Saviour, Come

 •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Savior, come, and take us home; here no longer let us roam:
Take us home to dwell with Thee, in Thy presence e’er to be.
All around is dark and drear, long the night, and faint the cheer;
O Thou Star of heavenly ray, rise and chase the gloom away.
All around us, sin and woe, death and grief where’er we go;
All creation groans in pain, earth, and air, and watery main.
Hear, O Lord, the creature’s cries, hear its travailing groans and sighs;
All creation waits for Thee, from the curse to set it free.
Unto Thee, with one accord, thousand voices rise, O Lord,
Bid Thee come to earth again, take Thy glorious power, and reign.
Girded loins and burning light, watching, serving through the night,
Tell of saints who long for Thee — wait and watch, Thy face to see.
Raise Thy sleeping saints, O Lord; change the living by Thy word;
Round Thyself in glory bright, gather all who dwell in light,
Where the shining of Thy face tells the glory of Thy grace,
And the blood-washed, heavenly throng sing the everlasting song.
Wondrous moment drawing near, when Thy voice on high we’ll hear,
Calling us to dwell with Thee, evermore Thy face to see.
Bathed in light of heaven’s rays, there we’ll on Thy glory gaze,
In Thy presence, Lord, above, drink forever of Thy love.
The Lord’s Day
Do You Devote It to Him?
That the Lord’s day is a different day, and of a different character, from the Sabbath, will hardly be questioned by any for whom this little paper is intended.
The Sabbath was the seventh day of the week; the Lord’s day is the first.
The Sabbath commemorated God’s rest from His work of creation, and is a type of the eternal rest that remains for Him and His people, when He will again have ceased to work — a rest founded on redemption, and to be realized when sin will have been completely removed from God’s dominions. This will be in the new heavens and the new earth. See Hebrews 4:1-111Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:1‑11); Revelation 21:1-71And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:1‑7).
The Sabbath was also a “sign” between Jehovah and Israel, of the covenant He made with them, and was incorporated in the law of the ten commandments, with the penalty of death attached for its violation (Ex. 31:12-1812And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 13Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. 14Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. 18And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. (Exodus 31:12‑18); Ezek. 20:1212Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. (Ezekiel 20:12)). Nor is there any evidence that it was ever given to any other, or that it was ever observed before the Christian era by any except those within the pale of Judaism.
The Lord’s day celebrates the resurrection of our blessed Lord, and is a day known alone to Christianity. There is no specific command given to keep it as a day of rest, or to observe it in any way. But it does not, therefore, follow that there is no obligation, for Christianity is not a system of legal commands and declared penalties, but a revelation of truth from God which ought to command the obedience of every subject and loyal heart — “the obedience of faith.” See Romans 1:5;16:265By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: (Romans 1:5)
26But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (Romans 16:26)
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Let us now see how the day is characterized in Scripture.
1. As already stated, it is the day on which our blessed Lord arose from the dead — the day that declared before the universe His triumph over death and the grave, and over all the power of Satan. And surely this is a fact of deepest importance for our souls.
At the cross the whole question of good and evil was brought to an issue; and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus revealed the triumph of good. It was life out of death, the bringing in of a new creation where the old had been condemned in the judgment of God. Such was the victory of the Lord Jesus; and His resurrection on the first day of the week proclaimed the completeness of the victory. It was thus also the bringing in of a new era, in which are unfolded to faith the deep, eternal counsels of God, and all the blessings of Christianity founded on redemption, and made good to us through the death and resurrection of Christ.
2. It is the day on which the Holy Spirit descended from heaven, inaugurating the full character of Christianity. The two great characteristic truths of Christianity are: redemption, and the presence of the Holy Spirit on earth, while Christ holds His session at the right hand of God. The first day of the week is the witness of these two things. For the proof of the latter, see Leviticus 23:15-1615And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 16Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. (Leviticus 23:15‑16). “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.” This was the feast of pentecost; and it began on “the morrow after the sabbath”; that is, on the first day of the week. Acts 2 shows that this was the day on which the Holy Spirit descended.
