Jesus May Come Today -- By: William R. Foster

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 02:3 (Fall 1961)
Article: Jesus May Come Today
Author: William R. Foster

Jesus May Come Today

William R. Foster

Member of the Faculty
London Bible College

[This paper was delivered at the annual meeting of the general Association of Regular Baptist Churches meeting in June, 1960, at Long Beach, California.]

The present world unrest, with its mounting tensions, its political turmoil, and its wars and rumors of war, has undoubtedly caused a new appreciation by true believers of the certainty of their blessed hope. As the darkness of the age increases, the expectation of the daystar will become even more precious unto all those who “love His appearing” (2 Tim 4:8 ASV). This is the star of hope to saints weary of this world and desirous of that life which is “very far better” (Phil 1:23). In our moments of reflection upon this blessed hope our hearts sometimes beat with the anticipation of that day, and something of the sweetness of that expectation fills our hearts as it must have filled the heart of the saintly Bernard of Clairvaux.

Jesus, the very thought of thee,
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter for thy face to see,
And in thy presence rest.

The expectation of the soon coming of our blessed Lord is one of our most satisfying experiences—the silver lining of the turbulent clouds of our contemporary life, the spiritual goal in a world which has lost all sense of direction, a blessed hope when all hope seems to have vanished from the rosy optimism of yesteryear.

The Historical Antecedents of the Doctrine of Imminency

Historical studies of doctrine are of some value in the establishment of perspective in theological matters—to discover the doctrinal questions which center about any scriptural teaching; to discover the solutions proposed by godly men of the past centuries) to eliminate unfruitful and irrelevant doctrinal views which have been previously held; to discover the basic doctrinal positions which have established themselves in the minds of men concerning any subject. However, historical studies have definite limitations in the establishment of the validity of a doctrinal interpretation. In the early decades of the Christian church the apostles were present to guide the church into authoritative statements of truth either orally or through written epistles. In the decades and centuries after the passing of the apostles there was no authoritative voice other than the Scriptures to determine the accuracy of theological positions. Hence interpretations of the early and later Church fathers which are clearly contrary to the apostolic teachings must be rejected as erroneous teachings, or regarded as a failure to understand the apostoli...

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