CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 12 October Attitude By Doris Mincks Attitude, Acceptance 0 Comment Thoughts to Ponder by Doris Doris Waldrop Mincks AI acknowledge that change is the one constant in life, it helps me to accept the inevitable! Accepting the difficult circumstances in my life with a more positive attitude has helped me to move on. As I look to the Lord, who mirrored for me how to get on with life in the midst of struggles, I have a better understanding of my circumstances. "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,…" (Philippians 2:5) — "…and let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." (Romans 12:2) All true and lasting change occurs from the inside out. Instead of trying to change the situation or the significant people in my life, I allow God to work on me. Change can be sudden, unexpected, and unwelcome. Whatever my circumstances, I can choose to accept it and move forward or stay in a "prison of stagnation." As someone once said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most intelligent. It is those most adaptive to change." The stresses of unexpected changes in my life have required me to change. With the sudden loss of my first husband over eleven years ago, my initial reaction was anger! But then I was able to look to God for strength, and the ability to move beyond myself. His strength became my sufficiency. I had to come to accept my loss, and once I was able to do so, I had the flexibility and freedom to move on. All change follows a definable sequence of stages, much like the stages of grief. Once I came to the place where I could accept my loss, God gave me the freedom to look beyond myself and to see new opportunities. Some of the following principles that I have applied in my life, I hope will be helpful to you with your life's changes: 1) Learn to be flexible and adaptable.2) Listen to the right voices!3) Allow time for quiet reflection with the Lord.4) Become involved with helping other people with their needs.5) Stay motivated by working in community with positive thinking people.We have a secure anchor in the midst of changes! "For I the Lord do not change," (Malachi 3:6) "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8) As a military spouse and family counselor, Doris Waldrop Mincks has ministered to military families for many years. Her ministry, Wives of Warriors Worldwide, WOWW, desires to come along side the military community to give encouragement and support to military wives, meeting the life situations unique to them. Thoughts to Ponder by Doris Doris Waldrop Mincks AI acknowledge that change is the one constant in life, it helps me to accept the inevitable! Accepting the difficult circumstances in my life with a more positive attitude has helped me to move on. As I look to the Lord, who mirrored for me how to get on with life in the midst of struggles, I have a better understanding of my circumstances. "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,…" (Philippians 2:5) — "…and let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." (Romans 12:2) All true and lasting change occurs from the inside out. Instead of trying to change the situation or the significant people in my life, I allow God to work on me. Change can be sudden, unexpected, and unwelcome. Whatever my circumstances, I can choose to accept it and move forward or stay in a "prison of stagnation." As someone once said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most intelligent. It is those most adaptive to change." The stresses of unexpected changes in my life have required me to change. With the sudden loss of my first husband over eleven years ago, my initial reaction was anger! But then I was able to look to God for strength, and the ability to move beyond myself. His strength became my sufficiency. I had to come to accept my loss, and once I was able to do so, I had the flexibility and freedom to move on. All change follows a definable sequence of stages, much like the stages of grief. Once I came to the place where I could accept my loss, God gave me the freedom to look beyond myself and to see new opportunities. Some of the following principles that I have applied in my life, I hope will be helpful to you with your life's changes: 1) Learn to be flexible and adaptable.2) Listen to the right voices!3) Allow time for quiet reflection with the Lord.4) Become involved with helping other people with their needs.5) Stay motivated by working in community with positive thinking people.We have a secure anchor in the midst of changes! "For I the Lord do not change," (Malachi 3:6) "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8) As a military spouse and family counselor, Doris Waldrop Mincks has ministered to military families for many years. Her ministry, Wives of Warriors Worldwide, WOWW, desires to come along side the military community to give encouragement and support to military wives, meeting the life situations unique to them. Related Romans 2:23 - Speak with Forked Tongue Romans 2:23 "You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?" (NASB) "Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?" (KJV) "You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it." (NLT) "You who boast in the law dishonor God by transgressing the law!" (NET) The attitude displayed is the one for which the Apostle Paul warns against in Romans 12:3, not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. He again exhorts us in Philippians 2:3 to treat others as more important than ourselves. We often speak with a forked tongue saying one thing and doing another thus breaking the very convictions we proclaim. It