? Shall they be cowards, sluggards, and afraid, or shall they stand watchfully alert like the stalwarts in the brave days of old? (1 Cor. 16:13).
Let us remember this: Christ will come whether we look for Him or not! Let the members of the redeemed church of God be faithful at their post of duty – witnessing, waiting, watching – looking for the glorious appearing of the Son of God!
– Pillar of Fire, British Isles