As Ye See the Day Approaching -- By: William K. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 116:461 (Jan 1959)
Article: As Ye See the Day Approaching
Author: William K. Harrison

As Ye See the Day Approaching

William K. Harrison

[William K. Harrison is a Lieutenant General (retired) in the United States Army and now serves as Executive Director of the Evangelical Welfare Agency, Chicago, Illinois.]

Many times in the New Testament the anticipation of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is made the basis for exhortations to Christians to live godly lives well pleasing to God. Two such passages follow: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11–14); “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall come, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28).

Christian Conduct and the Lord’s Return

In spite of the exhortation contained in the preceding Scripture passages and numerous others similar to them there seems to be an evident worldliness in much of the evangelical church today. For this conformity to the world there may be various contributing causes, but one thing seems certain: if regenerated people were really looking expectantly for the coming of the Lord they would inevitably conduct themselves in a godly manner indicating that expectancy. It is well known that very few people give much concern to things beyond the immediate future. Coming events or responsibilities long distant are known and discussed, but only as they become truly close at hand do most of us really extend ourselves to prepare and be ready for them. This human trait prevails in reference to the Lord’s coming as it does in other matters. Unhappily the failure to see the Lord’s coming a governing incentive to holy living is apparent in many of us who believe that the rapture will occur before the great tribulation, and as far as we can tell may occur at any time. In other words, our interest in the time of His coming seems to be primarily academic, rather than realistic and motivating.

The difficulty would seem to be even greater in the case of Christians who believe that the coming of the Lord for the church will occur in that very short interval between the end of the great tribulation and the second advent of the Lord Jesus Christ when He shall come visibly and gloriously to the Mount of Olives. Believing thus, such persons migh...

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