The Review and Herald

1822/1902

November 13, 1913

The Blessed Hope

EGW

The time of Jesus’ betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion was drawing near; and as the disciples gathered about him, the Lord unfolded to them the mournful events that were about to take place. As they listened, their hearts were filled with sorrow, and 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 from the scenes of sorrow before them to the mansions of heaven and the reunion that would take place in the kingdom of God. “I go to prepare a place for you,” he declared. Though he must ascend to the Father, his work for those he loved was not to end. He went to prepare homes for those who, for his sake, were to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth. RH November 13, 1913, par. 1

After his resurrection, Christ led the disciples out as far as 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, angels gave to the sorrowing disciples the assurance, “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.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 2

The great truth of Christ's second coming is ever to be kept before the church. “Let your loins be girded about,” we are admonished, “and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.... Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 3

Because we do not know the exact hour of Christ's coming, we are commanded to watch. “Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching.” Those who watch for the Lord's return do not wait in idle expectancy. They purify their hearts by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they unite earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to cooperate with divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls. These are the faithful and wise servants, who give to the Lord's household their portion of meat in due season. They are declaring the truth that is now specially applicable. As Enoch, Abraham, and Moses each declared the truth for his time, so will Christ's servants now give the special warning for their generation. RH November 13, 1913, par. 4

Now is the time to prepare for the coming of our Lord. Readiness to meet him cannot be attained in a moment's time. Preparatory to that solemn scene there must be vigilant waiting and watching, combined with earnest work. So God's children glorify him. Amid the busy scenes of life their voices will be heard speaking words of encouragement, faith, and hope. All they have and are is consecrated to the Master's service. RH November 13, 1913, par. 5

But like the dwellers in Sodom, those who refuse to serve God will be awakened only when it is too late. As the sun rose for the last time upon the cities of the plain, the people thought to begin another day of godless riot. All were eagerly planning their business or their pleasure, and the messenger of God was derided for his fears and his warnings. Suddenly as a peal of thunder from an unclouded sky fell balls of fire on the doomed capital. RH November 13, 1913, par. 6

“So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” The people will be eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, until the wrath of God shall be poured out without mixture of mercy. Men have been taught by their ministers to believe that the coming of Christ is to be spiritual, or is to take place in the distant future, and the message of his soon return has been denounced as fanaticism or heresy. Skepticism and “science falsely so called” have undermined faith in the Bible. The multitudes are striving to forget God, and they eagerly accept fables, that they may pursue the path of self-indulgence undisturbed. The people are hurrying to and fro, the lovers of pleasure intent upon amusement, the money-makers seeking wealth; and all are saying, Where is the promise of his coming? RH November 13, 1913, par. 7

The Jews misinterpreted and misapplied the Word of God, and they knew not the time of their visitation. The years of the ministry of Christ and his apostles—the precious last years of grace to the chosen people—they spent in plotting the destruction of the Lord's messengers. Earthly ambitions absorbed them, and the offer of the spiritual kingdom came to them in vain. So today the kingdom of this world absorbs men's thoughts, and there are few who take heed to the rapidly fulfilling prophecies, and the tokens of the swift-coming kingdom of God. RH November 13, 1913, par. 8

Christ tells us when the day of his kingdom shall be ushered in. He does not say that all the world will be converted, but that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” By giving the gospel to the world, it is in our power to hasten the coming of the day of God. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to the earth in power and great glory. RH November 13, 1913, par. 9

Living power must attend the message of Christ's second appearing. We must not rest until we see many souls converted to the blessed hope of the Lord's return. In the days of the apostles the message that they bore wrought a real work, turning souls from idols to serve the living God. The work to be done today is just as real, and the truth is just as much truth; only we are to give the message with as much more earnestness as the coming of the Lord is nearer. The message for this time is positive, simple, and of the deepest importance. We must act like men and women who believe it. Waiting, watching, working, praying, warning the world—this is our work. RH November 13, 1913, par. 10

