Friday, February 05, 2010

Scoffing and the Second Coming

I've been thinking quite a bit about the return of the Lord Jesus quite a bit over the last few weeks. Another convergence, between my sermon workshop at the Preaching Conference on 2 Peter 3:8, our sermon series on Sunday evenings where this week we'll think about those who are asleep when Jesus returns, and next week we'll think about the day of the Lord from 1 Thessalonians 4-5.

Then James Cary blogged about part of last week's QI comedy quiz show. I've never really sat down to watch it, but occasionally catch wee bits of it. The discussion centred on the Great Disappointment of 1844, when over one million people expected Jesus to return on a specific day. Needless to say he didn't, and the panellists were very witty as well as incredulous about those silly Christians.

As James says, the tone of the discussion is fascinating - that anyone could believe that Jesus will return. Just like the scoffers if 2 Peter 3:4 asking where is this promise of his coming? I think it's fair to take the hand out of Christians or nutters who try to come up with a specific date and time - Jesus said that he would come like a thief in the night, that timing predictions aren't helpful and only distract us from our primary call to evangelism.

An interesting insight into the secular mind, which sees the promises of God as nothing. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

1 comment :

  1. He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
    Like one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    Surely he took up our infirmities
    and carried our sorrows,
    yet we considered him stricken by God,
    smitten by him, and afflicted.
    But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    Isaiah 53:3-5

    Ira Sankey: “A few weeks before his death Mr. Bliss visited the State prison at Jackson, Michigan, where, after a very touching address on ‘The Man of Sorrows,’ he sang this hymn with great effect. Many of the prisoners dated their conversion from that day.”

    Man of Sorrows! what a name
    For the Son of God, who came
    Ruined sinners to reclaim.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
    In my place condemned He stood;
    Sealed my pardon with His blood.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
    Spotless Lamb of God was He;
    “Full atonement!” can it be?
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Lifted up was He to die;
    “It is finished!” was His cry;
    Now in Heav’n exalted high.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    When He comes, our glorious King,
    All His ransomed home to bring,
    Then anew His song we’ll sing:
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Sankey, Ira David. My Life and the Sto­ry of the Gospel Hymns. Harper & Brothers, 1906.