The Second Coming of Christ: Charles Spurgeon
I’m now reading through Charles Spurgeon’s “The Second Coming of Christ” (available on Kindle for 99 cents), a collection of seven lectures on several prophetic texts. Spurgeon himself observed that he rarely addressed the doctrine of eschatology, yet through the years he delivered quite a few messages. I have read some of his sermons on this topic, not in this collection, including sermons on the First Resurrection (Revelation 20) and about the future restoration of Israel – but these seven specifically relate to Christ’s Second Advent and are collected together in this work available in print as well as in electronic format.
It is Spurgeon’s textual style of preaching, in which he examines all the facets of a text itself and expands on those words, with excellent insights, application, and practical considerations. The seven sermons look at the following texts: Revelation 1:7, Matthew 25:31-36, Acts 1:10-11, Romans 2:16, Titus 2:11-14, 1 John 2:28, and Luke 12:37-38.
These can also be found in the Spurgeon Gems collection of PDFs:
- He Comes with Clouds
- The Reward of the Righteous
- The Ascension and the Second Advent Practically Considered
- Coming Judgment of the Secrets of Men
- The Two Appearings and the Discipline of Grace
- Preparation for the Coming of the Lord
- Watching for Christ’s Coming
Among the highlights of what I’ve read so far: emphasis on the certainty of Christ’s Return (Revelation 1:7) and that every eye will see Him in His glory, including all who ever lived:
All that dwell upon the face of the earth— if not all at the same moment, yet still with the same certainty— will behold the once crucified Lord. They will not be able to hide themselves nor to hide Him from their eyes. They will dread the sight, but it will come upon them, even as the sun shines on the thief who delights in the darkness. They will be obliged to own in dismay that they behold the Son of Man. So overwhelmed with the sight, they will not be able to deny it. He will be seen of those who have been long since dead. What a sight that will be for Judas, for Pilate, for Caiaphas, and for Herod! What a sight it will be for those who, in the course of their lives, said that there was no Savior and no need of one, or that Jesus was a mere man and His blood was not a propitiation for sin! Those that scoffed and reviled Him have long since died, but they will all rise again to this heritage among the rest: they will see Him whom they blasphemed sitting in the clouds of heaven.
Concerning the reward of the righteous, and its time as contrasted with the present situation:
To be despised and rejected of men is the Christian’s lot. Even among his fellow Christians, he will not always stand in good repute. It is not unqualified kindness or total love that we receive, even from the saints. If you look to Christ’s bride herself for your reward, you will miss it. If you expect to receive your crown from the hand of your brothers in the ministry who know your labors and who ought to sympathize with your trials, you will be mistaken. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory” is your time of recompense— not today, tomorrow, or at any time in this world. Reckon nothing that you acquire, no honor that you gain, to be the reward of your service to your Master; that dividend is reserved for the time “when the Son of man shall come in his glory.”
And, regarding our separation from the world:
Even on earth, you will have the most enjoyment of Christ when you are most separated from this world . Be assured, although the separated path does not seem an easy one and it will certainly entail persecution and the loss of many friends, yet it is the happiest walking in the world. You conforming Christians who can enter into the world’s mirth to a certain degree, you cannot know— and never will know as you now are— the inward joys of those who live in lonely but lovely fellowship with Jesus . The nearer you get to the world, the further you must be from Christ. I believe the more thoroughly a bill of divorce is given by your spirit to every earthly object upon which your soul can set itself, the closer will be your communion with your Lord.
The third chapter was personally convicting, with emphasis on proper balance in our lives, to fulfill our responsibilities and not allow excessive curiosity such as the apostles who remained there staring up at the sky after Christ had disappeared from sight:
A steadfast gaze into heaven may be to a devout soul a high order of worship, but if this fills up much of the working time, it might become the most idle form of folly…. Do not misunderstand, beloved. I would have you understand all mysteries, if you could. But do not forget that our chief business here below is to cry, “Behold the Lamb!” (John 1: 29). By all means, read and search until you know all that the Lord has revealed concerning things to come, but first of all see to it that your children are brought to the Savior’s feet and that you are workers together with God in the building of His church.