The Return of the Lord Jesus - R. A. Torrey - ebook
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The writer of this book is an optimist. He is absolutely sure that a golden age is swiftly coming to this earth. But he is not a blind optimist. His optimism is not the result of shutting his eyes to unpleasant facts; his eyes are wide open to the awful injustices that rule in human society as at present constituted. He is fully aware that there is a storm coming. He does not question that we are facing the wildest, fiercest, most appalling storm this old world ever passed through, but the storm will be brief and beyond the storm there is a golden day, such as philosophers and poets never dreamed of. The writer is an optimist because he has deeply pondered and believes with his whole heart what the Bible teaches concerning the Second Coming of Christ. If he did not believe that, he could not but be a pessimist, knowing what he does of social conditions and the trend of human society today. In the Return of our Lord is the perfect solution, and the only solution, of the political and social and commercial problems that now vex us.

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THE RETURN

OF THE

LORD JESUS

The Key to the Scripture, and the Solution of All Our Political and Social Problems

or

THE GOLDEN AGE THAT IS SOON COMING TO THE EARTH

by

R. A. TORREY, D. D.

Dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, California.

With Supplementary Chapters by

REV. JOHN H. SAMMIS

and

REV. JAMES HALL BROOKS

Los Angeles

Bible Institute

The quotations from the Bible in this book are taken from the American Standard Bible.

Copyright 1913

Hope. Inspiration. Trust.

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Contents

Preliminary Statements

Chapter 1. The Importance of the Truth That Our Lord Jesus Is Coming Again

Chapter 2. The Certainty That Our Lord Jesus Is Coming Again

Chapter 3. The Manner in Which Our Lord Jesus Is Coming Again

Chapter 4. The Results of the Return of Our Lord Jesus

Chapter 5. The Time of Our Lord’s Return

Chapter 6. Our Attitude toward the Return of Our Lord Jesus

Collation of Scripture Passages on the Second Coming of Christ for Individual Study

Supplemental

Pre-Millenarianism or Post-Millenarianism, Which?

Biographical of John H. Sammis

How I Became a Pre-Millennialist

Biographical of James Hall Brooks

About CrossReach Publications

Bestselling Titles from CrossReach

Detailed Synopsis

Preliminary Statements

The writer an optimist—His optimism defined—The true doctrine of the Advent a safeguard against error—The most precious truth

Chapter 1

The Importance of the Truth That Our Lord Jesus Is Coming Again

The frequency of its mention—Its emphasis as the comfort of saints and the blessed hope of the believer—It is peculiarly obnoxious to the worldly—It is the incentive to service, watchfulness and separation—Four stages of the author’s experience—The transformation wrought in him by the apprehension of the doctrine

Chapter 2

The Certainty That Our Lord Jesus Is Coming Again

It is repeatedly and explicitly affirmed by the Word of God—It is distinguished as a coming “a second time”—It is not synonymous with death—It is not the coming of the Holy Spirit—It did not occur at the destruction of Jerusalem—It lies yet in the future

Chapter 3

The Manner in Which Our Lord Jesus Is Coming Again

Personally—Bodily and visibly—In three stages—With great publicity—In great power and glory—With His holy angels —Suddenly and unannounced

Chapter 4

The Results of the Return of Our Lord Jesus

The results: As regards God—As regards the Church and individual believers—As regards Israel—As regards the nations—As regards human society as a whole—As regards Antichrist and the Devil—As regards the physical universe

Chapter 5

The Time of Our Lord’s Return

It is unknown—No definite data revealed—It will be when men think not—When the world will be absorbed in its pursuits—After the revelation of the Man of Sin—In a time of apostasy—So far as we know, at any moment

Chapter 6

Our Attitude toward the Return of Our Lord Jesus

We should be always ready—We should be looking, expectant—We should be earnestly longing—The preciousness of the words, “Jesus is coming”

Collation of Scripture Passages on the Second Coming of Christ.

Supplemental

Pre-millenarianism or Post-millenarianism—Which? By Rev. John H. Sammis

Biographical of John H. Sammis

How I Became a Pre-millenialist By Rev. James Hall Brooks

Biographical of James Hall Brooks

Preliminary Statements

The writer an optimist—His optimism defined—The true doctrine of the advent a safeguard against error—The most precious truth

“This word He hath in fact spoken,—‘Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven,’—but it is a word of which there is no example. Even the mad pride of Roman emperors who demanded religious homage for their statutes has never gone so far as to conceive such an unheard of thought, and here it is the lowliest of men who speaks. The word must be truth; for there is here no mean term between truth and madness.”—Luthardt.

