CHRIST, second coming
After 14 years of studying the Bible, William Miller (1782-1849)--a U.S. revivalist who
predicted the second coming and earned a large but temporary following of
50,000-100,000--became convinced that Christ would return in 1843. When Miller
announced April 3 as the day, some disciples went to mountaintops, hoping for a head start
to heaven. Others were in graveyards, planning to ascend in reunion with their departed
loved ones. Philadelphia society ladies clustered together outside town to avoid entering
God's kingdom amid the common herd. When April 4 dawned as usual the Millerites were
disillusioned, but they took heart. Their leader had predicted a range of dates for
Christ's return. They still had until March 21, 1844. The devout continued to make ready,
but again they were disappointed. A third date--October 22, 1844--was set, but it also
Today in the Word, MBI, December 20, 1991.
After church, where she had been taught about the Second Coming, a little girl was
quizzing her mother. "Mommy, do you believe Jesus will come back?"
"Yes." "Today?" "Yes."
"In a few minutes?" "Yes, dear."
"Mommy, would you comb my hair?"
In Warren Wiersbe's Meet Yourself in the Psalms, he tells about a frontier town where a
horse bolted and ran away with a wagon carrying a little boy. Seeing the child in danger,
a young man risked his life to catch the horse and stop the wagon. The child who was saved
grew up to become a lawless man, and one day he stood before a judge to be sentenced for a
serious crime. The prisoner recognized the judge as the man who, years before had saved
his life; so he pled for mercy on the basis of that experience. But the words from the
bench silenced his plea: "Young man, then I was your savior; today I am your judge,
and I must sentence you to be hanged." One day Jesus Christ will say to rebellious
sinners, "During that long day of grace, I was the Savior, and I would have forgiven
you. But today I am your Judge. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire!"
Doug Van Essen.