The Second Coming of Christ

A Fundamental Doctrine of Scripture



Taken from: Taken from: Grace and Truth Magazine November 1922.


This illuminating discussion was delivered before the Baptist Ministers' Conference of Denver, and before the meeting of the Rocky Mountain Bible Conference of Dec. 1921. - Editor

It is my firm conviction that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is a fundamental teaching of God's Word. In the discussion of this subject, however, it is necessary to define the meaning with which these terms are used before attempting to demonstrate the proposition. By the term "the Second Coming of Christ" no particular current view concerning the Second Coming of Christ is meant. Personally, I am firmly convinced that the premillennial teaching concerning the Second Coming is the Scriptural teaching. However, my purpose is not to argue the accuracy of "pre," "post," or socalled "pro-millennial" views, but rather to call attention to the relation which the fact of the Second Coming of Christ bears to recognized fundamental teachings of Holy Scripture, and thus also to the vital importance of the Scriptural teachings concerning the Second Coming. By the term "fundamental" I do not mean that the doctrine of the Second Coming is one which must be believed in order for the soul to be saved, though it does hold a very close relation to such doctrines as are essential to the salvation of the soul. I believe that it is possible for men to be born again without understanding the Second Coming of Christ, and I am convinced that many are. However, I do mean by the term "fundamental" that the fact of Christ's Second Coming is vitally related to those truths which are the very foundation of Christian faith. With these limitations of the meaning of my terms may I repeat, I believe that the Second Coming of Christ is a fundamental doctrine.

My reason for b^believing this is that God has intimately and inseparably related the Second Coming of Christ to every fundamental doctrine of His Word. It is vitally related to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if not indeed an integral part of that Gospel. It seriously bears upon the inspiration of the Bible and one's attitude toward the inspiration of the Bible is bound to be affected by his belief concerning the Second Coming of Christ. The very Deity and character of Jesus Christ are vitally associated with the Scripture teaching concerning His coming. This hope is set forth in vital relationship to the Christian life. Our conception of the mission of the Church is affected by the attitude we hold toward the Second Coming of Christ. Surely no one will question that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the inspiration of God's Word, the Deity and character of the Lord Jesus, the Christian life, and the mission of the Church are fundamental in Christian faith and practise, and if another may be added which is truly fundamental and essential in both, correct Bible study and interpretation hinge to a remarkable degree on one's view of the fact of Christ's return. The relation which exists between these fundamental doctrines and facts and the Second Coming of Christ is so close and so vital as to fully justify the statement of Dr. I. M. Haldeman that —

"It is . . . .  a very startling and easily demonstrated fact that instead of leading to fundamental religious denials the statement of the Second Coming as recorded in the New Testament is so bound up with every fundamental doctrine, every sublime promise and practical exhortation, that it is impossible to read them in that connection without being impelled to accept and confess them; the truth is, if you accept the Second Coming you are under bonds logically to accept the doctrines with which it is so indissolubly bound up. The Second Coming is so woven into these basic doctrines of the Christian faith, so inwrought with its most illuminated promises, so making itself an appeal for the highest and noblest Christian living, that you cannot deny the one without denying the others. Like the ephod of the high priest, so wrought of gold and linen that you could not extract the linen without pulling apart the gold wire, nor pull out the gold without scattering the linen, the Second Coming and the great fundamentals and all the flowering-out beauties of the Christian faith are so inextricably inwrought that the hand which damages the one destroys the other."

