King's Business - 1968-10

basement for a Hallowe’en party, a charity dance, or a rummage sale to raise money for the poor, be­ nighted heathen. We need more than orthodoxy. We need SPIRITUALITY. THE TEST OF SPIRITUALITY As the test of orthodoxy is: “What do you be­ lieve concerning the FIRST COMING?” so the test of SPIRITUALITY is: “What do you believe con­ cerning the SECOND COMING?” Show me a church that believes in the imminent, personal re­ turn of the Lord Jesus, and I will show you a church that is on fire for God. It will be a soul­ winning church. It will be a missionary church. It will be a church that is too busy winning souls to be bothered with church suppers and socials, ban­ quets and parties, or lugging their cast-off clothing to the altar of the Lord to be sold to raise money to help the “ poor Lord.” What the church needs today is a vision of the shortness of the hour, the dire need o f the world and the imminency o f the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every great re­ vival has always been inspired by these things. A GLORIOUS EVENT How is it possible that Christians should not be interested in the return o f their Saviour, the One who died to save them from Hell, the One who shed His blood for their redemption ? Why, it seems to me that everyone who is really bom again and knows what it is to be saved would be crying every day, “ Oh Lord Jesus, how long?” We repeat once more, without apology for repe­ tition, the first promise in the Bible after man fell was about that glorious COMING AGAIN of the Lord Jesus. God said to the serpent: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Genesis 3:15). Only half o f this prophecy has been fulfilled. That part which predicted the BRUISING OF THE SEED’S HEEL was fulfilled at Calvary when Satan bruised the Saviour’s heel, but the final bruising of Satan’s head under the bruised heel o f the Sav­ iour is still a future event and awaits His coming again. As the FIRST promise in the Bible is concern­ ing His coming, so the last promise in the Bihle concerns His coming again. Listen to it in Revela­ tion 22: He which testifieth these things saith, SURELY I COME QUICKLY (Rev. 22:20). And the last prayer in the Bible is for the RETURN OF THE LORD. Here it is: Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20). Between these two, the FIRST and the LAST promises in the Bible, is a mass o f prophecy‘ and teaching in type, symbol, and direct word concern­ ing this great event. There are twenty-two times TH E KING'S BUSINESS

FLESH, and dwelt among us, (and we be­ held his glory, the glory as o f the only be­ gotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:1-3, 14). Of Him the writer o f Hebrews says, God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the far thers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word o f his power . . . (Hebrews 1:1-3). Yet this great eternal Son o f God who was with the Father in the beginning and who created all things for His glory was willing to lay aside that form of God and veil His eternal glory to dwell as a human being on this earth in order that He might die for poor, lost, Hell-deserving sinners and make them the sons o f God. All this He did when He came the first time. But just as surely as He came the first time in the fulfillment of God’s prophetic Word, just so surely and just so literally will He come again the second time; and great as the event of His first coming was, yet greater shall be the glory of His coming again. It is a sad fact that many who pro­ fess Christ as their Saviour have no vision o f His second coming. That is why the Church is so dead and lukewarm. That is why there is no missionary zeal and no love for the souls of men. The second coming of Christ, that blessed hope, is the greatest incentive not only to godly living but to evangelism and missionary endeavor. THE TEST OF ORTHODOXY The test of orthodoxy is this: “What do you believe concerning the FIRST COMING OF CHRIST?” If a church, or individual, is straight on the first coming, it will be orthodox. If it con­ fesses that Jesus is God, that He was bom of a virgin by conception of the Holy Ghost, that He was both God and man, that He died a substitu­ tionary death for sinners, that He arose bodily on the third day, and ascended into Heaven, then that church is an orthodox church. But a church may be as orthodox as the Devil himself—and the Devil is orthodox; he believes all the above about Jesus. The Devil is no modernist. He believes Jesus’ deity and all of the rest—I say, a church may be as or­ thodox as Satan and yet be as dead as the dodo. Just having an orthodox creed is not enough. I know of churches that have a creed as sound as the Bible but they are as dead as a doornail. They recite the creed at the morning service and then go out to live like heathen. While the congregation recites the creed, the Ladies’ Aid is fixing up the 24

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