THE KING’S BUSINESS
God is intended to be a factor in the life of His people. II. Our Prospects. We must now look to the future. Our possessions deal with the present, our prospects with the future. I will ask you to notice carefully what is said here of the future, because the Chris tian life must look on as well as look up. Will you bear with me if I men tion seven here, too? 1. The first is the close of the pres ent order ( 2 :17) : “ The world is pass ing away.” Just like a procession passing down the street, this old world is passing away. What a mercy this is, that the present order of things is not permanent; and that those who say, “ Where is the promise of the fu ture ?” are in the wrong, because God’s Word says that this world is not to be permanent. The world is passing away, and its lusts. Sin is not going to be forever in this universe. It had a beginning, and it will have an end ing in God’s own time and way, that God may be “ all in all.” 2. Secondly, the imminence of the coming ( 2 :18) : “ Little children, it is a last hour: and as ye heard that anti christ cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour,” or a last hour. If St. John could say that concerning his time, we, can say it still more definitely to-day—the immi nence of the passing of the present or der and the entrance and introduction of a new order. We look abroad and see perplexities on every hand, na tional, ecclesiastical, social. We won der how these things are going to be solved. Only in one way—by the coming of that hour which will strike after this last hour has run its course. 3. Thirdly, the fact of Christ’s coming (2 :2 8 ): “ He shall appear;” the personal coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He shall be manifested.
4. Fourthly, the sight of the Lord at that time (3 :2 ): “ We shall see Him.” How wonderful, how inex pressible that sight will b e ! Some of you perhaps remember, twenty-five or thirty years ago reading a poem, “ Yes terday, to-day, and for ever,” by the late Bishop Bickersteth, with a de scription of thfe moment when the soul was released from the body, and was taken by an angel into the presence of the Lord. And, as Miss Havergal said, you turned over the page with fear and trembling as you came to that part where the soul was to see Christ for the first time and be introduced to Him. But with unerring spiritual and poetic insight' the Bishop described that interview in the most exquisite and helpful language. Let us just think what must it be, what will it mean when we see the Lord Jesus Christ for the first time! 5. Fifthly, likeness to Christ (3 :2) : “We. shall be like Him.” We shall see, and we shall be. The sight o f Christ will transform us; we shall see Him as Fie is, and that will be the effect of the transfiguration, like His own. 6. Sixthly, “ the day of judgment” (4 :17 ).' Yes, we are looking forward to that. There is one day of judg ment past; there are three yet to come. The day of judgment past was when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross, when sin was judged. The next day of judgment will be when the believers stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive their rewards, according to their works since their conversion. There will be two more days o f judgment—the day of judg ment for the living nations when the Lord ushers in the Millennium ,Matt. 25), and of course the judgment of the Great White Throne (Rev. 20). If you and I in our Christian life do not keep “ the judgment” in mind even as believers, we shall fail at one of the most vital points of our Christian life.
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