The Second Coming is the consummation of the work of Christ and of the Gospel which makes that work known to men. This is clearly shown by the Apostle Paul in the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians. Here he speaks of the Gospel, then proceeds to define it. He speaks of Christ's death for our sins, and of His resurrection, then, after a masterful argument concerning the importance of the resurrection, he swings into a triumphant description of the Second Coming and the attendant resurrection of believers in Him. An unprejudiced reading of this chapter leads one to believe that the Second Coming of Christ was indeed part of the Gospel which the Apostle Paul preached, and the climax of his inspired argument is reached when he speaks of the Second Coming and the resurrection of believers, and is so stirred as to shout, 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" It is at the Second Coming cf Christ and in His Second Coming that the sting of death is drawn and the victory of the grave turned into defeat. It is in His return that the full value and power of the Cross and of the resurrection are realized and manifested. Does the Gospel tell us that Christ has suffered the full penalty for our sins? Does it declare that we are cleansed from all sin through His shed Blood, and that we are robed in His perfect righteousness through faith in Him? Is it true that peace has been made between God and man through the blood of the cross? Is it true that in His death He has given unto us eternal life? Are these end many kindred truths declared in the Bible? Doubtless, but it is also declared that all these marvelous blessings and gifts of God's grace shall be manifested in their fulness only when He comes again. It is then that it shall be made evident to all that the cross of Christ, the sufferings and the blood of His cross were acceptable to the Father and that they did truly accomplish the things which the Scriptures declare they did. Is the resurrection life of Christ the life given to men who receive Him as Saviour? Is the power of His resurrection such that it can deliver the child of God from even the presence and possibility of sin? Are we given hope that in His resurrection He has burst the bands in which mankind is held by death, and that we, too, shall share in resurrection life ? Truly, and the further declaration of Scripture is that it is in His Second Coming that these glorious truths shall be manifested. Need I call attention to the fact that a great number of Scriptures may be adduced to prove the relation that exists between the Second Coming of Christ and His death and resurrection? Surely the concerted testimony of the Scriptures is:

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like HIM, for we shall see Him as He is." (I Jno. 3:2).

The Second Coming of Christ is so frequently spoken of in the Scriptures that any attempt to deny or' discredit the fact must inevitably deny and discredit the inspiration of God's Word. Dr. Haldeman says:

"Paul! James! Peter! John! Jude ! These are the 'early Christians' who put the hope of the Lord's return on almost every page of the New Testament. (In fact, so often, it is there on an average almost of once in twenty verses)."

Dr. R. A. Torrey says:

"The importance in God's thought of the Second Coming of Christ is seen in the fact that this event is mentioned more times in the New Testament than there are chapters. It has been said by those who have taken the trouble to count that it is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the New Testament, and one who has made a life-long study of the doctrine has said that it occupies one in every twenty-five verses from Matthew to Revelation. It also occupies a prominent place in the Old Testament, as by far the greater part of the predictions concerning Christ in the Old Testament are connected, not with His first coming to die as an atoning Saviour, but with His Second Coming to rule as King."

Nor is it alone among the friends and exponents of the doctrine that the large place given to this truth in the Scriptures is recognized. Dr. Shailer Mathews says:

"Let us look first at the Scriptural material. The early Christians believed that Jesus would return during the lifetime of their generation. This hope is expressed on almost every page in the New Testament."

Again he says:

"It need hardly be emphasized that the immediateness of these events, the expectation of which was a part of the religious inheritance of the first Christians, was an essential element in their hope. No fair interpretation of the words of the New Testament can l^d us to think that the early Christians supposed that immediateness meant mere unexpectedness. It never entered the minds of the early church that this physical return of Jesus in the sky might occur after the lapse of thousands of years. The early church did not look forward to a historical period of any appreciable length. In whatever calling they were called they were to remain. The last days had come and each day they saw their salvation drawing nearer. The time was short."

Whatever interpretation of the Second Coming of Christ they may hold, both friends and enemies of the doctrine unite in recognizing the prevalence of the hope of His coming throughout the Scripture.

