The Signs of the Times


January 27, 1888

“I Will Come Again”


“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And 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.” ST January 27, 1888, par. 1

The time of Jesus’ betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion, was drawing near; and as the disciples gathered around him, the Lord unfolded to them the mournful events that were about to take place, and their hearts were filled with sorrow. To comfort them he spoke these tender words: “Let not your heart be troubled.... I will come again, and receive you unto myself.” He directed their minds away from the scenes of sorrow, to the mansions of Heaven and the time of reunion in the kingdom of God. “I go to prepare a place for you.” Though he must go from them and ascend to his Father, his work for those he loved would not be at an end. He was to prepare homes for those who, for his sake, were to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth. ST January 27, 1888, par. 2

After his resurrection “he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven.” And as he went up, two shining angels asked the disciples, “Why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into Heaven.” Do you imagine as they went back to Jerusalem that they said to one another, “Well, the Lord has left us. What is now the use of trying to gain followers to Jesus? Let us return to our nets. Let us take up our old employment. What can we do against the opposition of the world?” There is no record of any such conversation. Not a line is written or a hint given that they had a thought of leaving the service of their ascended Lord, for the service of self and the world. The Saviour's hand had been outstretched in blessing his disciples he had left behind as he ascended. They had seen his glory. He had gone to prepare mansions for them. Their salvation had been provided for, and if they were faithful in complying with the conditions, they would assuredly follow him to the world of unending joy. Their hearts were filled with songs of rejoicing and praise. ST January 27, 1888, par. 3

We all have the same cause for thanksgiving. The resurrection and ascension of our Lord is a sure evidence of the triumph of the saints of God over death and the grave, and a pledge that Heaven is open to those who wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Jesus ascended to the Father as a representative of the human race, and God will bring those who reflect his image to behold and share with him his glory. ST January 27, 1888, par. 4

Though the disciples had gazed far into the Heaven until their Lord had vanished from their sight, they did not behold the angels that gathered around their beloved commander. Jesus led a multitude of captives who had risen from the grave at his resurrection. As the glorious company approach the gates of the eternal city the angels sing. “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the king of glory shall come in.” And the angels guarding the gates respond, “Who is this king of glory?” The attendant angels reply, “The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.” As the glorious train passes in, the angels are about to bow in adoration before the Lord of glory; but he waves them back. Before he will permit their homage he must know that his sacrifice for the fallen race has been accepted of the Father. He must know whether the price paid for the redemption of the lost has been sufficient to ransom them from the power of sin and the grave. This is the absorbing thought in the breast of the Saviour. Amid the splendor of the courts of glory, amid ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands waiting to cast their crowns at his feet, he does not forget those that he has left on earth to bear opposition, reproach, and scorn. After the Father has assured him that the ransom paid is accepted, still he has a request to offer for those who believe in him and follow in his footsteps: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” He requested that his disciples might enter into his joy and share his glory; and at last the faithful servant of the Lord will hear the glad words, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” ST January 27, 1888, par. 5

When he had finished preferring his requests, the Father gave the command, “Let all the angels of God worship him,” Then the song of joy and love swells through the heavenly courts, “Worthy, worthy, worthy, is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again, a triumphant conqueror.” And this same Jesus, whom unnumbered hosts of angels delight to adore, is coming again to fulfill his promise and receive those who love him unto himself. Have we not great reason to rejoice? “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” The consummation of our hope is at hand; the faithful will soon enter into the joy of their Lord. ST January 27, 1888, par. 6

A little time is given that the inhabitants of the world may hear the warning, and that those who will may prepare for the coming of the great king. We must not be like the foolish virgins. They did not provide oil for their lamps, and at the very time when the cry was raised, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh,” their lights burned dim and went out. Are there not many who are pursuing the same unwise course? They profess to be followers of Jesus, but they are making no preparation for his glorious appearing and kingdom. They go on, taken up with the affairs of this world, and have no realization of the great events about to come to pass. ST January 27, 1888, par. 7

Christ warned us in view of this very time that we should not be engrossed in the cares of the world, to the neglect of eternal interests; but how many of us allow the things of this life to interpose between our souls and the great gift of Heaven. How few are living for the glory of God and the good of humanity. How few are telling their children of the love of Christ, of the mansions of Heaven, of the necessity of faith and obedience. How few are warning their friends and neighbors of the fast-hastening Judgment. My heart is pained with the thought of the ingratitude of man to his Maker, and the indifference of souls to their dearly-purchased salvation. We are warned that if we do not watch and pray, the day of final reckoning will overtake us as a thief in the night, and our portion will be appointed with the hypocrites and unbelievers. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day.” There is every provision made that we may have the light, and there will be no excuse in the day of God if we are overtaken in our sins. Sorrow and woe await those who do not heed the instructions of the word of life; but what joy is in store for those who have made preparation for the coming of their Lord! They will be changed from mortality to immortality. They will see the King in his beauty, and reflect his image. They will be caught up to be forever with the Lord. ST January 27, 1888, par. 8

Let us go forward together to reach the great reward and join the song of the redeemed. If we ever sing the praises of God in Heaven, we must first sing them here. Out of grateful hearts the notes of thanksgiving should spring continually, and our lips should tell of the goodness of the Lord, and magnify his holy name. All complaint and murmuring should cease among the children of the Most High. We ought to be the happiest people on the earth, because we have a mighty Saviour in the sanctuary above, who has died that we might live. It might be inferred from our sad countenances and words of complaint that Jesus was still in Joseph's tomb, with a great stone rolled before the door; but I declare to you that Jesus is risen, that he loves you, that he represents you in the courts of his glory, making intercession for you. We should rejoice and praise God with songs of unfeigned thankfulness. Let us determine that if it costs everything we will have Heaven and become partakers of the divine nature. ST January 27, 1888, par. 9

We may have a right to enter into the city, to eat of the tree of life, and to share in the unending joy of the redeemed. We may listen to the voice of Jesus, sweeter than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, as he welcomes his children to their eternal home. Those who have chosen his service will hear him say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” And oh, what a kingdom! There will be no night in the city of gold. God and the Lamb will be its light. There are homes for the pilgrims of earth. There are robes for the righteous—crowns of glory, palms of victory. All that perplexed us in the providences of God, will then be made plain. The things hard to be understood will then find an explanation. The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken purposes we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. We shall know that infinite love ordered these experiences that seemed the most trying and hard to bear. As we realize the tender care of Him who makes all things work together for our good, we shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. ST January 27, 1888, par. 10

Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of Heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” One rich tide of happiness will flow and deepen as eternity rolls on. ST January 27, 1888, par. 11

Think of this, children of suffering and sorrow, and rejoice in hope. Strive with all your God-given powers to enter into the kingdom of Heaven; for “many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Jesus has promised, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself.” “But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth?” This is the question we should put to our souls. It becomes us, as rational beings, to consider whether we are prepared to meet our Lord, or placing our affections upon the things of earth. When we think how many are given to selfishness and pleasure-seeking, our hearts are troubled. The careless and indifferent, whose chief care is for their personal and earthly interests, will be left in outer darkness, but those who are waiting for their Lord, with their lamps trimmed and burning, will go in with the heavenly Bridegroom to the wedding. ST January 27, 1888, par. 12