3. It is the day on which the saints habitually met together to break bread in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. Of this Acts 20:77And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7) is the proof. The record would seem to show that Paul and those with him arrived at Troas on Monday. There they remained seven days, as we may believe, to be with the saints at their assembly meeting on the Lord’s day. Then we are told that “upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached,” etc. It is not that they came together to hear him preach. But the brethren coming together, as their custom was, to break bread, the Apostle took this opportunity of discoursing to them in the things of God. The passage shows that it had become the settled custom of the saints to break bread on that day. And the day is thus marked. The fact also that the Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples on the first day of the week, both the day of His resurrection, and the next first day, when they were assembled together, and presented Himself in the midst of them, is also significant, and points in the same direction. So also is the fact that the Apostle instructed the saints at Corinth to lay by in store on the first day of the week, to make up a certain collection for the saints. All goes to show that the first day was the weekly day of assembling together.
4. In the last place, we find it called “the Lord’s day” in Revelation 1:1010I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, (Revelation 1:10). John was “in the Spirit” on that day, and received communications from the Lord for the saints in Asia. I would call special attention to this expression. In 1 Corinthians 11:2020When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. (1 Corinthians 11:20), we get the expression, “the Lord’s supper.” Can anyone question what is the meaning of this? Is it not clearly the Lord’s supper in contradistinction to every one eating his own supper in verse 21? Now when the day is spoken of, precisely the same word is used — “the Lord’s day,” “the Lord’s supper.” It is peculiarly His day, and His supper — a day and a supper which He claims as His. His supper, too, was observed on His day.
Neither the day, then, nor the supper, are common. Shall we treat them as common? What would we think of a man who held that he could treat the Lord’s supper as his own? This is the very thing the saints at Corinth were doing, and for which the Lord was rebuking them. Weakness and sickness and death were there as the result of their course. It was the Lord’s judgment. The very thought of treating the Lord’s supper as our own may well shock every heart sensitive to His glory.
But it is His day as well as His supper, and if we are not at liberty to treat the supper as our own, are we at liberty to treat His day in this manner? I appeal to the reader’s sense of what is right and fitting in the light of these scriptures. I would ask, is it either right, or fitting, that we should take that day which He calls His, and use it for our own pleasure, or temporal advantage? If His supper is devoted entirely to a holy and joyful remembrance of Him in His death and sufferings for us, and not for the gratification of our appetites, or for the satisfying of our hunger, shall we not as carefully observe the day as devoted to Him and His things?
Not infrequently we find saints (we will admit it may be under pressure of circumstances) accepting positions of secular employment which require them to work habitually on the Lord’s day. And they plead their liberty to do so because there is no command. While not wishing to condemn any, I am perfectly satisfied that this is not of faith. And Scripture says, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:2323And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)). Does not this make it very serious? If those who are tempted to such a course would say, “No, come what will, I will not dishonor the Lord,” would not He make a way for His faithful disciples? Has He not said, “Them that honor Me I will honor”? (1 Sam. 2:3030Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. (1 Samuel 2:30)).
But it is to be feared that not a few, and that too, where no pressure of circumstances has place, think that if they go to the meeting on that day and break bread, when the meeting is over, then they are free to spend the remainder of the day as they please — visiting in a social way, conversing of secular affairs and interests, reading the newspapers, pleasuring, etc., etc. I ask is this devoting the day to Him? Is it giving the Lord the honor which is His due?
I do not say the day is a day of rest like the Sabbath, and that we are to cease from our labors, and simply do nothing. But the Lord claims the day, and it is but right that we should cease from our ordinary labors, and devote the day to Him, in a way in keeping with its character, occupying ourselves with spiritual things which will be for profit to our own souls and the souls of others.
But there is no command, it is pleaded. I am aware. But why should you wish a command? Has He not told us it is His day? Why should you rob Him of His due? Besides, He has proved His love to us in laying down His life for us, going through a sea of unfathomable sorrow, in order that we might be brought into blessing which only infinite love could conceive, and He counts upon our hearts responding to His love, and yielding loving and joyful obedience to His will. And shall we willingly, knowingly, disappoint Him, and grieve the heart that has trusted us, without putting us under the bondage of law, and saying, “Thou shalt,” and “Thou shalt not”? Alas! it only shows what, and where, our poor hearts are. He has not the first place in them; His claim is ignored; and He is practically shut out by self-interest and worldliness.
He does not lay upon us as a legal exaction to observe the day, any more than He does to observe the supper, but He has not left us in the dark as to what is pleasing to Him, and our own blessing is bound up in obedience to His will. We cannot disregard His will in this, or in anything else, without loss to our own souls, becoming a stumbling block to others, and bringing dishonor upon His name.
May the Lord give to both the reader and the writer to be sensitive to all that affects His glory, and to prove the blessedness of faithful and loving obedience to all His revealed will.