Since the Second Coming of Christ is so inwrought into the whole Bible, and particularly into the New Testament, it is self-evident that one's attitude toward the coming of Christ and the hope of His coming as recorded in the Scripture will either affect or reflect his attitude toward the Scriptures themselves. Let one admit the Second Coming of Christ to be a literal fact which is bound to occur exactly as prophesied in the New Testament, and he will admit the Inspiration of the Scripture, for only God could look into the future and see the thing which must take place. Only as He gave to men this foresight, and only as He led them to record things which must come to pass could they write of these things intelligently. But let one brand the New Testament teaching concerning Christ's return as a relic of Judaistic hopes and as a mistaken idea and expectation of early Christians and he has at once labeled the Bible as a book containing mistakes and perpetuating ideas which are untenable. With such a start and with such an idea it is impossible for one to come to the Scripture as God's revelation of Himself to men, but he must forever be suspicious lest he shall find that this is not the only mistaken idea which the Bible perpetuates. How can he know? If the Judaistic hope of Christ's return and establishment of His kingdom is a mistaken idea, and if this idea is perpetuated in the Bible, where are we to stop? How do we know that the teaching of the New Testament that the offering of Jesus on the cross was a full and satisfactory price paid for our redemption is not also a relic of Judaism, and a mistaken relic at that? If we cannot believe the Scripture which says:

"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) how can we be sure that we can believe the statement that:

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life?" (John 3:16).

And if one starts with the premise that the Bible is merely "the record of men's experiences as they sought to find God. that it is merely the record of the evolution of Christianity," then it is not surprising to find him denying the fact of Christ's coming and feeling that the hope recorded on the pages of the New Testament is just the record of a mistaken idea cherished by early Christians and perpetuated from Judaism, but with no foundation in fact.

I cannot but feel that Dr. Mathews' attitude toward inspiration is reflected in his statements concerning the Second Coming of Christ, viz.:

"It is simply honesty to admit that they (the early Christians and writers of the New Testament) were mistaken in this hope of a speedy winding up of earthly affairs. Judaistic hopes were made no truer by being perpetuated by Christians. The Christ did not come in the way the early Christians expected."

And again:

"The important matter is not what they said, but what they meant by what they said. The properly historical interpreter of the Scripture is not troubled by the fact that the early Christians were mistaken in details of these, their expectations. He sees plainly that these details constitute a method of setting forth evangelical truths. They were really figures of speech. It is the truth in the figures that counts, not the figures themselves."

Surely these are not the words of the humble, devoted follower of the Lord Jesus who believes that:

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God," and that:

"Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

On the other hand, let one first admit that the Bible is the inerrant and fully inspired Word of God, that holy men of God spake as they were borne along by the Holy Spirit, and that the teachings recorded there, unless specifically stated to be otherwise, are God's own revelation of His truth, transmitted to us through the tongues and pens of His servants, but without sharing in any of their imperfections and mistaken ideas, — then one sees, in the constantly spoken and emphasized hope of His soon, or even immediate coming, God's revelation of His own desire for us in our attitude during this period of waiting for His return. He sees that God is giving the hope and expectation of an age until that hope is finally and fully realized Thus one's attitude toward the truth of Christ's coming at the same time affects and reflects his attitude toward the inspiration of God's Word.

However, the matter is of equally serious consequence in connection with the truth of Christ's Deity and character. As one studies the teaching of the New Testament concerning the Second Coming of Christ, particularly that contained in the four Gospels, he is brought face to face with the fact that the hope expressed by the writers and entertained by the early Christians is held out as a promise by none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Is it possible that our Lord did not know the facts relative to whether He would return after He went away? Or is it possible that He did know the facts, and knowing that the hope expressed by many of His followers was only a mistaken relic of Judaism, deliberately deceived them and encouraged them to entertain such a false hope? .That Jesus spoke of His coming and promised to come again in accordance with the expectations expressed throughout the New Testament is fully attested by such passages as Matt. 24:27, 29, 30-31:

"For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be . . . .  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens. shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Or such a passage as Matt. 26:64:

"I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven."

Many other passages testify to the same thing, but this will suffice to prove that Jesus Himself, if our record is authentic, held forth to His followers the prospect of His Second Coming, and it is significant to note that it was for the enunciation of the truth of His Second Coming that He was branded as a blasphemer by the High Priest and the Sanhedrin. That He encouraged the hope and expectation of His return is evidenced by such passages as Matt. 24:42:

"Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

And Matt. 24:44 contains His admonition:

"Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh."

