Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 79, 1897

Christ’s Second Coming


July 29, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 115-116.

In the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth chapters of Matthew is described the second coming of Christ to our world: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the one end of heaven to the other.” “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” [Matthew 24:30, 31, 36-39.] 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 1

Then the warning is given: “Watch, therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. ... Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord, when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily, I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Verses 42, 44-51.] 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 2

What earnest zeal should those words arouse in the heart of the true believer. Here the conditions of the church at Christ’s second coming is portrayed. Again its spiritual condition is described in the parable of the ten virgins, five of whom were wise and five foolish: 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 3

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil, for our lamps have gone out. But the wise answered saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and for you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went into the marriage; and the door was shut. Afterward also came the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” [Matthew 25:1-13.] And we may all ask, Can it be that I shall be among the wise virgins? 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 4

Here also is given the parable of the talents. The man who hid his Lord’s money in the earth was pronounced an unprofitable servant of his Lord’s goods, and the sentence was issued, “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Verse 30.] And this is an illustration of the last general judgment, when each shall be dealt with according to the use he has made of his talents. The righteous alone will shine forth in the kingdom of God in that great decisive day when every character shall appear just as it is. They that have done good will have a part in the resurrection of life; they that have done evil will be awarded according to their works. The obedient and the disobedient decide the whole matter. 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 5

The Word declares, “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.” [Verse 31.] Then the triumph of Christ will have come. What a scene will this be upon which the whole universe will gaze. How the love of God is here displayed through His Son to all who have proved true and faithful. In that day Christ does not present before men the great work He has done for them in giving His life for their redemption. He presents before them the faithful work they have done for Him. What surpassing love is this! He even mentions the work of the heathen world who have had no intelligent knowledge of the law of the Lord but who have done some of the very things the law required, because they had heeded the voice speaking to them in the things of nature around them. The grace of God, working upon their darkened minds, softened their savage nature untaught by the wisdom of men. 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 6

While among men Christ pronounced sentence upon rabbis, rulers, Pharisees, and Sadducees because of their hypocrisy, their rejection of light. Looking at them searchingly, He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone,” but He addressed the woman who was guilty of sin in words of tenderest compassion. [John 8:7, 10, 11.] He knew all about the character of the sin committed; but He traced upon the ground the sins of her accusers who had laid their net for the woman, that thus they might find occasion for condemning Christ. Their curiosity led them near to Christ, to see what He had written in the sand; but they did not care to look more than once, and one by one they hastily left His presence. 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 7

Those who had acted a part in bringing this poor woman before Him were far more guilty than she, and Christ knew it. The guilty persons expected that before they could take themselves away, Christ would single them out, and expose them and their deep laid plot before the gathered throng. These professors were spiritually blind. Maxims and traditions were cherished by them, and obedience to God’s requirements was regarded as a thing of naught. Christ was grieved with them. He looked upon them with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts. He could detect every phase of their hypocrisy, and their great sin brought from His divine lips a scathing rebuke. 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 8

The humble, though ignorant, are Christ’s most hopeful disciples. The uneducated heathen in all their cruelty are regarded in a more favorable light than are those who have had great light, who have had evidence upon evidence, but who, when the Lord in His mercy reproves them for the sins they are cherishing as virtues, are offended, and (mark the words) like the disciples of Christ’s day, go back and walk no more with Him. Christ recognizes every act in the savage that reflects His own mercy and compassion. When the Holy Spirit puts Christ’s Spirit into the savage, and he befriends God’s servants, the quickening of the heart’s sympathy is contrary to his nature, contrary to his education. Christ implants His grace in the heart of the savage and he ministers to the necessity of the missionary even before he has heard or comprehended the words of truth and life. 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 9

Behold that crowd collected about some of God’s servants to murder them! But the Lord is working upon the heart and mind of perhaps only one man to plead in behalf of these servants who love and fear God. When the war council has been carried on to determine the destruction of some Christian’s life, on several occasions the intercession of one savage has turned the decision, and his life has been spared. Oh, the love that goes forth to the savage for this one act. To such in the judgment Christ is represented as saying, “I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.” “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” [Matthew 25:35, 36, 34.] 12LtMs, Ms 79, 1897, par. 10