Longing For The Coming Of The Lord
Jesus said, "Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20). Here the Lord declares His coming, and the loyal heart responds with earnest prayer for the coming.
The prayer is the longing of the suffering saint for release.
Many saints are suffering severely. Believers are cruelly persecuted and brutally put to death. This prayer is their cry for deliverance.
Living in lands where for many years we have been remarkably free from violent molestation, we are able to discuss – oh, so coldly – "Will the Church pass through the tribulation?" It were better if we asked seriously and compassionately, "What do Christians in oppressed countries pass through?" It is possible for believers to reach a state wherein they can look upon unspeakable suffering and, callously and with conceited and shallow learning, prove it is not "the tribulation." It is not without reason that the Word warns us of the awful peril of a hardened heart. Members of the Body of Christ in oppressed countries are suffering unutterable horrors. Surely this is tribulation.
All down the ages some part of the Church has been passing through awful tribulation. Another part has been heaping up teachers who feed a perverted curiosity with learned lectures on the great tribulation. A subject so terrible is not for icy discussion. It is a theme to drive us to fervent, compassionate prayer for the sufferers. They call for release. A joyous release will be theirs at His coming. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"
The prayer is the pilgrim’s longing for home.
The believer is a stranger here. He is a pilgrim. His home is in heaven. Here he has no continuing city; he seeks one to come (Heb. 13:14). The pilgrim way is sometimes rough and thorny, sometimes swept with stormy winds. The pilgrim then longs for home and breathes a deep "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
The prayer is the longing of the warrior for rest.
As "a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Tim. 2:3), the Christian has battles to fight, victories to win, sacrifices to make and discomforts to endure. It is not to be wondered at that he, at times, yearns for the return of his Lord.
The prayer is the longing of the lover for the loved.
"Lovest thou Me?" is the Master’s question. An affectionate, "Thou knowest that I love Thee" is the believer’s reply (John 21:15-18). The Christian loves his Savior, who "first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
No true lover can be happy to be away constantly from the loved one. There will be in the heart an earnest longing to be with the beloved. Even now on earth the saintly soul has the presence of the Redeemer and in that holy presence he has sacred seasons of refreshing. "Lo, I am with you always" (Matt. 28:20). Yet the believer not only desires and rejoices in the Savior’s fellowship on the pilgrimage, but longs to see Him as He is. The Beloved is in glory and the Christian longs for the Savior’s return. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus," is the prayer of his heart.
The Prayer Will Be Answered
The Lord will come again.
He will come: "Surely I come." We do not look for another. He who was born in Bethlehem; He who dwelt among men; He who died on the cross for our sins and rose again – He is the One for whom we look. "This same Jesus…shall so come…" (Acts 1:11). There is no uncertainty about this glorious event. The Lord said He would come, and He is the faithful and true Witness.
How will He come?
Never again will He come to the manger; never again to the life of the patient sufferer on earth; never again to the cross. Great glory will attend His appearing. "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of the archangel and the trump of God" (1 Thess. 4:16). The splendor of that event will transcend our highest thought.
The prayer answered will satisfy every longing of the Christian heart.
When our Lord comes, many great things will take place and each one will contribute to the satisfaction of the waiting believer.
At the coming of the Lord there will be victorious resurrection.
Death reigns today. The world is a vast cemetery. But the Sovereign Lord has conquered the vicious monarch. "The Lord is risen indeed" (Luke 24:34). Let the cry go forth with gladness – "O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. 15:55). The saints shall rise victors o’er the tomb!
There will be a reception.
"I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also" (John 14:3). See the suffering saint, the weary pilgrim, the blood-stained warrior. Is their suffering worthwhile? Are they of all men most miserable? For answer look to the coming of the Lord. He Himself will receive the saints. What unspeakable delight! What unutterable ecstasy! "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18).
There will be a coronation.
When the Savior comes, every saint who loves His appearing shall receive an unfading crown. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only but to all of them that love His appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8). Who can conceive of the honor and joy of the coronation day? But how undeserving and unworthy the crowned ones will be! Nevertheless they shall be crowned because they love His appearing. Behold His amazing love! Yet there is a wonder that almost rivals the wonder of our Savior’s love – the wonder that we do not yearn more intensely and pray more fervently for the coming of the Lord. Our longing is so fitful and our prayer is so cold simply because we do not really love His appearing.
There will be glorification.
Those who love His appearing will be raised, received, crowned and transformed into the image of their Lord. He "will change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body" (Phil. 3:21). "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" (1 John 3:2). Then every longing of the believing heart will be satisfied. It is this the Psalmist spoke of when he said: "I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness" (Psa. 17:15).
Satisfied fully and for ever, for we shall be with Him, see Him, and be like Him! May the Holy Spirit make His coming so real to us that our hearts will cry out of deep love and earnest longing – "Make haste my Beloved, and be Thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountain of spices" (Song 8:14). "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
– From The Prophetic News.