The same thought and admonition is repeated three times in Mark 13, "Watch, watch, watch." If our Lord Jesus did not know the facts concerning His return and shared in a mistaken Judaistic idea in ignorance of the fact that it was a mistaken and forlorn hope, then one cannot help doubting His Deity. I say it in all reverence, but if our Lord could be deceived and mistaken concerning His return, then He could be deceived and mistaken concerning every fundamental truth which He enunciated and upon which our faith is fixed! If He did know that the hope which He encouraged was a false hope, and that it would never be fulfilled as the disciples expected it to be, then He was a rascal and His character is not what we have believed it to be, for He deliberately perpetuated a mistaken idea and made no attempt to deny it, but every attempt to perpetuate the error. I cannot believe that He was less than God, nor that He was a rascal and deceiver, so I am shut up to the conclusion that He will return as He declared Lie would, and that His coming will be in exact accordance with the declaration of Scripture. The hopes of the early Christians will not be disappointed and His words will prove true. To deny the coming of Christ is to deny His Deity and spotless purity of character.

But the Gospel of Jesus and the Inspiration of the Bible and the Deity and character of our Saviour are not the only things which are bound up intimately and essentially with the doctrine of His coming again. A careful study of the connection in which God places the doctrine throughout the Scripture reveals the fact that it is set forth as a potential hope in the Christian life. It is set as the basis of a striking appeal for steadfastness in doctrine and faith:

"We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means " (II Thess. 2:1-2).

On this hope and prospect God leads John and Paul to base stirring appeals to holy and consecrated lives:

"Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry." (Col. 3:1-5).

"And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." (I Jno. 2:28).

After describing in glowing terms the coming of Christ and the resurrection which shall then take place, the Apostle Paul, led of God's Spirit, uses the blessed hope as the basis of an appeal for abundance in service:

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (I Cor. 15:58).

When a boy on my father's farm, I remember that I was quite a trial to him. Dear father had worked hard all his life, and had suffered a breakdown which had brought him to the brink of the grave. Because of this he was compelled to leave office work and go to the country to regain his strength. He had taken a little farm and was trying to make a living on it. I had come to the unruly age, and though father sorely needed all the help I could give him, I confess with shame that I was indolent and careless and that I did not stand by him as I ought. He could not trust me to perform in a satisfactory manner the tasks which he gave me to do, and what I did do was attended with a great deal of grumbling and surliness. I well remember one day I saw in my father's eyes a look of discouragement and detected in his voice bitterness and disappointment. I remember looking into his face and seeing that it was lined with depression and with the weight of burdens too heavy to bear. It made me stop and think, though only a careless youth, and upon reviewing my actions for some months in the past I was filled with shame and remorse. I had had passing moments of contrition before, and had spoken of resolution to change, but somehow had failed to do so. Now I felt that my actions could do more than my words to lighten the burden and gladden the heart of my toil-worn and well nigh broken-hearted father. That evening I thought it over, and the next day was the time I decided to begin to act. Father went to town that morning with some vegetables and in order to get some needed supplies. Before he left he spoke ii; a half-hearted way of some things which needed to be done. And I saw that the discouragement was still in his voice and face. He spoke almost as though he had given up hope of having any real hearty co-operation from me. However, I decided to give him a surprise and to endeavor to make the surprise a lasting one. I could not wait until the wagon was out of sight to begin my work. I knew my time was short in which to perform the tasks to which I had set my hand, and that as the sun began to sink in the west I could expect my father to come home again. I had never before in my life worked so hard as I worked that day. And it was surprising the amount which I was able to accomplish. Just as I was putting the finishing touches to some task about the barn I heard the wheels of the farm-wagon, and, going out, I helped my father unhitch the horses. As he saw the results of my efforts, and as he noted one by one the tasks I had performed I could see his wearily drooping shoulders straighten, I could detect a new note of hope and cheer in his voice, and I could see the lines of weariness smooth out and the face beam with joy and gratitude. And when father had seen all, he turned to me and in the place of the discouragement and weariness in the eyes I saw joy and happiness shining through the tears, and I heard him say in a voice trembling with emotion, "Thank you, my boy, you have done well." Do you think that I was repaid? Do you think I learned my lesson? God's Word holds out to us the hope of Christ's coming again. We know not how long it may be ere we shall see Him face to face. When we meet Him and see His face will it contain joy and pride and thanksgiving as He regards us, or shall we see there grief and disappointment? Will He be able to say to us, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant?" God grant it ! Personally I have found that God chose wisely when He led His servants to record the hope of Christ's return as the incentive to a holy life and to a life of abounding in service for Him. It has proven such in my own life.

