| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 30 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
We have already examined the references to the second coming of the Lord in a series
of articles in Volume XIX-XXII, where every passage is given consideration, and the
conclusion is justified that there is not a reference to the second coming of the Lord,
outside the revelation of the mystery, that is not either a fulfillment of some O.T.
prophecy, or allied to one by the context. While therefore there is much doctrine in
Romans that is fundamental both to the church of the Acts, and to the new company
called after Israel were set aside in Acts 28:, it nevertheless stands to reason that
while Israel are set aside their hope would remain in abeyance. Ephesians speaks of "one
hope of His calling", and "one hope of your calling", and seeing that each calling has its
associated hope, it follows that it is a vital principle of interpretation that different
callings with their appropriate hopes be kept separate and distinct from each other.
Further teaching concerning the hope of Israel
in Acts 1: 6-14.
pp. 221 - 227
In our last article we considered the fact that the hope that runs throughout the Acts,
and the hope that the epistles of the same period entertain, is the hope of Israel. It is true
that this hope has its heavenly, as well as its earthly sphere, but that is no justification for
making that heavenly sphere of Israel's hope the same as the "one hope" of the mystery.
Further light upon the hope of this Acts period is found in the verses that follow
Acts 1: 6, and to the consideration of this testimony we now address ourselves:--
"And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or seasons, which the
Father appointed by His own Authority" (Acts 1: 7).
One of the most natural things to do, whenever the second coming of Christ is before
the mind, is to conjecture whether it is possible to forecast the date of its advent. While
this may be natural, it is unscriptural, and consequently wrong. The servant who
concluded that the Lord's coming was delayed, began to smite his fellowservant and to
drink with the drunken. The salutary attitude in view of the Lord's return is, surely, to
carry out his injunction and "occupy" till He comes, remembering that "Blessed is that
servant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing" (matt. 24: 46).
Every now and again some one will arise who forecasts the date of the Lord's return,
and some will always be found who will, as a consequence, dispose of their business, and
wait the expected day. It strikes the outside observer as strange that in such
circumstances a business should be sold: why should it not be given away? Of what use
would the proceeds be in that day? Again, if the nature of one's business is such that,
being assured of the nearness of the Lord's return, one would leave it, surely that is
sufficient reason for leaving it now, irrespective of "times and seasons". The Lord's own
instruction to His servants in view of His coming is not: "Give up your work", but
"Carry on", "Occupy".