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    Chapter 17—It Will Not Be Long

    We Are Homeward Bound—The resurrection and ascension of our Lord is a sure evidence of the triumph of the saints of God over death and the grave, and a pledge that heaven is open to those who wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Jesus ascended to the Father as a representative of the human race, and God will bring those who reflect His image to behold and share with Him His glory.Hvn 159.1

    There are homes for the pilgrims of earth. There are robes for the righteous, with crowns of glory and palms of victory. All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain. The things hard to be understood will then find explanation. The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken promises, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. We shall know that infinite love ordered the experiences that seemed most trying. As we realize the tender care of Him who makes all things work together for our good, we shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.Hvn 159.2

    Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. In the home of the redeemed there will be no tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Isaiah 33:24. One rich tide of happiness will flow and deepen as eternity rolls on.Hvn 160.1

    We are still amidst the shadows and turmoil of earthly activities. Let us consider most earnestly the blessed hereafter. Let our faith pierce through every cloud of darkness and behold Him who died for the sins of the world. He has opened the gates of paradise to all who receive and believe on Him. To them He gives power to become the sons and daughters of God. Let the afflictions which pain us so grievously become instructive lessons, teaching us to press forward toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ. Let us be encouraged by the thought that the Lord is soon to come. Let this hope gladden our hearts. “Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 10:37. Blessed are those servants who, when their Lord comes, shall be found watching.Hvn 160.2

    We are homeward bound. He who loved us so much as to die for us hath builded for us a city. The New Jerusalem is our place of rest. There will be no sadness in the city of God. No wail of sorrow, no dirge of crushed hopes and buried affections, will evermore be heard. Soon the garments of heaviness will be changed for the wedding garment. Soon we shall witness the coronation of our King. Those whose lives have been hidden with Christ, those who on this earth have fought the good fight of faith, will shine forth with the Redeemer's glory in the kingdom of God.Hvn 160.3

    It will not be long till we shall see Him in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. And in His presence, all the trials and sufferings of this life will be as nothingness. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Verses 35-37.Hvn 161.1

    Look up, look up, and let your faith continually increase. Let this faith guide you along the narrow path that leads through the gates of the city of God into the great beyond, the wide, unbounded future of glory that is for the redeemed. “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:7, 8.—Testimonies for the Church 9:286-288.Hvn 161.2

    We Can Hasten His Coming—Christ tells us when the day of His kingdom shall be ushered in. He does not say that all the world will be converted, but that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14). By giving the gospel to the world, it is in our power to hasten the coming of the day of God. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to the earth in power and great glory.—The Review and Herald, November 13, 1913 quoted in God's Amazing Grace, 353.Hvn 161.3

    A Little Longer—Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honor those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when “the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52.Hvn 162.1

    A little longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty. A little longer, and He will wipe all tears from our eyes. A little longer, and He will present us “faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” Jude 24. Wherefore, when He gave the signs of His coming He said, “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”—The Desire of Ages, 632.Hvn 162.2

    Only A Little While—It will only be a little while before Jesus will come to save His children and to give them the finishing touch of immortality. “This corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality.” The graves will be opened, and the dead will come forth victorious, crying, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Our loved ones who sleep in Jesus will come forth clothed with immortality.Hvn 162.3

    And as the redeemed shall ascend to heaven, the gates of the city of God will swing back, and those who have kept the truth will enter in. A voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, will be heard saying, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Then the righteous will receive their reward. Their lives will run parallel with the life of Jehovah. They will cast their crowns at the Redeemer's feet, touch the golden harps, and fill all heaven with rich music.—The Signs of the Times, April 15, 1889 quoted in Counsels on Stewardship, 350.Hvn 163.1

    The End Is at Hand—The coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. Every report of calamity by sea or land is a testimony to the fact that the end of all things is at hand. Wars and rumors of wars declare it. Is there a Christian whose pulse does not beat with quickened action as he anticipates the great events opening before us?—The Review and Herald, November 12, 1914 quoted in Evangelism, 219.Hvn 163.2

    Sure Is the Promise—“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 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.” John 14:1-3.Hvn 163.3

    Long have we waited for our Saviour's return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home.Hvn 163.4

    There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.—Testimonies for the Church 8:254.Hvn 164.1

    Dwell on His Coming—Dwell on present truth, on Christ's second coming. The Lord is coming very soon. We have only a little while in which to present the truth for this time—the truth that is to convert souls. This truth is to be presented in the utmost simplicity, even as Christ presented it, so that the people can understand what is truth. Truth will dispel the clouds of error.—Letter 175, 1904 quoted in Evangelism, 624.Hvn 164.2

    Essential Part of Gospel—The preaching of Christ's second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message.—Christ's Object Lessons, 227, 228.Hvn 164.3

    The Last Call—God has called this people to give to the world the message of Christ's soon coming. We are to give to men the last call to the gospel feast, the last invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Thousands of places that have not heard the call are yet to hear it. Many who have not given the message are yet to proclaim it. Again I appeal to our young men: Has not God called upon you to sound this message?—Testimonies for the Church 6:412.Hvn 164.4

    Talk, Pray, Believe—The Lord is soon coming. Talk it, pray it, believe it. Make it a part of the life. You will have to meet a doubting, objecting spirit, but this will give way before firm, consistent trust in God. When perplexities or hindrances present themselves, lift the soul to God in songs of thanksgiving. Gird on the Christian armor, and be sure that your feet are “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Preach the truth with boldness and fervor. Remember that the Lord looks in compassion upon this field and that He knows its poverty and its need. The efforts you are making will not prove a failure.—Testimonies for the Church 7:237.Hvn 165.1

    Filled With Joy—We should be filled with joy at the thought of Christ's soon appearing. To those that love His appearing He will come without sin unto salvation. But if our minds are filled with thoughts of earthly things, we cannot look forward with joy to His appearing.—Ms 11, 1885 quoted in In Heavenly Places, 355.Hvn 165.2

    Wait Cheerfully—The Lord is soon to come, and we must be prepared to meet Him in peace. Let us be determined to do all in our power to impart light to those around us. We are not to be sad, but cheerful, and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us.... We must be ready and waiting for His appearing. Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him, and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our faith is not to become weak. If we can but see the King in His beauty, we shall be forever and forever blessed. I feel as if I must cry aloud, “Homeward bound.” We are nearing the time when Christ will come with power and great glory, to take His ransomed ones to their eternal home.—The Review and Herald, July 14, 1903 quoted in Maranatha, 106.Hvn 165.3

    Do Not Speculate About When the End Will Come—The times and the seasons God has put in His own power. And why has not God given us this knowledge? Because we would not make a right use of it if He did. A condition of things would result from this knowledge among our people that would greatly retard the work of God in preparing a people to stand in the great day that is to come. We are not to live upon time excitement. We are not to be engrossed with speculations in regard to the times and the seasons which God has not revealed. Jesus has told His disciples to “watch,” but not for a definite time. His followers are to be in the position of those who are listening for the orders of their Captain; they are to watch, wait, pray, and work, as they approach the time for the coming of the Lord; but no one will be able to predict just when that time will come; for “of that day and hour knoweth no man.” You will not be able to say that He will come in one, two, or five years, neither are you to put off His coming by stating that it may not be for ten or twenty years.—The Review and Herald, March 22, 1892 quoted in Selected Messages 1:189.Hvn 166.1

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