MIF 10:2 (Mar-April 1978)
The Coming Of The Day Of God
The hope of Christ’s coming is today all but dead among evangelicals: I do not mean that Bible Christians have given up the doctrine of the second advent. The ultimate triumph of Christ is accepted as one of the unshakeable doctrines of Holy Scripture. Yet the return of Christ as a blessed hope is all but dead among us. The truth touching the second advent, where it is presented today, is for the most part academic or political. The joyful, personal element is altogether missing. Where are they who
“Yearn for the sign, O Christ, of Thy fulfilling,
Faint for the flaming of Thine advent feet”?
The longing to see Christ that burned in the breasts of those first Christians seems to have burned itself out. It is precisely the “yearning” and the “fainting” for the return of Christ that has distinguished the personal hope from the theological one. Mere acquaintance with correct doctrines is a poor substitute for Christ, and familiarity with New Testament eschatology will never take the place of a love-inflamed desire to look on His face.
If the tender yearning is gone from the advent hope today there must be a reason for it … one of these is that Christians are so comfortable in this world that they have little desire to leave it. We all want to reserve the hope of heaven as a kind of insurance against the day of death, but as long as we are healthy and comfortable, why change a familiar good for something about which we know very little actually? So reasons the carnal mind.
History reveals that times of suffering for the Church has also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God’s people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord.
—A. W. Tozer