Posted: Thursday, December 31
Verse of the day:
He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon!" Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)
The promise of His return is a powerful motivator for the saints to deny the world and to live lives in preparation of His imminent return.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Tit. 2:11-14)
History is filled with the foolish who have attempted to establish dates, even general ones, at which Christ will finally come in fulfillment of this promise. These attempts are dangerous and can be more destructive than helpful.
I’d like to paraphrase what Archer Butler said, “To seek to delve more closely into these awesome secrets is vain. A sacred obscurity envelops them. The cloud that shrouded the actual presence of God on the mercy-seat, still shrouds his expected presence on the throne of judgment. It is an obscurity with purpose, a most salutary and useful obscurity, a wise and merciful denial of knowledge. In this matter it is his gracious will to be the perpetual subject of watchfulness, expectation, conjecture, fear, desire,—but no more. To cherish anticipation, he has permitted gleams of light to cross the darkness; to baffle presumption, he has made them only gleams. He has harmonized, with consummate skill, every part of his revelation to produce this general result. Speaking as if a few seasons more were to herald in the new heaven and new earth. As if His days were thousands of years; at one moment whispering into the ear of his disciple, as if ready to be revealed. Then at another, retreating into the depth of the infinite ages. It is His purpose to live in our faith and hope. Remote, yet near; pledged to no moment, yet possible at any. Worshipped, not with consternation of a near, or indifference of a distant certainty, but with the anxious vigilance that awaits a contingency ever at hand.”