was not that long ago that a well known man fell from grace for this very reason. He was the president of a national organization and a pastor of a mega-church. Without God's Grace we all would fall into the same trap. The question is that of our attitude! Is our attitude that that was in Christ Jesus? "You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him." (Philippians 2:5-13 NLT) Or are we clinging to the notion that we have some kind of claim to prerogatives and perquisites? If the Lord Jesus Christ did not cling to his position, then who are we to try to cling to anything? If Messiah humbled himself to a criminal's death on a cross, then what kind of condescension is required of us who call ourselves His disciples? There is hope! "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him." Saint Augustine said, "Love God and do what you please." If we love God, then those things we do will be the manifestation of His perfect love! If on the contrary we try to live the Christian life in the power of the flesh then we "dishonor" the very God we say we serve by our thoughts, words and deeds! G818 ατιμα?ζω atimazo? Thayer Definition: 1) to dishonor, insult, treat with contempt 1a) whether in word, deed or thought Dear Heavenly Father the day approaches when we celebrate the birth of your only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Emmanuel (God with us), Jehovah-hesua (I am Salvation), the Prince of Peace, Lords of Lords. The Magi traveled far following your sign in the sky before them because they recognized the magnificence of this event. Yet I fear that we who call you Lord and Savior have fallen short in our obedience to your Word and have not lived a life that is worthy of our calling. I pray for penitent hearts that we as a nation would turn from the path we trod and return to the "way of holiness," the "ancient way" for we know that Jesus is "the way." I pray for the patriot this minute "who more than self their country loved." I pray that you would cuddle their families into your bosom and surround them with your love because their absence is felt greater during this yuletide season. Romans 1:11 - Desire to Encourage Romans 1:11 "For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be 4741established;" (NASB) "For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be 4741established;" (KJV) "When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours." (NLT) LONG, v.i. 1. To desire earnestly or eagerly. I long to see you. Rom 1. I have longed after thy precepts. Psa 119. I have longed for thy salvation. Psa 119. I long to see you (Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of American English) Rom 15:23 "but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you" (NASB) Establish G4741 ste?rizo? Thayer Definition: 1) to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix 2) to strengthen, make firm 3) to render constant, confirm, one’s mind Rom 16:25 "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past," (NASB) 1Th 3:13 "so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints." (NASB) 2Th 2:17 "comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word." (NASB) 2Th 3:3 "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." (NASB) Jas 5:8 "You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near." (NASB) Pe 5:10 "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." (NASB) A personal attitude of the heart that comes from the Holy Spirit that creates a longing for fellowship with other believers. Here Paul wishes to visit a group of believers that have not had the benefit of the direct teaching of the Apostles. His wish is to establish (comfort and strengthen) them in the faith. Is this not the kind of longing that should reside in the heart of every believer. We long to see our brothers and sisters grow in the faith. We hope the very best for their lives. We long to be in their presence. As an American, I think that my culture lends itself to the thoughts of me as an individual. Yet the church is a homogenous organism with Christ as its head. The whole body grows and flourishes when Jesus Christ is the head. When things are not as they should be this is a good place to start. I ask this question every morning when I awake. Is Christ the head of Bob? We are as members of Christ not unlike a red corpuscle that has the very important job of carrying oxygen and nutrition to the various parts of the body. If we are not healthy, someone doesn't get oxygen! We belong to one another and are necessary to each others well being.To be ("established") confirmed in the truths of the Gospel is not only necessary, it is extraordinary. Dear Father in Heaven, help me today to be a comfort to my brothers and sisters. Help me not to be a burden. Help me to acknowledge you in all my thoughts today. Thanks for hearing and answering my prayer. To Jesus Christ may be all glory and honor. Amen. "Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. Under his control all the different parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which it is provided. So when each separate part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up through love. (Eph 4:15-16 TEV) "He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body’s life." (Col 1:19 TEV) "For no reason at all, such people are all puffed up by their human way of thinking and have stopped holding on to Christ, who is the head of the body. Under Christ’s control the whole body is nourished and held together by its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God wants it to grow." (Col 2:18-19 TEV) Romans 2:08 - Selfish Ambition Romans 2:8 Rom 2:1-16 