IX. THE REDEEMERS RETURN IS NECESSITATED BY THE SUPPLICATIONS OF THE CHURCH.
While our Lord was here upon earth He gave His
disciples a pattern prayer saying, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our
Father which art in heaven Hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come" (Matt. 6:9,
10). The Redeemer taught His saints to look forward to the future, to be
occupied with God's interests and purposes, and to pray for the coming
of His Kingdom, i.e., the Millennial Kingdom. Thus we learn that
our hope has to do, not with the present kingdoms of this world, but with the
coming Kingdom of God, which hope will be realized at the return of the
Redeemer Himself. It is clear from a number of Scriptures that the coming of
God's Kingdom synchronizes with the Return of Christ (see Luke 19:12; Rev.
11:15, etc.). The Hope of the Church centers in Christ and has to do with the
future rather than with the present, for "hope" always looks forward.
Therefore it is that the prayers of the Church must conform to and
correspond with its hope.
The last promise ever made by our Lord, made some
fifty or sixty years after His ascension, given to the beloved John on the Isle
of Patmos but recorded for the encouragement and joy of all His people
throughout the Christian dispensation, was "Surely I come quickly" (Rev.
22:20). The response to this promise is the prayer inspired by the Holy
Spirit, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." As this dispensation draws to its
close and as the Return of Christ is daily coming nearer, the Holy Spirit is
causing many to make this prayer their own. As the result of the recovery
of the "Blessed Hope" which throughout the Dark Ages was lost to the
Church, and as the result of the proclamation which is now being sounded forth
far and wide, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him," companies
of God's saints all over the earth are now daily crying, "Even so Come Lord
Jesus." And our God is a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God! He
who has taught so many of its members to long and pray for the Return of their
Saviour must satisfy that longing and answer that prayer. Therefore we
say that the expectations and supplications of the Church of God which He
purchased with His own Blood necessitate the personal Return of our