The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:26.
Luther declared: “I persuade myself verily, that the day of judgment will not be absent full three hundred years. God will not, cannot, suffer this wicked world much longer.” “The great day is drawing near in which the kingdom of abominations shall be overthrown.”–Daniel T. Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth: or, The Voice of the Church in All Ages, p. 33.
“This aged world is not far from its end,” said Melanchthon. Calvin bids Christians “not to hesitate, ardently desiring the day of Christ’s coming as of all events most auspicious;” and declares that “the whole family of the faithful will keep in view that day.” “We must hunger after Christ, we must seek, contemplate,” he says, “till the dawning of that great day, when our Lord will fully manifest the glory of His kingdom.”–Ibid., pages 158, 134.
“Has not the Lord Jesus carried up our flesh into heaven?” said Knox, the Scotch Reformer, “and shall He not return? We know that He shall return, and that with expedition.” Ridley and Latimer, who laid down their lives for the truth, looked in faith for the Lord’s coming. Ridley wrote: “The world without doubt–this I do believe, and therefore I say it–draws to an end. Let us with John, the servant of God, cry in our hearts unto our Saviour Christ, Come, Lord Jesus, come.” –Ibid., pages 151, 145.
“The thoughts of the coming of the Lord,” said Baxter, “are most sweet and joyful to me.”–Richard Baxter, Works, vol. 17, p. 555. “It is the work of faith and the character of His saints to love His appearing and to look for that blessed hope.” “If death be the last enemy to be destroyed at the resurrection, we may learn how earnestly believers should long and pray for the second coming of Christ, when this full and final conquest shall be made.”–Ibid., vol. 17, p. 500. “This is the day that all believers should long, and hope, and wait for, as being the accomplishment of all the work of their redemption, and all the desires and endeavors of their souls.” “Hasten, O Lord, this blessed day!”–Ibid., vol. 17, pp. 182, 183. Such was the hope of the apostolic church, of the “church in the wilderness,” and of the Reformers.
Maranatha p. 14
—–Please continue to pray for Jan and her family. Rose
—–Please pray for my brother Steven who is having heart trouble, my sister Pat who has an abusive husband, and my husband Tom who recently had a stroke. Mary
—–Please pray for Esther as she thinks she might be getting mastitis again and also pray for Ron who has a bone spur and is in a lot of pain. Rose
One winter when we lived in Pennsylvania, it snowed so much that snow was about seven feet deep on the level. Ron decided to make Eileen, age 4, a snow cave in the back yard. He was sure that she would have many hours of fun in her own little snow house. He worked and worked to make it a fun and safe place for her. Then he and Eileen crawled inside. They played together happily. She was delighted!
Eileen really liked her snow cave, but didn’t play in it like Ron thought that she would. Day after day, the snow cave stood empty. Ron was disappointed. I urged her to play in the nice cave he had made for her, but soon she was back inside. Finally she explained that it was only fun if we were in the cave with her. She was lonely for our presence. That nice snow cave held no joy, when she was in it all alone.
It is much the same with our Great Creator, the One Who “created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited.” Isa 45:18 Think of it! His greatest joy is spending time with us. Having sweet communion with us as He had in the beginning with our first parents.
“In six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” in that perfect world of His creation. Ex 20:11 He, Who looked upon the work of His hands and pronounced them “very good” did not create an empty world. Gen 1:31 He created beings who could spend time with Him, who could love Him, who could appreciate the gifts that He showered upon them. Each day He spent time with Adam and Eve in close fellowship. He walked through their garden with them and explained the marvels of creation to them. The fellowship and sweet harmony that they felt, filled them with joy and great happiness.
One day, however, all was different. When Adam and Eve “heard the voice of the LORD God (as He was) walking in the garden in the cool of the day (for their normal time of meeting): Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Gen 3:8 They had listened to the evil one, who wanted to spoil God’s happiness. And through their sin, had lost that sweet face to face communion with their Maker.
God’s Great Heart of Love was filled with unutterable grief as He saw the beings that He had created in His own image, begin to take on the characteristics of the evil one. Their sweet harmony was broken. Their evening walk together in close communion was a thing of the past. The worship of all of the angels and all of the unfallen beings on all of the unfallen worlds held no joy for our Creator now. He longed to have sweet harmony with these fallen children of His as well. His Great Heart of Love could not bear the thought that they would have to bear the consequences of their sin. “Christ Jesus volunteered to make “himself of no reputation, and (take) upon him the form of a servant, and [be] made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” to restore us to fellowship with Him forevermore. Eph 2:7,8 What love! What sacrifice! It is beyond comprehension.
May we accept His marvelous grace. May we continually love Him with all of our heart, mind, and strength. May we reach out to those around us and bring them to our Dear Saviour’s feet, that they, too, may be restored into sweet harmony with the One Who loves us so.