The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character. The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being. The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, “treasuring up wrath.” In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law. It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light. Matthew Henry Concise Commentary "but to those who are selfishly ambitious2052 and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation." (NASB) "But unto them that are contentious2052, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath," (KJV) "But He will pour out His anger and wrath on those who live for themselves2052, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. (NLT) "but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition2052 and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness." (NET) "I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear Me but don't obey Me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject Me and My message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken." John 12:46-48 "And I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from His presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire." Rev 20:11-15 NLT "Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth." 2 Th 2:12 NLT Dr. John Gill give us some interesting insight into the description of this first phrase wherein he describes those who would be disrupters within the church! "But unto them that are contentious,.... This is a description of the other sort of persons to whom God will render according to their deeds, "who are of the contention"; who contend for victory, and not truth; strive about words to no profit; are quarrelsome, and sow discord among men, and in churches;" Once again the warning words of Jonathan Edwards ring in my ears where the resident terrorist walks freely within the body of Christ and delivers a great harm. "For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition2052, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." James 3:16 NLT "The former proclaim Christ from selfish ambition2052, not sincerely, because they think they can cause trouble for me in my imprisonment." Phil 1:17 NET "For I am afraid that somehow when I come I will not find you what I wish, and you will find me not what you wish. I am afraid that somehow there may be quarreling, jealousy, intense anger, selfish ambition2052, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder." 2 Cor 12:20 NET What then is the attitude of my heart? Do I serve Christ for all the wrong reasons? Is my heart moved by the mercies of Christ? Am I really in fellowship with Him? Real fellowship with Christ is always the answer! Yet the natural man is quarrelsome against the very person of God and chooses instead to obey unrighteousness. "Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition2052 or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself." Phil 2:1-3 NET 2052 Thayer εριθει?α eritheia Thayer Definition: 1) electioneering or intriguing for office 1a) apparently, in the NT a courting distinction, a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts 1b) partisanship, fractiousness G2052 Strong εριθει?α eritheia er-ith-i'-ah Perhaps from the same as G2042; properly intrigue, that is, (by implication) faction: - contention (-ious), strife. A person’s habitual conduct, whether good or evil, reveals the condition of his heart. Eternal life is not rewarded for good living; that would contradict many other Scriptures which clearly state that salvation is not by works, but is all of God’s grace to those who believe (e.g., Rom. 6:23; 10:9-10; 11:6; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). A person’s doing good shows that his heart is regenerate. Such a person, redeemed by God, has eternal life. Conversely a person who continually does evil and rejects the truth shows that he is unregenerate, and therefore will be an object of God’s wrath. e.g. exempli gratia, for example Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ro 2:7). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books. Romans 2:20 - Professor of Hypocricy Romans 2:20 "a corrector3810 of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth," (NASB) "An instructor3810 of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law." (KJV) "You think you can instruct3810 the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God's law gives you complete knowledge and truth." (NLT) "an educator3810 of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth —" (NET) G3810 παιδευτη?ς paideute?s pahee-dyoo-tace' From G3811; a trainer, that is, teacher or (by implication) discipliner: - which corrected, instructor. "Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined3810 us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?" (Hebrews 12:9 NLT) This word occurs only twice in NT Instructor INSTRUCT'OR, n. A teacher; a person who imparts knowledge to another by precept or information. 1 Cor 4. 1. The preceptor of a school or seminary of learning; any president, professor or tutor, whose business is to teach languages, literature or the sciences; any professional man who teaches the principles of his profession. Corrector CORRECTOR, n. 1. One who corrects; one who amends faults, retrenches error, and renders conformable to truth or propriety, or to any standard; as a corrector of the press; a corrector of abuses. 2. One who punishes for correction; one who amends or reforms by chastisement, reproof or instruction. 