1. The Statement of this Fact.
To state in the fewest possible words the
broad fact itself - the Lord Jesus is coming back again. As we have seen, He
has gone away form this world. He ascended on high. But heaven is not to
retain Him for ever. Scripture declares that He is to vacate His Father's
throne where He is now seated, that He will descend to the air and receive His
people unto Himself, and, that subsequently, He will return to the earth to set
up His Millennial Kingdom.
The fact of our Lord's Return is set forth in the
New Testament as clearly and as fully as either of the other two facts to which
we have referred. The fact and truth of the second advent of Christ occupies a
commanding position in the New Testament. In our Lord's tender farewell
address to His disciples (John 14-16) the prospect and promise of His Return
was the first subject to which He directed their attention (John
14:1-3). After He had left His disciples, yea, while in the very act of
ascending, He sent two of His angels to tell them "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). In the first Epistle which the apostle
Paul was inspired to write, namely, the "Thessalonian," he referred in every
chapter to the Redeemer's Return. In his instructions to the Corinthians
concerning their celebration of the Lord's Supper, he wrote, "As often as ye
eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He
come" (1 Cor. 11:26). As we have already stated in another connection,
the first promise that was given to fallen man was that the woman's Seed
should come and bruise the Serpent's head - a prophecy which will not receive
its fulfillment until the time of our Lord's Return. The last recorded
words of our blessed Saviour, found in the closing chapter of the Bible, were,
"Surely I come quickly" (Rev. 22:20). Thus we see that at the beginning
and also at the end of the Sacred Volume, the Blessed Hope is given
prominence, while between these two utterances of God Himself are literally
hundreds of verses which bear directly upon this precious theme. The same Book
which tells us that our Lord came to this earth and went away; the same Book
which tells us that God the Spirit is now present on the earth, also declares
that the Lord Jesus is coming back again, and, as another has said, "If we
admit one fact we must admit all: if we deny one, we must deny all; inasmuch as
all rest upon precisely the same authority. They stand or fall together."
The fact of our Lord's Return is stated in the
most positive, emphatic, and unequivocal language. "I will come again"
(John 14:3). He did not say, "I may come again," or "I intend to come again,"
but "I will come again." Moved by the Holy Spirit the apostle Paul
wrote "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven" etc. (I Thess. 4:16).
The apostle did not say "We shall go to the Lord," or "The Lord will send
for us" but "The Lord Himself shall descent." The fact of our
Lord's Return is not set forth in mysterious and obscure figures of speech, but
is stated in language so plain and simple that he who runs may read and is
expressed in terms of finality, beyond which there is no appeal. "For yet a
little while and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry" (Heb.
10:37). And again, "Surely I come quickly" (Rev. 22:20).