The Coming Lord
The Lord Jesus has left the sure word of promise to all His people, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself” (John 14:3). And this promise of the Lord is the proper and proximate hope of the believer, and of the Church. The very last word that the glorified Lord uttered from these heavens that He entered on that day that He ascended from the slope of Olivet (Luke 24:5-51), and was “received up into heaven” (Mark 16:19), is, “Surely, I come quickly” (Rev. 22:20). And since this was spoken, the silence has been unbroken.
The very next event of the Divine programme will be, the “shout” of the returning Lord, when He descends from the Father’s throne upon which He now sits (Rev. 3:21) to raise “the dead in Christ” from their graves, to change those of His people who are “alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:15), and to gather both around Himself “in the air,” and lead them glorified, in His own likeness (Phil. 3:20), to the Father’s House (John 16:3) to be welcomed there as children of God (1 John 3:2, R.V.), without distinction—as in later time they will be in “the kingdom”—on the ground of sovereign grace alone.
And what a scene of triumph that will be! What a gathering of the scattered and long-parted family of God! From every land and kingdom they will come. Saints of all ages will be there. The early disciples who were won to Christ in the days of His earthly ministry, those brave and noble men and women who “left all” for His Name, and companied with Him in the time of His rejection, who stood under the shadow of His Cross, and who were the first to walk and talk with Him after His resurrection. All will be there. And the first converts of the Gospel in Pentecostal and Apostolic days, who were imprisoned and persecuted, and many of them martyred for the Saviour’s Name and truth. How grand it will be to see them, to clasp their hands, to meet them all, around, and in the fair image of the Lord. And then to gather around the throne, as Revelation 4 depicts the scene, and hear the praise of the great congregation gathered, and now glorified there, owning God as Creator, elders, and living creatures joining in the song. And then in chapter 5 where the Lamb appears in the midst of that scene of Glory, and receives from the hand of the Throne-sitter the seven-sealed Book—the title-deeds of His inheritance—and is owned as Redeemer and Heir by all in heaven, on earth, and under it, as the only Worthy One to be worshipped.
Then, as we read it, the glorified saints will next be assembled [individually] before Christ’s judgment-seat, to hear what He has to say about their conduct and their service in earthly years, since they were saved by grace: how the years were spent, how their service for His Name was ordered (2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 2:5), and how the stewardship He had committed to them (1 Cor. 9:17; 1 Thess. 2:4), and the talents He had entrusted them to use in His interests, have been used, and the motives of the heart that energised them in their service revealed (1 Cor. 4:5), and if well-pleasing to the Lord who knows the heart, rewarded (2 Tim. 4:8).
Then, the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:5-9) which will be celebrated in heaven, with its attendant glories, baffles in description all that has ever been seen or conceived on this earth. All heaven rejoices. The Bride in her beauty appears, in the full glory of the likeness of her Lord, and “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2), and passes into the place assigned to her in the eternal purpose of God, secured to her by the Blood of the Cross, and sealed to and in her by the Eternal Spirit. And then comes the Epiphany of the glorified Christ with all His saints in glory (Col. 3:4) as described in the figurative and glowing words of Revelation 19:11-16, an event which will introduce the Day of the Lord, and bring His judgment on those who continue in rebellion against His claims, who have despised His long suffering (2 Pet. 3:9-10), and rejected His Gospel (2 Thess. 1:8-9), for whom no further mercy waits. O the glory of that hour for the saints of God, and the gloom of dark despair for those who would have none of Him, in the Gospel of His Grace! How they will wail their folly in that day. Would to God they might see it now, and turn to the Lord while yet they may.
The Kingdom of the Son of Man, to be set up by the act of His judgment, will then appear. His reign of righteousness and peace will be begun, and the groaning earth which has long been under the usurper’s spell will be redeemed and released from his power, and will own its great Redeemer and its King.
Article series: Our Glorious LordThe Glorified Lord – Walking Amid the Churches The Lamb on the Throne