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The Doctrine of Christ

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    Section XII—THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

    LESSON FORTY-SEVEN The Consummation of the Gospel

    1. The full purpose of the gospel is to undo the ruin which sin has caused, to restore the image of God in man, to bring man into personal fellowship with God in his immediate presence, and to restore the earth from the effects of the curse. 1 John 3:8; Romans 8:3; 1 Corinthians 15:49; Romans 8:29; John 14:3; Revelation 22:4; Genesis 3:17, 18; Mark 15:17; Revelation 22:3.TDOC 126.1

    2. All this is not accomplished merely through a gradual process of developing the good, but culminates in a marked crisis. Romans 7:18; Job 14:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17, ARV, margin; Daniel 2:34, 35; Isaiah 65:17; Romans 8:21, 22; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 John 3:2; 2 Peter 3:11-13.TDOC 126.2

    3. Not death, but the second coming of Christ in glory introduces the saved to the immediate presence of Christ and of God. Isaiah 38:9, 10; John 5:28, 29; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.TDOC 126.3

    4. It is at the second personal advent that the saints are gathered to enjoy the fullness of the blessings provided for them through the gospel. Matthew 24:30, 31; 25:31-34.TDOC 126.4

    NOTES
    The completion of redemption

    “Redemption is not complete until the second coming of the Lord.”TDOC 126.5

    “One of the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ’s second coming, to complete the great work of redemption. To God’s pilgrim people, so long left to sojourn in ‘the region and shadow of death,’ a precious, joy-inspiring hope is given in the promise of his appearing, who is ‘the resurrection and the life,’ to ‘bring home again his banished.’ The doctrine of the Second Advent is the very keynote of the Sacred Scriptures. From the day when the first pair turned their sorrowing steps from Eden, the child n of faith have waited the coming of the Promised One to break the destroyer’s power and bring them again to the lost Paradise.”-The Great Controversy, 299.TDOC 126.6

    Essential to salvation

    “The doctrine of Christ’s second coming is not a teaching apart from the atonement, but is necessary to the atonement. That is, God’s plan of redemption for us cannot be completed apart from the coming of Christ and the events connected with that coming. His coming, therefore, is essential to salvation. Not that the understanding of the doctrine is essential to individual salvation. A sinner needs to know very little Scripture in order to be saved; when the Spirit has convicted him of sin, a single sentence of glad tidings will save him. But it requires the whole redemptive purposes of God to make that salvation possible. And those redemptive purposes include the appearing a second time of the God-man, our Lord Jesus Christ. The importance of our Lord’s second coming, then, is exactly parallel with the importance of his first coming and of his present ministry for the believer.”TDOC 127.1

    A connected series

    “As surely as the incarnation led to the cross, and the cross to the empty grave, and the empty grave to the throne, so surely does the throne lead to the coming again in glory.”TDOC 127.2

    One completed movement

    “The facts of Christ’s life are inseparable. The Second Advent belongs to the first as the necessary and complementing part of the same divine movement. His coming again ‘in glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead’ is made to be the last sense and meaning of his original coming in the flesh. The incarnate, crucified, risen, glorified Redeemer is one with him who at last ‘cometh with clouds, every eye seeing him, and they who pierced him.”TDOC 127.3

    The coronation day of the Christian

    “That the real coronation day of the Christian is not at death but at ‘the appearing of Christ,’ was strikingly suggested by Paul when, realizing that he was, to die before the Lord returned, he gave to Timothy his triumphant farewell: ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give to me at that day: and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.’ 2 Timothy 4:7, 8. So Peter encourages pastors to be faithful, by the familiar promise: ‘And when the Chief Shepherd shall be manifested, you shall receive the crown of glory that fades not away.’ 1 Peter 5:1-4.”TDOC 127.4

    Nothing can take its place

    “The amelioration of the world and remedy of its ills by works of faith and love, is Christ like work. The world cannot want it; the fruit of it will not be withheld; and the hopeful ardor with which it is pursued is Christ’s gift to his people. For Christ himself healed and fed the multitudes. Yet all this shall not replace the coming of Christ, and the redemption that draws nigh with him. The longing eyes that gaze into the prospects of public-spirited beneficence and Christian philanthropy, do well; but they must also look higher up and further on.”TDOC 127.5

    The best of all promises

    “No conversation is complete, no spiritual blessing is of the highest order, unless it leads to this, that we learn to wait for the return of our Lord. We must not think to find our portion, even our full spiritual portion, in this world. The best of all promises is the promise, ‘Surely I come quickly.’ The church’s brightest prospect is the return of her Lord, when the church militant will give place to the church triumphant, the spiritual kingdom to the visible and personal reign of Christ. Our faith must be sadly defective if we cast no longing glances upward, if we are never looking forward to our Lord’s return.”TDOC 128.1

    Looking to the coming of the Lord

    “The Christian spirit is giving way in that man who, in whatever posture of his worldly affairs, does not feel that the present is a state entangled with evil, including much darkness and much estrangement from the soul’s true rest. He ought to be minded so as to own the hope of being saved out of it, looking and hastening to the coming of the Lord. If we lived out this conviction with some consistency, we should not go far wrong in our dealings with this present world. But probably there is no feature in which the average Christianity of today varies more from that of the early Christians, than in the faint impressions, and the faint influence, experienced by most modern Christians in connection with the expectation of the Lord’s return.”TDOC 128.2

    Read the “Source Book,” page 6, “Crowning Event of Redemption.”TDOC 128.3

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