August 2, 1894
THERE is just one more scripture, in the same line discussed last week, that we will notice in connection with the present order of things in this country and the world.
THIS is the word spoken by the Lord himself, when he was upon the earth, in answer to the question by his disciples as to what should be the sign of his coming and the end of the world. He answered as follows: “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” Luke 21:25, 26.
THE signs in the sun, and in the moon, and the stars, have long been in the past. The sun was to be darkened, and the moon to be turned to blood, and the stars were to fall from heaven, before the great and terrible day of the Lord should come. Joel 2:31, 32; Revelation 6:12-17. These signs in the sun and moon were fulfilled in the wonderful dark day of 1780. In November, 1833, the word was fulfilled which said the stars should fall from heaven, “even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”
THESE signs are then long in the past, and from them it is evident that we are nearing the coming of the Lord. But there are other signs mentioned which are nearer to us than those—signs that are even right around us, and so persistently thrust before our eyes and upon our attention that it is impossible not to see them. There is upon the earth to-day such distress of nations with perplexity as never has been before. Nations have been distressed before, but not so greatly distressed, nor with perplexity. An individual of a nation may be distressed and may be able to see and find a way of escape; but when either an individul [sic.] or a nation is not only distressed but perplexed, then there is no knowing which way to turn. Each thing that is resorted to, to relieve the distress, only increases the perplexity. And this is precisely the condition in which the nations, as nations, and as governments, are to-day—through fear of war, through financial distress, through socialistic threats, and anarchistic explosions.
IN view of all these things, and others which have been mentioned, men’s hearts are now, as never before, failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth. All these things are before us and around us. They have all come to pass and are here, and the very next thing that the Saviour mentions is this, “The powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:26, 27. So that after these there is no other sign given us of the coming of the Lord. For the shaking of the powers of heaven occurs in immediate connection with the coming of the Lord, so that this is not, in itself, a sign of the coming of the Lord, but is the convulsion of nature itself at the coming of the Lord. So that it is a literal truth that every sign which the Saviour gave in this list of signs of his coming, is either far in the past or is now passing before the eyes of all the people upon the earth. The next thing is the coming of the Lord himself.
THE Saviour comments upon this and says: “And when these things begin to come to pass, than look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28. “So likewise ye when ye shall see all these things, know that it [margin “he”] is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:33. So that when the signs in the sun, and in the moon, and stars began to appear, then redemption drew nigh. Now, when we see not only that the signs in the sun, moon, and stars are all long in the past, but that the distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and waves roaring, and men’s hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things that are coming upon the earth, are passing in the presence of all the people—now, we know that he is near, even at the doors.
AND this is the answer which the Lord has given to that question which every man is asking his neighbor,—What do these things mean? The word of God says that these things mean that the harvest is ripe, that the end is near, that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. And his counsel to all the people is, therefore, “Get ready! get ready! get ready!” “Stablish your hearts,” “Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; … and he shall be for a sanctuary;” “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh, and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.” Luke 12:35, 36.
“For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH.” Mark 13:34-37.
NOR does the Lord leave men to themselves in this all-important matter of getting ready for his coming. He himself will fully prepare every soul for this great and glorious event, who will surrender himself to the Lord and to the working of his divine will. He has predestinated man to be conformed to the image of his Son. To this end he has called all men.
Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together; who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just  God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22.
What does he say to do in order to be saved? “Look unto me and be ye saved.” “Look“!
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
When Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, the word was, “Look and life.” And whosoever looked was cured of the poisonous bites of the serpents. So he says to-day:—
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.
If you are blind and cannot see, and therefore unable to look, then he comes to you and says:—
Hear, and your soul shall live. Isaiah 55:3.
If you are both blind and deaf, and can neither see nor hear, then he says:—
Speak ye unto the Rock…. and it shall give forth his water. And that Rock was Christ. Numbers 20:8; 1 Corinthians 10:4.
If you are blind, and deaf, and dumb, and can neither see, nor hear, nor speak, then he says:—
“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8.
If you are blind, and deaf, and dumb, and have lost all sense of taste, and there is only one single faculty remaining, he says use that, and
Feel after him, and find him. Acts 17:27.
Thus the God of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ, has brought his glorious salvation, his eternal salvation, within the reach of every individual in this world who can either see, or hear, or speak, or feel. And that is all he asks of you. That is God’s ways of salvation. Will you accept this salvation and so be justified by the Lord, and thus by him be prepared to be glorified at his glorious appearing which is now so near, and of which there are so many signs?