The writer of this book is an optimist. He is absolutely sure that a golden age is swiftly coming to this earth. But he is not a blind optimist. His optimism is not the result of shutting his eyes to unpleasant facts; his eyes are wide open to the awful injustices that rule in human society as at present constituted. He is fully aware that there is a storm coming. He does not question that we are facing the wildest, fiercest, most appalling storm this old world ever passed through, but the storm will be brief and beyond the storm there is a golden day, such as philosophers and poets never dreamed of. The writer is an optimist because he has deeply pondered and believes with his whole heart what the Bible teaches concerning the Second Coming of Christ. If he did not believe that, he could not but be a pessimist, knowing what he does of social conditions and the trend of human society today. In the Return of our Lord is the perfect solution, and the only solution, of the political and social and commercial problems that now vex us.

In the truth concerning our Lord’s Return is the safeguard against all current heresies, errors and falsehoods. One error after another is arising to deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect. One who knows the truth clearly revealed in God’s Word concerning the Second Coming of Christ is proof against them all. For example, no one who knows the truth concerning the Second Coming of Christ could possibly be misled by Christian Science, Millennial Dawnism, Occultism, Theosophy or Behaism. It is remarkable how all forms of error touch the doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming, and are shattered by the truth revealed about it in the Scriptures. Those who are ignorant of what the Word teaches concerning the Second Coming of Christ may fancy that they see in Madame Besant’s “Order of the Star of the East” a preparation for the coming of Christ, but those who know the truth know that it is a preparation for the welcoming of the Antichrist, the Devil’s imitation Christ.

The truth of our Lord’s Return is the most precious truth the Bible contains. It fills the heart of the believer with joy, and girds him with strength for the battle. It lifts him above the sorrows and fears and necessities and trials and ambitions and greed of this world and makes him in all things more than conqueror.

Chapter 1

The Importance of the Truth That Our Lord Jesus Is Coming Again

The frequency of its mention—its emphasis as the comfort of saints and the blessed hope of the believer—It is peculiarly obnoxious to the worldly—It is the incentive to service, watchfulness and separation—Four stages of the author’s experience—The transformation wrought in him by the apprehension of the doctrine

“Ye turned from the idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivereth us from the wrath to come.”—1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10

“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye, before our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming.”—1 Thessalonians 2:19

“Amen: come, Lord Jesus.”—Revelation 22:20

The importance in God’s thought of the Second Coming of Christ is seen in the fact that this event is mentioned more times in the New Testament than there are chapters. It has been said by those who have taken the trouble to count that it is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the New Testament. And one who made a life-long study of the doctrine has said that it occupies one in every twenty-five verses from Matthew to Revelation. It also occupies a prominent place in the Old Testament, as by far the greater part of the predictions concerning Christ in the Old Testament are connected, not with His first coming to die as an atoning Savior, but with His Second Coming to rule as King.

The coming again of Jesus Christ is the one doctrine with which God commands us to comfort sorrowing saints. When death had begun to thin the ranks of the believers in Thessalonica, and hearts were aching over separation from those who had fallen asleep, the Apostle Paul wrote, “But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. 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 air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:13–18). As “these words” have entirely to do with the Second Coming of Christ, it is evident that the one doctrine with which God commands us to comfort those in sorrow over the loss of loved ones is that of our Lord’s Coming again. There is no other truth that has such comfort in it for intelligent believers when they are called upon to pass through deep sorrow as that of the Return of the Lord and what it involves for us and for those who have fallen asleep. Time and again in writing to those who have lost for a time those whom they love, I have obeyed God’s commandment and used the truth of our Lord’s Return to comfort them, and many have told me afterwards how full of comfort this truth has proven when everything else had failed. In the Old Testament also we find God through His servant Isaiah comforting Israel in the time of their misery and desolation with the thought of the Coming of the Lord: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up on a high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God! Behold, his reward is with him and his recompense before him” (Is. 40:1, 9, 10).

Time and again in the New Testament the Coming Again of our Lord Jesus Christ and the events connected therewith are held up as “the blessed hope” and the eager desire of every true believer. In Titus 2:13 Paul says, “Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” And Peter in 2 Peter 3:11, says: “Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” To the true believer, the Coming Again of Jesus Christ is not something to dread, but it is the brightest hope the future holds for us and it should be the object of our eager desire and longing anticipation. The last prayer in the Bible is also the cry of every intelligent Christian heart, “Amen; come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).