But that is not all. The Second Coming of 'Christ bears a vital relationship to the mission of the Church. One's conception of His coming inevitably affects his conception of that mission. If one believes that Christ's coming will be to a world which has heard the Gospel but which, in its bigotry, sinfulness, and blindness has turned away from it into even deeper sin, he will endeavor with greater earnestness to give the Gospel to the world and will seek to obey the injunction:

"Of some have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire: hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." (Jude 22:23).

He may feel that he should engage in social service and education, but he will hold them as a means to an end and not as the end. He will believe that the end is the publishing abroad of the Gospel of Christ and constantly and in every way seeking to win men and women to Christ. On the other hand, one may believe that Christ's coming will be to a world which has been transformed into a place of righteousness and peace, or he may think with Dr. Shailer Mathews that, to use his own words, "To bring Jesus into the control of human affairs is the real coining of the Kingdom of God upon earth. This is the reality the Jewish pictures and apocalyptic symbols used by the early Christians really meant. This is the real coming of Jesus Christ." Then the temptation will be to make social service and education the main task and evangelization merely incidental. Perhaps, to some extent, it is right for ministers and missionaries to engage in social service, but I cannot somehow help but feel that something is wrong when these things are made the main issues, and evangelism is either disregarded or neglected. A missionary working under the Southern Baptist Board in China stated recently that there were approximately four thousand missionaries in China, and that of these four thousand missionaries only about four or five hundred were engaged in work which was purely or primarily evangelistic. Another Baptist minister, who is working independently in South America, told of one school where forty missionaries of one of our Protestant denominations were teaching in South America in which no evangelistic work whatever was being done. Several years ago the government of that republic had offered this school a subsidy on condition that no religion should be taught in the school. This was accepted on the condition specified, and for some three or four years the forty "missionaries" confined themselves to teaching secular subjects and saying no word of their Lord, or of His Gospel. Then came a time when the government was compelled to cease giving the subsidy on account of financial embarrassment. It was reported by the man who had come in touch with this situation within the last year or two that this took place about two and a half years ago, and that since then the missionaries had refrained from teaching religion in the school for fear the governmental officials would become offended and that when it was possible for them to again grant a subsidy to the school they would fail to do so. Such a condition leads one to wonder whether perhaps after all it is not better that those who would do such a thing should be prevented from disseminating their particular brand of religion. The same man also told of a hospital in one South American city in which twenty Protestant missionaries were working. He said that this was a Roman Catholic Hospital and that these missionaries were able to co-operate only with the understanding that they would not endeavor to teach religion to any of the patients. These reports are not mentioned as accusations, but merely as illustrative of a condition which is wrong wherever it may exist, the overemphasizing and magnifying of the importance of side issues. Certain it is, and demonstrable from history, that the attitude one assumes with regard to our Lord's coming will inevitably affect his conception of the Church's mission.

Again, the truth of Christ's Second Coming is vitally related to correct Bible interpretation. This is self-evident from the great number of times it is mentioned in the Scripture. It is impossible to interpret the Bible correctly without including in our interpretation a correct interpretation and adequate recognition of the Scriptural teaching concerning Christ's coming. And if we cannot rightly interpret this teaching of the Word, we cannot be said to be proficient in the interpretation of the rest of the Scripture. A few examples of the close relation which exists between this truth and other better recognized truths must suffice. In I Peter 1:10 we read:

"The prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow."

