When is He Coming?

Three times in the last chapter of the Bible, the Lord announces His return:
"Behold, I come quickly" ... Rev. 22:7 and 12
"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly" ... Rev. 22:20

In neither of these statements does He say when He is coming. In fact, elsewhere He emphatically rules out the when, for He says to His disciples: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power" (Acts 1:7).

Just before He went to the Cross, He assured His disciples of His return: "Let not your heart be troubled...I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:1-3).

Several times in John's gospel, the Lord refers to the time of separation as "a little while;" but the Scripture declares that a thousand years are as a day. By that accounting, it is barely two days before He returned to heaven.

Because He was obedient even unto His death on the Cross, the One who came to do the Father's will has been exalted far above. He speaks seven times over in John 17 of believers as being God's gifts to Him—a fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah: "He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied." He expresses His own heart's desire to the Father: "Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory."

Not only to behold His glory, but to share in it, for "the God of all grace has called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus" (I Pet. 5:10ff).

Nowhere in the New Testament do we read that Jesus is coming soon. We do not know when He is coming, but we read three times in Rev. 22 of how He is coming—quickly. In Heb. 10:37 we read, "For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come and will not tarry." This "little while" has almost reached two millenia (2,000 years), and it seems that our Lord delays His coming. This is not so, for this text shows that, when the appointed time arrives, there will be no dilly-dallying about His coming.

"It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight thro' darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory,
To receive from the world 'His own.'
O, Lord Jesus, how long, how long?
Ere we shout the glad song:
Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen."

Just before the Saviour went to the Cross to pay redemption's price ("Ye are not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" -- I Pet. 1:18), He instituted a feast of remembrance, which He clearly intended to be carried on by His redeemed people until He returned.

He gave thanks for the bread, saying, "This is My body, which is given for you;" and also for the cup, stating, "This is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you." He gave of each to His disciples, saying, "This do in remembrance of Me;" so we rightly sing to Him in praise and worship:

"Lord Jesus, we remember the travail of Thy soul;
When, through Thy love's deep pity, the waves did o'er Thee roll;
Baptized in death's dark waters, for us Thy blood was shed;
For us Thou, Lord of glory, wast numbered with the dead."

In 1 Cor. 11:26 we read His words addressed to His believing people: "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come." This Scripture clearly shows the Lord's intention that we observe this Remembrance Feast until, in accord with His promise, He comes again. "I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star" (Rev. 22:16).

He bids us to look backward, upward and onward. He is the Root of David. Read Matt. 22:41-46. The blessed truth is that He is both David's Lord and David's son. From everlasting to everlasting, He is God; but, as touching the flesh, He was born of the seed of David. He could rightly say of David—as He did say of Abraham—"Before David was, I AM!"

"Thou art the everlasting Word; the Father's only Son;
God manifestly seen and heard, and heaven's beloved One.
Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou,
That every knee to Thee should bow!"

The New Testament opens with the statement: The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matt. 1:1). As David's greater son, He lived here, died for sinners, arose from the grave, and now sits at the Father's right hand, a Prince and a Saviour, able to save to the very end all who come unto God by Him. But He is also the Bright and Morning Star.

"Some glorious morning, sorrows will cease;
Some glorious morning, all will be peace;
Heartaches all ended, school days all done;
Heaven will open; Jesus will come!

Oh, what a meeting there in the skies;
No tears nor crying shall dim our eyes;
Loved ones united eternally;
Oh, what a daybreak that morn will be!"

The great day of reunion of all the redeemed of all the ages with the Redeemer will take place. The great wedding day of Christ and His Church will take place. The Lord speaks, "Surely (YES) I come quickly!" His beloved people (His Church) respond, "Even so (YES—the same Greek word in both instances), come, Lord Jesus!"

It will be the only union, since man's story on earth began, where it will be true eternally that "what God has joined together," no one—man or devil—can ever separate.


In hope we lift our wishful, longing eyes,
Waiting to see the Morning Star arise;
How bright, how gladsome will His advent be,
Before the Sun shines forth in majesty!

Midst the darkness, storm and sorrow,
One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessed morrow,
Christ will come for me

He is coming! Yes, He's coming!
Christ our Prophet, Priest and King!
While we watch for His appearing,
Let us pray and serve and sing!

 

THOU ART COMING!

Thou art coming! Thou art coming!
We shall meet Thee on Thy way,
We shall see Thee, we shall know Thee,
We shall bless Thee, we shall show Thee
All our hearts could never say!
What an anthem that will be,
Singing out our love to Thee,
Pouring out our rapture sweet
At Thine own all-glorious feet!

Not a cloud and not a shadow,
Not a mist and not a tear,
Not a sin and not a sorrow,
Not a dim and veiled tomorrow,
For that sunrise grand and clear!
Jesus, Saviour, once with Thee,
Nothing else seems worth a thought!
Oh, how marvellous will be
All the bliss Thy pain hath bought!

Thou art coming! At Thy table
We are witnesses for this,
While remembering hearts Thou meetest,
In communion clearest, sweetest,
Earnest of our coming bliss.
Showing not Thy death alone,
And Thy love exceeding great,
But Thy coming and Thy throne,
All for which we long and wait.

Thou art coming! We are waiting
With a hope that cannot fail;
Asking not the day or hour,
Resting on Thy word of power
Anchored safe within the veil.
Time appointed may be long,
But the vision must be sure:
Certainty shall make us strong,
Joyful patience can endure!