3. That which corrects; that which abates or removes what is noxious or inconvenient; an ingredient in a composition which abates or counteracts the force of another; as, an alkali is a corrector of acids. Turpentine is a corrector of quicksilver. Educator ED'UCATOR, n. One who educates. The hypocrisy of the Israelites here embody the same attitude we see today in a great many religions. The attitude that we possess the only true knowledge! But for the Christian the true Word is Jesus Christ and He possesses us. It is easy to tell someone else how they must live while at the same time living in the quagmire of self-deceit. Our hope is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that sets us free lest we too become the hypocrites of the faith putting the Bible under our arm to use as a seven-day deodorant pad. "Such people claim they know God, but they deny Him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good." (Titus 1:16 NLT) A Soldier's Wish By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact, but I am prouder to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creation and life. And, while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle, but in the home, repeating with him our simple daily prayer, "Our Father Who art in Heaven...." -General Douglas MacArthur Change is the One Constant Thoughts to Ponder by Doris Change is the One Constant As I acknowledge that change is the one constant in life, it helps me to accept the inevitable! Accepting the difficult circumstances in my life with a more positive attitude has helped me to move on. As I look to the Lord, who mirrored for me how to get on with life in the midst of struggles, I have a better understanding of my circumstances. "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…" (Philippians 2:5) "…and let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." (Romans 12:2) The stresses of unexpected changes in my life have required me to change. With the sudden loss of my first husband over eleven years ago, my initial reaction was anger! But then I was able to look to God for strength, and the ability to move beyond myself. His strength became my sufficiency. I had to come to accept my loss, and once I was able to do so, I had the flexibility and freedom to move on. All change follows a definable sequence of stages, much like the stages of grief. Once I came to the place where I could accept my loss, God gave me the freedom to look beyond myself and to see new opportunities. Some of the following principles that I have applied in my life, I hope will be helpful to you with your life's changes: 1) Learn to be flexible and adaptable. 2) Listen to the right voices! 3) Allow time for quiet reflection with the Lord. 4) Become involved with helping other people with their needs. 5) Stay motivated by working in community with positive thinking people. We have a secure anchor in the midst of changes! "For I the Lord do not change," (Malachi 3:6) "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 18:8) As a military spouse and family counselor, Doris Waldrop Mincks has ministered to military families for many years. Her ministry, Wives of Warriors Worldwide, WOWW, desires to come along side the military community to give encouragement and support to military wives, meeting the life situations unique to them. Christ's Two Appearings Christ's Two Appearings THE two great links between earth and Heaven are the two advents of our Lord; or, rather, He is Himself, by His two appearings, the great bond of union between earth and Heaven. When the world had revolted against its Maker, and the Creator had been defied by His own creatures, a great gulf was opened between God and man. The first coming of Christ was like a bridge which crossed the chasm, and made a way of access from God to man, and then from man to God. Our Lord’s second advent will make that bridge far broader, until Heaven shall come down to earth; and, ultimately, earth shall go up to Heaven. Here, too, is the place for us to build a grand suspension bridge, by which, through faith, we ourselves may cross from this side to the other of the stormy river of time. The cross, at whose foot we stand, is the massive column which supports the structure on this side; and as we look forward to the glory, the second advent of our Lord is the solid support on the other side of the deep gulf of time. By faith, we first look to Jesus, and then look for Jesus; and herein is the life of our spirits. Christ on the cross of shame, and Christ on the throne of glory: these are our Dan and Beersheba, and all between is holy ground. As for our Lord’s first coming, there lies our rest; the once-offered sacrifice hath put away our sin, and made our peace with God. As for His second coming, there lies our hope, our joy; for “we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” The glories of His royal priesthood shall be repeated in all the saints; for He hath “made us unto our God kings and priests:” and we shall reign with Him for ever and ever. At His first advent, we adore Him with gratitude, rejoicing that He is “God with us,” making Himself to be our near Kinsman. We gather with grateful boldness around the Infant in the manger, and behold our God. But, in the anticipation of His second advent, we are struck with a solemn reverence, a trembling awe. We are not less grateful, but we are more prostrate, as we bow before the majesty of the triumphant Christ. Jesus in His glory is an overpowering vision for mortal man to behold. John, the beloved disciple, writes, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” We could have kissed His blessed feet till He quitted us on Mount Olivet; but, at the sight of our returning Lord, when Heaven and earth shall flee away, we shall bow in lowliest adoration. His first appearing has given us eternal life, and that holy