But while the Return of our Lord is the blessed hope and eager desire of the true believer, it is the particular object of the hatred and ridicule of the mockers who walk after their own lusts. Peter’s prediction has come true: “In the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:3, 4). A worldly Church and worldly Christians join with these mockers in their hatred of this truth. As a bride who is flirting with other men does not long for the return of her absent husband, so the faithless bride of Christ, who is flirting with the world does not long for the return of her Lord. But for the believer whose affections are all fixed upon Jesus Christ the Word of God contains no other promise so precious as the promise that He is quickly coming again. Our attitude toward the Coming Again of Jesus Christ is a good index of our spiritual state.

The fact that our Lord Jesus is coming again is the great Bible argument for a life of watchfulness, fidelity, wisdom, activity, simplicity, self-restraint, prayer and abiding in Christ. During the last week of His earthly life, our Lord said to His disciples, “Therefore be ye also ready; for in an hour that ye think not the son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44). In our day we are constantly urging men to be ready because death may overtake them at any moment, but this was not the argument that our Lord Jesus used. It was His own coming, not the coming of death, that He held up before His disciples as the incentive to live as they ought to live. Proceeding still further, He said, “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath set over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing” (vss. 45, 46). On another occasion our Lord was warning His disciples against the sins which are especially common in our day, over-eating, over-drinking, and undue occupation with the cares of this life, “Take heed to yourselves,” He said, “lest haply your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come on you suddenly as a snare: for so shall it come upon all that dwell on the face of all the earth. But watch ye at every season making supplication, that ye may prevail to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34–36). It was not the physical effects of folly in eating and drinking that our Lord urged upon His disciples but rather the fact that these things would unfit them to meet Him upon His Return. The Apostle John writes to those whom he had led into the light, “Now, little children, abide in Him; that, if He shall be manifested, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). There are many reasons why we should abide in the Lord Jesus but the pre-eminent reason in John’s mind was that Jesus was coming again and that if we were to have confidence and not be ashamed before Him when He did come, we must be abiding in Him.

Our Lord Jesus tells us that His return is the one event for which we should be looking. “Let your loins be girded about,” He says, “and your lamps burning; and be ye yourselves like unto men looking for their lord when he shall return from the marriage feast; that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may straightway open unto him.” (Luke 12:35, 36). In the next verse an especial blessing is pronounced upon those “Whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching.” The Holy Spirit in the ninth chapter of Hebrews and the twenty-eighth verse tells us that “to them that wait for Him,” shall He “appear a second time apart from sin unto salvation.” These words ought to lead us to some very deep and earnest thinking and to ask ourselves whether we are really looking, watching, waiting for Him.

It is evident from what has been said above, that the truth of our Lord’s Second Coming is a truth of the very first importance. To many the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ seems like an impractical doctrine. I once so regarded it. In my early ministry, one of my members came to me and asked if I would speak upon the Second Coming of Christ. I knew nothing about the doctrine and put him off, thinking to myself, “You will be a much older man than you are now before I speak upon a doctrine so impractical.” But the day came when I found it was not only one of the most precious but also one of the most practical doctrines in the whole Bible. There have been four marked epochs in my Christian experience: First, When I came to know the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior and my Lord. Second, When I discovered that the Bible was indeed the inerrant Word of God, that its statements were absolutely reliable in every respect, and that everything any man needed to know was contained in this one Book. Third, When I learned that the baptism with the Holy Spirit was for the present day and claimed it for myself. And fourth, When I came to see the truth concerning the Second Coming of Christ. The latter truth transformed my whole idea of life, it broke the power of the world and its ambition over me and filled my life with the most radiant optimism even under the most discouraging circumstances.

Chapter 2

The Certainty That Our Lord Jesus Is Coming Again

It is repeatedly and explicitly affirmed by the Word of God—It is distinguished as a coming “a second time”—It is not synonymous with death—It is not the coming of the Holy Spirit—It did not occur at the destruction of Jerusalem—It lies yet in the future.

“He who testifieth these things saith, yea: (surely) I come quickly. Amen: come Lord Jesus.”—Revelation 22:20

Beyond a peradventure our Lord Jesus is coming again. How do we know that? Because God tells us so in His Word, over and over again in the most explicit and unmistakable terms. On the night before His crucifixion our Lord Jesus, seeking to comfort His disciples who were overwhelmed with the thought that He was about to leave them, said, “I come again and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). The Apostle Paul in 1 Thess. 4:16, 17 takes up this promise of his Lord and writes, “The Lord Himself shall descend