The Second Coming – Powerful Motivation
By James H. Brookes
The truth of the coming of the Lord is eminently practical. In proof of this, the following references show how Jesus and the apostles used the prophecies of His coming again as a motive to incite us…
1. To watchfulness – "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 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 13:32-37).
2. To sobriety – "Yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1 Thes. 5:2-6).
3. To repentance – "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things..." (Acts 3:19-21).
4. To fidelity – "And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing" (Luke 12:42-43).
5. Not to be ashamed of Christ – "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38).
6. Against worldliness – "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For 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. 16:26-27).
7. To moderation or mildness – "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand" (Phil. 4:5).
8. To patience – "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry" (Heb. 10:36-37).
9. To mortification of fleshly lusts – "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 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; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col. 3:3-5).
10. To sincerity – "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ" (Phil. 1:9-10).
11. To the practical sanctification of the entire being – "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thes. 5:23).
12. To ministerial faithfulness – "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:1-2).
13. To induce obedience to the apostle’s injunctions – "I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus...that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Tim. 6:13-14).
14. To pastoral diligence and purity – "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" (1 Pet. 5:2-4).
15. To purify ourselves – "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 3:2-3).
16. To abide 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 2:28).
17. To endure manifold temptations and the severest trial of faith – "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 honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:7).
18. To bear persecution for the sake of our Lord – "Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Pet. 4:13).
19. To holy conversation and godliness – "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 unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Pet. 3:11-13).
20. To 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 stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints" (1 Thes. 3:12-13).
21. To keep in mind our heavenly citizenship – "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself" (Phil. 3:20-21).
22. To love the Second Coming of Christ – "I 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, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing" (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
23. To look for Him – "As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb. 9:27-28).
24. To confidence that Christ will finish the work – "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).
25. To hold fast the hope firm unto the end – "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11).
26. To separation from worldly lusts and to live godly – "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:11-13).
27. To watchfulness because of its suddenness – "For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day...And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17:24-30).
28. To guard against hasty judgment – "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God" (1 Cor. 4:5).
29. To the hope of a rich reward – "Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. 19:27-28).
30. To assure the disciples of a time of rejoicing – "Holding forth the Word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain" (Phil. 2:16).
31. To comfort the apostles in view of Christ’s departure from them – "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3).
32. Practical faith in the Second Coming is a crowning grace and assurance of blamelessness in the day of the Lord – "I thank my God always...for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:4-8).
33. It is the principal event for which the believer waits – "…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, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" (1 Thes. 1:9-10).
34. It is declared to be the time of reckoning with the servants – "After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them" (Matt. 25:19).
35. Of judgment for the nations – "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: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" (Matt. 25:31-32).
36. Of the resurrection of the saints – "Every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming" (1 Cor. 15:23).
37. Of the manifestation of the saints – "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" (Col. 3:4).
38. It is declared to be the source of consolation to those who sorrow over the dead who sleep in Jesus – "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him" (1 Thes. 4:14).
39. It is declared to be the time of retribution to unbelievers – "…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 Thes. 1:7-8).
40. It is proclaimed every time the Lord’s Supper is celebrated – "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come" (1 Cor. 11:26).
Such are some of the uses made of the doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming in the New Testament, to say nothing of the numerous allusions to it in the Old Testament. It seems to be employed to arm every appeal, to point every argument, to enforce every exhortation.
All who bow to the authority of the Word of God must, after examination, place the doctrine here advocated very high in their esteem. Their experience will be something like that of the gifted and saintly Hewitson, of whom his biographer says, "The ‘blessed hope’ took its place thenceforth, not only in his understanding, but in his heart. He not only believed in the speedy ‘appearing’ – he loved it – waited for it – watched for it."
– Taken from Maranatha: The Lord Cometh by James H. Brookes.