"I Am Coming"

By James H. Brookes

Chapter 12



Beyond question the doctrine of our Lord’s second coming is the commanding motive of the New Testament. Not even the love of Christ is so frequently mentioned as an incentive. It is connected by the Holy Ghost with every doctrine and duty, with every precept and practice of Christian faith and conduct. It arms admonitions, it points appeals, it strengthens arguments, it enforces commands, it intensifies entreaties, it arouses courage, it rebukes fear, it quickens affection, it kindles hope, it inflames zeal, it separates from the world, it consecrates to God, it dries tears, it conquers death. No one will deny that it is found everywhere through gospels and epistles, although many will affirm that the passages containing it do not mean what they declare.

A dear old ex-pastor of Brooklyn, celebrated for the number of his charming contributions to religious periodicals (and no doubt honest, so far as he knows the truth), has recently informed the public that one hundred printed texts on the second advent have no more to do with the coming of the Lord than with the McKinley tariff bill. This shows, not only the density of the dear old doctor’s ignorance, but the weakness of the silly subterfuge by which some of the beloved postmillennial brethren seek to evade the truth concerning our Saviour’s personal return. Every one of the one hundred texts touches directly upon that personal return, as do the texts now presented in the form of a Second Advent Alphabet, and these by no means exhaust the subject.

ABIDING IN CHRIST. “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,” 1 John ii. 28.

BROTHERLY LOVE. “The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints,” 1 Thess. iii. 12, 13.

CONSOLATION. “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him,” 1 Thess. iv. 13, 14.

DEADNESS TO SIN. “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,” Col. iii. 4, 5.

ENDURANCE. “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown,” Rev. iii. 11. “Whosoever, therefore, shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him, shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels,” Mark viii. 38.

FAITHFULNESS. ‘A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come,” Luke xix. 12, 13. 7

GODLINESS. “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. . . . Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting the coming of the day of God!” 2 Peter ill, 10, 12.;

HEAVENLY-MINDEDNESS. “Our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,” Phil. iii. 20. “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. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure,” 1 John iii. 2, 3.

INSTANTANEOUS. “As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be,” Matt. xxiv. 27.

JUDGMENT. “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints, to execute judgment upon all,” Jude 14. ‘When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations,” Matt. xxv. 31, 32.

KEEPING THE GARMENTS. “Behold, I come asa thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame,” Rey. xvi. 15.

LORD’S SUPPER. “As oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come,” 1 Cor. xi. 26. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself,” John xiv. 3. “Unto them that look for Him shall He appear a second time, without ‘sin unto salvation,” Heb. ix. 28.

MODERATION. “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand,” Phil. iv. 5. “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come,” 1 Cor. iv. 5.

NEARNESS. “Yet a little while and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry,” Heb. x. 38. “Stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh,” James v. 8.

OBEDIENCE. “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 2 Thess. i. 7, 8.

PATIENCE, “Be patient, re brethren unto the coming of the Lord,” James v. 7. ‘The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ,” 2 Thess. iii. 5.

QUICKLY. “Behold, I come quickly,” Rev. xxii. 7. “He which testifieth these things saith, surely I come quickly; Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” Rev. xxii. 20.

REWARD. “The Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works,” Matt. xvi. 27. “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man as his work shall be,” Rev. xxii. 12.

SANCTIFICATION. “The God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thess. v. 23, R. V.

TRIALS. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter i. 7.

UNREBUKABLE. “I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Tim. vi. 13, 14.

VIGILANCE. ‘Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for the Lord,” Luke xii. 35. ‘Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch,” Mark xiii. 35-37.

WAITING. ‘Ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus who delivered us from the wrath to come,” 1 Thess. i, 9, 10. “Ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Cor. i. 7.

EXCELLENT. “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence until the day of Christ,” Phil. i. 9, 10.

YEARNING. “Looking for [prosdekomai, expecting, waiting for] that blessed hope, and appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,” Titus ii. 13. ‘Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body,” Rom. viii. 23. ‘Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming,” 1 Cor. xv. 23.

ZEAL. “TI have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them that love His appearing,” 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. ‘Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching” Luke xii. 37. “That which ye have already, hold fast till I come,” Rev. ii. 25, “Behold I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown,” Rev. iii. 2.

Any one can easily see that if the doctrine is practically received, it must become a practical power in the life. For example, the pre-millennialist reads the words of his Lord, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come;” and animated by the hope of hastening the end, and the coming of the King, and the overthrow of the “world rulers of this darkness,” he joyfully embarks in foreign missionary enterprises. Scores and hundreds of faithful ambassadors for Christ in heathen lands testify that they caught a mighty and abiding impulse to labour on, in the face of sore discouragements, when they embraced the hope of His coming as their governing principle.

