King's Business - 1915-02



saints but He may come for us, as far as we know, at any moment. It was this clear and oft-repeated teaching of our Lord that we must be watching and looking for His return, that first made the writer a Pre- millennarian; for he saw clearly that if the Lord could not come for a thousand years he could not be looking and watching for His return now. And putting His coming off seven years, or even three and a half years, makes it just as impossible to look and watch for Him as to put it off one thousand years. This leads to the second great objection to the Doctrine that the Church is to pass through the Tribulation, narnely, it takes all the practical, sanctifying power out of the hope of our Lord’s return. It takes much of the sweetness out of the hope, too, it puts something else between us and our returning Lord, and that something else, the appalling tribulation. In point of fact, our experience with those who have been led into this error is that we find that they have lost much of the glow that was in their former faith in our Lord’s personal return. Many of them do. not dwell upon that hope as they once did, or when they do, it is rather to instil their own peculiar no­ tions than it is to emphasize the sweetness and certainty of the hope itself. The third objection to the teaching is that it is devisive. It was largely due to the fact that certain members of one of the greatest Bible conferences that this coun­ try ever knew accepted and promulgated this teaching that that conference went on the rocks and ceased to be. Disastrous con­ sequences have accompanied this teaching in many places, such consequences as ought to cause one to pause and think before he accepts the teaching and be very sure that it is clearly taught in the Word of God. In point of fact, the Word of God teaches just the contrary. It is qlear from the study of all the Scrip­ tures on this subject that while it is true, the Church shall see tribulation, “many tribulations,” such as we are seeing now, and such as the Church has seen from the

beginning (Acts 14:22), it is to be saved completely from any experience “of the Great Tribulation," the awful day that is pictured in the last book of the Bible and elsewhere. Will the whole Church be caught up to meet the Lord in the air at His coming, or will only the faithful part of the Church, those who are watching and waiting for His return, be caught and the rest of the Church be left to pass through the Tribulationf The Bible is perfectly clear on this point also. In 1 Corinthians 15:23 R. V. we are told that the order of the resurrec­ tion is as follows: “Each in his own order (the word translated “order” is a military word, meaning a troop or a corps) : Christ the first fruits: then they that are Christs at His coming.” This makes it clear that all that are Christ’s when He appears will be raised and caught up. Now every one who is really a rnember of “the Church,” i. e., every one who has really received Christ as his personal Saviour and sur­ rendered to Him as. his Lord and has con­ fessed Him as such is Christ’s: He may be a very feeble and halting member of the body of Christ, but still he is a member of that body and will be raised and caught up at His coming. Again we read in 1 Thessa- lonians 4:16, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we that are alive, that are left shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the a ir: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Now we are distinctly told here that it is the “dead in Christ” that is, of course, all the dead in Christ, not merely the more faithful among the dead in Christ, but everyone who is in Christ, i. e., every one who really ac­ cepted Him, no matter how feeble and fal­ tering a Christian he may be, if he dies be­ fore the Lord returns, will be one of the “dead in Christ’ and will have part in the rapture. The “we that are alive,” of course, refers to believers (to all believers, not

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