If we do not understand the "glory," can we be sure that we understand the "sufferings" of Christ? What principle will guide us in determining which portions of Scripture are literal and which figurative, if we do not recognize the literal truth of both the following?

"His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley, and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north and half of it toward the south." (Zech. 14:4).


"He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed." (Isa. 53:5).

Or, if the reference to the appearing of Jesus Christ in the following passage is to be taken spiritually, and understood as a remnant of Judaism, how can we be assured that the rest of it cannot be thus understood and classified:

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." (Col. 3:1-4).

Mr. Blackstone, in his book, "Jesus is Coming," tells of a Jew and a Christian minister who were talking together. "Taking a New Testament and opening it at Luke 1:32, the Jew asked. 'Do you believe that what is here written shall be literally accomplished, —

"The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever?" (Luke 1:32-33).

'I do not,' answered the clergyman, 'but rather take it to be figurative language, descriptive of Christ's spiritual reign over the Church.' 'Then,' replied the Jew, 'neither do I believe literally the words preceding, which say that this Son of David should be born of a virgin; but take them to be merely a figurative manner of describing the remarkable character for purity of him who is the subject of the prophecy.' 'But why,' he continued, 'do you refuse to believe literally verses 32 and 33, while you believe implicitly the far more incredible statement of verse 31?' 'I believe it," said the clergyman, 'because it is a fact.' 'Ah!' exclaimed the Jew, with an inexpressible air of scorn and triumph, 'You believe Scripture because it is a fact; I believe it is the Word of God.' " This merely illustrates in some degree the intimacy and the importance of the relationship which exists between the doctrine of Christ's Second Coming and Kingdom and other most essential doctrines of Scripture, and the necessity of understanding one in order to rightly understand the other. Many noted Bible students, such as Charles Gaulladet Trumbull of the Sunday School Times, Dr. James M. Gray, of the Moody Bible Institute, Dr. R. A. Torrey, of the Los Angeles School. Dr. W. B. Riley, of the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, Dr. J. C. Massee, Dr. I. M. Haldeman, and many others whom I might name of recent times, and Dr. J. H. Brookes, D. L. Moody, and Charles Haddon Spurgeon, of the generation just passed, with scores of others, have testified that the doctrine of Christ's return has at one time or another revolutionized or greatly enlarged their conception of the truths of Scripture, and if I may be permitted to add my humble testimony to theirs, I will say that I have found this truth to be a veritable key to unlock the rich treasure troves of truth to be found in God's World.

In view of the vital relationship existing between the teaching of God's Word concerning the Second Coming and other doctrines which are essential and fundamental, one is led to deplore any ignoring or minimizing of the importance of this great truth. Many earnest and godly men who sincerely believe in the literal, premillennial coming of Jesus, and who preach and teach it, seem willing to compromise when dispute arises. This is clearly seen in the growing tendency among "Fundamentalists" to exclude the doctrine of Christ's return from their statements of the fundamental doctrines of God's Word. Brethren ! We will not gain anything by this compromise. Those who so vigorously object to our confident belief in and affirmation of this truth object just as vigorously, though perhaps not so openly, to our teaching that the Bible is God's Word, that Jesus Christ is God's virgin-begotten Son, that His shed blood is the only avenue of escape from God's wrath, or from the defilement of sin, or that He literally rose from the dead and ascended into heavenly places. Any compromise concerning the truth of Christ's return will not weaken in the least degree their opposition, but will rather embolden them to more openly deny the other precious and vital truths of our faith. Therefore let us

"Contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints," (Jude 3)

and endeavor to so faithfully serve our Lord as to refute the lying accusations of the enemies of the Blessed Hope and to win our Lord's commendation when He conies, —

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." (Matt. 25:21).


NOTE: The quotations from Dr. Shailer Mathews are from his pamphlet "Will Christ Come Again?"