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VII. THE REDEEMER’S RETURN IS NECESSITATED BY THE PRESENT DEGRADATION AND DESOLATION OF THE WORLD.
Here is a reason which ought to carry conviction to every mind. If there is anything which imperatively needs our Redeemer to Return it is surely this poor sin-cursed world of ours! Look at it and what do we see? A world everywhere racked with suffering and out of joint. A world convulsed with misery entailed by the Fall. A world now in its very death-throes, with hope almost completely gone. Everything that man could devise to better conditions and make this world a happier place has been tested and proven a failure. Every possible form of human government has been tried, each new one being as unsuccessful as the previous ones. Theocracy, democracy, and mobocracy (the French Revolution, and Russia today) have each been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Legislation, education and civilization have all been built upon, only to find in the day of testing that they were merely foundations of sand. Look where you will, on land or sea, in the air or beneath the waters, and you will witness sin and death holding high carnival. The world is dying for want of a competent Ruler.
On all sides iniquity is abounding more and more. Crime is increasing, morality is decreasing; godlessness and lawlessness are growing apace; while over all, hangs the dreadful pall of the world-war. In the physical world, despite all our enlightenment, modern discoveries and the organized activities of medical science, disease is carrying off an ever increasing multitude year by year. The educational world is mainly under the control of infidels and agnostics, under whose leadership the rising generation is taught that the faith once for all delivered to the saints is an idle superstition, or at best a religious garment which we have now outgrown. In the economic world, greed and dishonesty are rapidly eating out the very vitals of commercial stability, while the fight between capital and labor threatens a revolution such as this world has not witnessed since the days when the streets of Paris ran with blood. In the political realm there is so much chicanery, and “graft” and “party” principles are so selfishly pursued, that the self-respecting man is becoming loath to get mixed up with such filth and rottenness. Each “party” is as corrupt as the other, and the believer in Christ who is subject to God’s Word will not hesitate to separate himself from that which offers his Lord no place and has no concern for His glory. In the moral realm, decay and putrefaction are witnessed upon all sides. Temperance Reform Societies, Purity-campaigns and Civic-righteousness Leagues are powerless to stem the tide of evil. The Drink-Bill of every civilized (?) nation is growing heavier every year. Immorality, both among the masses and those in high places, prevails to such a fearful extent, that our large cities are modern Sodoms and Gomorrahs. In the religious world, we gaze upon an apostate Christendom. Our Theological Seminaries, with very rare exceptions, are teaching Darwinism and Higher Criticism, while our pulpits are busily occupied with “echoing” these God-dishonoring and Scripture-denying heresies, and on all sides the Gospel is supplanted by political harangues or moral essays. The majority of our churches are more than half empty, while the mid-week prayer meeting is almost entirely a thing of the past. The few faithful servants of God that are left on earth are boycotted, maligned and persecuted. The Lord’s Day has become a day of pleasure-seeking and now, Sabbath-desecration, in the form of seven days a week work on the farms and in the munition factories, has been legalized by every nation that is now at war. And, as we have said, over all hangs the dreadful pall of this World War! Literally millions of men in the prime of their manhood have already been slaughtered, while millions more have been maimed for life in the vain effort to destroy militarism and establish a lasting peace. Innumerable homes have been plunged into grief, and there is no guarantee or even prospect but what millions more will suffer a like fate.
To-day the world stands helpless before the inrushing tide of evil which threatens to decimate almost half of the human race, and in its impotency a grief-stricken humanity is everywhere lifting up piteous hands to Heaven as it cries for a Deliverer. True, the cry may not always be articulated, yet it is audible nevertheless. True, the world, as a whole, is blind to its spiritual wretchedness and apostate condition. True, the canal mind is still enmity against God, yet, intelligent men realize that the present order of things is a complete failure and are ready and longing for a New Order. The world cries for deliverance, what shall be Heaven’s response? Again we say that only one answer is possible. While the Holy Scriptures reveal the fact that the severest of God’s judgments have not yet been poured upon this world, which has for so long lived in pleasure and wantonness; while the Holy Scriptures reveal the fact that the darkest hour of the night of earth’s sufferings and sorrows has not yet arrived; yet, they also teach, that at the close of this night, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings (Mal. 4:2). “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there: but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away”(Isa. 35:4–10). That will be Heaven’s response to earth’s agonized cry! Therefore we say that the present degradation and desolation of the world necessitates our Redeemer’s Return to take the government upon His shoulder and to rule and reign in righteousness, for then, and not till then, will every world problem find its final solution.
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