When Christ came to this earth the first time, he came in lowliness and obscurity, and his life here was one of suffering and poverty. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Men hid as it were their faces from him, and at the last they crucified him. Still bearing humanity he ascended to heaven, triumphant and victorious. He has taken the blood of the atonement, sprinkled it upon the mercy-seat and his own garments, and blessed the people. Soon he will appear the second time to declare that there is no more sacrifice for sin. RH November 13, 1913, par. 11

At his second coming all will be changed. Not as a prisoner surrounded by a rabble will men see him, but as heaven's King. Christ will come in his own glory, in the glory of his Father, and in the glory of the holy angels. Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels, the beautiful, triumphant sons of God, possessing surpassing loveliness and glory, will escort him on his way. In the place of a crown of thorns, he will wear a crown of glory—a crown within a crown. In the place of that old purple robe, he will be clothed in a garment of whitest white, “so as no fuller on earth can white” it. And on his vesture and on his thigh a name will be written, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 12

Then the last trump will sound, the voice of God will speak, and the whole earth, from the summits of the loftiest mountains to the lowest recesses of the deepest mines, will hear that voice. It will be heard in the dungeons of men, in the caverns of the deep, in the rocks and caves of the earth, and it will be obeyed. It is the same voice that said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest,”—the same voice that said, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” And those who obeyed that voice when it said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” will now hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” To them that voice will mean rest, peace, and everlasting life. They will recognize it as the voice of the One who has been touched with the feeling of their infirmities. RH November 13, 1913, par. 13

And those who pierced the Saviour, those who scourged and crucified him, will also be raised, to behold him whom they mocked and despised coming in the clouds of heaven, attended by the angelic host. Before the priests and rulers will rise the scene in the judgment-hall. Every circumstance will appear as if written in letters of fire. Then those who prayed, “His blood be on us, and on our children,” will receive the answer to their prayer. Then those who have chosen to war against God will know and understand what they, poor, feeble, finite beings, have been fighting against. In agony and horror they will cry to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? RH November 13, 1913, par. 14

While the world is plunged in darkness, there will be light in every dwelling of the saints. They will catch the first light of his second appearing. The unsullied light will shine from his splendor, and Christ the Redeemer will be admired by all who have served him. While the wicked flee from his presence, Christ's followers will rejoice. The patriarch Job, looking down to the time of Christ's second advent, said: “Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger.” To his faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion, a familiar friend. They have lived in close, constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and glory of the King in his majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts. RH November 13, 1913, par. 15

With uplifted heads, with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shining upon them, with rejoicing that their redemption draweth nigh, they go forth to meet the Bridegroom, saying, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 16

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.... And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” “He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 17

More than eighteen hundred years have passed since the Saviour gave the promise of his coming. Throughout the centuries his words have filled with courage the hearts of his faithful ones. The promise has not yet been fulfilled; the Life-giver's voice has not yet called the sleeping saints from their graves; but none the less sure is the word that has been spoken. In his own time God will fulfill his word. Shall any become weary now? Shall we lose our hold on faith when we are so near the eternal world? Shall any say, The city is a great way off?—No, no. A little longer, and we shall see the King in his beauty. A little longer, and he will wipe all tears from our eyes. A little longer, and he will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 18

All heaven is astir, engaged in preparing for the day of God's vengeance, the day of Zion's deliverance. The time of tarrying is almost ended. The pilgrims and strangers who have so long been seeking a better country are almost home. I feel as if I must cry aloud, Homeward bound! Rapidly we are nearing the time when Christ will come to gather his redeemed to himself. Then by innumerable voices will be sung the song, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 19

“The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 20

“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” RH November 13, 1913, par. 21

(Here let the offering for missions be gathered. The isolated believers who read this should send their gifts to their church or conference treasury.) RH November 13, 1913, par. 22