The signs in the sun, moon, and stars have been fulfilled. Since that time earthquakes, tempests, tidal waves, pestilence, and famines have multiplied. The most awful destructions, by fire and flood, are following one another in quick succession. The terrible disasters that are taking place from week to week speak to us in earnest tones of warning, declaring that the end is near, that something great and decisive will soon of necessity take place.
Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. The end is very near. We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.
Probationary time will not continue much longer. Now God is withdrawing his restraining hand from the earth. Long has he been speaking to men and women through the agency of his Holy Spirit; but they have not heeded the call. Now he is speaking to his people, and to the world, by his judgments. The time of these judgments is a time of mercy for those who have not yet had opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; his hand is still stretched out to save.
The day of Christ's coming will be a day of judgment upon the world. When the multitude of the lost--those whom God has favored with great light, but who rejected the light; those who might have been saved, had they obeyed God's law, but who refused to obey--when these see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, they will understand the great sacrifice made in their behalf; they will understand the unmeasured love of the Redeemer, his incarnation, the sweat-drops of blood, the marks of the nails in his hands and feet, the pierced side; and they will ask to be hidden from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. They see as in reality the condemnation of Christ, and hear the loud cry, "Release unto us Barabbas." [Luke 23:18] They hear the question, "What shall I do then with Jesus?" [Matthew 27:22] and the answer, "Crucify him, crucify him!" [Luke 23:21 and John 19:6]
The reign of appearance and pretense is over. The righteous Judge speaks with awful emphasis as he utters the sentence, "I know you not, . . . depart from me." [Luke 13:27]
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." [Matthew 25:31-34] Thus he welcomes them, to live hereafter in eternal communion with himself. And every voice in the heavenly mansions echoes and re-echoes the welcome, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." [Matthew 25:34]
Jesus is coming, coming with clouds and great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend him. He will come to honor those who have loved him and kept his commandments, and to take them to himself. He has not forgotten them or his promise.
There will be a re-linking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when "the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." [1 Corinthians 15:52]
No human language can fully describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known to those only who behold it. There the heavenly Shepherd leads his flock to the fountains of living water. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the widespreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God's people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.
"My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places." "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise." [Isaiah 32:18; Isaiah 60:18]
"They shall build houses and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat:. . . . Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." [Isaiah 65:21-22]
There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. "There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying. . . . for the former things are passed away." "The inhabitants shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity." [Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24]
That time is near. A little while, and we shall see the King in his beauty. A little while, and he will present his faithful ones "faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." [Jude 1:24]