confidence with which we are looking forward to His glorious appearing, which is to be the crown of all His mediatorial work. There are many contrasts between our Lord’s first and second appearings, but the great contrast is, that, when He comes again, it will be “without a sin-offering unto salvation.” The end and object of His first coming was “to put away sin.” The modern babblers say that He appeared to reveal to us the goodness and love of God. This is true; but it is only the fringe of the whole truth. The all-important fact is, that He revealed God’s love in the provision of the only sacrifice which could put away sin. Then, they say that He appeared to exhibit perfect manhood, and to let us see what our nature ought to be. Here also is a truth; but it is only part of the sacred design of Christ’s coming to earth. He appeared, say they, to manifest self-sacrifice, and to set us an example of love to others; by His self-denial, He trampled on the selfish passions of man. We deny none of these things; and yet we are indignant at the way in which the less is made to hide the greater. To put the secondary ends of our Lord’s first advent into the place of the grand object of His coming, is to turn the truth of God into a lie. It is easy to distort truth, by exaggerating one portion of it, and diminishing another; just as the drawing of the most beautiful face may soon be made a caricature rather than a portrait by neglect of the rule of proportion. You must observe proportion if you would take a truthful view of things; and in reference to the first appearing of our Lord, His chief purpose was “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” The great object of our Lord’s coming here was not to live, but to die. He appeared, not so much to subdue sin by His teaching, or to manifest goodness, or to perfect an example for us to imitate, but “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” That which the modern teachers of error would thrust into the background, our Lord placed in the forefront. He came to take away our sins, even as the scapegoat typically carried away the sin of Israel into the wilderness, that the people might be clean before the living God. Do not let us think of Jesus without remembering the design of His coming. I pray you, know not Christ without His cross, as some pretend to know Him. We preach Christ; so do a great many more: but, “we preach Christ crucified;” so, alas! do not so many more. We preach, concerning our Lord, His cross, His blood, His death; and upon the blood of His cross we lay great stress, extolling much “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” by putting away their sin “by the sacrifice of Himself.” We will not deny, or conceal, or depreciate His master-purpose, lest we be found guilty of trampling upon His blood, and treating it as an unholy thing. The putting away of sin was a Godlike purpose; and it is a wellspring of hope to us that, for this reason, Jesus appeared among men. If any of you are entertaining some so-called “larger hope”, I would say to you,—Hope what you please; but remember, that hope without truth at the bottom of it, is an anchor without a holdfast. A groundless hope is a mere delusion. Wish what you will; but wishes without promises from God to back them, are vain imaginings. Why should you imagine or wish for another method of salvation? Rest you assured that the Lord thinks so highly of His Son’s one sacrifice for sin that, for you to desire another, is a gross evil in His sight. If you reject the one sacrifice of the Son of God, there remains no hope for you; nor ought there to be. Our Lord’s plan of putting away sin is so just to God, so honoring to the law, and so safe for you that, if you reject it, your blood must be upon your own head. By once offering up Himself to God, our Lord has done what myriads of years of repentance and suffering could never have done for us. Blessed be the Name of the Lord, the sin of the world, which kept God from dealing with men at all, was put away by our Lord’s death! John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” God has been able to deal with the world of sinners in a way of grace, because Jesus died. I thank our Lord, even more, because the actual sins of His own chosen—all those who believe on Him in every age—have been put away. These sins were laid on Jesus; and in Him God visited man for them. “He His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,” and so put them away for ever. The putting away of my guilt as a believer was really, effectually, and eternally accomplished by the death of my great Substitute upon the bloody tree. This is the ground of our everlasting consolation and good hope through grace. Jesus did it, and did it alone, and did it completely; He did not only seem to do it, but He actually achieved the putting away of sin. He blotted out the handwriting that was against us. He finished transgression, and made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness, when once for all He died upon the cross. I do not need, I hope, to linger here to warn you that it is of no use to expect that God will put away sin in any other way than that which, at so great a cost, He has provided. If sin could have been removed in any other way than by the death of His dear Son, Jesus would not have died. If there had been, within the range of supposition, any method of pardon except by the sacrifice of Himself, depend upon it Jesus would never have bowed His head to death. The great Father would never have inflicted the penalty of death upon the perfect One if it had been possible that the cup should pass from Him. He could never have imposed