J. Hudson Taylor, at the head of the China Inland Mission, and his more than 600 devoted missionaries, are all earnest pre-millennialists.) Dr. H. Grattan Guinness, founder of the Congo Mission, who annually sends a number of his pre-millennial students to the heathen world, is an earnest pre-millennialist. Rey. John Wilkinson, with singular self-denial conducting missions among the Jews of Europe, and all his assistants, are earnest pre-millennialists. Reginald Radcliffe, Esq., travelling for years from place to place in the interests of foreign missions, is an earnest pre-millennialist. George Muller, a missionary nearly ninety years of age, and supporting a number of pre-millennial missionaries, is an earnest pre-millennialist. Dr. A.,T. Pierson, editor of the best missionary review ever printed, who has done more than any other man in America to arouse the churches from their guilty indifference to the perishing millions of earth, is an earnest pre-millennialist. Dr. A. J. Gordon, at the head of the training school for foreign missions among the Baptists, is an earnest pre-millennialist. W. E. Blackstone, Esq., at the head of a training school for foreign missions among the Methodists, is an earnest premillennialist, Rev. I. C. Scofield, at the head of a training school for foreign missions among the Congregationalists, is an earnest pre-millennialist. The young men and women who went from Kansas to the Soudan, glad to lay down their lives for Jesus, were all earnest pre-millennialists; so easy is it to cut to the nerve the stale slander that faith in the pre-millennial coming of the Lord cuts the nerve of missionary effort.

In Christian lands, as they are called, Christian in profession and heathen in practice, the same stimulating effect of the truth is seen in the lives of Evangelists all of whom in Great Britain, perhaps without exception, and all of whom in the United States, with only one exception that is known, are earnest pre-millennialists. The secret of their untiring activity and fervour was happily expressed by poor Henry Ward Beecher, when he described them as men engaged in saving as many as possible from a wrecked and sinking ship. They believe that ‘the time is short,” 1 Cor. vii. 29, or as the Greek word implies, that the time for furling in sail has come; and they are anxious to take with them as many as they can lay hands upon into the harbour of eternal rest.

To the believer engaged in ordinary occupations, the hope of the Lord’s return comes as a divine power to separate him from the world. He is like a young Christian, who, after his conversion to the pre-millennial faith, was asked by a friend to accompany him to a theatre. “No,” was the reply; “the Lord may come to-night, and I do not wish Him to find me in a place where he Himself would not be welcome.” It is impossible for a man who is walking in the golden beams of that hope to live like the ungodly around him. He knows that he is a stranger and pilgrim amid these vanishing scenes, and he is careful not to fasten his tent pins too deep in the earth. His aims and aspirations, his purposes and pursuits, his tastes and tendencies are all different from the ambitions, and customs, and objects of the social and political circles through which he moves as a citizen of another country. Dr. David Brown bears the following true testimony to the pre-millennial doctrine:

It is a school of scripture interpretation: It impinges upon and affects some of the most commanding points of the Christian faith; and, when suffered to work its unimpeded way, it stops not till it has pervaded with its own genius the entire system of one’s theology, and the whole tone of his spiritual character, constructing, I had almost said, a world of its own; so that, holding the same faith, and cherishing the same fundamental hopes as other Christians, he yet sees things through a medium of his own, and finds everything instinct with the life which this doctrine has generated within him.

Especially do these remarks apply to the view which the pre-millennialist takes of death. He hopes that he will not die at all, for he knows that “we shall not all sleep,” 1 Cor. xv. 51; he would not be “unclothed, but clothed upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life,” 2 Cor. v. 4; and he desires to be among those of whom it is written, ‘ we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air,” 1 Thess. iv. 17. Hence, he is amazed to hear Christians say that the coming of the Lord and death are one and the same, or that there is no difference between them. No difference! One is all gladness, and the other is all sadness. One is all glory and the other is all gloom. One is all morning and the other is all mid-night. Out upon the base suggestion! It makes one indignant to hear that any dare put the hateful and loathsome monster death, that with ruffianly violence has torn away our darlings, that with black wing, as of a cyclone, has darkened our homes, in the place of the sweet and most precious coming of our Lord, which will prevent death. The pre-millennialist reads with joy that death is to be cast into the lake of fire at the judgment of the great white Throne, Rev. xx. 14.

                       “Waiting we stand,
And watching till our Saviour shall appear,
Joyful to cry, as eastern skies grow clear,
                       ‘The Lord’s at hand!’

                       But now the night
Presses around us, sullenly and chill;
Pain, doubt, and sorrow seem to have their will:
                       Lord, send the light!

                       One after one,”
Thou hast called up our loved ones from our sight;
For them we know that there is no more night
                       But we are alone.

                       Weary we wait,
Lifting our heavy eyes, bedimmed with tears,
To skies where yet no trace of dawn appears:
                       Lord, it is late!

                       But yet Thy Word
Saith, with sweet prophecy that cannot fail,
That light o’er darkness shall at length prevail:
                       We trust Thee, Lord!

                       O Morning Star
Of heavenly promise! light our darkened way,
Till the first beams of the expected day
                       Shine from afar.

                       So will we take
Fresh hope and courage to our fainting hearts,
And patient wait, though every joy departs,
                       ‘Till the day break.’”