Hope of the Lord's Coming: No. 3

Revelation 22:16
The next great event then, which the Christian is taught by the word of God to look for, is the coming of the Lord for us. This may take place at any time; we know not when. There are no signs given in scripture concerning it; for the Christian being already seated in heavenly places in Christ, looking for signs, or events to be fulfilled on earth, would not be consistent with this hope.
The Lord Himself may come today, or He may not. It was long ago it was said, " A little while and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry." Our place then is to be watching, for we know not when the time is. We are set by the Lord as loved, and saved, and blessed by Him, in the posture of looking for Him. Blessed attitude! It is indeed a purifying hope. Our Lord would have us earnest, active, faithful, loving, and watching, " as men that wait for their lord." Almost His last word to us is, " Behold I come quickly!"
The Lord's last presentation of Himself for our expectation is as u The Bright and Morning Star." The morning star comes after midnight and before daybreak. The first thought on seeing this star is that " the day is at hand;יי but it has not yet come. It is the harbinger of the day, but it is not the day. The Bright and Morning Star is oar hope. It is all peace, and love, and joy then. No judgment accompanies the Star. As only those who are awake and watching see a morning star, and perceive its brightness and good cheer, so it may be that those Only who are Christ's will see Him then. It will be the crowning act of divine grace, the finish of the work He has begun, to give us bodies like His own, and take us away to be forever with Himself. As all His ways of grace in us and to us, as the new birth, cleansing of conscience by His blood, and the gift of the Holy Ghost are all the secret workings of His power in our souls, why not His coming for us be also secret? Why may not unbelieving sinners so miss us as to know we are gone away, but not to know where? Why not send hither and thither in search of us, as the unbelieving sons of the prophets sent fifty strong men to search for the translated man of God? Why may it not be said again, as of faithful Enoch whom God took, that he was not found? We are taught then to look for the Savior, to wait for God's Son from heaven. He comes for His own. All others are simply left behind. Distressed no doubt they will be when they realize their sad state. Their frantic cry will be, " Lord, Lord, open unto us!" But it is too late! too late! they cannot enter now. The door is shut. Those alone who are Christ's have entered into glory, the others are untouched; all mere professors are left behind, to await their final doom. He comes then only to the air, and we are caught up to meet Him there.
But when Jesus comes out of heaven as "the Sun of Righteousness," He will come in manifested glory. Every eye shall see Him then, and we shall accompany Him. He comes in flaming fire. He comes in His own glory, and the Father's glory, and the glory of the holy angels. Now He comes to judge: " Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" He will judge first the quick or living, and after a thousand years, He will judge the dead. He comes to take His rightful place; and nothing can escape His all-searching eyes which are as a flame of fire. All tribes of the earth shall wail when they see Him. The armies which are in heaven will follow Him, when He thus comes out. The Lord comes with His many crowns, and His saints are with Him. When He came last it was to save; now it will be to judge; then it was in grace, now it will be in righteousness; then it was as " meek and lowly," now it will be to assert His rights with His sharp sword, and His vesture dipped in blood; then it was to do good, suffer for it, and take it patiently; now in almighty power He will stand for the rights of God, and put down all rule, and all authority, and power; then He was here allowing man's will to have its own way even in taking Him by wicked hands, crucifying and slaying Him; but now He will " show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords."
These things mark the coming of Christ with us to the earth. 1. It is public—every eye shall see Him. 2. He comes to judge and make war in righteousness. 3. He brings His ancient people Israel into their long looked for blessings on earth. It is " the day of the Lord." This is their hope. The prophets have abundantly set this before them; and the promises of God must be fulfilled. Their prophetic testimony almost closes with this bright and blessed hope for the faithful of God's earthly people, in connection with this period of Messiah's fiery rule and judgment; for Zion must be redeemed by judgment. "Behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his icings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall." (Mai. iv. 1, 2.) In beautiful harmony with this our Lord said, when speaking of the coming of the Son of man; " Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left." That is, one taken away in judgment, and the other left for blessing in the earth under the wing of the Sun of Righteousness. (Matt. 24:4040Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Matthew 24:40).) This we shall find generally in scripture, when the Lord's coming to the earth, or, the day of the Lord is the subject, that some are taken away in judgment and others left for blessing; for " the Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather together out of his kingdom them that offend, and them which do iniquity; and they shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 13:41, 4241The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:41‑42).)