Fragment: Two Aspects of the Lord's Coming

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There are two great aspects of the Lord's coming, one as to blessing to the church, the other as to judgment on the ungodly; this, in principle, answers to the resurrection-the saints are led to a thing of hope to them, not the alarm of judgment. The Lord is coming to gather the saints-and this in the first resurrection. He is also coming to judge the quick and the dead-this is alarming; this is not the hope of the saint; this is distinct; the quick will be judged consequent on the revelation of the man of sin; this settles for the saint's relief. He will first be with the gathered ones; the dead will be judged consequent on the 1000 years; this then he is not looking for. When the virgins went out, it was to get blessing; it was to meet the bridegroom-this was their hope; nothing is said as to coming judgment as to immediate expectation; the church will see the Lord in glory, and be with Him, they know not when; the world will be judged, it knows not when-because it has no knowledge as to the man of sin, which would be its intelligence that the day could not be until his revelation, for the world will be deceived by him. This appears to be the character of teaching in 2 Thess. 2. "We beseech you, brethren, by the coming (παρουσιας) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him (this the great hope of the church), that ye be not soon shaken (απο του νοος), from this mind (i.e., from the immediate hope of positive blessing) or be troubled.... as that the day of Christ is present;" that is, neither be shaken from the hope of being gathered, or be troubled, as to the judgment of the day; because there must be the apostasy before the judgment of the day. Thus, as it would hinder the hope, and trouble the saints, to have confused notions of the resurrection, so would it as to the Lord's coming. The Lord will not be revealed in judgment until the revelation of the man of sin. The mystery of this is working now; but the revelation is hindered by a hindering thing, to be taken out of the way in the Lord's time. When this is taken out of the way, then the man of sin will be revealed; and when he has run his course, then the Lord will come and judge him; therefore, let no one trouble you as to the day of the Lord being present now; it cannot be, because this apostasy has not been exhibited, but let no one shake you from the presence of the Lord, and our gathering together unto Him. Hold, and look for this: thus they would be wrong to disconnect (ταχεως) the notions of that time with their gathering together; or to introduce immediate expectation (ενεστηκεν) with reference to manifestation for judgment.-From the MSS. of T. T. Ed.