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    PROMINENT AND IMPORTANT

    The second coming of Christ is a subject of great importance to the church. This is evident from the amount of testimony relative to it, in connection with the resurrection of the just and the Judgment, found both in the Old and New Testaments. The inspired writers, in their threatenings against the ungodly, in their words of hope and encouragement for the saints, and in their exhortations to repentance and holy living, hold up the great fact of the second coming of the Son of man, as that which should alarm and arouse, and also comfort the people of God.SEADV 8.1

    Before Adam passed from the stage of life, Enoch, the seventh in the line of his descendants, proclaimed this doctrine in the ears of the impenitent, “Behold,” said he, “the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all.” Jude 14. And as we pass from book to book through the Bible, we find that the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles, have made the same use of the doctrine; and in the very last book, John describes a coming day, when all classes and ranks of men, because they have not prepared for the coming of Christ, will call for rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the overwhelming glory of his presence, as he appears in the clouds of heaven. Revelation 6:14-17.SEADV 8.2

    Christ’s coming is also held prominently forth in the sacred writings, as the time when the righteous will be rewarded. “When the chief Shepherd shall appear,” says Peter, “ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 1 Peter 5:4. And Paul looks forward to the day of Christ’s appearing as the time when not only he, but all who love the appearing of their Lord, shall receive the crown of righteousness which is laid up for such. 2 Timothy 4:8.SEADV 9.1

    Most frequently, however, is this great doctrine used as an incentive to repentance, watchfulness, prayer, and holy living. “Watch,” is the emphatic injunction of the Son of God in connection with the numerous declarations of his second coming in the gospels.SEADV 9.2

    Paul exhorts to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:12, 13.SEADV 9.3

    James says, “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned. Behold, the Judge standeth before the door.” James 5:8, 9.SEADV 9.4

    Peter says, “But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7. And again, “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.” 2 Peter 3:11, 12.SEADV 9.5

    Such is the use which holy men, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, have made of the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Have not they, therefore, lost the spirit of the gospel, who openly contend against so prominent and weighty and precious a doctrine, or who even pass it by in silence?SEADV 9.6

    Ministers and popular professors may cast this doctrine aside as not essential to the Christian faith; nevertheless, it may be traced through the sacred Scriptures, as made prominent by prophets, Jesus, and apostles. The Bible dwells upon essentials. It does not deal in non-essentials. When the Lord in his word gave his people a rule of faith and practice, he was careful to leave the non-essentials all out. Hence, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine.” 2 Timothy 3:16. And let all the people say, Amen!SEADV 10.1

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