VII. THE REDEEMERS RETURN IS NECESSITATED BY THE PRESENT DEGRADATION AND DESOLATION OF THE WORLD.
Here is a reason which ought to carry conviction
to every mind. If there is anything which imperatively needs our
Redeemer to Return it is surely this poor sin-cursed world of ours! Look at it
and what do we see? A world everywhere racked with suffering and out of joint.
A world convulsed with misery entailed by the Fall. A world now in its very
death-throes, with hope almost completely gone. Everything that man could
devise to better conditions and make this world a happier place has been tested
and proven a failure. Every possible form of human government has been tried,
each new one being as unsuccessful as the previous ones. Theocracy, democracy,
and mobocracy (the French Revolution, and Russia today) have each been weighed
in the balances and found wanting. Legislation, education and civilization
have all been built upon, only to find in the day of testing that they were
merely foundations of sand. Look where you will, on land or sea, in the air or
beneath the waters, and you will witness sin and death holding high carnival.
The world is dying for want of a competent Ruler.
On all sides iniquity is abounding more and more.
Crime is increasing, morality is decreasing; godlessness and lawlessness are
growing apace; while over all, hangs the dreadful pall of the world-war. In
the physical world, despite all our enlightenment, modern discoveries
and the organized activities of medical science, disease is carrying off an
ever increasing multitude year by year. The educational world is mainly
under the control of infidels and agnostics, under whose leadership the rising
generation is taught that the faith once for all delivered to the saints is an
idle superstition, or at best a religious garment which we have now outgrown.
In the economic world, greed and dishonesty are rapidly eating out the
very vitals of commercial stability, while the fight between capital and labor
threatens a revolution such as this world has not witnessed since the days when
the streets of Paris ran with blood. In the political realm there is so
much chicanery, and "graft" and "party" principles are so selfishly pursued,
that the self-respecting man is becoming loath to get mixed up with such filth
and rottenness. Each "party" is as corrupt as the other, and the believer in
Christ who is subject to God's Word will not hesitate to separate
himself from that which offers his Lord no place and has no concern for His
glory. In the moral realm, decay and putrefaction are witnessed upon
all sides. Temperance Reform Societies, Purity-campaigns and
Civic-righteousness Leagues are powerless to stem the tide of evil. The
Drink-Bill of every civilized (?) nation is growing heavier every year.
Immorality, both among the masses and those in high places, prevails to such a
fearful extent, that our large cities are modern Sodoms and Gomorrahs. In the
religious world, we gaze upon an apostate Christendom. Our
Theological Seminaries, with very rare exceptions, are teaching Darwinism and
Higher Criticism, while our pulpits are busily occupied with "echoing" these
God-dishonoring and Scripture-denying heresies, and on all sides the Gospel is
supplanted by political harangues or moral essays. The majority of our
churches are more than half empty, while the mid-week prayer meeting is almost
entirely a thing of the past. The few faithful servants of God that are left
on earth are boycotted, maligned and persecuted. The Lord's Day has become a
day of pleasure-seeking and now, Sabbath-desecration, in the form of seven days
a week work on the farms and in the munition factories, has been legalized by
every nation that is now at war. And, as we have said, over all hangs the
dreadful pall of this World War! Literally millions of men in the
prime of their manhood have already been slaughtered, while millions more have
been maimed for life in the vain effort to destroy militarism and establish a
lasting peace. Innumerable homes have been plunged into grief, and there is no
guarantee or even prospect but what millions more will suffer a like fate.
To-day the world stands helpless before the
inrushing tide of evil which threatens to decimate almost half of the human
race, and in its impotency a grief-stricken humanity is everywhere lifting up
piteous hands to Heaven as it cries for a Deliverer. True, the cry may not
always be articulated, yet it is audible nevertheless. True, the world, as a
whole, is blind to its spiritual wretchedness and apostate condition. True,
the canal mind is still enmity against God, yet, intelligent men realize that
the present order of things is a complete failure and are ready and longing for
a New Order. The world cries for deliverance, what shall be Heaven's response?
Again we say that only one answer is possible. While the Holy Scriptures
reveal the fact that the severest of God's judgments have not yet been poured
upon this world, which has for so long lived in pleasure and wantonness; while
the Holy Scriptures reveal the fact that the darkest hour of the night of
earth's sufferings and sorrows has not yet arrived; yet, they also teach, that
at the close of this night, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing
in His wings (Mal. 4:2). "Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong,
fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a
recompense; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind
shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then
shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dump sing: for in
the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the
parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in
the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and
rushes. And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the
way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those:
the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be
there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there:
but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall
obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (Isa.
35:4-10). That will be Heaven's response to earth's agonized cry!
Therefore we say that the present degradation and desolation of the world
necessitates our Redeemer's Return to take the government upon His
shoulder and to rule and reign in righteousness, for then, and not till then,
will every world problem find its final solution.