“Even So, Come, Lord Jesus!”
By D. M. Panton
Probably no generation since our Lord ascended has had such urgent reasons as our own for praying for our Lord to come back. “God works according to the prayers of His people” (Evan Roberts), and the date of the Second Coming of Christ is a loose end which prayer can affect, since God has made all His actions in this lower world to depend on faith and prayer. He may be depending on us for the Advent more than we dream.
“The Lord Himself,” in the words of Canon Simpson, “would never have bidden us pray, Thy kingdom come, if those seasons, which no man knows, were so irrevocably fixed that our efforts could not hasten, or our sins retard, the wheels of His chariot.”
Our Lord says, “When ye pray, say…Thy kingdom come” (Luke 11:2). “This, more than ever in these last days, ought to be the first and last of the church’s prayers, for all that she desires for herself, for the world, and for her Lord Himself, is comprised in this” (Horatius Bonar).
Jesus says, “Surely, I come quickly.” “Amen!” cries John: I accept the doctrine, I hold fast the promise, I rejoice in the speed: “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). It is the last prayer from an apostle’s lips. It is the last and crowning prayer of the Bible. It is the last prayer of the last apostle of the Lamb. The whole canon of inspiration closes with a direct appeal to Christ to come.
“The signs are to me so encouraging that I would not be unbelieving if I saw the wing of the apocalyptic angel spread for its last triumphant flight in this day’s sunset. O you dead churches, wake up! O Christ, descend! Scarred temple, take the crown! Bruised hand, take the scepter! Wounded foot, step the throne! Thine is the kingdom!” (Dr. Talmage).
It is John’s last prayer, and happy shall we be, if, falling asleep, it is the last prayer upon our lips also.
“Make Haste, My Beloved”
“The Spirit and the bride say, Come” (Rev. 22:17). In all sections of the church this prayer has never ceased down all the ages; yet only when John wrote, did the bride, as a whole, thus pray. “‘Surely, I come quickly,’” says Sir Robert Anderson, “are Christ’s last recorded words, but their fulfillment awaits the response of His people, ‘Amen...come, Lord Jesus.’”
Foreseeing this, how impressive it is that the Holy Spirit immediately adds: “And let him that heareth” – he who has the hearing ear because he has the overcoming life – let him say, “Come.” It is a prayer put upon our lips by divine command (Rev. 22:17).
In the words of Robert Murray M’Cheyne: “The day is breaking in the east. O, brethren, do you know what it is to long for Himself – to cry, ‘Make haste, my Beloved’?”