The Second Coming of Christ

Luke 12:34‑45  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The coming of the Lord does not present itself, when we think of it rightly, as a thing we learn, but I see in Scripture that it is constantly identified with all the feelings and character of a Christian, "as men that wait for their lord." It does not say, "As men that believe in the Lord's coming." The feeling of those who had grown cold was not that the Lord would not come, but that He delayed His coming (v'.-45). Now in the beginning of 1 Thessalonians they were converted to wait for God's Son from heaven. He was a living, personal reality to them. There is a great deal more in the passage, but that is the first thing-they were
converted for that. Expecting Him is the state that becomes a Christian. I do not say there is no other motive, for the blessed love He has shown in His death would lead us to follow Him too, but still the Christian is a person between Christ's first coming to save him and His second coming to take him out of this scene, and what characterizes him (if he acts on the Word of God) is, that he is waiting for Christ.
It is described in detail in Luke 12. First comes the "watching," and then the "doing," that is, serving Him, while He is away. Those who are watching (v. 37), with their hearts upon Himself, He makes sit down to meat (a figure, of course), and He girds Himself and serves them. But when it involves doing (v. 43), it is then that He makes them rulers over all that He has. Verse 37 suggests the blessedness of heaven, and then in verse 44 the privilege of reigning as co-heirs with Him-two distinct things-one watching for Him, and the other, doing. The Christian knows that he is a person in whom dwells the Holy Spirit who is the seal to us of the full efficacy of Christ's work on the cross (and our part in it too). He is waiting for Christ to come, that event which will bring him into possession of the inheritance. Christ entered into possession, not of all things in the inheritance yet, but He is sitting on the Father's throne till the joint heirs are gathered, and then He will put them into glory.
The thing I find most precious about the coming of the Lord is, that the Person of the Lord becomes so prominent. It makes Him more precious. He is coming to take me to be with Himself. It is the Person who is
the Object of our affections as Christians. But it will be a grand thing when we are with Him, never to be separated from Him. It is not our glory that is the great satisfaction, but being with Him. It sets Christ
personally as the. One before our eyes.
There is another thing it does. This expectation of Him at any moment detaches us from the world, and when this is the case, the life of every Christian is drastically changed and all thoughts for tomorrow and plans are gone. There are two things necessary in order to be looking for the Lord in that way, peace with God, and love enough for Him to long for His coming. Of course, we must have peace with God to be able to look for His coming, but it also depends a great deal on the heart's affection for Christ. "Unto you... which believe He is precious." It is wonderful how distinctly Scripture makes being with Christ the thing to hope for. It exercises the conscience also, because if I am looking for the Lord, evidently it will keep my conscience awake, lest I should have anything that will produce a jar in my own heart when He does come.
It is a striking thing as regards the present expectation, that in all the parables, whether it be Christ Himself speaking or the apostles by the Holy Spirit, it never supposes beforehand that His coming is beyond the life of the people He is speaking to. It is the present expectation. The virgins that slept were the same that woke. Those who received the talents were the same reckoned with. He would never present to them beforehand a thing that was beyond present expectation. It is evident we should like to be found, whether absent or present, agreeable to Him when He does come. It gives Christ the place. We are poor things, but if we heard Him saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," what a wonderful thing it would be to us
There is a little more than waiting in this chapter.
"Loins... girded about." The flowing garments are to be tucked up, not loosely going on with things as they are in the world, but hearts in order, according to the Word of God-"loins girt about with truth," and then "lights burning"-a full profession of Christ.
There is another thing quite distinct, a very blessed, touching expression of the Lord's love. Now we are to have our loins girded (our hearts in order), while the Lord has not yet come, but is sitting on the Father's throne, but then "He shall gird Himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." He says, You won't have to have your loins girded when you come into My house. I shall make you sit down to meat, and serve you. He will make us sit down and feed upon the things that are in heaven, and He will minister the blessings to us-infinitely more precious. It will mean not merely giving us things to eat, but Christ Himself ministering them to us. In that sense Christ never gives up the form of a servant, and when we think that Christ, the Son of God,. assumes this place, has already taken it, and never will give it up, what a wonderful thing it is.
"Blessed are those servants," etc. v. 37. He will make them enjoy themselves, for His satisfaction is to make them happy. We do not believe enough in Christ's. toward us, and we have not enough heart for Him either. He values our affections: "Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations." What a Savior He is! It is constant expectation-not waiting merely, but watching. The second part is doing (v. 43)-in a certain sense an inferior part. He has entrusted us with talents,
perhaps it may be giving "a cup of cold water," but He says, "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." The Lord has
committed a service to all. An apostle, of course, is entirely given up to service, or it may come down to just the giving of a cup of cold water. The reward is not sitting down and enjoying heaven here. It is the kingdom, and yet more than the kingdom. The Father has set Christ over all the works of His hands, and He makes us joint heirs. But it is much more blessed to be with God Himself and to enjoy Him than to be heir with Christ, though, of course, that is a wonderful thing. It is especially in the kingdom that the ruling takes place; afterward Christ will give up the kingdom to the Father. There will then be no need for power to restore a kingdom to order, for it will all be done.