The Second Coming of Jesus
James Smith, 1860
The presence of Christ with his people is their glory and joy. He is ever with them to watch over them, protect, and preserve them. But he sometimes manifests himself to them, filling them with joy and peace. Once he came in power, to ransom them from hell — this was the theme of the Old Testament. Soon he will come again — to redeem them from death, this is the object of hope presented in the New Testament. The advent of the Son of God to our world, is the greatest event that can take place in it. He once came as a servant — to fulfill, obey, and suffer; he will come a second time, as a sovereign — to collect, reward, and govern.
His humiliation, laid the foundation of his glorification;
his first coming, was introductory to his second.
How sublime, how majestic is the language of the prophet, "Behold, the Sovereign Lord comes with strong hand, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him!" Isaiah 40:10
The Sovereign Lord here intended, is the Lord Jesus, as is evident from the preceding verses. He is divine, Jehovah, the self-existent, eternal, and unchangeable God. He is the Sovereign Lord — man's Creator, Preserver, and Savior. He came in flesh, and tabernacled among men. He brought grace and truth into our world. He came as man, and yet was in the highest sense of the word, God. Thus he was the great mystery of godliness — God manifest in the flesh. He became man — that he may come under the law, and so meet and discharge all its demands — and meet and endure all its penalty. He will come again, not as a servant — but a Son; not to obey and suffer — but to be obeyed and reign
"He will come with strong hand," being clothed with power, as the Omnipotent and rightful ruler of the world. Clad with zeal as his cloak, he will . . .
fulfill the purposes of his Father,
perform the promises of his Word, and
accomplish the deliverance of his people.
The prophet represents it as done, and therefore writes, "He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes." The margin of the texts reads, "He will come against the strong." He atoned for sin and conquered death when he came before; now he will come against Satan, the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air — stripping him of his authority, driving him out of his kingdom, and binding him in immortal fetters. He will swallow up death in victory. His strong hand will find out, seize, and punish every one of his enemies, and all the enemies of his beloved people.
"His arm shall rule for him." By his own strong arm he will arrest, subdue, and destroy, all that would disturb his government, or oppose his reign. He will bring salvation, or perfect and everlasting deliverance to his people, and will cast death and hades into the bottomless pit. By his own unaided power, he will accomplish his work, his strange work, and perform all the good pleasure of his will.
"Behold, his reward is with him." His reward is his people, who were given to him, and identified with him; these he will bring with him. As it is written, "The Lord my God will come, and all the saints with you." They are his seed, the travail of his soul, and his bride — which is as his own soul. They are now being collected from all lands, they will be all gathered unto him; and at his appearing, they will appear with him in glory. Their salvation and glorification with himself is his reward — the joy that was set before him, for which he endured the cross, despising the shame.
"His recompense accompanies him." He will set up his glorious kingdom, rewarding his saints, every one according to his works. He will punish his foes, binding kings in chains, and their nobles in fetters of iron. He will glorify his Father's name, emancipate creation from the bondage of corruption, and introduce the glory promised.
Then all the grand and glowing predictions of Holy Scripture will be fulfilled, the groans of creation will be forever silenced, and the highest and best desires of his people, will be forever satisfied. All the plans and purposes of Satan will be completely and eternally frustrated, and his kingdom and works destroyed.
This is the recompense of the Redeemer's pains. This is the result of his deep humiliation. This is the glory promised him by his Father. All things will be put under him. Every creature will be made subject unto him. As God's Son, and God's king — he will reign on his holy hill of Zion. He will come with strong hand, having the day of vengeance in his heart, his arm will rule for him, bringing to pass all the purposes of his will; his reward — his beloved church and people, will be with him; and his work to raise our world, to more than paradisaic beauty and glory, before him. Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Reader, do you want a mighty Savior? One that can save by his own unaided power? One that can save from all evil, and raise to the possession and enjoyment of all that is really good? Jesus is such a Savior. He can save you, if he has not. He will save you if you wish it, and apply to him to do so. His blood will cleanse any sinner, and make the foulest as pure as an angel of light. His righteousness will justify any sinner, and make the greatest criminal righteous in the sight of God. He saves to the uttermost, he saves forever — all who come unto God by him.
Do you wish to be prepared to meet him at his coming, to share in the grace that he will bring, and the glory that he will impart? If so, acquaint now yourself with him and be at peace, and so shall such good come unto you. If you know Jesus — if you trust in Jesus — if you love Jesus now, when he comes, it will be to be glorified in you, and admired by you. He will appear to your joy, and all your enemies will be ashamed. If you go to Jesus for grace now — he will bring you glory then. Make sure of a saving interest in Christ now, live in communion with Christ now — and then you will not be ashamed at the proclamation, "Behold he comes with clouds, and every eye shall see him!" Nor will you be of those who in bitter anguish will exclaim, "The great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand!" But you will be of those of whom it is written, "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection, on such the second death has no power — but they shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with him!"