Although the Second Coming is specially associated in the church year with Advent, it is actually one of the least seasonal of the great doctrines about Christ. The very words that the Lord used of his return, “Watch,” and “Be ye ready,” point beyond an observance confined to a particular season to the daily expectation of an event that, as Archbishop Trench said, is “possible any day, impossible no day.” The Gospel is not only, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16); it is also, “He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained …” (Acts 17:31).

It has been said that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the New Testament and that this teaching occupies one in every twenty-five verses from Matthew to Revelation. It was upon some such evidence as this that Dr. Alexander MacLaren declared, “The primitive church thought a great deal more about the coming of Jesus Christ than about death; thought a great deal more about His coming than about Heaven.” And why not? If we attribute any authority to the words of Jesus, if we deal sincerely with the New Testament, then we must at least agree that Jesus and those who knew him best believed in his return.

From the abundance of New Testament teaching, the fact of his coming again is clearly established. Over and over the Master spoke words like these: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” ...

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