The Signs of the Times


November 10, 1887

The Coming of the Lord


“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” ST November 10, 1887, par. 1

Jesus is soon coming; and it is for us who believe this solemn truth to give the warning to the world. We should show by our dress, our conversation, and our actions, that our minds are fixed on something better than the business and pleasures of this short life. We are but pilgrims and strangers here, and should give some evidence that we are ready and waiting for the appearing of our divine Lord. Let the world see that you are journeying from this to a better land, dear reader,—to an immortal inheritance that passeth not away; that you cannot afford to devote your life to the things of this world, but that your concern is to prepare for the home that awaits you in the kingdom of God. ST November 10, 1887, par. 2

How shall we make this preparation? It is by bringing our appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God, and showing in our lives the fruits of holiness. We must deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God. We must let Christ into our hearts and homes. We must cultivate love, sympathy, and true courtesy one to another. Our happiness depends upon our taking this course. The reason that there are so many hard-hearted men and women in the world is that generous affection has been regarded as weakness, and has been discouraged and repressed. If we would have tender hearts, such as Jesus had when he was upon the earth, and sanctified sympathy, such as the angels have for erring mortals, we must cultivate the simple, unaffected affections of childhood. Then we shall be directed by heavenly principles, which are refining and elevating in their tendency. ST November 10, 1887, par. 3

Our lives should be consecrated to the good and happiness of others, as was our Saviour's. This is the joy of angels, and the work in which they are ever engaged. The spirit of Christ's self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades Heaven, and is the source of its blessedness. And it must be our spirit, if we would be fitted to join the society of the angelic host. In proportion as the love of Christ fills our hearts and controls our lives, selfishness and love of ease will be overcome; it will be our pleasure to minister to others, and to do the will of our Lord, whom we hope soon to see. ST November 10, 1887, par. 4

The work of testing character is going forward. God could have devised means for accomplishing his work in the earth, and saving the fallen race, without human aid; but he has given man a work to do that will call out self-denial and benevolence. We thus become assimilated to the image of Him who for our sakes became poor. Our Redeemer is watching now to see what characters we will develop, whether we will choose to regard our own selfish interests, or the eternal riches that have been placed within our reach. ST November 10, 1887, par. 5

For some who read this, death may be very near. Are you ready for your probation to close? Your life may be prolonged; but whether you wake or whether you sleep, you should be in a position to live to the glory of God. He will not accept the homage that consists of just a few moments selfishly devoted to his service; what he requires is your whole life, with your heart's best and holiest affections. ST November 10, 1887, par. 6

We should do right because it is right, and not to avoid punishment, or for fear of some great calamity that may come upon us. I want to do right for the pleasure I have in righteousness. There is so much happiness to be found in doing good here; so much satisfaction in doing the will of God; so much pleasure in receiving his blessing. Then let us show that we are men and women of sound judgment, choosing our portion not in this world, but in that which is to come. Let us stand at our post, faithful in the discharge of every duty, having our lives hid with Christ in God, that when the chief Shepherd shall appear, we “shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” ST November 10, 1887, par. 7

We have the promise that at Christ's second coming, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; and he will take us home to himself, that where he is there we may be also. Then we shall enjoy with him all the glories of the world to come throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. Why should those who look for this glorious hope be accounted foolish or insane? Is there not sanity and wisdom in entertaining this hope, the most satisfying of any brought to view in the word of God? Surely it is those who reject this hope, and scoff at the humble few that entertain it, who are insane and foolish; for they are devoting all their energies to the things of this short life, when there is offered them a life as enduring as the life of God. ST November 10, 1887, par. 8

“No sickness, sorrow, pain, or death shall reach that blissful shore:” there is nothing in the kingdom of God to disturb or annoy. This is the life that is promised to the overcomer,—a life of happiness and peace, a life of love and beauty. This “exceeding great reward” is within our reach, and can be gained simply by a life of obedience. But we have the privilege of choosing for ourselves. We can take this present life, so poor, so marred with sin, so filled with care and perplexity, or we can have eternal life where there is no sin, no distracting care, nothing to mar the peace of the inhabitant. It is strange that the majority, looking only to the pleasures of the world, choose this fleeting life, and fix their hopes here. ST November 10, 1887, par. 9

Here, then, are two classes: one seeking for the pleasures of this mortal life, the other for the enduring joys of immortality; one class are far from Christ, and satisfied with their condition, the other are seeking for the forgiveness of sins and for the Spirit of God; one class are battling against God and his truth, the other are warring against the lusts of the flesh, the spirit of the world, and Satan. One class are dreading the appearing of Christ, the Son of man, feeling that to them it is an overwhelming calamity; the other are looking for the coming of Christ the second time, without sin unto salvation. The one class will be rejected from the presence of God, and finally suffer the pangs of the second death; the other will have everlasting life at the right hand of God, where are pleasures for evermore. ST November 10, 1887, par. 10

God grant, dear reader, that when Jesus shall come the second time, you may be found ready and waiting; that you may be of that number who shall sing the song of redemption around the great white throne, casting their crowns at the feet of the redeemer. God grant that, with all the redeemed, you may have the glorious privilege of standing upon the sea of glass and walking the streets of gold. God grant that at that time there may be given to your hand a harp of gold, and that as you sweep its strings all Heaven may resound with your notes of joy and praise. ST November 10, 1887, par. 11