upon His well-beloved Son a superfluous pain. His death was needful; but, blessed be God, having been endured, it has once for all put away sin, and hence it will never be endured again. Yet Christ Jesus will appear a second time; but not a second time for the same purpose as when He came before. He will appear. The appearing will be of the most open character. He will not be visible simply in some quiet place where two or three are met together, in His Name, but He will appear as the lightning is seen in the heavens. At His first appearing, He was truly seen; wherever He went He could be looked at, and gazed upon, and touched, and handled. He will appear quite as plainly, by-and-by, among the sons of men. The observation of Him then will be far more general than at His first advent; for, as John says, “every eye shall see Him.” Every eye did not see Him when He came the first time; but when He comes the second time, all the nations of the world shall behold Him. They that are dead shall rise to see Him, both saints and sinners; and they that are alive and remain when He shall come shall be absorbed in this greatest of spectacles. Then Balaam shall find it true, “I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh.” Though the ungodly shall cry, “Hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne,” they shall cry in vain; for before His judgment-seat they must all appear. His second appearing will be without sin. That is to say, He will bring no sin-offering with Him, for, having presented Himself as the one sacrifice for sin, there is no need of any other offering. When our Lord comes in His glory, there will remain no sin upon His people. He will present His bride unto Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. The day of His appearing will be the manifestation of a perfect body as well as a perfect Head. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun” when their Lord’s countenance is “as the sun shineth in his strength.” As He will be “without sin,” so will they be “without sin.” Oh, what a glorious appearing will this be;—a true appearing, yet the very opposite of the first! If we are really expecting our Lord to come, we shall be concerned to have everything ready for His appearing. I sometimes see the great gates open in front of the larger houses in the suburbs; it usually means that the master is expected soon. Keep the great gates of your soul always open, ready for your Lord’s return. It is idle to talk about looking for His coming if we never set our house in order, and never put ourselves in readiness for His reception. Looking for Him, means that we stand in a waiting attitude, as a servant who expects his master to be at the door presently. Do not say, “The Lord will not come yet, and therefore I shall make my plans for the next twenty or thirty years irrespective of Him.” You may not be here in the next twenty or thirty minutes; or, if you are, your Lord may be here also. He is already on the road; He started long ago, and He sent on a herald before Him to cry, “Behold, I come quickly.” He has been coming quickly over the mountains of division ever since; and He must be here soon. If you are truly looking for His appearing, you will be found in the attitude of one who waits and watches, that when his Lord cometh he may meet Him with joy. Are you thus expecting Him? I am afraid I shall only be speaking the truth if I say that very few Christians are, in the highest sense, waiting for the appearing of their Lord and Saviour. As to watching, this is still more rare than waiting. The fact is, even the better sort of believers, who wait for His coming, as all the ten virgins did, nevertheless do not watch, as the whole ten waiters slumbered and slept. This is a mournful business. A man, who is asleep, cannot be said to look; yet it is “unto them that look for Him” that the Lord is to “appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” We must be wide-awake to look; we ought to go up to the watch-tower every morning, and look toward the sunrising, to see whether Christ is coming; and our last act at night should be to look out for His star, and ask, “Is He coming?” It ought to be a daily disappointment when our Lord does not come; instead of being, as I fear it is, a kind of foregone conclusion that He will not come just yet. Many professing Christians appear to forget all about Christ’s second coming; others drop a smile when we speak about it, as though it was a subject that belonged only to fanatics and dreamers. But ye, beloved, I trust are not of that kind. As ye believe really in the first coming and the one great sacrifice, so believe really in the second coming without a sin-offering unto the climax of your salvation. Standing between Christ’s cross and His crown, between the cloud that received Him out of our sight, and the clouds with which He will come with ten thousands of His saints to judge the quick and the dead, let us live as men who are not of this world, strangers in this age which darkly lies between two bright appearings, happy beings saved by a mystery accomplished, and soon to be glorified by another mystery which is hastening on to its fulfillment. Let us, like that woman mentioned in the Revelation, have the moon under our feet, and keep all sublunary things in their proper place. May we even now be made to sit together in the heavenlies with Christ, that, when He appears, we may also appear with Him in glory! Amen. Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). Christ’s Incarnation: The foundation of Christianity (pp. 143–152). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software. (Public Domain) Comments are closed.